Pauline Hancock – Independence, MO (-1962)


(Edith Pauline Bailey, 3 November 1903 – 10 October 1962)

Church of Christ (Bible and Book of Mormon) Basement Church

Broke off from the Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Mrs. Hancock’s standard works are the Bible and the Book of Mormon. She does not accept the Doctrine and Covenants or the Pearl of Great Price, although she feels that “some” of the revelations of Joseph Smith in the beginning were genuine. (Those he had stewardship for, i.e., Book of Mormon.) Her attitude toward the Prophet is that “Joseph Smith was a wicked man.” She believes that he was called of God, but after bringing forth the Book of Mormon, he introduced polygamy and many other false doctrines and thereby fell from the grace of God. “The Urim and Thummim and the Plates were taken from him and were never returned,” she said. “Joseph Smith was not true to us. God called him, but he failed.” (Personal interview.) (Russell R. Rich, Little Known Schisms of the Restoration, BYU Press, 1962, 1963, 1967, p. 33)

She said, “I am not a Latter-day Saint.” But she did not mean the same that you and I would mean by the term. By “Latter-day Saint,” she meant a member of any one of the “churches of the restoration.” She believes in Joseph Smith only to the extent that he brought forth the Book of Mormon, and that is all. She meant, then, that she did not accept the teaching of Joseph Smith and did not classify herself among the believers of the Restored Gospel. All she accepts in relation to the restoration is the Book of Mormon. Mrs. Hancock, then, would strongly protest the classifying of her church as a schism of the Restored Church. (Ibid. p. 33-34)

Preaching the same doctrine and associated with her publishing tracts are H. Irvin Luke and Andrew L.Parket of Independence, Missouri. These independent groups are firm believers in the truths of the Book of Mormon, preaching that its purpose “is to convince the Jews and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.” Their tracts plead with people to realize the importance of their teachings in the gospel plan of Jesus Christ and to return to these things. (Denominations that Base their Beliefs on the Teachings of Joseph Smith, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1969, 2nd Ed., p. 50)

After Pauline’s death, members of her church voted against the Book of Mormon in 1973 and sold the church in 1984.

Pauline Hancock