|1:||After Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), died in 1844 Brigham Young led most of Smith's followers west to settle in Utah. Those who remained in Illinois organized themselves into a new group led by Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, and called themselves the Restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), known today as the Community of Christ.
They were keen to follow the scriptures of their founder prophet, which stated that subsequent prophets should be direct descendants of Smith. However, in 1995 the direct line was severed by the appointment of W Grant McMurray as the church's prophet. At that time nobody could have prophesized that McMurray would, a few years later, swiftly resign for making an "inappropriate choice" in his personal / family life. The church hierarchy feels it is in everybody's best interest for the details to remain secret, in the true Masonic tradition.
This illustrates one of the problems that cultists must confront when their prophet, their spokesman of God, turns out to be human after all. The members' disappointment is understandable.
|2:||One such change was the controversial adoption of the ordination of women to the priesthood. This is becoming accepted more and more in mainstream Christian churches, but for people with a conservative Mormon tradition, elevating womenfolk to a position over men has not gone down well.|
|3:||Tithing is a good example of making clear to members "what God wants". Tithing is an Old Testament law (Lev. 27:30-34) in which Israelite farmers were to give 10 percent of their profits to the Temple. This law for was not echoed in the New Testament but Paul places emphasis (1 Cor. 16:7; 2 Cor. 9:7) on the benefits of giving towards God's work, having first diligently prayed for God's wisdom (James 1:5). Christian giving is something far more wonderful than the tax the ancient Israelites were obliged to pay. The New Testament refers to "gift", not "tax", and this perceived error has been rectified by an entry in the Doctrine and Covenants (162:7c). Recently the terminology changed slightly by introducing a programme known as "Disciples' Generous Response", but the Doctrine and Covenants still uses the word "tithe". If it is truly a gift to expand the work of God then no entry in the Doctrine and Covenants is required, since Paul has already covered the issue in the New Testament.|