2 women sue church when Christ fails to appear
-Salt Lake Tribune
Two women who gave their life savings to an apocalyptic religious group say they are victims of fraud because the church failed to make good on promises that the women get land and see Christ in return for their money.
Kaziah Hancock and Cindy Stewart took their case against Jim Harmston and The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of The Last Days (TLC) to the Utah Court of Appeals on Tuesday.
Stewart turned over her life savings to TLC. Hancock sold her farm and gave the church the proceeds.
In return, Harmston allegedly promised the women membership in the ''Church of the Firstborn,'' that they would see Christ face-to-face and be given land.
An attorney for Harmston argued that the promises are rooted in church doctrine, not a business contract. Also, Utah law requires a written contract for agreements related to property, attorney Kevin Bond said. Bond said the promises were not to be fulfilled by Harmston, but by God.
Don Redd, an attorney representing the women, said Harmston and TLC should not be allowed to create a ''religious cocoon'' to protect themselves.