The Death and Resurrection of the RLDS Zion : A Case Study in "Failed Prophecy," 1930-70
Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought
Between 1926 and 1931, the RLDS formed four communal towns in an effort to create Zion communities that would usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ. Stewards who wanted to live in these communities went through a detailed application process and were chosen by church leaders. These communities did not last due to "larger national and denominational disaster." The RLDS Church was heavily in debt and needed to mortgage or sale church property "to help in a Church-wide financial retrenchment program." Though the stewards may have harbored some resentment towards individual leaders they continued to have faith in their church and in the idea of Zion. However, as a second generation of members arose they began to see Zion as a state of mind. Zion was not a geographical area, but a call for members to bless all members of society. These differing ideas of Zion resulted in an actual division of members of the RLDS Church.