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The churches and denominations associated with the Restoration branches movement were formed in the 1980s by congregations and individuals who broke away from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Beginning in the 1960s, the RLDS went through a gradual liberalization of its policies and practices, which intensified in the 1980s when the church began ordaining women and opening its communion services to people outside the RLDS body.

Nearly ten thousand members arose in vocal opposition to the ordination of women and other liberal trends with the RLDS Church. Failing in preventing the liberalization of the RLDS, they began to leave.

Notwithstanding their unity on issues such as the ordination of women, the Restorationists were unable to hold to together in a large group but split into several independent home churches and congregations. Some groups in Independence and central Missouri bought buildings or rented space from Adventist churches that didn't use them on Sundays.

Smaller denominations included the Church of Jesus Christ, Lamb of God; the Church of Christ, Restored; and the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but they accounted for only a fraction of the Restoration congregations. Most met separately from the RLDS Church, which they considered apostate while continuing the early RLDS practices.

Organized in 1993, the Conference of Restoration Elders united several branches through a series of annual conferences in Independence, Missouri. However, it serves as a means of fellowship and networking rather than in a denominational capacity.

One of the more successful Restoration branches is the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which drew away a large portion of the Elder's Conference leadership, although the majority of its members remained in the Elder's Conference. This group will be represented in a separate subcategory.

Another group that formed among the Restoration churches was the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches, in 2007. The relationship between the Conference of Restoration Elders and the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches isn't entirely clear, as some members supported both while others strongly opposed one another.

There is no recognized central organization or reliable membership numbers within the Restoration branches. Within the several groups, there are doctrinal differences. There are also similarities.

The basic beliefs and practices of the Restoration branches are that of early RLDS doctrines. For example, they believe that the true successor to Joseph Smith was his eldest surviving son, Joseph Smith III, and not Brigham Young.

Most of the Restoration branches use Joseph Smith's Epitome of Faith as a statement of faith, and the "six fundamental principles of the Restored gospel" are cited as the foundation of their belief. Founded in Hebrews chapter six, these are faith toward God, repentance, baptism by water, the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Common influences among the Restoration branches are the writings of RLDS ministers Arthur A. Oakman and Evan Fry, including Fry's 1950s radio show, Hear Ye Him.Books that are recognized as scripture include the RLDS Inspired Version of the Bible, which does not include the Song of Solomon, as well as the 1908 edition edition of the Book of Mormon, which is an earlier edition than that currently used by the Community of Christ. The Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon is used by some branches. The RLDS Doctrine & Covenants, up to Section 144, is used by most Restoration branches.

The Restoration branches differ from the Community of Christ in their belief in an unchanging God rather than disjunctive revelation, which means that new revelations must perfectly agree with all past revelations.

Restoration branches do not ordain women into the priesthood.

Generally, Restoration branches do not recognize the position of anyone who currently claims to be a prophet, seer, and revelator as being legitimate, although factions have formed into separate movements following various prophets.

Branches of the movement adhere to the restored gospel, as they believe it was taught and practiced by the early Church of Christ, organized by Joseph Smith, and reorganized by Joseph Smith III, and considers all changes to these practices and beliefs to be apostasy.

Most of the Restoration branches do not serve the communion sacrament to non-members.

Most Restoration branches consider the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit to be synonymous, and part of the Godhead. Some, however, believe that the Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, and Comforter are separate entities.


Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints



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