List of churches in the Latter Day Saint Reorganization movement

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Portrait after an alleged daguerreotype of Joseph Smith
Portrait based on an alleged daguerreotype of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement

Reorganized Latter Day Saints churches are as Latter Day Saint denominations that reject the allegedly apostolic succession of Brigham Young.[1][2]

Estimated membership of larger denominations in the Reorganization movement and its fellow travelers
Community of Christ (RLDS) 250,301 over 75%
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) 22,537 less than 7.5%
Church of Jesus Christ with the Elijah Message 12,500 less than 5%
Restoration Branches 10,000 over 2.5%
Church of Christ (Temple Lot) 7,310 less than 2.5%
Fellowships of the remnants 5,000 over 1%
Church of Christ (Fettingite) 2,450 less than 1%

List[edit]

Reorganization movement[edit]

Name Organized by Date Current status Notes
Community of Christ[3] Joseph Smith III 1860 Reorganized from the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; some early members came from Strangite church. More than 250,000 members as of 2006[4]
Second-largest Latter Day Saint denomination. Headquartered in Independence, Missouri. Previously known as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" (RLDS Church); organized by Joseph Smith III in 1860.
Church of the Christian Brotherhood[5] R. C. Evans 1918 Defunct Split with RLDS Church due to their denial that Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage; Evans published a book documenting evidence that Smith was a polygamist, then went on to reject most of the tenets of Mormonism.
Church of Jesus Christ Restored[6] Stanley King 1960s Headquartered in Ontario, Canada Fundamentalist church that split from the RLDS Church and instituted polygamy and the United Order; has about 40 members
Church of Jesus Christ (Toneyite)[7] Forrest Toney 1980 Headquartered in Independence, Missouri Left RLDS Church in 1980; claimed to be "Elijah and only prophet" of his organization.
Outreach Restoration Branch, Independence, Missouri. Previously the location of now-defunct Church of Christ (Hancock)
Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches[8] Various local leaders of the RLDS church 1980s As of 1993, 15,000–30,000 sympathizers who yet retained membership in the RLDS Church (Community of Christ);[9] as of 2011, c. 10,000 members attending several hundred distinct congregations.[10] Affiliated branches and study groups, with each branch relatively autonomous and the movement as a whole centered in Independence, Missouri.[8][11] RLDS Church branches became independent of the RLDS Church individually throughout the 1980s, due to opposition to changes in church doctrines and practices. Most priesthood holders of these branches soon became affiliated with the "Conference of Restoration Elders". At a three-day conference in November 2005, the "Joint Conference of Restoration Branches" was formed,[12] which had 6,000 to 7,000 members as of 2010.[13]

Members consider themselves members of the [historical] RLDS Church, in a direct line of succession from those who dissented following doctrinal changes roughly coinciding with the church's name change to Community of Christ.[14]

Church of Jesus Christ Restored 1830[7] Nolan W. Glauner Mid-1980s Members in Missouri and Africa; headquartered in Tarkio, Missouri Regards Wallace B. Smith as a "fallen prophet" of the RLDS Church for his opening the priesthood to women and for choosing to build the Independence Temple as opposed to the city of Zion.
Church of Christ[15] David B. Clark 1985 Headquartered in Oak Grove, Missouri Also known as "Lion of God Ministry". Clark broke from the RLDS Church in November 1985. In May 1987, Clark began to issue a newsletter, "The Return". Group adheres closely to the King James Version of the Bible and "The Record of the Nephites" [Book of Mormon], but does not consider other Mormon scripture to be authoritative. They keep annual feasts, including Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, etc.[15]
Meetinghouse, Church of Jesus Christ (Zion's Branch), Independence, Missouri
Church of Jesus Christ (Zion's Branch)[16] John and Robert Cato, among others 1986 200 or so members; headquartered in Independence, Missouri Largely composed of former members of the RLDS Church who oppose what they consider to be recent doctrinal innovations, especially the giving of the priesthood to women in 1984.
Lundgren Group[17] Jeffrey Lundgren[18] 1988 Defunct; approximately 20 followers; was located in Kirtland, Ohio[19] The denomination broke off from the RLDS Church when Lundgren was dismissed from the church on October 10, 1988. Lundgren was executed by the state of Ohio on October 24, 2006, for the murder of Dennis Avery and four of his family members.[19]
Meetinghouse, Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri
Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[20] Several RLDS entities 1991 Headquartered in Independence, Missouri The church broke off from the Community of Christ because of its belief that women should not hold the priesthood.
Meetinghouse/Conference, Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri
Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[21] Frederick N. Larsen 2000 Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches[22] 1,000–2,000 members; headquartered in Independence, Missouri. Chiefly composed of former members of the RLDS Church who were part of the Independent RLDS / Restoration Branches.[22] They oppose what they consider to be recent doctrinal innovations, especially the passing of the church presidency to someone not descended from Joseph Smith (Larsen is a descendant of Smith through his grandson Frederick Madison Smith).[22]

Temple Lot-derived[edit]

These[23] include:

Name Organized by Date Current status Notes
World Headquarters and Independence Branch, Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Independence, Missouri
Church of Christ (Temple Lot)[24] Granville Hedrick 1863 (Some members from Gladdenites.) 5,000 members; headquartered on the Temple Lot in Independence, Missouri Owns the Temple Lot; adherents commonly referred to as "Hedrickites."
Meetinghouse, Church of Christ (Fettingite), Independence, Missouri
Church of Christ (Fettingite)[25] Otto Fetting 1929 Denomination divided into various factions A denomination which split with the Temple Lot church over reported revelations from John the Baptist to its founder, Otto Fetting; adopted seventh day sabbatarianism under Apostle S.T. Bronson in 1950s.
Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff[26] Thomas B. Nerren
and
E. E. Long
1932 Headquartered at Schell City, Missouri; less than 100 members Members originally believed Otto Fetting's revelations but did not join the Church of Christ (Fettingite). Formally named "Church of Christ at Zion's Retreat" until a 1972 schism in which Dan Gayman led most of its followers away to his Church of Israel.
Meetinghouse, Church of Christ (Restored), Independence, Missouri
Church of Christ (Restored)[27] A.C. DeWolf ca. 1937 Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri;approx. 450 members Split from Fettingite organization in late 1930s when that denomination initially accepted William Draves' "messages"; claims to be the true continuation of Fetting's church. Non-sabbatarian.
Headquarters and Independence Branch, Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Independence, Missouri
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message[28] Otto Fetting
and
William Draves
1943 c. 12,500 members worldwide as of 1987.[29][30] Headquartered in Independence, Missouri Split with the Church of Christ (Fettingite) when that denomination rejected revelations from John the Baptist given to its founder, William Draves, following the death of Otto Fetting.
Church of Christ (Hancock)[16][31] Pauline Hancock 1946 Defunct as of 1984 First Latter Day Saint denomination to be established by a woman; accepted KJV Bible and Book of Mormon only; later rejected Book of Mormon and dissolved itself in 1984. Among its former members were Jerald and Sandra Tanner, opponents of the Latter Day Saint movement and founders of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry.
Church of Christ[32] Howard Leighton-Floyd
and
H. H. Burt
1965 Around 35 members Leighton-Floyd and Burt split with the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message during the reincorporation of that church under its present name. Leighton-Floyd left shortly after the formation, with Burt assumed leadership of the group. The membership is centered on an agricultural cooperative near Holden, Missouri.[33]
Church of Israel[7] Dan Gayman 1972 Headquartered in Missouri (From Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff.) Name was "Church of Our Christian Heritage" until incorporation in 1981. The church has been accused of being a Christian Identity church, a charge which is denied by Gayman. Few Latter Day Saint beliefs or practices remain in the church.
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message (Assured Way of the Lord), Inc., Independence, Missouri
The Church of Christ With the Elijah Message, The Assured Way of the Lord, Inc.[34] Leonard Draves 2004 Headquartered in Independence, Missouri Split from the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Inc., which in turn split from the Church of Christ With the Elijah Message; founders claim that they are the legitimate continuation of William Draves' organization.

Fellow travellers among additional Latter Day Saint lineages[edit]

Non-Joseph Smith III-lineaged churches that also reject Brigham Young's succession include:

Background[edit]

After the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, Joseph Smith, Jr., was killed, the membership of Smith's church were disputed among themselves over the question of succession. Several individuals emerged with claims to leadership and the church's presidency. This led to the formation of several small factions. The majority of the church's members in Nauvoo, Illinois followed Brigham Young, who led them to the Great Basin area (in what is now Utah) as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church. Also, the term "Mormon" gradually primarily came to refer to members of the LDS Church.) The remaining individuals—who still considered themselves part of Smith's original church—remained; many who were in scattered congregations throughout the American Midwest joined other factions led by such leaders as Sidney Rigdon, James J. Strang, Lyman Wight, Alpheus Cutler, William Smith, and David Whitmer. Others began forming themselves into the a "reorganized" Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Some Latter Day Saints believed that Smith had designated his eldest son, Joseph Smith III, as his successor; some of these individuals waited for young Joseph to take up his father's mantle. However, Smith III was only 11 years old at the time of his father's death; his mother, Emma Hale Smith, and their family remained in Nauvoo rather than moving to join any of the departing groups. In the 1850s, groups of Midwestern Latter Day Saints who were unaffiliated with other Latter Day Saint factions began to come together. Leaders, including Jason W. Briggs and Zenas H. Gurley, Sr., began to call for the creation of a "New Organization" of the Latter Day Saint movement. They invited Smith III to lead their New Organization; he accepted only after he believed he received a personal spiritual confirmation that this was the appropriate course of action. At a conference on April 6, 1860, at Amboy, Illinois, Smith III formally accepted the leadership of what was then known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. William Marks, former stake president of Nauvoo, served as Smith III's counselor in the reorganized First Presidency. The word "Reorganized" was added to the church's official name in 1872, mostly as a means of distinguishing it from the larger LDS Church, which at that time was involved in controversy with the U.S. government over its doctrine of plural marriage. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was often abbreviated "RLDS Church". Over time, many Mormons, mostly in the Midwest, who had not accompanied Brigham Young and his Latter-Day Saint followers to what is now Utah, began to join the new and growing Church. They included many former followers of James Strang, whose assassination in Wisconsin in 1856 left them disorganized and leaderless.

Provenance[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Craig S. Campbell (2004). Images of the New Jerusalem: Latter Day Saint Faction Interpretations of Independence, Missouri. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 9781572333123.
  2. ^ Leonard J. Arrington & Davis Bitton (1992). The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints. University of Illinois Press. p. 91. ISBN 9780252062360.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Howard, Richard P. (1992), The Church Through the Years: Beginnings to 1860, Independence, Missouri: Herald House, ISBN 0-8309-0556-1
  4. ^ Queen II, Edward L.; Prothero, Jr., Stephen R.; Shattuck, Jr., Gardiner (2009), Encyclopedia of American Religious History, Volume 1, p. 299, ISBN 978-0-8160-6660-5
  5. ^ Evans, R.C. (1909), Autobiography of Bishop R.C. Evans of the RLDS church, Independence, Missouri: Herald House
  6. ^ Campbell, Jennifer (November 17, 2012). "Allegations of polygamy, abuse and psychological torture within secretive sect". CTVnews.ca. CTV Television Network. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Melton, J. Gordon (1996), Encyclopedia of American Religions (5th ed.), Detroit, Mich: Gale, ISBN 978-0-7876-9696-2
  8. ^ a b Hunter, Preston (April 23, 2007), Independent Restoration Branches, Research supported by East Haven University, adherents.com, retrieved April 5, 2010
  9. ^ Midgley, Louis (Fall 1993), "The Radical Reformation of the Reorganization of the Restoration: Recent Changes in the RLDS Understanding of the Book of Mormon", Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 2 (2): 132–163, retrieved 2014-02-06, There are now at least 15,000 and perhaps as many as 30,000 thoroughly marginalized former RLDS [meeting in] Independent Restoration Branches constitute separate congregations of RLDS who have removed themselves (or have been removed) from the official RLDS congregations and now operate independently. While [still on] RLDS membership rolls, they hold their own meetings.
  10. ^ The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as traditionally taught in the Reorganized Church: Our Invitation, ReorganizedChurch.org, retrieved September 22, 2011
  11. ^ "An Epitome of Faith and Doctrine", CenterPlace.org: Representing independent branches of Restoration RLDS, retrieved June 4, 2008
  12. ^ Joint Conference of Restoration Branches: Conference Resolutions, November 11, 2005 (PDF), November 11, 2005
  13. ^ DeWeese, Adrianne (April 24, 2010), "Restoration Branch Conference Ends", Independence Examiner
  14. ^ DeWeese, Adrianne (April 24, 2010), Restoration branch conference ends, examiner.net, archived from the original on September 27, 2011
  15. ^ a b The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc (2003), Church of Christ (David Clark), Oakwood Publishing CompanyCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) – This group is also known as "Lion of God Ministry". Source "Shields, Steven L. Divergent Paths of the Restoration. Los Angeles: Restoration Research, 1990."
  16. ^ a b Shields, Steven L. Divergent Paths of the Restoration. Herald House, 2001
  17. ^ Lohr, David. "Jeffrey Don Lundgren, Prophet of Death". Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  18. ^ Fox News; The Associated Press (October 24, 2006). "Cult Leader Convicted of Killing Family of 5 Executed in Ohio". Fox News. Lucasville, Ohio. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Jeffrey Don Lundgren". Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney.
  20. ^ Hunter, Preston (April 23, 2007), Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Research supported by East Haven University, adherents.com, retrieved June 22, 2010
  21. ^ Russell, William D, "Defenders of the Faith: Varieties of RLDS Dissent", Sunstone Magazine, Salt Lake City, Utah, pp. 14–19
  22. ^ a b c Russell, William D. (Winter 2005). "An RLDS Schismatic Group Finds a Prophet of Joseph's Seed" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 38 (3).
  23. ^ Leonard J. Arrington & Davis Bitton (1992). The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints. University of Illinois Press. p. 369. ISBN 9780252062360.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  24. ^ Hunter, Preston (April 23, 2007), Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Research supported by East Haven University, adherents.com, retrieved April 5, 2010
  25. ^ The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc (2003), Missouri Mormons: Church of Christ (Fetting/Bronson), Oakwood Publishing CompanyCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc (2003), Missouri Mormons: Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff, Oakwood Publishing CompanyCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc (2003), Missouri Mormons: Church of Christ (Restored), Oakwood Publishing CompanyCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ Hunter, Preston (April 23, 2007), Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Adherents.com, retrieved April 5, 2010
  29. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (1996). Encyclopedia of American Religions. Gale Research. p. 576.
  30. ^ Campbell, Craig S. (2004). Images of the New Jerusalem: Latter Day Saint faction interpretations of Independence, Missouri. Univ. of Tennessee Press. p. 255.
  31. ^ Cater, Kate B. (1969), Denominations that Base their Beliefs on the Teachings of Joseph Smith, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah: Sawtooth Books, p. 50
  32. ^ Shields, Steven (1990), Divergent Paths of the Restoration (Fourth ed.), Independence, Missouri: Restoration Research, pp. 21–29, 50–53, 197 & 336, ISBN 0-942284-00-3
  33. ^ The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc (2003), Church of Christ (Leighton-Floyd/Burt), Oakwood Publishing CompanyCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  34. ^ Business Entity Search, Non-Profit Corporation, Domestic, Charter No. N00566777, Dudley, Leonard, W., Jefferson City, Missouri: Missouri Secretary of State, February 5, 2004, retrieved June 29, 2010CS1 maint: others (link)

See also[edit]

House of worship
Legal cases

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]