is a upbeat fluff piece needs to be balanced with the stark
reality that the RLDS is a cult that follows blindly after the false prophet Joseph Smith and believe the book of Mormon that Solomon Spaulding wrote at the behest of Smith. And in this article it is repeatedly asserted and implied that the book of Mormon is equal with scripture.
Here is some of their History and Doctrinal stands:
Community of Christ, Joseph Smith, III, Independence, MO: Smaller of the two main groups that originated from Joseph Smith’s alleged restoration of the true church. When Smith died, those who accepted Brigham Young as Smith’s successor followed him west to Utah; they are known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Those who rejected Young and accepted Smith’s son, Joseph Smith, III, remained in Missouri and became known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS). The doctrines of the two groups eventually became radically different. On April 6, 2001, the name of the RLDS group was officially changed to Community of Christ. The Community of Christ church has a slightly different version of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and they reject the Pearl of Great Price as scripture. They do not hold to many of the LDS distinctive doctrines, including the polygamy of the 19th century LDS Church and the LDS belief (still held) that God was once a man. In recent years the church has experienced divisions, with more conservative Restoration Branches becoming independent. Historically, the RLDS—now Community of Christ—church also has had a leader who was a direct descendant of the Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, Jr. The current leader and prophet of the movement, Grant McMurray, was the first exception to this practice. Profile available.
Parley Pratt one of Smith's original 12 Apostles weighs in on the book of Mormon and what it is and what it isn't. Parley Pratt blows out of the water the Notion that Rigdon wrote the Book of Mormon -- He also clarifies the issue of the Romance Novel the Book of Mormon was at least partially based on and to what “preacher” it belonged to – and it turns out to be a relative of Judge Spaulding
The New Era
New-York, Decmber 27, 1839. Vol. VI. No. 7
To the Editor of the New Era:
Sir: In your paper of the 25th inst. there is an article copied from the Boston Recorder, Headed "Mormon Bible," and signed "Matilda Davidson," which, justice to our society and to the public requires me to answer and I trust that a sense of justice will induce you sir, to give your readers both sides of the question.
I am one of the society who believe the "Book of Mormon," and as such I am assailed in the statement professing to come from Matilda Davidson.
In the first place there is no such book in existence as the "Mormon Bible." The Mormons, as they are vulgarly called, believe in the same Bible that all Christendom professes to believe in, viz: the common version of the Old and New Testament. The Book of Mormon is not entitled a Bible, except by those who misrepresent it. It is entitled the "Book of Mormon."
The religious sect alluded to in your paper, are there accused of knavery and superstition. Now we are not sensible of being guilty of knavery, and we do not know wherein we are superstitious, but very much desire to know, in order that we may reform. If some good minister or editor will condescend to particulars, and point out our superstitions we will take it as a great kindness, for we are the declared enemies to knavery and superstition.
If a firm belief in the Gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer, as manifested to all nations, and as recorded in their sacred books, amount to superstition, than we are superstitious. If preaching that system to others and calling them to repentance, is superstition, then we are superstitious. If refusing to fellowship the modern systems of sectarianism which are contrary to the pure doctrines of the Bible, be superstition, then we are superstitious, for we hereby declare our withdrawal from all the mysticism, priestcraft and superstitions, and from all the creeds, doctrines, commandments, traditions and precepts of men, as far as they are contrary to the ancient faith and doctrine of the Saints; and we hereby bear our testimony against them.
We do not believe that God ever instituted more than one religious system under the same dispensation, therefore we do not admit that two different sects can possibly be right. -- The churches of Jesus Christ, in any age or country, must be all built upon the same faith, the same baptism, the same Lord, the same Holy Spirit, which would guide them in all truth, and consequently from all error and superstition. The Book of Mormon has never been placed by us in the place of the sacred scriptures, but, as before said, the sacred scriptures stand in their own place, and the Book of Mormon abundantly corroborates and bears testimony of the truth of the bible. (So if the book of Mormon is according to one of the foremost authorities at the time on Mormonism and the RDLS is NOT a bible and is NOT scripture nor can NEVER be put in the the place of the Bible or Scripture what exaxctly is its authority? Pratt declares the book of Mormon can only attest to the Bible and Scripture so the words of attestation in it are true and that which it speaks on its own, that either conflicts with scripture, or scripture is silent on is therefore invalid becasue it in those cases can not attest.) -- Indeed there is no society, within our knowledge, whose members adhere more closely to the Bible than ours. -- For proof of this we appeal to the multitudes who attend our religious meetings in this city and in all other places.
The piece in your paper states that "Sidney Rigdon was connected in the printing office of Mr. Patterson," (in Pittsburg) and that "this is a fact well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript (Romance) and to copy it if he chose." This statement is utterly and entirely false. Mr. Rigdon was never connected with the said printing establishment, either directly, or indirectly, and we defy the world to bring proof of any such connection. Now the person or persons who fabricated that falsehood would do well to repent, and become persons of truth and veracity before they express such acute sensibility concerning the religious pretensions of others. The statement that Mr. Rigdon is one of the founders of the said religious sect is also incorrect.
The sect was founded in the state of New York while Mr. Rigdon resided in Ohio, several hundred miles distant. Mr. Rigdon embraced the doctrine through my instrumentality. I first presented the Book of Mormon to him. I stood upon the bank of the stream while he was baptized, and assisted to officiate in his ordination, and I myself was unacquainted with the system until some months after its organization, which was on the sixth of April, 1830, and I embraced it in September following.
The piece further states that "a woman preacher appointed a meeting at New Salem, Ohio, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the Book of Mormon." Now it is a fact well known, that we have not had a female preacher in our connection, for we do not believe in a female priesthood. It further says that the excitement in New Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting and desputed Doctor Philastus Hurlburt, one of their members, to repair to Spaulding's widow, and obtain from her the original manuscript of the romance, &c. But the statement does not say whether he obtained the manuscript, but still leaves the impression that he did, and that it was compared with the Book of Mormon. Now whoever will read the work got up by said Hurlburt entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," will find that he there states that the said manuscript of Spaulding's romance was lost and could no where be found. But the widow is here made to say that it is carefully preserved. Here seems to be some knavery or crooked work; and no wonder, for this said Hurlburt is one of the most notorious rascals in the western country. He was first cut off from our society for an attempt at seduction and crime, and secondly he was laid under bonds in Geauga county, Ohio, for threatening to murder Joseph Smith, Jr., after which he laid a deep design of the Spaulding romance imposition, in which he has been backed by evil and designing men in different parts of the country, and sometimes by those who do not wish to do wrong, but who are ignorant on the subject. Now what but falsehood could be expected from such a person? -- Now if there is such a manuscript in existence, let it come forward at once, and not be kept in the dark. Again, if the public will be patient, they will doubtless find that the piece signed "Matilda Davidson" (Spaulding's widow) is a base fabrication by Priest Storrs of Holliston, Mass., in order to save his craft, after losing the deacon of his church, and several of its most pious and intelligent members, who left his society to embrace what they considered to be truth. At any rate, a judge of literary productions, who can swallow that piece of writing as the production of a woman in private life, can be made to believe that the Book of Mormon is a romance. For the one is as much like a romance as the other is like a woman's composition.
The production, signed Matilda Davidson, is evidently the work of a man accustomed to public address, and the Book of Mormon I know to be true, and the Spaulding story, as far as the origin of the Book of Mormon is connected with it, I know to be false.
I now leave the subject with a candid public, with a sincere desire, that those who have been deluded with such vain and foolish lies, may be undeceived.
Editors, who have given publicity to the Spaulding story, will do an act of justice by giving publicity to the foregoing.
P. P. PRATT
N. Y. Nov. 27, 1839.
As distasteful as this may seem, the reason this article has been posted is it is an add on the Samaritans articles in focusing on one of the Mormon 's fundamentalist sect's current activities as in relation to speaking in tongues and prophecy. The writer seems to imply that the LDS has moved away from this as part of their meetings and worship. And She implies the RDLS is somwhere between the LDS and Pentecostals and Charistimatics. And in a paragraph later in the article (whch I have not published) she laments and weeps at the loss of what their forefathers experianced of the moving of the Spirit in the early days in Kirtland. Which despite her putting on the best face possible what currently goes on in their church and house meetings she has admitted they are but a shadow of what once was.
***This is not an endorsement*** I have no way of verifying or denying this RDLS Preacher's glowing words.
by Lynn Riden-hour
Copyright © 2000
I write this essay primarily to our dear RLDS brothers & sisters. Here lately I have been ministering among them; i.e., in their churches & homes. And have met some delightful souls. Lynn
(Nov. 1, 2000)
They raise their hands. They worship with tambourines. They speak in tongues, cast out demons, and heal the sick--all "in the name of Jesus." Those crazy charismatic Book of Mormon lovers—what are we to make of them?
Better yet—where do we put them? For they seem to be a jolly bunch.
Yet no church wants them. Not really. The RLDS barely tolerate them and label the "movement" alternative worship. The LDS have zero tolerance towards them. No place in their worship services for tambourines.
Protestants and Charismatic-Pentecostals demand they leave their Book of Mormons at home. They're welcome in their services. Just say nothing about their faith. Yet, those crazy charismatic Book of Mormon lovers seem to soar the heavens along with our nation's best astronauts.
Houston, we have a problem.
And I don't see the problem being fixed any time soon. Not in my lifetime. And I've been watching the problem up close now for these past fifteen years. For you see, I'm part of the problem. I'm one of those crazy charismatic Book of Mormon lovers who feels like he's the only Chiefs' fan in the stands--rootin' for the Kansas City Chiefs at a Raider's home game. Talk about lonely. Sure do feel out of place. But I'm not alone. I know—there are hundreds, if not thousands, of CCBMLs (crazy charismatic BoM lovers) out there. We're just afraid to wave our banners in public. Better to remain quiet and not get clobbered.
Except…life's too short.
I've decided to fly high my banner. Let it flap in the wind. And yell, "…go Chiefs!…" Maybe other banners will come out. I know they're out there.
Want to hear the irony of it all?…
tell my Pentecostal/Charismatic friends, the great outpouring of the Holy
Spirit in our day did not begin in 1900 out west in California on Azuza Street.
It began in the Midwest in a little town called Kirtland, Ohio, sixty-four
years earlier! The year was
1836. Most of my friends have never heard the marvelous story of the great
outpouring that accompanied the early Saints. It was a Pentecost, indeed, and a
time of rejoicing. I would say—a time unparalleled in our day. So few of
today's Christians know about it.
Zebedee Coltrin, eyewitness, wrote,
"…I have seen the power of God as it was on the day of Pentecost…I saw the Lord…The angels of God rested upon the Temple and we heard their voices singing heavenly music…"
Hear Lorenzo Snow, another eyewitness:
"…There [in the temple] we had the gift of prophecy—the gift of tongues—the interpretation of tongues—visions and marvelous dreams were related—the singing of heavenly choirs was heard, and wonderful manifestations of the healing power, through the administrations of the Elders, were witnessed. The sick were healed—the deaf made to hear—the blind to see and the lame to walk, in very many instances. It was plainly manifest that a sacred and divine influence—a spiritual atmosphere pervaded that holy edifice." --Biography of Lorenzo Snow, p.11
Tyler wrote, "…All felt that they had a foretaste of heaven…and we
wondered whether the millennium had commenced…"
Over one thousand people attended these meetings. The Savior appeared in five different meetings held in the temple. Visions, including a vision of the Father and Son, were beheld at eight meetings, and the congregation saw heavenly beings or angels in nine meetings. In other sessions many Saints reported that they experienced such manifestations as the gift of tongues, the sounds of a mighty wind, a pillar of fire resting down upon the temple roof, prophesying, and the voices of angels (Joseph Smith's Kirtland, p.170).
So great was the outpouring that our beloved Prophet was constrained to write,
"…It was a Pentecost and an endowment indeed, long to be remembered, for the sound shall go forth from this place into all the world, and the occurrences of this day shall be handed down upon the pages of sacred history, to all generations; as the day of Pentecost, so shall this day be numbered and celebrated as a year of jubilee, and time of rejoicing to the Saints of the Most High God." --History of the Church, 2:432-33
Joseph, under the inspiration of his pen, writes "…the occurrences of this day shall be handed down upon the pages of sacred history…" That hasn't happened yet. That prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. Church, I submit—not enough of us are handing down the story of Kirtland to our children. I believe, because of the lack of knowledge among today's Christians regarding these widespread occurrences, events of 1836 have yet to reach their full impact. There will come a day when the Body of Christ will know. Eyewitness John A. Boynton's prophecy shall be fulfilled.
"…Within that house God will pour out his spirit in great majesty and glory and encircle his people with fire more gloriously and marvelously than at Pentecost because the work to be performed in the last days is greater than was in that day." --May 6, 1834, Kirtland, Ohio
must tell our children, "…the work to be performed in the[se] last days is
greater than was in that day…" Our children must inherit our mantle, and
for them to do so, we must be storytellers--storytellers of our great
beginnings at Kirtland.
O, hear the story of a little girl.
Prescindia Huntington describes her experience that week.
"…A little girl came to my door and in wonder called me out, exclaiming, 'The meeting is on top of the meeting house!' I went to the door, and there I saw on the temple angels clothed in white covering the roof from end to end. They seemed to be walking to and fro; they appeared and disappeared. The third time they appeared and disappeared before I realized that they were not mortal men. Each time in a moment they vanished, and their reappearance was the same. This was in broad daylight, in the afternoon. A number of the children in Kirtland saw the same…" --Women of Mormonism, p.p.207-8
One of the most powerful gatherings took place on January 28th, 1836. Joseph wrote in his journal,
"…Elder Roger Orton saw a mighty angel riding upon a horse of fire…President William Smith, one of the Twelve, say the heavens opened, and the Lord's host protecting the Lord's anointed…I retired to my home, filled with the Spirit, and my soul cried hosanna to God and the Lamb, through the silent watches of the night; and while my eyes were closed in sleep, the visions of the Lord were sweet unto me, and His glory was round about me." --History of the Church, p.p.2:386-87
glory of the Lord so settled on the Saints during one particular worship
service that unbelievers in Kirtland called the local fire department. The
church building was on fire—so they thought. Unbelievers, and believers alike,
stood nearby and watched the flames not consume the rooftop.
Yes, "…the gifts which follow them that believe and obey the gospel…began to be poured out among us, as in ancient days."
Inez Smith Davis, in her marvelous book, The Story of the Church, summarizes,
"…the spiritual gifts, akin to those mentioned in the New Testament, were known only in part by the churches of 1830. The LatterDay Saints believed in and enjoyed them…" p.170.
congregations in the Kirtland area had not experienced what the early Saints
It bears repeating. I tell my Pentecostal/Charismatic friends, the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our day did not begin in 1900 out west in California on Azuza Street. It began in the Midwest in a little town called Kirtland, Ohio, sixty-four years earlier! It was a Pentecost, indeed, and a time of rejoicing. I would say—a time perhaps unparalleled in our day.
The spiritual gifts truly operated in the early Saints' lives—in their worship services and in their personal lives. These same gifts are to function in our midst. I believe Joseph commenced the work, and we're to increase the work. Nephi, the prophet, said an interesting thing:
"…A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer…And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel…And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall COMMENCE among my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord." --II Nephi 2:10,15,24
What a blessed prophecy! One that I believe
is meant for our day and time. In other words, Joseph jump-started the movement
and we're to continue the movement with his same enthusiasm. The word
"commence" infers—there will be greater manifestations as the
movement continues. What a blessed promise for those of us living near the end
of the dispensation of the fullness of times. Joseph commenced the work of the
restoration one hundred seventy years ago. By God's grace, we're to increase
its influence--even in our day.
It's a matter of Elisha picking up Elijah's mantle. It's our call, Saints. I don't know about you, but I'm hungry for a move of God in our day. We can carry the mantle. I talk to so many Saints. So many of us long to see the return of the "…Kirtland days."
And you know what? There are tiny glimpses of the Kirtland outpourings.
In these last few years I have seen the Lord move like never before.
I mean that. I've been preaching the gospel now for 40 years. God's Spirit is increasing. As I move from church to church--even within the RLDS community, I witness a hunger that used not be there. Over these past few years I have seen firsthand the power and presence of our Lord in RLDS services and in our homes.
I would like to share just a few of these precious moments with you.
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