What is the Difference Between the Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ?

Latter-day SaintsOne of the most successful sects of Christianity is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called Mormons) founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in the nineteenth century. Probably as a result of that success, it has spawned a number of sects of its own.

The largest of these was originally called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now known as the Community of Christ. Whatever one thinks of their theology, you have to admit this is the best name change ever.

What is the difference between these two groups?

It is best to start with where they diverged. In 1844, Joseph Smith, Jr. was killed in the Carthage jail by an angry mob. This was a defining moment for the movement as they needed to choose a new leader.

The largest group followed Brigham Young, who led to the people to Utah. Young helped define some of the doctrines introduced by Smith. This became the main LDS group.

Some, however, preferred to follow their founder’s young son, Joseph Smith III. This group rejected some of the extreme beliefs of the LDS, such as God having once been a man, polygamy and so on.

Over the years, Community Christ has moved toward a more orthodox position in comparison to the Utah LDS. For example, the Community of Christ affirms the Trinity, salvation by faith and most orthodox doctrines. You can find their beliefs here.

The main difference between the Community of Christ and a mainline Christian denomination is their continued use of the Book of Mormon. Even so, they put more emphasis on the Bible than the Utah LDS.

Although both movements go back to Joseph Smith, Jr., they have parted ways in both faith and practice.

 

 

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