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For week ended February 20, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

RLDS Church to Consider Name Change
(Church considers shorter name)
Springfield MO KYTV3 (MSNBC) 14Feb00 N1

INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI -- The RLDS Church will consider changing its name at its biennial world conference in April, in order to avoid confusion with the larger LDS Church. The Church will consider legislation changing the Church's name to the Community of Christ, instead of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it is known now.

Howard Sheehy, Jr. of the Church's First Presidency said that the name would also show that the Church has a strong community element and demonstrates that it "is not the individual person but salvation as a group." The RLDS Church has considered changing its name several times in the past 15 years, but those proposals haven't passed a vote of the world conference. The Community of Christ name came from a 1994 leadership seminar, according to Sheehy. The Church leadership also thinks that the beginning of a new millennium is a good time for a change.

The world conference, scheduled for April 1-9, will also consider a proposal to hold world conferences every three years, instead of every two years.

The RLDS Church was 'reorganized' in 1867 by a group that included Joseph Smith III, and its prophets have been direct descendants of Joseph Smith, Jr. The beliefs of the RLDS Church and the LDS Church have diverged significantly since then.


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