Recently I was having a conversation with one of my friends and she said that having a testimony of the Book of Mormon was essential in order to stay in the LDS church.
However, there are other denomonations that believe and support the Book of Mormon. The RLDS (now Community of Christ) church and the Church of Jesus Christ (nicknamed Bickertonites) are two denomonations that believe in the Book of Mormon as well.
I’m not the best historian so maybe someone can help me here. From what I understand, Sydney Rigdon started the Bickertonites and Joseph Smith’s son (Joseph Smith III) started the RLDS church after Joseph Smith died. Brigham Young and the other apostles were with the main body of the LDS people. Interestingly, all three groups seem to have claimed authority given to them from Joseph Smith.
So the questions are:
Is having a testimony Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon enough to stay strong in the LDS church? If not, what is necessary to have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
What happened historically and who exactly did Joseph Smith give the keys of priesthood authority to?
It appears organizationally the three are similar with apostles, prophets, etc. and they all study the same books. What are the differences between the three organizations?
I have my own personal opinions from briefly reading the history of both organizations, but I’d love to hear what others with more historical knowledge have to say.