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Also known as the Church of Christ (Hedrickite), the Hedrickites, or Temple Lot, the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) is one of several LDS denominations that claim to be a continuation of the original church founded by Joseph Smith.

Its early history is shared with the larger LDS denominations. When Joseph Smith was murdered in 1844, several LDS leaders maneuvered for control of the organization. When Brigham Young took control of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a number of rival organizations were established.

The Hedrickites are unique in that its headquarters are at a two-acre plot in Independence, Missouri known as Temple Lot.

Shortly after Smith's arrival in Jackson County, Missouri, in 1831, he announced a vision from the Lord, recognizing this as His chosen place for the gathering of His followers. The City of Zion, the New Jerusalem, was to be built there in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. A lot was designated for the location of the temple. Two years later, the Mormons were driven out of Jackson County.

At the time of Smith's death, there were five LDS branches in Illinois and Indiana that were not affiliated with any larger LDS body. In the summer of 1863, these branches united under the leadership of Granville Hedrick. Another significant person in the formation of this group was John E. Page, who had been an apostle in Joseph Smith's Council of the Twelve. Page ordained Hedrick as an apostle, along with three other local members. Page later ordained Hedrick as prophet, seer, revelator, and translator.

In 1864, Hedrick reported a visitation by an angel, who instructed his church to gather on the consecrated ground, known as the Temple Lot, in Independence, Missouri. Following these instructions, the church returned to Independence in 1867, purchased the lot, and its headquarters remains on the Temple Lot.

An attempt was made to construct a temple there in the 1930s, but the Great Depression stalled completion of the project, and it has not been completed as of today.

In 1861, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sued for title to the property and won at trial, but the decision was reversed on appeal.

In 1929, a group of members led by Otto Fetting, an apostle of the church. broke away to form the Church of Christ (Fettingite), which later divided into three factions.

Temple Lot accepts the authenticity of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God but does not necessarily adhere or accept everything that Smith taught. Temple Lot rejects the office of President of the Church. Rather, it is led by its Quorum of Twelve Apostles, with each of the members of that body sharing authority equally. Although Hedrick was ordained president of his church in 1863, he later repudiated this position.

The Church of Christ (Temple Lot) asserts that it is the only true church in the world today and that all other churches are considered an abomination to the Lord.

The Church of Christ recognizes the Book of Mormon and the Bible as its doctrinal standards, and rejects the authority of the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. It also rejects Joseph Smith's version of the Bible in favor of the King James Version. The church considers the Book of Commandments to be a useful compendium of Smith's early revelations but does not consider it to be scripture.

Common LDS doctrines of baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, plural marriage, and exaltation are rejected by Temple Lot, as are the offices of high priest and patriarch.

The doctrine of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) have been influenced by the teachings of David Whitmer, who had been expelled from Smith's church in 1838, including a published pamphlet that he wrote in 1887 which claimed that Joseph Smith had fallen from his divine calling shortly after the church was established in 1830, describing Smith as no more than a first elder among other elders in the new church.

Although relatively small in size, the membership of Temple Lot has increased considerably in recent years, largely due to a sustained missionary effort in Kenya, Tanzania, and the Philippines. Although headquartered in Missouri, its membership is highest in Africa, the Philippines, and Mexico. In the United States, its membership is in the neighborhood of a thousand, fifty percent of them in Missouri.

The focus of this category is on the Church of Jesus Christ (Temple Lot). Websites representing the denomination or any of its missionary arms, publishing companies, camps, of associated corporations or organizations are appropriate for this category, as are any other sites whose topics are largely concentrated on the denomination, whether supportive, oppositional, or neutral.



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