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Dispute Over the Temple Lot (Part 2 of 7)

Following Granville Hedrick’s return to Missouri, the RLDS Church eventually made their way to Independence as well.  But even though the Church of Christ had purchased the land legally, the RLDS Church felt they should be the true owners of the Temple Lot.  Court battles ensued.  Jean Addams will tell how these bitter battles turned out.

Jean: From what I found there was a good rapport between RLDS and Church of Christ for a period of time. Then, unfortunately, the big event of the 1890s was the effort by the RLDS Church to take away the temple lot. That’s known as the Temple Lot Case or the Temple Lot Suit, which got lots and lots of coverage across the country in terms of what was going on.

GT: Really?

Jean:  Of course, you’ve got one small little body and one fairly large body and it didn’t look good for the Church of Christ. Their leader, at the time, which is another one of my wife’s ancestors another great-great-grandfather, Richard Hill, more or less stepped aside about that time for Charles Hall, who had been a former RLDS leader on the district level. He became the spokesperson/the leader of the Church of Christ Temple Lot, and he’s the one that shepherded the lawsuit for them. They were actually sued by the RLDS Church to take away the property. The first go around in the district court was in their favor.

GT: In the Temple Lot favor.

Jean:  No, in the RLDS favor. The Temple Lot people then had to go to the appeals court, and the appeals court overturned [the previous decision.] Then it went to the Supreme Court in 1896. Then the Supreme Court remanded it back to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for implementation, and everything stayed the same.

GT: Okay, so the claim for the RLDS Church was, “We’re the rightful heirs because Joseph Smith, III is the rightful heir.

Jean:  Yes, and therefore, he should be the one that should have the property. Well, that didn’t sit well with the the court of appeals because they said, everybody, basically, in Independence that used to own some of that original land could run into the same problem. So I’m not remembering exactly what the correct legal terminology is, but it’s basically, you’ve waited too long to bring your action to the front.

This was one of several disputes among the Church of Christ and RLDS Churches.  Check out our conversation….

Aerial Photo with Members of Church of Christ lined up
showing the footprint of Joseph Smith’s planned Temple

Don’t miss our previous conversation with Jean!

374: Intro to Church of Christ (Temple Lot)

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Nancy & Sara’s Spiritual Journey (Part 2)

After the disappointment with Kate Kelly’s excommunication, how did Nancy and Sara react?  Are they still active in the LDS Church?  What has their spiritual journey been like?  Check out their answers!

Nancy:  About 18 months ago I was confirmed in Community of Christ and I was one of the people that helped to create the group, the little congregation and that I belong to in St George and I’ve been doing that ever since and I’m very happy with that. In many ways my Mormon feminist experience has really prepared me to kind of claim a faith for myself that it wasn’t necessarily tightly defined by an institution.

Sara:  I felt very scared and I felt I was having panic attacks whenever I would go to church. And so, I felt like I had to kind of take a step back and I didn’t go for a few months. I had intended to not go for longer. I was like, I need to take a break of a year. And, I’m such a Mormon girl. I’m such a religiously inclined person that I couldn’t even hold to my own expectations. I went back to church after just a few months and started attending again. And I had a very supportive ward at the time.

And I loved relating to the people there. But my journey since then has been, it’s just gotten more and more nuanced. And I’ve had to find a way to relate to the church and relate to my own Mormonism that was very different than how I expected it to be growing up.

Find out more about Nancy’s ordination, and how Sara relates to the LDS Church now!  Don’t forget to check out part 1!

Nancy Ross describe their spiritual Journey in Mormonism.
Nancy Ross describe their spiritual Journey in Mormonism.