Sunday, May 31, 2009

Community Of Christ (Formerly RLDS) President Steve Veazey Issues An Appeal To The Young Adults Of His Church

Because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS), share a common past, a common founder, and yes, a common Savior, I consider it appropriate to post on their activities and doctrine on occasion. Unlike the LDS Church, the Community of Christ does not have an active and populous Bloggernacle to help tell their story. [Update: On June 2nd, I learned that there is an unofficial Community of Christ blog called Saints Herald. They call themselves the Blogitorium, although it is just one blog with multiple posters instead of multiple blogs like the Bloggernacle.]

An excellent way to introduce those who are unfamiliar with the Community of Christ is through the video embedded below. In this video, church President Steve Veazey, one of the few in its history not to be a blood descendant of the Prophet Joseph Smith, issues an appeal to the young people of his church to get more involved and to communicate which direction they want to see the church head. Those familiar with the oratory style of the LDS General Authorities will notice some difference; while the LDS authorities tend to use a stentorian "Thus saith the Lord" tone, President Veazey comes across more like a middle-level corporate manager attempting to motivate his workers.

Barbara Walden, the director of the C of C's Kirtland Temple, weighs in on President Veazey's address on Saints Herald.

The Community of Christ website can be found HERE, and its Wikipedia entry HERE. Their basic beliefs are spelled out HERE. The nearest congregation can be located HERE. The Community of Christ offers a more progressive brand of Christianity than the LDS, while remaining faithful to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (also known as the Inspired Version), the Book of Mormon, and their version of the Doctrine and Covenants. In October of this year, they will be presenting their 16th annual Community of Christ International Peace Award to Dr. Halima Bashir, in honor of her work as a doctor and activist for women and children in Darfur. The award will be presented at 7:30 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 23rd, at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri.

Key differences between the LDS and the C of C:

(1). LDS uses the King James Bible, C of C uses the Inspired Version
(2). Each uses a slightly different version of the Doctrine & Covenants; C of C does not recognize the Pearl of Great Price as scripture.
(3). LDS defines tithing as one-tenth of gross income, while C of C defines it as one-tenth of "increase", or net income.
(4). LDS believes in celestial marriage and baptism for the dead, C of C does not perform these ordinances.
(5). LDS limits Priesthood ordination to males 12 and older, C of C ordains women to the Priesthood. Change not supported by previous scripture; the change occurred in 1984 and was announced by revelation to the C of C President.

Other differences, past and present, spelled out in this Wikipedia entry.

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