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3 Church Reconciliation? (Part 6 of 7)

The Church of Christ based in Independence, Missouri has made several attempts to reconcile with other restoration churches.  We will talk about one breach with the Church of Christ (Elijah Message) and then successful reconciliation.  We will also talk about other attempted reconciliations between the Church of Christ, the RLDS Church, and the LDS Church.

Jean:  In 1900, the elders in the Church of Christ met with the presidency in Lamoni of the RLDS church and wanted to know if they would agree to a three church get-together to see if they can resolve their differences. That meant, of course, making a trip to Salt Lake City. The RLDS church, wished them well and said, “Let us know how that turns out.”

GT:  So, the three churches were the RLDS, the Temple Lot and ours, LDS.

Jean:  But the main reason behind trying to work out differences is because they, the Church of Christ felt that the generation that was charged with building the temple was soon going to be gone, and that they needed to do something about building the temple. They would make the temple lot available, if we could all come together and figure out what to do and what to build. So they went to Salt Lake City, unannounced, and actually had a series of three different meetings with the First Presidency and others.  Lorenzo Snow conducted the meetings, and it was really at that point in time, that while we said no, we gladly paid for their expenses and they returned home, and they went ahead and had their meetings with the RLDS Church in terms of just resolving some differences. That’s when this baptism and switching churches and so forth, that all comes about as a result of that. But the LDS Church, at that very meeting, it’s in the minutes, George Q. Cannon spoke up and said, I’m paraphrasing, of course, “Maybe what we should be doing is getting our own selves back to Independence and start buying up the Temple Lot. As a result of that, within a very short period of time, they called James Duffin to be the mission president. He moved the LDS mission home out of St. John, Kansas, to Kansas City and back to Jackson County.

GT:  Oh really.

Jean:  In 1904, they turned him loose, and he was able to acquire the 20 acres of the original temple lot property that the LDS Church now owns.  [The LDS Church owns] a lot more property, on which the visitor’s center sits today.

We will also talk about Independence, Missouri’s most famous resident:  President Harry S. Truman!  Check out our conversation….

The Church of Christ tried to get the LDS & RLDS Churches to come back into communion in 1904.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Jean!

378: Comparing LDS & Church of Christ Theology

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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Trouble in Missouri 1833 (Part 1 of 7)

Joseph Smith had a revelation that Jackson County, Missouri was the promised land. It turns out that the Jackson Country residents weren’t on board with that revelation. It was a very tumultuous time when Mormons and Missourians both wanted to control the local politics. Dr. Alex Baugh describes many of the reasons the two groups didn’t get along.

Alex:  So, politically, we’re basically Democrats now in Jackson County.

GT:  Mormons were Democrats. Did you just say that?

Alex:  No question. Yeah. Yeah.

GT:  What happened?

Alex:  So politically, we were Democrats. Jackson County is named after Andrew Jackson. I mean, the Jacksonian Democracy, Jackson. So politically, we we’re a little more aligned that way, but that pans out differently depending on where we were, and so on. But there were definitely not many Whigs[1] in the church. So there’s the political issue, although, again, I think what Missourians were more worried about, Rick, was not so much that Mormons were Democrats, but that the Mormons would hold office and be the ones who would govern. They kicked us out of Jackson County in 1833, at the right time if you want to say it that way. Had Mormons continue to immigrate, they would have outnumbered the local citizenry. There’s no question. So the political aspect was more numbers than the difference in political power.

GT:  Okay.

Alex:  They just didn’t want the Mormons being the the ones who are making the laws and carrying out the edicts, whatever.

GT:  So was it religion, or was it politics that was the bigger issue?

Alex:  Yeah, well, it’s always religion, and, that was my point. You can look at the slave issue. You can look at Northerners versus Southerners. You can look at the social. I think we can safely say that at least in Jackson County, the Mormons were a little bit of a cut above some of the frontier Missourians. That doesn’t mean that some of the Missourians were not well educated and sophisticated, but at least bright people. I think the Mormons were probably a little bit of a cut above, at least in, like I say, Jackson County, maybe not as much in Clay [County.] There are some bright people in Clay County. Oh, my gosh. We’ve got a future U.S. senator in David Rice Atchison. There were just some bright political figures in Clay County.

But the point is political, social, economic, the Mormons were rather clannish. We traded among ourselves. That doesn’t mean we didn’t help support the local economy and local merchants, but we were trying to implement consecration. But the underlying thing, Rick, was we were seen as religious radicals. I mean, we went against the Christian elements of the day. We believed in strong prophetic leadership. We didn’t believe in the Trinity. We claimed visions. I’m just trying to think here, again, we practiced Consecration. That was part of our economic element that we combined together to support each other. We believed in additional scripture. Oh my gosh, that went against [everything.] “A Bible, a Bible.” So we were seen as on the religious fringe. If we would have been any other faith, there would have been no problem and we could have still had some of those differences, and probably lived peacefully. But it was oil and water, and we just didn’t mix. So it was a lot of things.

Check out our conversation…..

[1]  The Republican Party was founded in 1854.  The Whig Party were essentially replaced by the Republican Party.

BYU Church History professor, Dr. Alex Baugh says Mormons and Missourians were like oil and water.

If you’re interested in early Church history, don’t miss our interview with Dr. Mark Staker on the Kirtland Period.

020: Kirtland Banking Crisis: Joseph Takes the Blame

019: Kirtland Banking Crisis: Why it Failed

018: Kirtland Banking Crisis:  Why a Bank?

016: Elijah’s Visit & the Sealing Keys (Staker)

014: Did the Kirtland Temple Sparkle?  (Staker & Bennett)

013: Kirtland Temple University?

012: Kirtland Era Polygamy

011: Black Pete’s Mormon Mission in 1831

010: Black Pete:  The First Black Mormon