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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: September 24, 2023 04:16AM

If I can drag you away from your usual topics...

Wallace Bunnell Anthony Smith, the great-grandson of Joseph Smith passed away on September the 22nd, which just happened to be the 200th anniversary of Moroni's supposed visit. He was 94.

His life makes for a good "compare and contrast" with Russell M. Nelson.

Wallace B. Smith was the last of the family to lead the Reorganized LDS church, and forfeited his role to a non-Smith successor when he retired. WBS was instrumental in many significant RLDS projects such as the ordination of women, building of their main temple and renaming the church to the Community of Christ. In certain respects he was ahead of the mainline LDS by thirty or forty years, and also shared some of their viewpoints. Like RMN, he had a respectable medical career behind him, but seemed less inclined to be sycophant-in-chief to the tyrants of this world. Maybe because he wasn't even on their radar.

The family resemblance isn't obvious in all of the photographs I've seen of him, but you can see it here.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 24, 2023 08:03AM

"He will be remembered first of all for prophetic direction in Doctrine and Covenants Section 156. That inspired document opened the RLDS priesthood to women and focused the church’s theology related to its new temple in Independence, Missouri, on peace and justice themes."

It's interesting how prophecy differs from church president to church president.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: September 24, 2023 09:08AM

WBS' policies proved to be divisive.

Like RMN, WBS and his successor were rebranders. They dropped the Mormon tag decades ago, and shortly after ceased to be "LDS" as well, as the RLDS moniker was exchanged for "Community of Christ". The Book of Mormon was de-emphasized, and for all intents and purposes, the RLDS became a dull and fading mainstream Protestant denomination with high virtuous ideals, dwindling attendance and little identity of its own. Russell M. Nelson is determined to go down a similar route.

The ordination of women angered a significant number of members who went and formed their own new denominations. (Even though some evidence points to Joseph Smith planning the ordination of women.) But at the same time as those falling numbers, the church put money into an expensive temple project.

The death of WBS represents the end of an era. He was President Emeritus, the Benedict of the RLDS lurking in the background... and the last of the Smith line to run that church. AFAIK no direct line Smith descendants run churches today.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: September 24, 2023 01:09PM

He also had great eyebrows...

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: September 24, 2023 03:05PM

Dilution of the Joe Smith gene pool and his lies is cause for celebration.

Unfortunately, the Brighamites don't as carelessly and naively try to do the right thing. They understand that maintaining membership numbers is more important than improving any moral position.

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