Category Archives: Community of Christ

The Esoteric Mormon Doctrine of Baptism for the Dead


Many have all wondered about it in Washington, D.C., at one time or another while driving around the Beltway and see the Mormon Temple rising before us like the Emerald City out of Oz. What do the Mormons do in there? … Continue reading

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The Assassination of Joseph Smith Jr.: Meanings and Interpretations


I was at a local party the other night and ended up in conversation with a professor who teaches early nineteenth century history about Joseph Smith Jr. and early Mormonism. Our conversation turned to Smith’s assassination at Carthage, Illinois, on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes”


The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes. Edited by John S. Dinger. Foreword by Morris A. Thurston. Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2011. Preface, introduction, city and stake councilmen, appendices, index. Hardcover with dustjacket. ISBN: 978-1-56085-214-8. $49.95. Nauvoo, Illinois, in … Continue reading

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An Iowa Sheriff Comments on the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois


In 1995 I published with John E. Hallwas a documentary history about the Mormon experience in Illinois in the 1840s. The book, Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois (Utah State University Press). In this book … Continue reading

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The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints/Community of Christ and African American Members


The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (renamed the Community of Christ in 2000), one of the inheritors of the legacy of early Mormonism who developed a moderate theological position and coalesced as a recognizable group beginning … Continue reading

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The Latter-day Saint Movement and the Concept of a “Chosen People”


Perhaps the single most important tenet of Joseph Smith Jr.’s (1805-1844) theology in founding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)  was the identification of his followers as a “latter-day Israel.” This identification drove much of the rest of … Continue reading

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Was the United States Founded as a Christian Nation?


Why do some Americans insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation? And what does that mean anyway? How does a Christian nation act? Why does one segment—a very vocal segment—of modern American society insists that the … Continue reading

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Jeffrey Lundgren, Reorganized Church Dissidents, and Modern Blood Atonement Killings


This is a horror story worthy of anything Stephen King could write. Tragically it is not fiction. Jeffrey D. Lundgren and his followers in Kirtland, Ohio, former members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (renamed … Continue reading

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Mormon Nauvoo and the Problem of Theft of Non-Mormon Property


Shortly after the Mormons arrived in Illinois in 1839 and founded the city of Nauvoo, and before much political antagonism had developed residents in some townships noted a significant increase in theft. Livestock, food, clothes, and other items were taken, … Continue reading

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What Were the Origins of Mormon/Non-Mormon Conflict in 1840s Nauvoo?


The non-Mormons of Hancock County, Illinois, in the early 1840s probably disliked the Mormons from the first, in the same way that most Americans have generally disliked what they have viewed as religious fanaticism, but they were initially disposed toward toleration … Continue reading

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