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Comparing LDS and Church of Christ Theology (Part 5 of 7)

Both the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and the LDS Church accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God. But what are the differences in belief among the two churches? Jean Addams will talk about a major disagreement over the Doctrine & Covenants, among other things.

Jean: Well, I think the Book of Commandments was sent in script form to Missouri. It was Phelps’ job to get it printed. So, Phelps and probably with Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, they probably, all of them participated in trying to edit.  You can see marks in the original that show that somebody was putting a word in here or there to just clean it up. I don’t think Joseph ever officially thought that was going to be the final word.  It certainly was used as a starting point for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Jean:  Bill Sheldon [recently deceased apostle for Church of Christ], bless his heart, he made a big deal out of out of the changes. Some of the changes, of course, are just additions and a lot of them are cleanups, words, punctuation, things like that. But it wasn’t done, I should add that.  There was more to be printed. The Church of Christ Temple Lot doesn’t buy that at all.

GT:  Oh, they think that that was the whole thing.

Jean:  They think that’s the whole thing.

GT:  Okay.  Well, I know when I spoke with Randy [Sheldon, Bill’s son], one of the things he made a big deal about was our now section 20. That has been expanded, and he has said, “You compare my Book of Commandments with your section 20, and you’re going to see a bunch of verses that have been added.” So yes, there were some grammar things, but there were definitely large sections that were added.

Jean:  Yep, and I don’t think anybody makes a big deal out of that. Latter-day revelations to Joseph got added in rather than creating a whole new section, at some point in time.  When I first was introduced to Bill Sheldon, so this is a good one…   Bill started on me with the changes. I finally said, “Bill, stop, stop, stop just for a second.” He said, “What’s that? And I said, “Can I look at your song book?”  He said, “Sure.” So he gets me a song book. I’d been to their church the day before, my first time. I happened to notice the songs that were in there. One of your songs is on page one something. “We Thank Thee Oh God…” and Latter-day Saints would say “For a Prophet.” It says, “For the Spirit.” So I said, “Who changed that?”  He laughed and smiled and he said, “Me.”  I said, “Okay, we’re even.  Can we go on to something else?” And he said, “Fair deal.” At that point time, we became good friends.

We talk further about similarities and differences between the two churches.  Check out our conversation….

Historian Jean Addams describes similarities and differences in theology between the LDS Church and Church of Christ (Temple Lot.)

Don’t miss our other conversations with Jean!

377: LDS/Church of Christ Alliance

376: Jones Flournoy’s Ties to Restoration

375: Dispute Over the Temple Lot

374: Intro to Church of Christ (Temple Lot)

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Brighamite – Hedrickite Alliance (Part 4 of 7)

A momentous court battle raged in Missouri of the temple lot between the RLDS Church and the Church of Christ.  Both claimed to be the rightful successor to Joseph Smith’s church.  While the LDS Church in Salt Lake City also claimed to be the true successor to Joseph Smith’s legacy, they didn’t want the RLDS Church to win the court battle, and thus made an alliance with the Church of Christ.  Jean Addams tells more about this battle. It turns out this court battle had big implications on our knowledge of LDS polygamy, even though the other two churches rejected polygamy.

GT:  When was that lawsuit that was first launched where the RLDS Church tried to take over the lot? What year was that?

Jean:  [It was] 1891-92.

GT:  So the interesting thing for me is the Temple Lot case, where the LDS Church got involved in this dispute with two other churches. Can you tell about that?

Jean:  Wealthy members of the LDS church loaned the money, rather than the LDS Church. It got funneled, then, through Cannon’s nephew, John Cannon, who would become a friend with Charles Hall. So the loan was made directly that way.

GT:  Is John Cannon related to George Q. Cannon?

Jean:  Yes. He is a nephew, he’s an attorney.

GT:  So John is a member of the…

Jean:  LDS Church.

GT:  So the big thing for me, historically, is we always–I spoke with Brian Hales about polygamy, and so there’s a lot of polygamy documents that came out with this Temple Lot case.

Jean:  Absolutely.

GT:  Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Jean:  Well, the temple lot case, got a lot of coverage. There were a lot of interviews, depositions, both in Salt Lake City, there were some taken in Denver, there were some, obviously, taken back in Missouri. It got a lot of coverage. When people would come in for their deposition, then the attorneys would ask a lot of the mundane kind of questions. When did you first do this, when did you first do that? When did you move to Missouri? What did your family do? Did you know Edward Partridge? Did you live near the temple lot? From all that information, a wealth of information came out in terms of historical material that wasn’t available elsewhere.

Find out more!  Check out our conversation….

Historian Jean Addams tells about the Temple Lot Case between the RLDS Church and Church of Christ that gave a treasure trove of information about polygamy for the LDS Church.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Jean!

376: Jones Flournoy’s Ties to Restoration

375: Dispute Over the Temple Lot

374: Intro to Church of Christ (Temple Lot)

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How Jones Flournoy is Connected to Restoration (Part 3 of 7)

Let’s face it.  Missouri settlers didn’t take kindly to outsiders.  When the state of Missouri held a public auction to sell state lands, non-Mormon Jones Flournoy bought the land.  A week later, Bishop Partridge came and purchased land that would be known as the Temple Lot.  Did Partridge get a fair price?  Historian Jean Addams will tell us fact from fiction.

GT:  [I heard that] Jones Flournoy had just purchased that property, probably a week before the Hedrickites arrived and basically just made a bit huge profit and he didn’t actually own it for that long. Is that true?

Jean:  That’s where the stories started going every which way but correct. Flournoy, as the original squatter, when the state of Missouri made that land available. It wasn’t federal land. It was seminary land. The state have been given the seminary land as part of their statehood. They got two townships and that equal 72 sections. Forty some sections were in Jackson county as it turned out and Independence was surrounded by them. So the individual squatters who thought that they could purchase the surveyed property from the federal government in 1828 are now told nope, that’s state land, and you’re going to have to wait for them. So the state in December of 1830 authorized it to be sold in December of 1831, not for $1.25 an acre which the federal sold it for, but for $2 an acre, the idea being raising more money for the eventual University of Missouri.

Jean:  Flournoy had the right, as a squatter, to make the first purchase. Furthermore, he’s the postmaster in town, a well-established individual. Nobody’s going to ace out those original squatters. In fact, they were so intent on this, Rick, they were so intent that an individual that came to town speculating to buy up lots around Independence and so forth, they actually took him and put him in jail.

GT:  Who in jail?

Jean:  This individual from Virginia, so that he could not go to the auction. He then tried to get a local judge to help him and the individuals, “landholders” in good old Jackson County–can you imagine that happening? They threatened the judge that they would put him in jail with him if he interfered in any way.

GT:  Oh, really?

Jean:  Anyway, so as a result, nobody interfered with the squatters. They bought the property. Jones Flournoy sold it a week later, a portion of his acreage. He sold it to Edward Partridge.

Check out our conversation….

Non-Mormon Jones Flournoy purchased land in Missouri, and then sold it to Bishop Partridge for the Jackson County Temple.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Jean!

375: Dispute Over the Temple Lot

374: Intro to Church of Christ (Temple Lot)