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Mormon History Groups (Part 5 of 6)

Richie Steadman of The Cultural Hall Podcast asked me more about some Mormon groups. We’ll talk not just about some old Mormon groups, but discuss MHA, Sunstone, and the JWHA.

Richie:  The other thing I want to ask you is you said you became a member of the Mormon History Association. Where do I pay my dues? Do I get a patch? Is there a summer camp? Is that a thing that anybody can be a part of? How does that whole thing work?

GT:  Yeah, absolutely. So, they typically meet in June, usually about every two or three years they meet in Utah, because that’s where the majority of the members are. But, they try to travel around.  This past June, it was supposed to be in Palmyra, but ended up going virtual because of the pandemic. I actually interviewed Barbara Jones Brown. She is the executive director for the Mormon History Association. She asked me to film an interview she did with Richard Turley, who had just recently retired. He used to be the…

Richie:  I know who he is.  He’s been here in the Cultural Hall. You don’t have to…

GT:  Oh, has he?  Oh, wow.

Richie:  You don’t have to church-splain to me who these people are.

GT:  Okay.  (Chuckling) So, anyway, I filmed that. I’m going to be re-releasing that on my podcast here in about a month or so. I can’t remember where it’s supposed to be next year. I think next year, they’re trying to get it back in Palmyra. But, they usually have it in Salt Lake every two or three years, for convenience, but they also try to hit other sites. To register, go to Mormonhistoryassociation.org. You can sign up to be a member. They’ll send you, if you sign up, they’ve got a quarterly magazine, basically, that has a lot of very scholarly articles that will whet your appetite. But, the funnest thing is to do the in-person meetings. Because, now, there’s three meetings that I typically try to go to. Mormon History Association, by far is the best scholarly one you’ll see. John Whitmer is probably a close second. I went to my first one that was also in Palmyra two years ago, so that was fun. Sunstone is the third you know, Sunstone. I like Sunstone a lot. You’ll get a lot of scholarly people there. You’ll get a lot of not scholarly people there. You’ll get people who love the church. You’ll get people who hate the church. Yeah, so it’s a little bit more of a mixed bag. I’m usually a little bit more picky about who I go to see. But you know, like Matt Harris goes to Sunstone, Newell Bringhurst, Brian Hales has been to Sunstone. So you’ll get some fantastic people there. And you’ll also get some people that have a bone to pick and I usually try to avoid those.

GT:  You’ll get some weird stuff. I did attend one that was a stripper that attended the Gospel Principles class, and she was going to get a temple recommend. And you just kind of raise your eyebrows and go, Wow, that’s kind of an unusual lifestyle.

Have you attended Sunstone, JWHA, or MHA?  What are your thoughts?  Check out our conversation…

We duscuss Cutlerites and other Mormon schisms.

Don’t miss our previous conversations!

603: Rick’s Family History

602: South America, Heartland, Meso

601: Malay, Baja, New York

600: BoM Geography: From Middle East to Africa

 

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What’s the view of the RLDS Succession Crisis?

In the LDS Church we believe in an orderly succession from Joseph Smith to Brigham Young.  In the Reorganized Church of course they don’t accept Brigham as the prophet and instead accept Joseph Smith III.  What is the view of RLDS Succession Crisis? In this conversation with Jim Vun Cannon, a counselor in the First Presidency of the Remnant Church, we’ll learn that 16 years after Joseph Smith was killed, the Reorganized Church was established.

GT:  One of the things I want to talk a little bit about is the Succession Crisis.  As you know Joseph Smith, for those of my listeners who aren’t super familiar with church history, Joseph Smith was killed in 1844 in the Carthage Jail.  As I understand it, and correct me if I’m wrong, I believe it was another 15 or so years before—Joseph Smith III was just a young boy.  He was probably about 14 or so?

Jim:  Yeah, that’s correct.  He was a young boy.

GT:  So it took about 15 years or so before Joseph Smith III felt called of God and then the Reorganized Church started in 1860.  I believe it was April 6, 1860?

Jim:  Actually that’s an interesting point.  It actually started in 1852.

GT:  Oh!

Jim:  We actually had met together, a number of people during the Succession Crisis had come together.  They organized at the apostle level, so the Second Presidency level if you will.  They had the church until the prophet came forth, and so when young Joseph came, he felt compelled to come.  That’s part of what he said, “I come by a power not of my own,” and he came to the church.  It was in April 6, 1860 and so forth.  Most people do look at that as the beginning, but honestly it was 1852, October of 1852 where they held the first general conference of the church at that point.

Similarly, following the 1984 revelation where women got the priesthood on the RLDS Church, 16 years later the Remnant Church was begun.  We’ll talk about similarities and differences between these two reorganizations, as well as talk about some priesthood differences between the LDS Church and the Remnant Church.

Jim:  We have quorums of seventy that are underneath the Twelve, so seven quorums of Seventy is what we have.  Now we don’t have seven quorums of Seventy, we only have one quorum.

GT:  We only had that for a long time but now we’ve got six or seven I think.  Yeah seven is the maximum.  We’ve got that.  I don’t believe all of our seven quorums have 70 in them.  They’re half that I believe.

Jim:  And if I understand correctly, your seventies are based on high priest, or are they based on elder?

GT:  They are based on High Priest.

Jim:  Ours are based on elder.

GT:  Oh really?

Jim:  Yes if you’re based on an elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood, well obviously because your priesthood is an elder, you’re set apart to be a seventy from the office of elder, not the office of high priest.

GT:  Oh interesting.  I know it does seem very hierarchal in our church, and I don’t believe that’s the case in the Community of Christ and I’m not sure in your church as well.  Do you have adult members that are either Aaronic Priesthood or Melchizedek Priesthood holders?  Is that pretty typical?

Jim:  Yes that is pretty typical.  We don’t look at it as a progression.  We look at it as a calling.  It may be for instance you have a calling as a deacon all your life.  It doesn’t mean you didn’t magnify your call, it just means that that was what the Lord called you to do.  We have literally men who are 80-90 years old who are deacons, and also vice-versa.  We might have very young men who are elders or high priests, so there’s no progression.  The way we look at it is wisdom and revelation is what’s in our scriptures for that.

Check out our conversation….  (Don’t forget to check out part 1 and part 2!)