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429: A Visual History of the Community of Christ (RLDS) Pt. 4: The Transformation from Reorganization to Community of Christ: A Visual History of the Community of Christ (RLDS) Pt. 4: The Transformation from Reorganization to Community of Christ

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In Part 4, John Hamer tells the remarkable story of the RLDS Church’s transformation from a inward-looking sect with a negative, exclusive identity to a progressive denomination with a positive, inclusive identity. Although both the RLDS Church and the LDS Church were faced with the same basic challenges in the societal transformation in North America after World War 2, the churches had completely opposite responses. In the wake of the challenges posed by professional scholarship of the "New Mormon History," RLDS leaders chose to "embrace truth and do what is right, let the consequence follow," rather than to retrench, deny, and retreat into territory that is intellectually indefensible. The path has not been an easy one, but it has led Community of Christ to become a church whose values include "unity in diversity," "the worth of all persons," and the principle that "all are called." Today, women serve at every level of church leadership, up to the First Presidency. Community of Christ has had apostles from Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific Islands, in addition to North America. LGBT members have full priesthood participation in North America and Australia, and in states and countries where it is legal, priesthood members may perform same-sex marriages as a sacrament in Community of Christ.

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