The Church through the Years, vols. 1 and 2

The Church through the Years, Vol. 1
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The Church through the Years, vols. 1 and 2
Author Richard P. Howard
Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1992

The Church through the Years, vols. 1 and 2

Reviewer William D. Russell

In 1934 the RLDS Church published Inez Smith Davis's The Story of the Church, a one-volume history intended for its members. A very amateurish and apologetic work, Davis's book remained the only one-volume history of the RLDS Church for fifty-seven years, until Patti Edwards published Our Legacy of Faith. With the publication of the two-volume work The Church through the Years, the RLDS Church has completed the process of making Davis's embarrassing book a thing of the past.

The Story of the Church reflected the common RLDS attitude toward the much larger LDS Church. It was one of a great many articles, pamphlets, and books which were published during the first century of the RLDS Church's existence and which examined Mormon claims and found them wanting. The last major book-length, anti-Mormon diatribe was published in 1965. Written by Aleah Koury, a seventy who was about to become an apostle, The Truth and the Evidence: A Comparison between Doctrines of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a survey of the major differences between the two churches. Key issues raised were the doctrines of God, marriage, tithing, and succession in the presidency of the church. In every instance, the RLDS Church had the truth, and the LDS Church was wrong. It was a clean sweep for the little-known rivals of the kingdom out west. The RLDS Church did not even have to settle for being "right" on three out of four issues. The book was appropriately titled: the author began with "the truth" and then marshaled his evidence.

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