Category Archives: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Joseph Smith III, the Reorganized Church Presidency, and Divine Appointment


In a blog post last week I discussed the issue of lineal succession for Joseph Smith III (1832-1914) and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. While the church’s leadership certainly accepted without qualification the role of primogeniture … Continue reading

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Joseph Smith III and Lineal Succession Claims to the Mormon Presidency


Perhaps no issue has been more controversial than presidential succession in the Latter-day Saint movement. Joseph Smith III, son of the Mormon founder, buttressed his ascension to the presidency of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints … Continue reading

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An Account of the Evacuation of Nauvoo by the Mormons in 1846


After a lengthy period of conflict between the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, and their non-Mormon neighbors, they negotiated a treaty, dated September 16, 1846, which gave the remaining Mormons five days to leave the city. A few days after this, on … Continue reading

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Core Identity and the Nineteenth Century Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


I have spent many years studying the history of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), renamed the Community of Christ in 2000. This was the most successful of any of the non-Utah variety of churches … Continue reading

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Have You Ever Seen the “Abilene Paradox” in Action?


I’m pretty sure you have seen this dynamic, although you may not be aware of it with this name. It is fundamentally a construct of Jerry B. Harvey, now a retired professor of Management at George Washington University. He first described … Continue reading

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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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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretative Essays on Joseph Smith”


The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretative Essays on Joseph Smith. Edited by Bryan Waterman. (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1999. Vii + 351 pp. Editor’s introduction, notes. $18.95.) Many people have suggested that I write more on Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844″


The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844. By John L. Brooke. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994). 421 pages, $35.00, hardcover. Now twenty years old, this work is still a stunningly significant book. It is a classic in Mormon … Continue reading

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Is There a New Mormon History?


Is there a “New Mormon History?” D. Michael Quinn, one of the foremost practitioners of the type of work distinguished as the “New Mormon History,” certainly thinks so. He assembled more than two decades ago The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays … 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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