‘Mormon Land’: How the Community of Christ differs from its larger sister LDS sect

The former RLDS Church appeals to some Latter-day Saints with its progressive views and contrasting approaches to the Book of Mormon, priesthood, polygamy and more.

(Orlin Wagner | AP) The Church of Christ, left, Temple Lot and the Community of Christ's temple and world headquarters, right, in Independence, Mo., are shown in 2001.

After Mormonism founder Joseph Smith was killed in 1844, the largest body of the fledgling faith went west with Brigham Young. But a sizable group, including Smith’s widow, Emma, and her children, stayed in the Midwest and, in 1860, founded another church known then as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with Smith’s eldest son as president.

In 2001, the church changed its name to the Community of Christ to reflect a more mainline approach than their Latter-day Saint cousins.

As of 2018, it was reported to have 250,000 members in 1,100 congregations in 59 countries.

On this week’s show, Bishop Carla Long, who leads a Utah congregation in Millcreek, talks about her church’s past, present and future. She also discusses how her faith differs from that of the much-larger, Utah-based church, how it views scriptures (including the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants), priesthood, polygamy, the godhead, the afterlife, and why Community of Christ members shy away from the “Mormon” moniker as well.

Listen here:

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