I’m excited to announce an interview with a counselor in the First Presidency! His name is Jim Vun Cannon, and he is a member of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, based in Independence, Missouri. Never heard of him? Well, here’s a little introduction to their church. (Later we’ll discuss a Literal Descendant of Aaron!)
Jim: I would say where we started out was we left the C[ommunity] of C[hrist, which] was called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Of course I think you all know where that came from.
We left that in 84. There were a number of people who went out to Restoration branches. At that point, people were looking up, can the church—because everyone believed that the church had to have structure and order to it.
In 1999, a number of people started meeting together. They were high priests and gathering other priesthood together to pray and to fast and to see what could be done. What did the law actually allow?
It turns out we found in some of the writings of Joseph Smith III, and some personal testimony and revelation that came forth, we could indeed have a church restored again, so that’s what happened at that point.
So the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ is essentially a breakoff of the RLDS Church, officially organized in the year 2000, under the direction of a new prophet, Frederick L. Larsen. He is a matrilineal descendant of Joseph Smith, and the Remnant Church believes in lineal succession. Jim said, “We are approximately 2700 members. About 1200 of those members are here in the United States, and the rest of those are in foreign fields.” I met Jim in Idaho, as the church was holding a retreat for members in the Northwestern United States. The most interesting thing I heard was this:
Jim Vun Cannon: Our Presiding Bishop actually is a literal descendant of Aaron.
GT: Oh really!
Jim: Yes. Kevin Romer is actually. Yes
GT: Ok. Wow, that’s interesting.
Jim: So yeah, that was new for us.
GT: Oh. I would assume that he got that through the patriarch. Is that how you declare lineage?
Jim: Yeah, typically the patriarchs will give you lineage. In his particular case he had it from the patriarch and from the president of the church. Both had testimonies of…
GT interrupts: Oh that he was a literal descendant?
Jim: literal descendant, yeah right.
GT: Ok, so the interesting thing, that doesn’t happen very often in our church. In fact I’m not aware of any.
Jim: This is the first I know of.
GT: Oh really!
Jim: Yeah, I don’t know of any of our churches, yeah.
GT: Oh, wow. That’s interesting. I know a bishop, and I don’t know any bishop that would want to do this but if a bishop that is a literal descendant of Aaron, he does not need counselors, which when you’re administering a ward, why would you not want to have counselors? I don’t know.
Jim chuckles: Yeah, he has counselors and he doesn’t want to give them up. I can appreciate that.
GT: Now is that a lifetime calling too, or is that just for a period of time?
Jim: We kind of look at that as a lifetime calling too, right now at this point. It’s really very new to us so we’re just kind of learning that.
In our next conversation we’ll talk more about Jim’s conversion to the Remnant Church. Have you ever heard of the Remnant Church? I want to thank media director Morgan Wigle for helping me arrange this interview. Do you have any questions for Jim or Morgan?