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“Once we break the faith with our forebears, it’s all out the door,” Makholm said. “How easy is it to spend somebody else’s money?”

For the sale of the book and silver to proceed, a two-thirds majority vote from attending members is required on Sunday. The debate has provoked hard feelings, but Taylor said a church old enough to have baptized Benjamin Franklin the day he was born can endure it.

“We’ve made it through the Great Depression, and abolition, and the American Revolution,” she said. “I think that we can weather this.”