Community of Christ Temple
May 30 was a memorable day. My ex-brother-in-law, Don Allen and his wife, Sandra, emailed me to let me know that the Mormon History Association Convention was taking place in Kansas City and that there was going to be a religious service at the Community of Christ Temple Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. We would be able to attend as our church doesn't start until 11:30 a.m. Don told me that his brother, James B. Allen, who has written and co-written several church history books was going to be a major participant at the convention. I was very anxious to meet him.
It was certainly an interesting experience to attend the service. As it turned out, it was a musical program called "Devotional Order of Worship." The readers were Alex Baugh, Associate Professor of Church History at BYU and Susan Skoor, member of Community of Christ Council of Twelve Apostles. Also the Mormon Chorale from this area performed. The congregation sang all the hymns that weren't performed by the Chorale. The only hymns I recognized was Redeemer of Israel -- they had one page that was Community of Christ version, and one page that was LDS version. The tune between versions was changed slightly, as well as a few words. Also "Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah" and "Now Let Us Rejoice," which was sung to the tune "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning." It was very interesting. No opening or closing prayers, but we did sing Amen at the end of the last song.
It's great that there is such a good relationship between the churches. I think that relationship was built by Pres. Hinckley. There is very little in the doctrine that is the same, however. They do believe in the Prophet Joseph Smith, although to me it almost seems out of place with the rest of their doctrine -- which has changed greatly in the last couple of decades.
I had asked the usher when I went in if he knew James Allen, which he did. When Bro. Allen and his wife came in the usher brought them over to where I was sitting and introduced them. The program was about to start, but afterward we had a very delightful visit. It was such a pleasure to meet them both. I thank Don for letting me know, and also wish he and Sandra my best as they leave to go on their mission to Durban, So. Africa.