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Community of Christ
USVA headstone emb-20
Classification Restorationist
Orientation Latter Day Saint movement
Polity Hierarchical
Leader Stephen M. Veazey
Separations Community of Christ denominations
Members 250,000[1]
Temples 2
Official Website www.cofchrist.org


Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), is an American-based international Christian church[2] established in April 1830[3] that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace".[4] The church reports approximately 250,000 members in 50 nations.[5]

Community of Christ is part of the Latter Day Saint movement begun by Joseph Smith, Jr., and rooted in Restorationist traditions. Although in some respects Community of Christ is theologically distinct, it nevertheless considers itself congruent with mainline Protestant Christian attitudes.

Community of Christ follows a largely non-liturgical tradition based loosely on the Revised Common Lectionary.[6] From its headquarters in Independence, Missouri, the church offers special focus on evangelism, peace and justice ministries, spirituality and wholeness, youth ministries and outreach ministries.[7] Church teachings emphasize that “all are called” as “persons of worth” to “share the peace of Christ.”[8]

OrganizationEdit

Community of Christ is led by a First Presidency, consisting of a President and two counselors. The President is regarded as a prophet. The church’s ministry is overseen by a Council of Twelve Apostles and the temporal needs of the church are overseen by the Presiding Bishopric. Meeting together, these three quorums are known as the World Church Leadership Council.

Other key leadership positions include Presiding Evangelist, Senior President of the Seven Presidents of Seventy, and President of the High Priests Quorum. Every three years (formerly two, until a change made in 2007), delegates from around the world meet together with these leaders to vote on church business in World Conference.

MembershipEdit

Community of Christ membership enrolled in known locations totaled about 250,000 in 2008.[9] As of 2006, this was distributed as 25,000 in Africa, 8,000 in Asia, 8,000 in Canada, 13,000 in the Caribbean, 2,500 in Europe, 10,000 in the Pacific, 3,000 in Central and South America, and 130,000 in the United States.[10]

The church is officially established in the following countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Republic of China (Taiwan), Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.[11]

It is estimated that more than half the active members of the church speak a primary language other than English.[12] The church translates resources into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Telugu, Kwi, Sora, Tahitian, Chewa, Chibemba, Efik, Lingala and Swahili.[13]

HistoryEdit

Formerly known as Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this denomination regards itself a reorganization of the church organized in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr., and regards Joseph Smith III, the eldest surviving son of Smith Jr., to have been his legitimate successor. The church was "legally organized on April 6, 1830, in Fayette, New York"[14]. The formal reorganization occurred on April 6, 1860, in Amboy, Illinois, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, adding the word Reorganized to the church name in 1872.

Community of Christ Temple located in Independence, Missouri

Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA. Dedicated 1994.

Community of Christ today considers the period from 1830 to 1844 to be a part of its early history and from 1844, the year of the death of the founder, to 1860, to be a period of disorganization. Since 1844 the doctrines and practices of Community of Christ have evolved separately from the other denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement.[15] Since the 1960s the church’s proselytizing with other world cultures in countries outside North America forced a re-assessment and gradual evolution of denominational practices and beliefs. Some changes included the ordination of women to priesthood, open communion, and changing the church's commonly-used name from Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the current name in April 2001.[16]

The church owns two temples, the Kirtland Temple dedicated in 1836 in Kirtland, Ohio, (operated in part as a historic site as part of its educational ministry), and the relatively new Independence Temple, which serves as the church's headquarters in Independence. These structures are open to the public and used for education and gatherings. The church also owns and operates some Latter Day Saint historic sites in Far West, Missouri; Lamoni, Iowa; and Plano and Nauvoo, Illinois. The Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, houses the Children's Peace Pavilion and is the site of the major legislative assembly of Community of Christ, known as World Conference. The church sponsors Graceland University with a campus in Lamoni, Iowa, and another in Independence, where the School of Nursing and Community of Christ Seminary are based.

Vision and missionEdit

The current vision and mission statements of Community of Christ were initially adopted in 1996 by the leading quorums of the church's leadership and reflect the peace and justice centered ministries of the denomination. In the mission statement, the church declares that "We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love and peace." The vision statement states that "We will become a worldwide church dedicated to the pursuit of peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit."[17]

Major beliefsEdit

CommunityofChrist PeaceSeal

Church seal on a set of doors to the Independence Temple

Community of Christ states that it recognizes that "perception of truth is always qualified by human nature and experience" and therefore has not adopted an official religious creed. Nevertheless, Community of Christ offers a number of the commonly held beliefs of its members and leaders as the "generally accepted beliefs of the church."[18] As Stephen M. Veazey, current president of the church puts it, "Community of Christ is a church that provides light for the way as well as space for the personal faith journey."[19]

Community of Christ generally accepts the doctrine of the Trinity and other commonly held Christian beliefs. The concept of Zion as both a present reality of Christian living and a hoped for community of the future is a rather strongly held belief in Community of Christ and ties closely to the peace and justice emphasis of the denomination. The movement also differs from most other Christian faiths in its belief in prophetic leadership and an open canon of scripture recorded in its version of the Doctrine and Covenants, which is regularly appended.

God, Jesus Christ and the Holy SpiritEdit

Community of Christ states that the "one eternal living God is triune" and acknowledges God as Creator and Source of love, life, and truth. They state that "God alone is worthy of worship". Jesus Christ is described as both Savior and as a living expression of God and is acknowledged as having lived, died, and been resurrected. As the name of the denomination implies, Jesus Christ is central to their study and worship. Community of Christ's Theology Task Force states that "Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, both fully human and fully divine".[20] The Holy Spirit is described as the "continuing presence of God in the world" and as the source of divine inspiration.[18]

PeaceEdit

The Independence and Kirtland Temples are places of education and worship for all people. In keeping with Community of Christ's role as a "peace and justice church," the Independence Temple was "dedicated to the pursuit of peace".[21] Each day of the year at 1 pm a Daily Prayer for Peace is held in the sanctuary of the Independence Temple. Each day at 1pm Eastern Time the Daily Prayer for Peace is held at Community of Christ Spiritual Formation Center portion of the Kirtland Temple Complex. In addition, the Community of Christ International Peace Award has been bestowed annually since 1993 (except 1996). The call to "peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit" is a recurring theme in Community of Christ and is reflected in its official vision statement. Doctrinal statements by the church suggest that "because of our commitment to Christ and belief in the worth of all people and the value of community building, we dedicate our lives to the pursuit of peace and justice for all people."[18] The church maintains a Peace and Justice Ministries Office at its headquarters which is designed to provide resources, education and networking. The Peace Colloquy is a major conference on peace held annually at Community of Christ headquarters. Community of Christ promotes the Young Peacemakers Club as a means of teaching and promoting peace among children all over the world. In 2008, the church organized an additional 501(c)3 organization called the Peace Support Network whose stated purpose is to "build a global movement which provides individuals the opportunity to join together based upon passion, calling, and that which resonates within them, rather than be constrained by the limitations of circumstance and geography." [22]

Worth of all personsEdit

The doctrine of human worth or "worth of all persons" in Community of Christ is a well established belief. The Community of Christ states that "God loves each of us equally and unconditionally. All persons have great worth and should be respected as creations of God with basic human rights. The willingness to love and accept others is essential to faithfulness to the gospel of Christ."[18] Recognizing that scripture has sometimes been used to marginalize and oppress classes of persons, the church accepted this statement into the Doctrine and Covenants in 2007: "It is not pleasing to God when any passage of scripture is used to oppress races, genders, or classes of human beings. Much violence has been done to some of God's beloved children through the misuse of scripture. The church is called to confess and repent of such attitudes and practices."[23]

Revelation and prophetic leadershipEdit

The belief in continuing divine revelation is a distinctive aspect of the church. Community of Christ states that "The process through which God reveals divine will and love is called revelation. God continues to reveal today as in the past. God is revealed to us through scripture, the faith community, prayer, nature, and in human history."[18]

The president of Community of Christ is sometimes referred to by the title of Prophet or Prophet-President. The president of the church acts as a prophet when bringing occasional inspired counsel or inspired documents to the church. These are usually brief passages of text which bring encouragement, counsel and direction to the church. When an inspired document is presented to the World Conference by the president of the church, an elaborate review process takes place. Each quorum of the church and several caucuses review the document and vote upon it. The quorums typically vote heavily in favor of the documents and sometimes unanimously. Debate is allowed, however, and the body has been known to refer the inspired document back to the president for further reflection or clarification. When the document comes to the floor of the World Conference for debate, the president retires from the room to allow for more impartial consideration. The World Conference may vote to include the document as a new section of the Doctrine and Covenants, which is regarded as scripture by the denomination. If the delegates at the World Conference do approve an inspired document, it is the custom of the Church to then have a courtesy vote, which is opened to all non-delegates attending the conference. This is the only time non-delegates are permitted to vote on World Conference business. Through this action, the Prophet of the Church can be assured that a large representation of the Church membership support the inspired document.

Concept of ZionEdit

The concept of Zion in Community of Christ relates a theology of the "kingdom of God." As a doctrine, it is therefore closely founded upon the kingdom parables of Jesus as recorded in the four gospels. Based on references in the Bible to Mt. Zion or simply Zion, it was initially regarded as a city, sometimes called the New Jerusalem. Prior to 1920, most members of Community of Christ identified Independence, Missouri as Zion or the New Jerusalem. As New Testament understandings of basileia, as the realm or domain of God, have gradually taken root among members of the denomination, Zion is now understood more as a cause, a way of living or a state of existence, and is usually not regarded as having its foundation in a specific place. Officially, the denomination states that "The 'cause of Zion' expresses our commitment to pursuing God's kingdom through the establishment of Christ-centered communities in families, congregations, neighborhoods, cities, and throughout the world."[18] While the Concept of Zion is rarely associated with the Jewish concept of Zionism, some members of Community of Christ from Maine, intrigued by the doctrine of Zion, established a refugee center near Tel Aviv during the initial return of the Jewish diaspora to Israel in the early 1900s.

All are calledEdit

Community of Christ commonly attests that "all are called according to the gifts of God unto them" (D&C 119:8b). Published statements of belief proclaim that "All men, women, youth, and children are given gifts and abilities to enhance life and to become involved in Christ's mission. Some are called to particular responsibility as ordained ministers (priesthood) in the church. The church provides for a wide range of priesthood ministries through calling and ordination of both men and women."[18]

PriesthoodEdit

Nearly 1 in 10 members hold priesthood office. These are primarily unpaid bi-vocational ministers. The church does maintain a relatively small group of professional ministers who typically serve as administrators, financial officers or missionaries. Priesthood members are called to teach and preach the gospel or "good news" of Jesus Christ. The ministry of the church at the congregational level is led by lay priesthood members and carried out by all priesthood and laity. In most congregations the pastor(s) and other elected and appointed leadership positions are unpaid positions. The right of women to hold the priesthood was recognized by a church conference in 1984[24] as the church embraced what they felt was the will of God.

SalvationEdit

Community of Christ Theology Task Force offers theological statements on the principle of salvation for consideration of members, but the denomination does not expect strict doctrinal adherence on such matters of belief. The task force presents the view that salvation and eternal life are gifts and that by baptism and discipleship lived as response to the gospel, individuals become new people.[25]

SacramentsEdit

Members commonly believe that sacraments (or ordinances) express the abiding presence of God in the life of the church, its members and priesthood. Sacraments are considered metaphorical acts designed to create and renew spiritual relationship with God. Sacraments are viewed as covenants with God in response to God's grace. Community of Christ practices eight sacraments;[26] baptism, confirmation, Blessing of Children, The Lord's Supper, marriage, Administration to the Sick, ordination, and "Evangelist's Blessing". "Laying on of hands" is used in confirmation, ordination, blessing of children, administration and Evangelist's blessing.

ScriptureEdit

Community of Christ points to Jesus Christ as the living Word of God[27] and affirms the Bible, along with the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants as scripture for the church. The Community of Christ view of scripture is that it should be "reasonably interpreted and faithfully applied." Scripture references provided for congregational worship generally follow the Revised Common Lectionary. The church views the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants as "additional witnesses of Christ's ministry and God's love." Community of Christ understands scripture as an inspired record of God's activity with humanity. While it recognizes scripture as the revelation of God, its members would not typically suggest that scriptures constitute the literal "words of God."[28] In words of counsel to the church brought by President Stephen M. Veazey in 2007 and now included in Section 163:7a-b of the Doctrine and Covenants, it is suggested that "Scripture is an indispensable witness to the Eternal Source of light and truth, which cannot be contained in any finite vessel or language. Scripture has been written and shaped by human authors through experiences of revelation and ongoing inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the midst of time and culture. Scripture is not to be worshipped or idolized. Only God, the Eternal One of whom scripture testifies, is worthy of worship. God's nature, as revealed in Jesus Christ and affirmed by the Holy Spirit, provides the ultimate standard by which any portion of scripture should be interpreted and applied."[29]

Scripture has been given a place in Community of Christ theology. Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants 163 states:"Scripture, prophetic guidance, knowldge, and discernment in the faith community must walk hand in hand to reveal the true will of God." Community of Christ's Theology Task Force has produced nine affirmations regarding scripture the preamble of which states: "Scripture provides divine guidance and inspired insight for life when responsibly interpreted and faithfully applied. Scripture helps us believe in Jesus Christ. Its witness guides us to eternal life and enables us to grow spiritually, to transform our lives, and to participate actively in the life and ministry of the church." [30]

BibleEdit

In unity with Christianity, Community of Christ upholds the Bible as scripture. Both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Christian New Testament are utilized in public worship as well as private study. The church encourages prayerful meditation upon the meaning and importance of Bible passages. "If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting..." (James 1:5-6) is an oft quoted passage from the New Testament (for the reason that it was the scripture that Joseph Smith, Jr. read when he was trying, as a boy, to figure out what church to join. His experience following his reading of this scripture resulted in the (eventual) organization of the church).

Community of Christ does not prescribe a single translation of the Bible. Although Joseph Smith, Jr. began a project to re-translate or revise the King James Version of the Bible during his lifetime, the liturgy of the church today is usually based on more recent translations of the Bible. Upon Smith's death, the working manuscript of his translation was retained by his family and came into the possession of Community of Christ. The work was edited and is published by the church as the Inspired Version of the Bible. Since it largely relies on the now-difficult-to-read language of the King James Version, most official publications of Community of Christ quote scripture from newer versions such as the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Community of Christ does not view scripture, including the Bible, as inerrant. Members are encouraged to understand the historical and literary context of Bible passages and not to interpret all of the language literally.[31]

Book of MormonEdit

Community of Christ views the Book of Mormon as an additional witness of Jesus Christ and publishes two versions of the book through its official publishing arm, Herald House. The Authorized Edition is based on the original printer's manuscript and the 1837 Second Edition (or Kirtland Edition) of the Book of Mormon. Its content is similar to the Book of Mormon published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the versification is different. Community of Christ also publishes a 1966 "Revised Authorized Edition" which attempts to modernize some of the language.

In 2001, Community of Christ President W. Grant McMurray reflected on increasing questions about the Book of Mormon: "The proper use of the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture has been under wide discussion in the 1970s and beyond, in part because of long-standing questions about its historicity and in part because of perceived theological inadequacies, including matters of race and ethnicity."[32] In the introduction he qualified his statements: "I cannot speak for each person within our community, but perhaps I can say some words on behalf of our community."

At the 2007 Community of Christ World Conference, President Stephen M. Veazey ruled a resolution to "reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record" out of order. In so doing he stated that "while the Church affirms the Book of Mormon as scripture, and makes it available for study and use in various languages, we do not attempt to mandate the degree of belief or use. This position is in keeping with our longstanding tradition that belief in the Book of Mormon is not to be used as a test of fellowship or membership in the church."[33]

The church's official stance has this to say about the Book of Mormon (under Affirmation Nine):

"With other Christians, we affirm the Bible as the foundational scripture for the church. In addition, Community of Christ uses the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants as scripture. We do not use these sacred writings to replace the witness of the Bible or improve upon it, but because they confirm its message that Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God (Preface of the Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants 76: 3g). We have heard Christ speak in all three books of scripture, and bear witness that he is “alive forever and ever” (Revelation 1:18)."[34]

Book of Doctrine and CovenantsEdit

The Community of Christ edition of the Doctrine and Covenants is a growing work of scripture containing inspired documents given through the prophet-presidents recognized by Community of Christ. The Doctrine and Covenants contains inspirational Christian messages such as this passage shared by former President, W. Grant McMurray as inspired counsel: "Open your hearts and feel the yearnings of your brothers and sisters who are lonely, despised, fearful, neglected, unloved. Reach out in understanding, clasp their hands, and invite all to share in the blessings of community created in the name of the One who suffered on behalf of all." (Doctrine and Covenants 161:3a)

President Stephen Veazey presented the most recent words of counsel to the church, which were accepted as scripture on March 30, 2007. This document, now officially Section 163[35] of the Doctrine and Covenants, further challenges the membership of Community of Christ to engage in ministries that foster peace, and are specifically charged to “pursue peace” and to “strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth”.

Lectionary usageEdit

Community of Christ employs a three year lectionary cycle based upon the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) used by other Christian traditions. The readings from the biblical canon are those of the RCL except where the Inspired Version differs in versification from other biblical canons. In these instances verses from the RCL are given along with the corresponding verses of the Inspired Version. In addition, the church has added readings from the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. Worship helps based on the lectionary are published by the Herald House as well as posted on the official denominational website and include sample orders of worship with recommended hymns from the official denominational hymnal, Hymns of the Saints, as well as official supplements to the hymnal and other song books.

Ecumenism and interfaith activitiesEdit

File:Submersion baptism, Pichilemu, Chile.jpg

The Community of Christ has made efforts to reconcile with traditional Christianity and to reach out to other Christians. The Community of Christ notes that it has never sanctioned polygamy, it has always ordained persons of any race, it has no required creedal statement, asking only faith in Christ for baptism, it has accepted Trinitarian doctrine, it has been in dialogue with National Council of Churches (NCC), World Council of Churches (WCC), and Christian Churches Together, and it has since 1994 practiced open communion.[citation needed]

In its World Conference in 2002, a committee on "Ecumenical/Interfaith Relations" was established to explore the possibility of entering into the membership of the WCC. In its report for the 2004 World Conference, the committee concluded that while there was an openness to further meetings and discussions, there were concerns about several issues including new entrance criteria based on theology and the Community of Christ's acceptance of extra-biblical scriptures. The report states that this warrants caution in their approach, but the dialogue would continue.[36]

Criticism Edit

The church has been criticized for various changes in policy and leadership. In 1978 W. Wallace Smith became the first church president to retire rather than serve until death, becoming President Emeritus,[37] similar to the circumstances facing his son Wallace B. Smith two decades later.[38] President W. Grant McMurray, however, resigned as church president due to health, "family issues" and "inappropriate choices" in his personal life.[38][39][40][41] McMurray also did not name a successor, marking the second time the succession decision had been left to the leadership of the denomination, the first being at the death of Frederick M. Smith and the selection of Israel A. Smith.[38][40] Additionally, although he had been designated as successor by the previous prophet-president, McMurray's church leadership was questioned due to the fact that he was the first church president who was not a direct descendant of Joseph Smith, Jr., which was considered a distinguishing trait from other denominations of the LDS movement.[40]

A revelation presented by Wallace B. Smith in 1984 that resulted in some "disaffection" and "led to intense conflict in scattered areas of the RLDS Church"[42] is contained in Community of Christ's Doctrine and Covenants, Section 156,[43] which called for construction of the Independence Temple and the ordination of women to the priesthood, among other changes.

The church also came under scrutiny when McMurray allowed the priesthood ordination of practicing homosexuals, something which he acknowledged was already occurring. The church would later renounce this practice, prohibiting the ordination of sexually active gays and lesbians. However, the church allows those who were ordained against policy to continue in priesthood office.[44]

NotesEdit

  1. "CofChrist General Denominational Information". Community of Christ. 2009. http://www.cofchrist.org/news/GeneralInfo.asp. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  2. Faith and Beliefs, Community of Christ (accessed July 26, 2008)
  3. The Early Church (1830), Community of Christ website (accessed July 16, 2008)
  4. Commmunity of Christ - Our Mission, (accessed October 28, 2008
  5. Community of Christ - General Denominational Information, (accessed October 28, 2008)
  6. Worship Commission webpage retrieved June 17, 2006
  7. Community of Christ Ministries and Services, webpage, retrieved June 17, 2006
  8. Faith and Beliefs CofChrist.org website accessed May 14, 2008
  9. Worldwide Membership, CofChrist.org website accessed May 14, 2008
  10. Carina Lord Wilson and Andrew M. Shields, "Church Membership Report," in 2007 World Conference Monday Bulletin, March 26, 2007, p.269-276.
  11. Community of Christ Directory, webpage, retrieved April 7, 2007
  12. G-1 Prayers for the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 2004 World Conference Legislation webpage, retrieved June 17, 2006
  13. Words for the World Fact Sheet, webpage, retrieved June 17, 2006
  14. History, CofChrist.org website accessed May 14, 2008
  15. Community of Christ History, webpage, retrieved June 17, 2006
  16. (see http://www.cofchrist.org/D&C163/veazey163-1.asp) History of the CofC Church religioustolerance.org webpage, retrieved November 5, 2006
  17. Our Vision and Mission, webpage, retrieved June 17, 2006
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 "Faith and Beliefs". Community of Christ. http://cofchrist.org/ourfaith/faith-beliefs.asp. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  19. Veazey, Stephen M., "Up Front," Herald, August 2006, p. 5
  20. Theology Task Force (Community of Christ), "We Proclaim Jesus Christ," Saints Herald, August 2006, p. 13.
  21. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 156:5
  22. The Peace Network website, accessed July 24, 2008 at http://www.peacesupportnetwork.org/index.cfm
  23. Stephen M. Veazey, "Words of Counsel to the Church", in 2007 World Conference Friday Bulletin, March 30, 2007, p. 349-351. Community of Christ, 2007
  24. University of Virginia Library
  25. Community of Christ Theology Task Force, "Faith and Beliefs: Salvation," Herald, August 2006, p. 23.
  26. Bolton, Andrew and Jane Gardner: "The Sacraments: Symbol, Meaning and Discipleship," Herald House, 2005
  27. Community of Christ Theology Task Force, Scripture in the Community of Christ, Saints Herald, August 2006, p. 15.
  28. Marge Nelson, "Faith and Beliefs:Scripture," The Herald, July 2003, p.22-23.
  29. Stephen M. Veazey, "Words of Counsel to the Church," in 2007 World Conference Friday Bulletin, March 30, 2007, p. 349-351. Community of Christ, 2007
  30. [1]
  31. Community of Christ Temple School, "An Introduction to Scripture," SS201, 2001.
  32. McMurray, W. Grant, "They "Shall Blossom as the Rose": Native Americans and the Dream of Zion," an address delivered February 17, 2001, accessed on Community of Christ website, September 1, 2006 at http://web.archive.org/web/20070817021355/http://cofchrist.org/docs/NativeAmericanConference/keynote.asp
  33. Andrew M. Shields, "Official Minutes of Business Session, Wednesday March 28, 2007," in 2007 World Conference Thursday Bulletin, March 29, 2007. Community of Christ, 2007
  34. http://www.cofchrist.org/ourfaith/scripture.asp
  35. http://www.cofchrist.org/wc2007/section163.asp
  36. "2004 World Conference, Ecumenical/Interfaith Relations Committee Report". Archived from the original on 2006-05-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20060506040918/http://www.cofchrist.org/wc2004/legislation/H-11.asp. Retrieved 2006-08-17. 
  37. W. Wallace Smith (1958-1978), Our History, Community of Christ, (accessed February 13, 2009)
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 "Community of Christ selects new president". Deseret News. 2005-03-07. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600117063,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  39. "Community of Christ Leader Steps Down". Sunstone Magazine. 2004-12-01. http://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/135-73-79.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 "Finding a Successor". The Decatur Daily. 2005-03-05. http://legacy.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/religion/050305/leader.shtml. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  41. "Mormon Chief Quits Over Personal Life". The Age. 2004-12-03. http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/Mormon-chief-quits-over-personal-life/2004/12/02/1101923266200.html. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  42. Howard, R.P. (1992) Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan, 1:1211
  43. D&C Section 156
  44. "Timeline: RLDS/Community of Christ and Sexual Orientation Issues". The Welcoming Community Network. http://welcomingcommunitynetwork.org/timeline.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 

ReferencesEdit

  • Richard P. Howard, The Church Through the Years, Herald House: 1992. Volume 1: Beginnings to 1860: ISBN 0-8309-0556-1 Volume 2: ISBN 0-8309-0629-0
  • Andrew Bolton and Jane Gardner, "The Sacraments: Symbol, Meaning and Discipleship," Herald House, 2005. ISBN 0-8309-1173-1
  • Jerry Nieft, ed., "Walking with Jesus: A Member's Guide in the Community of Christ," Herald House, 2004. ISBN 0-8309-1105-7
  • Community of Christ, "The Priesthood Manual, 2004 Edition," Herald House, 2004. ISBN 0-8309-1016-6
  • Community of Christ, "Church Administrators' Handbook: 2005 Edition," Herald House, 2005. ISBN 0-8309-1119-7
  • Roger D. Launius, Joseph III: Pragmatic Prophet, University of Illinois Press: 1995. ISBN 0-252-06515-8
  • Inez Smith Davis, The Story of the Church: A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and of Its Legal Successor, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 12th edition, Herald House: 1981. ISBN 0-8309-0188-4
  • Community of Christ, "World Conference Resolutions: 2002 Edition," Herald House, 2003. ISBN 0-8309-1053-0

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit




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