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Lamoni, Iowa Graceland College

Lamoni, Iowa

Lamoni, Iowa, the hometown of Graceland University, had its beginnings when a corporation of wealthy RLDS (now Community of Christ, formally, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) men called the Order of Enoch formed at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in September 1870. The men intended to purchase and develop land for church settlements and obtained 2,500 acres in Fayette Township, Decatur County, in southern Iowa. The site was first referred to as “the Colony” and later became “Lamoni”, a name suggested by Elija Banta in honor of the king of the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. Lamoni was selected as the RLDS Church headquarters in 1879, and RLDS President Joseph Smith III and the church publishing plant moved there from Plano, Illinois, in 1881.

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