8/28/10

THE MORMON CHURCHES: A COMPARISON FROM WITHIN


by Francis W. Holm, Sr.

Out of a spiritual experience in a grove in New York State in 1820 a religious movement has risen with adherents scattered throughout the world. The followers of Joseph Smith, the young man who had the experience, are today known as Latter Day Saints or Mormons.

These people have, since the death of Joseph, splintered into several separate churches as a result of multiple interpretations of his teachings and his intent for continuing leadership. The two larger groups are known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with headquarters in Independence, Missouri. This book, printed in 1970, deals with these two churches; the author compares them "from within."

Francis W. Holm was for over fifty years officially registered as a member by both churches, although he was active in the Reorganized Church. He has maintained close ties with former brothers in the Mormon Church and has followed closely the inner workings of both organizations.

The author has developed his material by subject matter. Each chapter is a look at how these churches approach some particular item of doctrine or practice.

Elder Holm is convinced that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through the mortal leadership of Joseph Smith. He feels, however, that both of the "restoration" churches have erred in following the intent of early revelations to the Church. Each has its strengths and weaknesses; and he has attempted to point out these.

The book is sympathetic to both churches; but at the same time it is a hard-hitting book, in which he calls it as he sees it.