PAUL M. EDWARDS. Our Legacy of Faith: A Brief History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independence, Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1991.
RICHARD P. HOWARD. The Church through the Years. Vol. 1, RLDS Beginnings, to 1860. Independence Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1992. The Reorganization Comes of Age, 1860-1992. Independence Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1993.
ROGER D. LAUNIUS and W.B. “PAT” SPILLMAN, eds. Let Contention Cease: The Dynamics of Dissent in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Independence Mo.: Graceland/Park Press, 1991.
For thirty years, according to William “Bill” D. Russell, there has been “a deepening theological division within the ranks of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (LCC, 125) between the liberal faction now in control of the RLDS bureaucracy and hierarchy and the remnants of a more traditional RLDS faith. The dominant RLDS faction—clearly constituting a new “liberal” establishment —is reforming the Reorganization on lines more or less consonant with what they consider to be respectable, mainline liberal Protestantism. The four books reviewed here either reflect or describe these changes. The books by Richard P. Howard and Paul M. Edwards rationalize the changes from the perspective of the RLDS liberal establishment while Let Contention Cease offers valuable insights into internal RLDS politics and currently fashionable ideology from a somewhat less partisan perspective.