Church of Christ (Cutlerite)

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 Cutlerite Church
Cutlerite Church
The Church of Christ (Cutlerite), is a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) denomination headquartered in Independence, Missouri. The official name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ, but its members are known informally as Cutlerites after Alpheus Cutler, one of the original seven apostles of Mormonism. (See Doctrine and Covenants 124:132.)

History

Alpheus Cutler was an early Latter Day Saint leader and contemporary of Joseph Smith, Jr.. Cutler was in charge of the construction of the church's temple in Nauvoo, Illinois and he was a member of the secretive Council of Fifty. Prior to Smith's death in 1844, Cutler was charged to go on a special evangelizing mission to the "Lamanites" (as Native Americans were called by Mormons). When Brigham Young invited Cutler to immigrate to the newly-founded Salt Lake City, Cutler declined to end his Lamanite mission. Instead, he and a group of loyal followers founded their own colony in Manti, Iowa. On September 19, 1853, Cutler reorganized his own Mormon denomination which he called: The Church of Jesus Christ.

In the 1860s, missionaries from the Reorganization visited Manti. Many Cutlerites were converted to believe Joseph Smith III was his father's true successor and joined Smith III's Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Shortly before Cutler's death on August 10, 1864, members of the church who remained loyal to Cutler relocated to Clitherall, Minnesota in response to a vision. Missionaries from the Reorganization followed the Cutlerites to Minnesota and again converted many of their ranks. Finally, in 1928, a portion of the group moved to Independence, Missouri, where they built their present headquarters.

Doctrines

The church practices a form of communitarianism, which they refer to as the "Order of Enoch" (See Law of Consecration). The Cutlerites are also the only Midwestern or Prairie Saints who practice the Mormon temple "endowment" ceremony that originated in the Nauvoo period.

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