Next Friday and Saturday, May 21st and 22nd, John Hamer will be at Miller Eccles in southern California to discuss the history of the Community of Christ. John’s work is fascinating, and if you’re in the area, I’d encourage you to attend one of the two events, either on Friday the 21st in Orange County, or Saturday the 22nd in Los Angeles.
The event announcement (with lots of information about why you should attend) is this:
We are pleased to announce the next meeting of the Miller Eccles Group will be on Friday, May 21, 2010 (Villa Park) and Saturday may 22 (La Canada). Both sessions will be at 7:30 p.m. The speaker will be John Hamer, an independent historian and author (more about John below). We anticipate a fascinating discussion of “The History of the Community of Christ.”
The Speaker: John Hamer is president of the John Whitmer Association (the Community of Christ counterpart to the Mormon History Association) and the editor of John Whitmer Books. He is also a mapmaker extraordinaire and has done a number of the special maps for the Joseph Smith Papers project.
John is currently going to press with a beautiful book about the history of the Community of Christ. You can see a preview of what it will look like at this link. Check it out to see what an artist John is when it comes to map making and book design.
The Topic: As most of you know, what once was called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is now “The Community of Christ.” John will discuss its history and also touch on some of the schismatic LDS churches that formed after Joseph Smith’s death and discuss how they came about.
Following the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in 1844, there was no universally accepted plan for choosing his successor. Several individuals claimed that right, including Brigham Young, as senior member of the council of twelve apostles, although he was not to become president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until 1847. The Community of Christ regards itself as a reorganization of the original church organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and regards Joseph Smith III to have been his legitimate successor. The Community of Christ has two temples, the Kirtland Temple and the relatively new Independence, Missouri Temple, both of which are open to the public. In recent years the Community of Christ has canonized a revelation authorizing the calling of women to the priesthood and some of the members of its leadership quorums (including its council of twelve apostles) are women.
John Hamer recently attended the World Conference of the Community of Christ and will be able to give us a first-hand report on what resolutions were passed and how the CoC conferences differ from those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
In addition to his new publication, John also co-edited the book Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism and has assisted in the publication of a number of Wikipedia articles on various aspects of Mormonism. He is currently working on a book about the offshoot Mormon group led by James Strang and his Beaver Island kingdom to be titled Strangites: The Great Lakes Mormon Experience.
Things You May Already Know. The Miller Eccles Study group seeks to encourage LDS gospel scholarship, enlightenment and understanding in an open environment of good fellowship. To assure an open and frank discussion, we request that our meetings not be recorded. A donation of $10 per person (tax deductable) is suggested, but if this would be burdensome, contribute so much as is comfortable. The contributions are used primarily for transportation, lodging and related expenses of our out-of-town speakers. MESG is a non-profit, tax-exempt association, whose directors are Steve & Daryl Eccles, Russ & Christie Frandsen, Rob Briggs, Lael Littke, Armand & Ruth Mauss, Phil & Marilyn Bradford, and Dawn & Morris Thurston.
I hope to see some of you there!