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Doctrine and Covenants 163


Saint Sinner

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This section of the Community of Christ's D&C is by far one of the most egalitarian, compassionate, and wonderful words of counsel that I have heard in a long time. This doesn't mean that LDS GAs haven't said anything inspiring but I felt that this Section spoke to my soul, my heart and my mind.

1. â??Community of Christ,â? your name, given as a divine blessing, is your identity and calling. If you will discern and embrace its full meaning, you will not only discover your future, you will become a blessing to the whole creation. Do not be afraid to go where it beckons you to go.

What an amazing mission for a Restoration church! I think this identity and calling far surpasses the original Reorganization and its message.

2 a. Jesus Christ, the embodiment of Godâ??s shalom, invites all people to come and receive divine peace in the midst of the difficult questions and struggles of life. Follow Christ in the way that leads to Godâ??s peace and discover the blessings of all of the dimensions of salvation.

b. Generously share the invitation, ministries, and sacraments through which people can encounter the Living Christ who heals and reconciles through redemptive relationships in sacred community. The restoring of persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth is at the heart of the purpose of your journey as a people of faith.

I often feel that I miss the mark on this counsel. Deep reflection causes me feel like I'm not doing enough for my brothers and sisters throughout the world.

3 a. You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ to be relationally and culturally incarnate. The hope of Zion is realized when the vision of Christ is embodied in communities of generosity, justice, and peacefulness.

b. Above all else, strive to be faithful to Christâ??s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth. Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God. Pursue peace.

c. There are subtle, yet powerful, influences in the world, some even claiming to represent Christ, that seek to divide people and nations to accomplish their destructive aims. That which seeks to harden one human heart against another by constructing walls of fear and prejudice is not of God. Be especially alert to these influences, lest they divide you or divert you from the mission to which you are called.

Have we forgotten about the peacable Kingdom of God? Have we forgotten justice? Is justice not deserving for the socially and religiously oppressed?

CARM reminds me of the type of organizations that are wolves in sheeps clothing.

4 a. God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not Godâ??s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare.

b. The earth, lovingly created as an environment for life to flourish, shudders in distress because creationâ??s natural and living systems are becoming exhausted from carrying the burden of human greed and conflict. Humankind must awaken from its illusion of independence and unrestrained consumption without lasting consequences.

This reminds me of so many people who are broken and feel that there is no hope. This is a call I feel we LDS should answer generally and specifically. This is also a representation of the emmaculate love God has for all his children.

5 a. The Council of Twelve is urged to enthusiastically embrace its calling as apostles of the peace of Jesus Christ in all of its dimensions. The Twelve are sent into the world to lead the churchâ??s mission of restoration through relevant gospel proclamation and the establishment of signal communities of justice and peace that reflect the vision of Christ. As the apostles move out in faith and unity of purpose, freeing themselves from other duties, they will be blessed with an increased capacity for sharing Christâ??s message of hope and restoration for creation.

I think this is correctly in-line with the mandate of the Twelve.

6 b. Truly authoritative priesthood ministry emerges from a growing capacity to bring blessing to others. Unfortunately, there are some who have chosen to view priesthood as a right of privilege or as a platform for promoting personal perspectives. Others hold priesthood as a casual aspect of their lives without regard to appropriate levels of preparation and response.

I believe this is a call to break down authoritarianism. I agree with Pres. Veazey, priesthood is not to be used as a platform for promoting personal perspectives. I believe Ecclesiastical Abuse would fall under this category. One's position in the church does not determine the validity of counsel. The counsel must be weighed with conscience and the Spirit.

6 c. The expectation for priesthood to continually magnify their callings through spiritual growth, study, exemplary generosity, ethical choices, and fully accountable ministry is always present. How can the Spirit fill vessels that are unwilling to expand their capacity to receive and give according to a full measure of Godâ??s grace and truth?

I like the idea of accountability and responsibility.

7 a. Scripture is an indispensable witness to the Eternal Source of light and truth, which cannot be fully 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.

b. Scripture is not to be worshiped or idolized. Only God, the Eternal One of whom scripture testifies, is worthy of worship. Godâ??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.

c. It is not pleasing to God when any passage of scripture is used to diminish or oppress races, genders, or classes of human beings. Much physical and emotional violence has been done to some of Godâ??s beloved children through the misuse of scripture. The church is called to confess and repent of such attitudes and practices.

d. Scripture, prophetic guidance, knowledge, and discernment in the faith community must walk hand in hand to reveal the true will of God. Follow this pathway, which is the way of the Living Christ, and you will discover more than sufficient light for the journey ahead.

This part of Section 163 speaks very much for itself. I agree that scripture should be taken with a grain of salt and not idolized. Often I have argued with mainstream Christians about the possibility of humans messing up the Bible. I now need to understand that maybe JS unintentionally may have gotten something wrong in the revelation process. This is merely speculation.

10 a. Collectively and individually, you are loved with an everlasting love that delights in each faithful step taken. God yearns to draw you close so that wounds may be healed, emptiness filled, and hope strengthened.

b. Do not turn away in pride, fear, or guilt from the One who seeks only the best for you and your loved ones. Come before your Eternal Creator with open minds and hearts and discover the blessings of the gospel anew. Be vulnerable to divine grace.

This is by far one of the best expressions of God's love for his children that has ever been vocalized...IMO of course.

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Does the Community of Christ still hold this on par with the Bible?

Hello Joseph,

I'm a seventy in the Community of Christ so I feel somewhat able to speak to your question. When you say "on par" with the Bible I must ask this question of you in order to seek a common foundation. Do you see the Book of Mormon or the Pearl of Great Price on par with the Bible?

For me, all scripture is on par with the rest when it points us to our Eternal Christ and the Fathers will. We believe (my opinion) that all scripture is only as good as it achieves these two results. Currently, the Church is actively exploring section 163 and what this means for the church since it was "received" March 2007.

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Hello Joseph,

I'm a seventy in the Community of Christ so I feel somewhat able to speak to your question. When you say "on par" with the Bible I must ask this question of you in order to seek a common foundation. Do you see the Book of Mormon or the Pearl of Great Price on par with the Bible?

For me, all scripture is on par with the rest when it points us to our Eternal Christ and the Fathers will. We believe (my opinion) that all scripture is only as good as it achieves these two results. Currently, the Church is actively exploring section 163 and what this means for the church since is was "received" March 2007.

I'm curious...why is "received" in quotes? Do you doubt whether its origins are divine or not?

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Hello Joseph,

I'm a seventy in the Community of Christ so I feel somewhat able to speak to your question. When you say "on par" with the Bible I must ask this question of you in order to seek a common foundation. Do you see the Book of Mormon or the Pearl of Great Price on par with the Bible?

For me, all scripture is on par with the rest when it points us to our Eternal Christ and the Fathers will. We believe (my opinion) that all scripture is only as good as it achieves these two results. Currently, the Church is actively exploring section 163 and what this means for the church since is was "received" March 2007.

Yes, I believe that the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price is on par with the Bible. As well as our edition of the D&C.

Did the President claim to have received section 163 from God? What do you mean "actively exploring"?

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Did the President claim to have received section 163 from God? What do you mean "actively exploring"?

Yes, our current Prophet/President presented this to the church as being the mind and will of God for us today. This is part of what he offered to the church as introduction:

"Every day since being ordained as Prophet/President, I have carried the needs of the church on my heart. Sometimes the weight of concern has seemed almost unbearable. Perhaps this is as it should be, because the heaviness of responsibility has pressed me to seek to mind and will of God as never before. Striving to be open to the guidance of the Spirit, while attempting to lay aside my own preconcieved notions, has been a challenging but necessary learning experience...Therefore, it is in deep humility and with heartfelt gratitude to God that I offer the following counsel as a witness of God's eternal purpose and continuing activity in the life of the church. In so doing, I place these words in the church's hands, trusting that the Spirit will enable the faith community to hear the call of God today with increasing clarity..." Stephen Veazey Prophet/President

So what do I mean by "actively exploring"? Many of the revelations received by the church, the Bible and Book of Mormon have been with us in some cases since the beginning. We have had a lifetime to pray about, study, and live these revelations. But this has been in our midst only two years and was given to us for our day and time. So it is important (my opinion) for us to "actively explore" how this builds on what was previously given, how it clarifies counsel given in days past, and what God is seeking for us today.

Hope this makes sense...

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“Community of Christ,” your name, given as a divine blessing, is your identity and calling. If you will discern and embrace its full meaning, you will not only discover your future, you will become a blessing to the whole creation. Do not be afraid to go where it beckons you to go.
For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations. And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth. (D&C 115:5-7)

The name of the church already has been given and, as you can see, it's not a community; it's a church. And the Lord has stated regarding the ways that are not His: "They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world...." The true church of Christ does not go where its name beckons, but in the ways the Lord directs it. If it doesn't, it walks in its own way and after the way of the world. The Community of Christ, as we've shown, doesn't possess the Keys of the Kingdom. If it wishes to be simply a community of those who wish to follow their own paths, it may do so. It may seek to ordain women to the priesthood and marginalize the Book of Mormon, but in the end it will only be little more than a club.

You are called to create pathways in the world for peace in Christ to be relationally and culturally incarnate. The hope of Zion is realized when the vision of Christ is embodied in communities of generosity, justice, and peacefulness. Above all else, strive to be faithful to Christ’s vision of the peaceable Kingdom of God on earth.
Therefore I say unto you, that he that will not hear my voice, the same shall ye not receive into my church, for him I will not receive at the last day. (Mosiah 26:28)

Hearken and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth. Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the Lord; for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to repent. For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh...." (D&C 133:16-17)

Doing a routine search of "my church" in the D&C, one finds references to faith, repentance, baptism, sealings, hearkening to those in authority and, in some circumstances, the threat of being "cut off." I see nothing "Christ's vision" of the "peaceable" Kingdom of God on Earth. In fact, I see nothing in the Community of Christ's "revelation" that can't also be found in various "Marian" manifestations:

"My children, My little humble children, I appeal to you as your Mother, go forward on foot, knock on the doors; bring the light to your brothers and sisters. For those who have been given great grace, much is expected of them." - Our Lady of the Roses, May 26, 1976

"As disciples of the latter days, My children, much shall be asked of you, but I assure you: all that you give in faith and charity shall be returned to you threefold." - Jesus, June 1, 1978

When Joseph Smith began recording his revelations, the Lord issued critics of those revelations a challenge to appoint a person whom they deemed wisest among them and see if he could not come up with "one like unto it" (D&C 67:7). William E. McLellin was then duly appointed and he tried, yet he failed. The so-called revelation received by the Community of Christ may have come from any one of a number of sources, but it was not of God. Neither do I find anything profound in it. What I perceive it to be is ear candy.

Courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends....

Whoever wrote this believes that Jesus was a social reformer, and that this is the church's calling in the last days. (It could have been written by President Obama.) But Jesus was not a social reformer. He did not send His elders out to "courageously challenge" social trends. He sent them out to teach, preach, expound, exhort and to baptize. Whoever proffers such a revelation knows nothing about the Lord's church, nor His commandments.

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The name of the church already has been given and, as you can see, it's not a community; it's a church. And the Lord has stated regarding the ways that are not His: "They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world...." The true church of Christ does not go where its name beckons, but in the ways the Lord directs it. If it doesn't, it walks in its own way and after the way of the world. The Community of Christ, as we've shown, doesn't possess the Keys of the Kingdom. If it wishes to be simply a community of those who wish to follow their own paths, it may do so. It may seek to ordain women to the priesthood and marginalize the Book of Mormon, but in the end it will only be little more than a club.

Hello Cold Steel,

Thank you for your assessment and I acknowledge your position.

From our prophetic experiences with God, the name denotes more than mere institution, it reflects our relationship with Jesus Christ and what he calls us to accomplish and become in him...a community of believers in Jesus Christ. Of course, this is not the image of the world. Many seek to use church instititions to separate people into acceptable verse unacceptable groups. Yet we believe that God loves ALL people and our call is in developing relationships with each other "in and through him".

Now what does it mean to possess the "Keys to the Kingdom"? For me, this denotes our call to establish the Kingdom of God on earth! But then I had an interesting encounter with the Lord where he shared that the Kingdom is not about us, but that the Kingdom is the Fathers gift to the Son. So the Kingdom is all about Jesus and a people who are passionate for him. Any "keys" we may have are actully the keys to Jesus heart and the power denotes the depth of closeness to him!

I understand that our ways are offensive to many and I have never sought to push them on anyone. We seek to be a "transparent" church where nothing is hidden and where the best we have is freely shared as Christ first shared with us!

The so-called revelation received by the Community of Christ may have come from any one of a number of sources, but it was not of God. Neither do I find anything profound in it. What I perceive it to be is ear candy.

Well, I wouldn't call it "ear candy" because what was laid out before us is impossible to accomplish without the Lord's help.

I also understand why some call it a "so-called" revelation and that is ok. I have read most of the revelations given to the Temple Lot church. They carry little weight on me as they do for those of the Temple Lot Church. Same with the Pearl of Great Price. Yet I can accept that these carry great weight for others.

This is the interesting aspect of prophetic revelation. If you only believe that God speaks to you, then you cannot believe he speaks to others. But then, if you only believe that God speaks to you, are you sure you really know him when his will is revealed to all who call on him and love the Lord?

Whoever wrote this believes that Jesus was a social reformer, and that this is the church's calling in the last days. (It could have been written by President Obama.) But Jesus was not a social reformer. He did not send His elders out to "courageously challenge" social trends. He sent them out to teach, preach, expound, exhort and to baptize. Whoever offers such a revelation knows nothing about the Lord's church, nor His commandments.

I like the aspect of Jesus being a social reformer! For that matter, I see Jesus as the great reformer for all the darkness which surrounds us! But I don't think President Obama could have written this since he is Muslim and does not profess the Lord Jesus Christ with all this heart (and I don't see him as prophetic either).

We may need to expand on what the disciples were called to preach! For me, I read in the scriptures that we are to preach nothing but repentance...and what are we to repent of? Of course our sins, but then everything which keeps us from fulfilling our creative purpose and potential in Christ Jesus!

Thanks for your reply!

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But I don't think President Obama could have written this since he is Muslim and does not profess the Lord Jesus Christ with all this heart (and I don't see him as prophetic either).

I am not an Obama fan by any stretch.......but he is not a Muslim and he does claim to be a Christian.

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But I don't think President Obama could have written this since he is Muslim and does not profess the Lord Jesus Christ with all this heart (and I don't see him as prophetic either).

I don't think statements like that fly around here.

I'm confused.....the COC has a living Prophet and he recently received this revelation

Correct.

or are there other revelations...like D&C 162 and 161,etc.?

Correct. Here's links to section 161 (dated 1996) and section 162 (dated 2004).

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From our prophetic experiences with God, the name denotes more than mere institution, it reflects our relationship with Jesus Christ and what he calls us to accomplish and become in him...a community of believers in Jesus Christ.

I understand your point, but isn't Christ's church supposed to do this? Early in our mutual church history, the Lord laid out just what it was that the church was supposed to do, and how it was supposed to do it. Being a House of Order, the church was established with authority from God. This authority is based in priesthood keys. These aren't actual keys in the sense of being physical, but they are passed along through the laying on of hands by those in authority. Peter received these keys, upon which all other authority is based. No one on Earth can baptize, ordain, seal or confirm without these keys, and all of them are actively held by only one man upon the Earth at one time.

About five years before Joseph Smith's death, he was told by the Lord that if he were faithful, that he had about five years of life left. As he approached the five-year mark, he became even more active, trying to accomplish as much as he could before his time. Just weeks before his death, he gathered the Twelve together and conferred these keys upon them. And he told them that it was their responsibility to "bear off" the Kingdom of God or, he added, "you will be damned."

In succeeding years, these keys stayed with the Quorum of the Twelve, the majority of which stayed with the saints. When Joseph Smith III decided to go with the Reorganization, he was ordained, but none of the men who ordained him had ever received these Keys of the Kingdom. His father also had not conferred those keys. Thus, no one had authority to ordain him or anyone else to anything. An elder, for example, cannot ordain another elder without the exercising of these keys; thus, when some saints went with the Reorganization, their ability to ordain and exercise their priesthood had expired.

The Lord had already stated what the name of His church would be in the last days. As you're likely aware, it had been known by other names before; however, in Section 115, the Lord ended the debate and named His church. It thus would be incongruous for Him to come up with still another name unless, of course, He intended to name another organization. But why would He do that?

Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time. Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come.... (D&C 90:2-3)

The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. (D&C 65:2)

For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times. (D&C 112:30)

I think we can agree that the keys cannot coexist with both President Thomas R. Monson and President Stephen M. Veazey. Either one would have them, or the other. In the LDS church, each member of the Quorum of the Twelve has these keys, but they are active only in the president of the church. When he dies, the First Presidency is dissolved and the president of the Twelve commands those keys, and either he leads the church or chooses a successor that the Lord dictates.

What I'm saying here is that there is no earthly way that President Veazey could have inherited those keys. The tone and tint of the Lord also seems markedly different in the early revelations than in those "revelations" produced by Veazey. Veazey seems to see the Lord, as I said, as a social reformer, whereas the Lord God of Joseph Smith seems to be concerned primarily in the building up of His Kingdom.

Yet we believe that God loves ALL people and our call is in developing relationships with each other "in and through him."

Amen to that. But those relationships are, and must be, on the Lord's terms and not ours. The Lord is clear that we must conform to His will.

Now what does it mean to possess the "Keys to the Kingdom"? For me, this denotes our call to establish the Kingdom of God on earth! But then I had an interesting encounter with the Lord where he shared that the Kingdom is not about us, but that the Kingdom is the Father's gift to the Son. So the Kingdom is all about Jesus and a people who are passionate for him. Any "keys" we may have are actually the keys to Jesus heart and the power denotes the depth of closeness to him!

The keys are those of authority. In Matthew, the Lord says to Peter: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The keys bind on Heaven and Earth. Each ordinance done on the Earth is recorded and exercised under a chain of command. Every temple that's dedicated, every work for the living or for the dead is done using these keys of authority.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated:

Keys are the right of presidency the directing, controlling, governing power. The keys of the kingdom are the power, right, and authority to preside over the kingdom of God on Earth (which is the Church) and to direct all of its affairs.

President Joseph F. Smith taught: "Every man ordained to any degree of the priesthood has this authority delegated to him. But it is necessary that every act performed under this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way, and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the priesthood.

"In their fulness, the keys are held by only one person at a time, the Prophet and President of the Church. He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which case that person holds the keys of that particular labor. Thus, the president of a temple, the president of a stake, the bishop of a ward, the president of a mission, the president of a quorum, each holds the keys of the labors performed in that particular body or locality. His priesthood is not increased by this special appointment, for a seventy who presides over a mission has no more priesthood than a seventy who labors under his direction; and the president of an elders quorum, for example, has no more priesthood than any member of that quorum. But he holds the power of directing the official labors performed in the mission or the quorum, or in other words, the keys of that division of that work. So it is throughout all the ramifications of the priesthood-a distinction must be carefully made between the general authority and the directing of the labors performed by that authority." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., p. 136.)

Through the ages various prophets have held various keys, by virtue of which they have been empowered to use their priesthood to perform specified labors. Adam holds the keys of presidency over all dispensations and is the presiding high priest (under Christ) over all the earth. (D&C 78:16; Teachings, pp. 157-158, 169.) Noah stands next to Adam in priesthood authority (Teachings, p. 157), and after these two come all the heads of the different gospel dispensations, together with a host of other mighty prophets. For example: Elijah held the keys of the sealing power in ancient Israel (D&C 27:9; 110:13-16; Mal. 4:5-6), as did Nephi the son of Helaman among the Nephites in the early years of the Christian Era. (Hela. 10:4-10.) One man named Elias held the keys of authority in the days of Abraham (D&C 110:12), while to another bearing the same name has been "committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days." (D&C 27:6.)

Moroni holds "the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim" (D&C 27:5); John the Baptist the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood and the gospel of repentance (D&C 13; 84:26-28); Moses those whereby the priesthood may be used to gather Israel and lead the Ten Tribes from the lands of the north (D&C 110:11); Peter, James, and John hold the keys of the kingdom and of the dispensation of the fulness of times (D&C 27:12-13; 128:20); and Raphael (whose mortal identity has not been revealed) holds the keys of his dispensation. (D&C 128:21.)

All of these and others-"divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time"-have come in the last days, "all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood. (D&C 128:21.) Thus Joseph Smith and his successors have been and are possessors of all of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, even as these were held by Peter and the ancient apostles (Matt. 16:19; 18:18), and accordingly those so endowed have power to govern all the affairs of the earthly kingdom and direct the administration of all the ordinances of salvation and exaltation for worthy recipients. (D&C 35:25; 42:69; 65; 90:2-3; 97:14; 115:19.)

"The keys of the kingdom...belong always unto the Presidency of the High Priesthood" (D&C 81:2), and only one man on earth at a time, the President of the Church, can exercise them in their fulness. (D&C 132:7.) This necessarily must be so because keys are the right of presidency and there cannot be two equal heads, otherwise the Lord's house would not be a house of order but of confusion. (D&C 132:8-12.) All of the keys of the kingdom, however, are conferred upon every man sustained as a member of the Council of the Twelve. (D&C 112:14-34; 124:128.) Thus when a member of the Council of the Twelve becomes the senior apostle of God on earth, he can exercise in their fulness the keys which theretofore have lain dormant in him. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 125-159.)

The keys of the kingdom-the right and power to govern the Lord's affairs for and on his behalf—have been held by prophets in all ages, but when the Lord comes to reign personally upon the earth during the millennial era, he will take back the keys. Those who have held them will make an accounting to him of their stewardships at the place called Adam-ondi-Ahman at which gathering Christ will receive "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him." (Dan. 7:13-14.) Eventually in the celestial day, "the keys of the kingdom shall be delivered up again unto the Father." (Inspired Version, Luke 3:8.)

Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed., p. 411-413

Perhaps the best summary statement cited above is by President Joseph Fielding Smith, who wrote: "Every man ordained to any degree of the priesthood has this authority delegated to him. But it is necessary that every act performed under this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way, and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the priesthood."

This is where the Reorganization lost its authority, in our view. Once the keys had departed, the authority of those who had the priesthood ceased to function. They still had the car, which was filled with gas and could go; but they lacked the keys that would let them use the car. You're correct in saying that the keys came from the Father to the Son, and at the close of the Millennium, the Son will return them, with his stewardship, to the Father and His work will be finished.

I understand that our ways are offensive to many and I have never sought to push them on anyone. We seek to be a "transparent" church where nothing is hidden and where the best we have is freely shared as Christ first shared with us!

It's wonderful to be transparent and open, but do you not see that either Joseph Smith had the keys of authority from the Son or he didn't? If he did, then those keys must reside with the legal church, the church named by the Son as being His. The Community of Christ lays claim to that heritage, but to gain legitimacy, it must discard elements of vital importance to the early church.

But then, if you only believe that God speaks to you, are you sure you really know him when his will is revealed to all who call on him and love the Lord?

If one looks at the New Testament scriptures and the Book of Mormon, one sees that God speaks to those whom He chooses. You can believe that God speaks to both, but then you must not be surprised when the messages of God become inconsistent, depending on who's receiving the Word.

I like the aspect of Jesus being a social reformer!

Well, it's all very politically correct, then. Jesus never preached against slavery or sought government funds for the poor. Instead, he urged slaves to be honorable and to obey their masters, and he urged His followers to relieve the poor and use the power of faith to heal the sick and afflicted. What was important to Him is that men seek out God as their priority on Earth. He left the social reforming to Gandhi and others.

I'm confused.....the COC has a living Prophet and he recently received this revelation or are there other revelations...like D&C 162 and 161,etc.?

Yes, the Community of Christ has a First Presidency and a Quorum of Twelve. They ordain women, as well, and some of the Twelve are women. And they publish their revelations. Of all the past presidents of the Reorganization, I admired Israel A. Smith the most. He did everything he could to further the Book of Mormon and the Reorganization. If he could see what it had turned into, he would be spinning in his grave.

Of course, I'm sure his work has been done.

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Ive read countless revelations and seen the power and majesty behind them. Heck, Ive seen felt the Spirit testify in some non scriptures. They have been light.

That section, however, was not light. There was no power with it. I have no doubt that there is good counsel in it to some degree. but it just doesnt feel like anything Joseph ever revealed. Where is the Spirit? Where is the light?

I had to also comment on this:

What an amazing mission for a Restoration church! I think this identity and calling far surpasses the original Reorganization and its message.

What on earth are you talking about? that verse didnt provide any sort of mission whatsoever, let alone an amazing one. Discern and embrace the meaning of Community of Christ? Is it really that difficult to understand? Maybe to conceptualize, but understand? Is that a mission? Doesnt seem like one. Maybe i just have a different idea of what a mission is.

I do need to ask. How can you build Zion without the authority to do so?

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I understand your point, but isn't Christ's church supposed to do this? Early in our mutual church history, the Lord laid out just what it was that the church was supposed to do, and how it was supposed to do it. Being a House of Order, the church was established with authority from God. This authority is based in priesthood keys. These aren't actual keys in the sense of being physical, but they are passed along through the laying on of hands by those in authority. Peter received these keys, upon which all other authority is based. No one on Earth can baptize, ordain, seal or confirm without these keys, and all of them are actively held by only one man upon the Earth at one time.

Hello Cold Steel,

Thanks you for your response. Please do not see this as my "arguing" with you. See this as MY OPINION alone. I respect your opinion and your graciousness in responding. Believe me when I say this is difficult for me, I DO NOT want to appear disrespectful to the LDS being in "your home". So it is easier for me to simply not respond when speaking of the Community of Christ in "your house". But since you asked, let me offer more for discussion sake.

I had a wondrous encounter with the Lord where he stressed the importance for me to understand the functioning purpose he had in mind for all mankind through the Restoration Movement. It was never about us! It was always about how we were to assist him in his great and marvelous work of "restoration".

Regarding "keys", we may need to re-think our belief that authority only rests within one institution. I say this because I have witnessed people walking in an authority that many of us do not hold a candle too (outside of our respective denominations)! The Lord will call whom he will call. Let me give you an example. I have personally heard children "prophesy" to me the counsel in my Patriarchal Blessing (and three of them were Gentiles). These people have "keys" to an authority that many of us are not operating in. It was very humbling to see, harder still to acknowledge when we are taught (respectively) in the past that we are the only ones with the Lords keys of authority to represent him.

But honestly, I am not concerned with the calling of others or what keys they may have or believe they have. In the end, I am only accountable for the gifts and authority entrusted with me. I have an easy test which I use to judge the level of authority someone has...do I experience the personal presence and power of the Holy Spirit through there touch or not? Do I hear Jesus speak through them or not? Am I a better person, freed from the darkness and filled with the Holy Spirit because they crossed my path or not? Is there any better way to judge someone's true authority or lack thereof by this simple test?

The Lord had already stated what the name of His church would be in the last days. As you're likely aware, it had been known by other names before; however, in Section 115, the Lord ended the debate and named His church. It thus would be incongruous for Him to come up with still another name unless, of course, He intended to name another organization. But why would He do that?

Thank you for acknowledging that the church did have many names in its past. Personally, I like what the Lord says through the Prophet Isaiah: "For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7). Where we will differ, I often wonder if the Lord intended to start an institution which in many ways has become a barrier between mankind and our God. For me, the church was first and foremost a "fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ". The problem came (my opinion) when institutions closed that spirit of fellowship making the institution an object of worship.

But in the end, a church name is not a point of contention with me. I have found and heard God speak to many people "not part of our group". He can call them whatever he desires and I'm simply happy that he's calling to them by a personal name which he knows them by!

I think we can agree that the keys cannot coexist with both President Thomas R. Monson and President Stephen M. Veazey. Either one would have them, or the other.

Well, I can agree that both can be prophetic and that God has called many others to be prophetic in our day! I know it's difficult to believe, but I have witnessed "children" and others not of our fold prophesy with amazing accuracy. For that matter, in 1831 Joseph offered a revelation stating that during the time of gathering "those who are in the north country will come to remembrance before the Lord and that their prophets shall hear his voice". (Doctrine and Covenants 108:6a rlds). Look at that again! Their prophets, not "a" prophet but that there will be many. For me, these two and all prophets will be proven true or false by there belief that they are the only one so gifted or that many are called by the Lord for this ministry.

This is where the Reorganization lost its authority, in our view. Once the keys had departed, the authority of those who had the priesthood ceased to function.

It's ok that some do not acknowledge my authority to represent Jesus Christ because of the church I attend. But it's not for me to "prove" because it's not about me or the Lords endorsement of me. It has everything to do with the Lord and any authority I have is the Lords endorsement of himself.

I did not come here to debate church authority. I came here to learn your beliefs so when asked I could speak from experience what I had learned. I understand and acknowledge that much of the LDS identity is based on chain of authority and being the one true church. Now from my heart, I have NO DESIRE to debate or argue this concept, I simply want to preach, teach, and show an unbridled passion for my first love Jesus Christ!

If one looks at the New Testament scriptures and the Book of Mormon, one sees that God speaks to those whom He chooses. You can believe that God speaks to both, but then you must not be surprised when the messages of God become inconsistent, depending on who's receiving the Word.

Well, it is more correct to say that I believe God speaks to far more than just "our" groups. Then too, all things will be confirmed through two or more witnesses. It's amazing when you find that confirmation coming from those outside of our groups.

Yes, the Community of Christ has a First Presidency and a Quorum of Twelve. They ordain women, as well, and some of the Twelve are women. And they publish their revelations. Of all the past presidents of the Reorganization, I admired Israel A. Smith the most. He did everything he could to further the Book of Mormon and the Reorganization. If he could see what it had turned into, he would be spinning in his grave.

Thank you for knowing enough about us to know that Israel Smith was one of our prophet/presidents! For some reason, I had a "night vision" where I was seated at a table with the Lord and Wallace Smith. The Lord told me many things that night which are still with me.

But I don't think Israel Smith is "spinning in his grave". My view of those who have gone on is that they are cheering us on, praying for our success, ever knowing that it is ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ who is in charge because in the end, it's his work, we are merely assisting!

Thanks for the response and the continued dialog! May God bless us is my prayer...

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My problem was that it seemed too sweet and congenial to me. This is not the way God communicated to Joseph, to Prophets in scripture, or to me. When I deal with God there's always something I fail to get. There's some nuance to the revelation that escapes me or even some bit that repulses me. This is how I grow. When I deal with God I always run into something more real then me. I run into something I don't want to do.

This passage seems too pat to me. Give it to 100 Americans and 99 of them will agree with the principles espoused (even if they don't believe in God). Do that with most of our scripture and take it literally and you won't get anywhere near the same response. After Jesus's comments about the world loving their own I'm wary of anything that would make the gospel popular. No condemnation, no hard commandments, no sharp warnings of the consequences of sin....it just doesn't sound like the God I worship and love.

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Thanks you for your response. Please do not see this as my "arguing" with you. See this as MY OPINION alone. I respect your opinion and your graciousness in responding. Believe me when I say this is difficult for me, I DO NOT want to appear disrespectful to the LDS being in "your home". ... I had a wondrous encounter with the Lord where he stressed the importance for me to understand the functioning purpose he had in mind for all mankind through the Restoration Movement. It was never about us! It was always about how we were to assist him in his great and marvelous work of "restoration".

I appreciate your willingness, too, in sharing your views and beliefs. It shows, however, that there are varying ways of looking at things. When I first joined the LDS church, I had two very good friends who were RLDS, and they were kind enough to introduce me to the President of their church, who was then Wallace Smith who was either the grandson or great grandson of Joseph Smith. And I dare say that I had more in common with them than, say, you, and I don't mean any disrespect at all in so saying. It just so happens. Anyway, they were more conservative in their views, and they weren't happy in the way the RLDS were heading. They could see the proverbial writing on the wall.

Regarding "keys", we may need to re-think our belief that authority only rests within one institution. I say this because I have witnessed people walking in an authority that many of us do not hold a candle to (outside of our respective denominations)! The Lord will call whom he will call. ... ...I am not concerned with the calling of others or what keys they may have or believe they have.

But, you see, the God of Joseph Smith did make it abundantly clear that the keys rested in just one institution. If one chooses to discount the prophet and to put aside all his dogma, one may certainly do that, but in so doing he robs Joseph Smith of his legacy. He was dogmatic. He was very concerned with keys of authority and in priesthood and in ordinances and in temples. If you take those things away, you end up with nothing. In other words, if these things mentioned in the Doctrine & Covenants are to be thrown aside and discarded, you undermine your own foundation.

In the end, I am only accountable for the gifts and authority entrusted with me. I have an easy test which I use to judge the level of authority someone has...do I experience the personal presence and power of the Holy Spirit through there touch or not? Do I hear Jesus speak through them or not? Am I a better person, freed from the darkness and filled with the Holy Spirit because they crossed my path or not? Is there any better way to judge someone's true authority or lack thereof by this simple test?

The gospel is, in the end, about salvation. One is not expected to judge the level of authority people have by their personal presence, or through any "touch" of the Holy Spirit. But if I'm wrong, then one needs to remove some revelations. Either remove the revelations of Joseph Smith or remove the revelations of Veazey. What I'm saying is that you can accept one, but not both.

The historic Joseph Smith was a man of quiet passion. As early as 1829, the Lord told him that he must be prepared to give his life for the cause of the gospel if need be. As he lay the foundations of the church, he did so with layer upon layer of authority, and he soon began speaking of building temples. By the time that the Nauvoo temple was being built, he was telling others that the Latter-day Saints would build temples wherever they went, and that during the Millennium, temples would dot the Earth. He introduced baptism for the dead, and when he did so, the saints went streaming down to the Missouri River and began randomly baptizing in behalf of loved ones. He had to explain that such ordinances were holy, and that they must be done in order, with records kept. He spelled out the temple ordinances and revealed them with a great deal of care, promising that through them, the saints would be taught to pray and to worship. For him, the gospel of Jesus Christ was a thing of beauty and order.

It wasn't, though, the ethereal, politically correct concept of a "fellowship of believers" who adopt whatever the modern trendy buzz words are, like diversity or inclusiveness, where God picks nice people in all religions and calls them to the ministry. This is nothing more than Protestantism repackaged in Restorationist wrapping. For example, Joseph Smith never would have said anything remotely like: "...in the end, a church name is not a point of contention.... I have found and heard God speak to many people 'not part of our group.' [God] can call them whatever he desires and I'm simply happy that he's calling to them by a personal name which he knows them by!"

So if you're going to have a Doctrine & Covenants, I think it should have the same "voice" and "message." That's what I think is missing here.

...in 1831 Joseph offered a revelation stating that during the time of gathering "those who are in the north country will come to remembrance before the Lord and that their prophets shall hear his voice". (Doctrine and Covenants 108:6a rlds). Look at that again! Their prophets, not "a" prophet but that there will be many. For me, these two and all prophets will be proven true or false by there belief that they are the only one so gifted or that many are called by the Lord for this ministry.

Yes, that revelation is one of my favorites, but getting right to the point, "prophets" and "presidents" of the church are not the same. All presidents of the church are prophets, but not all prophets are presidents. The prophets here referenced are not part of schisms, but operate under the same keys of the priesthood as anyone else. The RLDS, Temple Lot group and others, on the other hand, are schisms, and operate in violation of the keys of authority Christ has conveyed to His church.

I did not come here to debate church authority. I came here to learn your beliefs so when asked I could speak from experience what I had learned. I understand and acknowledge that much of the LDS identity is based on chain of authority and being the one true church. Now from my heart, I have NO DESIRE to debate or argue this concept, I simply want to preach, teach, and show an unbridled passion for my first love, Jesus Christ!

And you are welcome. But you know, my love of Christ also is partly nested not only in the Atonement, but in the love shown to us by the Lord in the establishment of His church. I admonish you to read the words of the revelations and hold fast to those that are true. And though you don't wish to debate authority, when you hold up competing revelations to the LDS and ask for comments, you pretty much have to be prepared to discuss the possible sources of those revelations. From a comparative religion standpoint, they're fascinating; but as competing revelation, I find them at odds with the consistency of the revelations of God to His church.

Peace!

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And I dare say that I had more in common with them than, say, you, and I don't mean any disrespect at all in so saying. It just so happens. Anyway, they were more conservative in their views, and they weren't happy in the way the RLDS were heading. They could see the proverbial writing on the wall.

Hello Cold Steel,

No offense taken! I too find myself with both similar and differing beliefs than others. For that matter, I have found (and worshipped with) LDS members whom I found extremely charismatic almost to the point of being Pentecostal! I strive to be moderate, ever finding "the center" and not the extremes. My experience has shown that those on the far spectrum of beliefs (both conservative and liberal) are constantly at battle with others.

With those you mentioned I too see the proverbial writing on the wall. Yet the writing I read from the "center" has been different. For me, Jesus will be true to the promises he made. I can have full and complete trust in him and not worry about how man seeks to mess everything up trying to find him in the far left or right. I hope this makes sense.

But, you see, the God of Joseph Smith did make it abundantly clear that the keys rested in just one institution. If one chooses to discount the prophet and to put aside all his dogma, one may certainly do that, but in so doing he robs Joseph Smith of his legacy. He was dogmatic. He was very concerned with keys of authority and in priesthood and in ordinances and in temples. If you take those things away, you end up with nothing. In other words, if these things mentioned in the Doctrine & Covenants are to be thrown aside and discarded, you undermine your own foundation.

This may be true if we seek our identity in an institution. But from my experience, the institution can become a barrier between us and the Lord. In July 1837, Joseph offered as the mind and will of God that a great shaking would come "and upon my house shall it begin and from my house shall it go forth. First among those among you who have professed to know my name and have not known me..."

There is a reason why the Lord is going to shake his house and that is because the church (in many ways) leads people to the institution and not to the Lord. It has become an idol and an object of worship when we fail to see it for its intended purpose of Restoration. In my opinion, the church should be seen as a "school for exploratory living with Jesus". Yet we use it as a closed door with how these keys are used.

I do not undermine my foundation (my opinion) because it was never in an institution. Rather my foundation is first and foremost in our Eternal Christ, how he uses these things (priesthood, sacraments, revelation) in bringing people in to a fuller relationship with him, and his greater church (The Church of the Firstborn, the House of Israel, The Bride of Christ). I understand and acknowledge that we view "church" in different terms.

The gospel is, in the end, about salvation. One is not expected to judge the level of authority people have by their personal presence, or through any "touch" of the Holy Spirit. But if I'm wrong, then one needs to remove some revelations. Either remove the revelations of Joseph Smith or remove the revelations of Veazey. What I'm saying is that you can accept one, but not both.

For me, when we say the gospel is the "good news", it is a message of the complete Jesus Christ. Many look to him merely for salvation when we die. But I have found that Jesus brings me much more. I am saved because I have taken upon my self his name. Now I want to die to self and live completely in him all the days of my life! I want to love as he loves, to be humble as he is humble, to show mercy as he shows mercy.

So I can accept any revelation of him which reveals more of who he is and what he can mean to me (knowing that all his words are confirmed by two or more witnesses)! But then I have found that I can "judge" the level of authority individuals have realizing how all are called with few being chosen. You can tell the difference in those chosen, you can experience the difference just by being with them. For me, no revelations need to be removed because confirmation of this is found in scripture (and our revelation of the truth by being with these ministers of vast presence)!

It wasn't, though, the ethereal, politically correct concept of a "fellowship of believers" who adopt whatever the modern trendy buzz words are, like diversity or inclusiveness, where God picks nice people in all religions and calls them to the ministry. This is nothing more than Protestantism repackaged in Restorationist wrapping. For example, Joseph Smith never would have said anything remotely like: "...in the end, a church name is not a point of contention.... I have found and heard God speak to many people 'not part of our group.' [God] can call them whatever he desires and I'm simply happy that he's calling to them by a personal name which he knows them by!"

"Fellowship of believers..." For me, this is what the church is to resemble, a fellowship and not an institution. I have experienced this fellowship with many "not of our fold" (denomination). I was counseled by God to find "harmony with diversity" and I have seen this manifest itself through my interactions with those of many different cultures.

Yes, that revelation is one of my favorites, but getting right to the point, "prophets" and "presidents" of the church are not the same. All presidents of the church are prophets, but not all prophets are presidents. The prophets here referenced are not part of schisms, but operate under the same keys of the priesthood as anyone else. The RLDS, Temple Lot group and others, on the other hand, are schisms, and operate in violation of the keys of authority Christ has conveyed to His church.

I acknowledge that for many LDS, everyone not LDS is seen as a schism. I also acknowledge that for many LDS, no one outside of your denomination could possibly have authority to represent Jesus Christ. No testimony that I could offer would sway you and would only appear as an argument.

But for me, we in many cases look to a â??presidentâ? as head of the church when there is only one head of the church...Jesus Christ.

And though you don't wish to debate authority, when you hold up competing revelations to the LDS and ask for comments, you pretty much have to be prepared to discuss the possible sources of those revelations. From a comparative religion standpoint, they're fascinating; but as competing revelation, I find them at odds with the consistency of the revelations of God to His church.

Just a point of clarification. I did not start this thread, but I participated in it. With all due respect for the one starting this thread, I would never do that, believing it would show disrespect going to someone elseâ??s house and presenting revelation given to another.

I hope you accept my beliefs and comments in the spirit in which it is given! Forgive me if some of this seemed "short". I wanted to show respect for all you had written, but was concerned with this becoming too long.

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I have read the doctrine and covenants many times as Joseph Smith Received them. Meaning the edition that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints publishes.

I'm sorry to say, but I find this so called revelation so watered down that it doesn't match the tone or power of the revelations as found in the Doctrine and Covenants. The God I listen to in the D&C is already encouraging, powerful, intolerant of sin, and promises to burn the wicked. Also he has already given the church a name (Did he change his mind?).

The language of this revelation completely contradicts the tone, tenor, style and substance of what was revealed to Joseph Smith.

I think the Community of Christ Church has a real disconnect with the Prophet Joseph Smith. I think they are really trying to marginalize him and his teachings: In effect trying to hoist their church onto another foundation.

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Is it just me, or are there some subtle digs at our position on gay marriage?

Please forgive me if it appeared that I was making any "dig" subtle or not at the LDS Church. I have tried being extremely respectful in "your house", keeping my personal opinion regarding LDS beliefs and practices to myself.

But if it helps, I am not a supporter of gay marriage and find this practice unfortunate.

I'm sorry to say, but I find this so called revelation so watered down that it doesn't match the tone or power of the revelations as found in the Doctrine and Covenants. The God I listen to in the D&C is already encouraging, powerful, intolerant of sin, and promises to burn the wicked. Also he has already given the church a name (Did he change his mind?).

The language of this revelation completely contradicts the tone, tenor, style and substance of what was revealed to Joseph Smith.

I think the Community of Christ Church has a real disconnect with the Prophet Joseph Smith. I think they are really trying to marginalize him and his teachings: In effect trying to hoist their church onto another foundation.

Hello Programmer,

I can appreciate what you offered here. For many, King James was the greatest prophet of all time introducing us to "God talk". Meaning, if scripture is not offered in the King James english, God didn't speak it (because we know that is how God talks!) It also appears that most of us are familiar with the God of the "Old Covenant", the Law of Moses, and we do not know the Lord Jesus Christ of the "New Covenant".

We are a very militant people and our history shows how easy it is for us to "go to war for God". We like a God who burns people in hell! But that is not the Jesus revealed in the New Covenant. He says we are to lay down our lives for another, to take up a cross and suffer for them. The peace of Jesus is no fun and we just don't know how to "hear him" speak in these terms. But then this revelation was given to another and has no power over the LDS. It was given (my opinion) to encourage people to develop a heart to save the lost, to preach freedom to the captive, and bring sight to the blind. To bring people to Jesus and not to any particular denomination.

Now I do appreciate your comment about the Community of Christ trying to hoist our foundation onto another foundation! For me, it must always be about Jesus Christ. He really is that lovely and worthy of our full attention, praise, and devotion. It does (at times) appear that Joseph Smith is raised to the level of deity. Now this is just me...you can have everything, just give me Jesus! He is my first, foremost, and true love.

Anyway, just my thoughts this Monday morning... :P

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Saint and Thunderfire, thank you for sharing the text and your testimonies. It is more than obvious that you are servants of Christ and that He knows you and works through you, and that you know Him. I learned something from the text, and I did discern light in it. I'm not saying I had an epiphany, but the things I read are well within actions and a point of view that I am led to within my personal covenants with Jesus Christ.

My testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the actual "church" portion of this great work -- becomes stronger with every passing year. To me the church is a gate and a gathering. It is a place for the weakest of humans, so that all people, no matter where they are at in their spiritual journey, can be saved and assisted in more of the journey. I know of no other place on the earth where I can find the covenant(s) I have made with Jesus Christ and the power of redemption and sanctification received from those covenants, except in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am also convinced that the spirit of the Father and of Christ works throughout the earth in many ways and in many organizations, including other churches and religions. I usually conceive of this as being a funnel that ultimately and eventually leads to the door of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, I'm a great believer in the power of now; and I see God's deliverance as being Now, not some slot I fill in some eternal judgment (although my eternal life has begun now and will continue forever with increasing celestiality, because of the atonement of Jesus Christ). So I believe God reaches his children in whatever way He will.

I think the use of the term "social reformer" is too reductive both in from what is in that text and also what God asks us to do. We do need to have real effects in the world and be willing to help the "one" and yet be willing to dissent from the systems of men and devils and try to create new systems closer to the message Jesus Christ has given. We are to help create a Zion BEFORE the arrival of Christ. Is this Zion creation given to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ONLY? I know that it isn't. I know that the spirit of God is moving all across the earth and people from all religions and non-religious are being invested with a spirit of peace and unity, and they are doing something about it in their personal lives, family lives and in their communities. If the Community of Christ wants to lay out an intention to be pro-actively involved in this, Jesus Christ can only be pleased, and it would be evident by such fruit that, at the very least, the light of Christ was involved and the motivator for such an intent and work (and text). (God gives all people -- and organizations -- what they are willing to receive. He withdraws what they are not willing to receive. This is not necessarily a total condemnation, yet a damnation (lost-ness) from the whole picture.)

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I can appreciate what you offered here. For many, King James was the greatest prophet of all time introducing us to "God talk". Meaning, if scripture is not offered in the King James english, God didn't speak it (because we know that is how God talks!) It also appears that most of us are familiar with the God of the "Old Covenant", the Law of Moses, and we do not know the Lord Jesus Christ of the "New Covenant".

I think the issue is one of message and not of language. Translating the LDS D&C into modern English it still does not sound like this RLDS revelation.

We are a very militant people and our history shows how easy it is for us to "go to war for God".

Are you from a non-U.S. nation?

We like a God who burns people in hell!

I don't. I despise people who try to make hell seem tolerable.

But that is not the Jesus revealed in the New Covenant. He says we are to lay down our lives for another, to take up a cross and suffer for them

True, but Jesus is also the primary source for our doctrine on hell. Paul and the OT don't discuss it much.

The peace of Jesus is no fun and we just don't know how to "hear him" speak in these terms.

It's great fun.

But then this revelation was given to another and has no power over the LDS. It was given (my opinion) to encourage people to develop a heart to save the lost, to preach freedom to the captive, and bring sight to the blind. To bring people to Jesus and not to any particular denomination.

Jesus must be sought but to make the denomination a kind of optional add-on is a mistake.

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Hello Joseph,

I'm a seventy in the Community of Christ so I feel somewhat able to speak to your question. When you say "on par" with the Bible I must ask this question of you in order to seek a common foundation. Do you see the Book of Mormon or the Pearl of Great Price on par with the Bible?

For me, all scripture is on par with the rest when it points us to our Eternal Christ and the Fathers will. We believe (my opinion) that all scripture is only as good as it achieves these two results. Currently, the Church is actively exploring section 163 and what this means for the church since it was "received" March 2007.

Who "received" it?

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I think the issue is one of message and not of language. Translating the LDS D&C into modern English it still does not sound like this RLDS revelation.

I can appreciate you comment and honesty Nehor. Thank you for the response!

Please do not see my following comments as being negative toward another. I speak only to the Community of Christ. When you read this "revelation", see if from the eyes of those called to be an open, transparent fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ. Everything we do is in the open. I had a "waking vision" with the Lord. It was unlike anything I had experienced where I heard the audible voice of the Lord speak to me. He wanted to show me the "sorrows" of the world, his passion for the people to come to him, and his desires for me to share this with and for him.

It was never about getting people to make a committment with a denomination. It was totally about bringing people into his living presence. Yes, we are told that the Lord "disciplines" those he loves (Hebrews 12:5), but he also opens his heart to those who long for his heart. This is what we "hear" in this revelation and the language the Lord is speaking.

We are told, "Generously share the invitation, ministries, and sacraments through which people can encounter the Living Christ who heals and reconciles through redemptive relationships in sacred community". We are told to "share the peace of Jesus Christ in all its dimensions". Together this leads us to be a people introducing the world to the complete Jesus Christ. To use the ministries of the church in allowing people to experience the wisdom, patience, mercy, and healing spirit of the one whose name is over the door!

Jesus must be sought but to make the denomination a kind of optional add-on is a mistake.

IN MY OPINION, it is possible to do church work which doesn't benefit the Lord. But it's impossible to do the work of the Lord which doesn't benefit the church. So for me, the denomination MUST be secondary to the Lord and must never become our primary focus. If that happens, it is no different than an idol or object of worship. But when seen as a tool in the Lord's hand, a "school for exploratory living with him", and how the sacraments an ministries are set forth for developing persons of eternal character, we can appreciate the church for what it "does" in our building of relationships with Jesus and with each other.

I understand how my "language" is difficult for many to understand. How my passion for Jesus transcends all things. But this is just me and my opinon, being one who stood in his presence and continually marvel at just how wonderful and lovely Jesus is!

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