Portal:Community of Christ

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The Community of Christ Portal

Church seal on a set of doors to the Independence Temple

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 church with roots in the Latter Day Saint movement. The church reports approximately 250,000 members in 60 nations. The church traces its origins to Joseph Smith's establishment of the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830, with the church formally reorganizing on April 6, 1860, following the death of Smith in 1844.

The Community of Christ is rooted in Restorationist traditions. Although in some respects it is congruent with mainline Protestant Christian attitudes, it is in many ways theologically distinct, continuing such features as prophetic revelation. It is the second-largest denomination within the Latter Day Saint movement.

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

Selected article

Statues of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith

The Joseph Smith Translation (JST), also called the Inspired Version (IV), is a revision of the Bible by Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Smith considered this work to be "a branch of his calling" as a prophet. Smith was murdered before he ever deemed it complete, though most of his work on it was performed about a decade beforehand. The work is the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) with some significant additions and revisions. It is considered a sacred text and is part of the canon of the Community of Christ (CoC), formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and other Latter Day Saint churches. Selections from the Joseph Smith Translation are also included in the footnotes and the appendix of the LDS-published King James Version of the Bible, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has only officially canonized certain excerpts that appear in its Pearl of Great Price. These excerpts are the Book of Moses and Smith's revision of part of the Gospel of Matthew. Read more...

Selected history

1889-ALv.jpg

Autumn Leaves (1888–1929) was the first children's magazine of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church). The magazine was published in Lamoni, Iowa, and edited by Marietta Walker, who was an assistant editor for Zion's Hope and worked with the church throughout her life.

The main purpose of Autumn Leaves was to prepare young men and women for adult life and responsibility. This included many references that younger people would be able to relate to. In the history of this magazine there has been 45 volumes released each discussing important life lessons one may endure in their adult life. In 1929, the magazine was renamed Vision, and it was discontinued in 1932. The magazine included many notable writers but the most famous was Joseph Smith III, who was the President of the RLDS Church and the founder of Graceland University. Read more...

Selected biography

Wallace Bunnell Anthony Smith (born July 29, 1929) was Prophet-President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) (now Community of Christ), from April 5, 1978 through April 15, 1996. Son of W. Wallace Smith, he was designated as his father's successor in 1976, and ordained church president in 1978 when his father retired to emeritus status. Wallace B. Smith is a great-grandson of Joseph Smith (the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement), and was a practicing ophthalmologist in the Independence, Missouri area before accepting ordination to RLDS leadership.

Smith's presidency was notable for authorizing construction of the church's temple in Independence, Missouri, with construction occurring from 1990 to 1994. His presidency was also noted for promoting a church conference vote on April 5, 1984 which approved ordination of females to priesthood offices: The first ordination took place on November 17, 1985. Smith is also credited with being one of the first church leaders to formally propose a name-change for the church, at a Joint Council retreat in 1994. At the subsequent World Conference in 1996, the proposed name change (to "Community of Christ" from "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints") was not approved by a majority vote at that time, but conference approval did take place during the April 2000 World Conference, four years after Smith's retirement as the church's prophet-president.

On September 19, 1995, Smith announced he was retiring as prophet, seer and revelator of the church, and designated W. Grant McMurray as his successor. Smith formally retired on April 15, 1996, at which time his successor McMurray was ordained in a ceremony at the RLDS Auditorium. Smith was designated "President Emeritus," as his father likewise had been designated in 1978 upon ordination of his son. Smith holds the position today. Read more...

Selected Location

The Liberty Hall Lamont, Iowa.jpg

Liberty Hall is a historic building located in Lamoni, Iowa, United States. The house, built in 1881, served as the residence of Joseph Smith III when he served as the president and prophet of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when it was headquartered in Lamoni. Local carpenter Thomas Jacobs built the house in a vernacular Victorian style. Smith left the house in 1906 when the church headquarters transferred to Independence, Missouri. Its name was changed to Liberty Home after 1906 when it became one of two church homes for aged members. In 1926 the house became a part of a church owned Holstein dairy operation, which closed due to the Great Depression in 1932. From 1934 to 1941 it housed a Civilian Conservation Corps office. After its service to the CCC it returned to being a church home for the aged. The church, now known as the Community of Christ, continues to operate the house as a museum. It was restored beginning in 1973 to look the way it did during Smith's occupancy. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Read more...

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