INDEPENDENCE, MO., April 6 (RNS)--The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints officially changed its denominational name to the Community of Christ on April 6.

The name change will be celebrated at the denomination's headquarters in Independence, Mo., with a worship service and open house at the Community of Christ Temple.

The name change was approved by delegates to a worldwide meeting of the denomination last April, following years of discussions. Church officials said they believe the new name better represents the mission and theology of the denomination, which includes the Bible and the Book of Mormon among its Scriptures.

The church, which has about 250,000 members in more than 50 nations, traces its beginnings to the start of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830. Members of the "reorganized" body began their own church in 1860 under the leadership of Joseph Smith III, the son of the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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