I have seen many people ask for a sort of “starting place” to become acquainted with Community of Christ. I have had various things that I have pointed people to, but I thought it might be a good idea to create a centralized place for all of my recommendations!
Please be aware: I have compiled a lot of resources here. This is as simple or as comprehensive as you want it to be. If you are going for simple, I would read Sharing in Community of Christ, and pick out Project Zion Podcast episodes or Carla Long’s videos which interest you.
Bible: Community of Christ is a member of the National Council of Churches, which is kind of like a coalition of a bunch of Christian sects. The NCC developed the New Revised Standard Version of the bible, and that is the version of the bible that is most commonly quoted in Community of Christ today. However, other versions are very welcomed.
The Book of Mormon: Community of Christ has 2 official versions of the Book of Mormons: The “Authorized Version” and the “Revised Authorized Version“. The latter has some grammatical tweaks that make the story flow a bit better (as I illustrate here), but they’re essentially the same. I am also working on a contemporary-english version here. It should be noted that the chapter and versing system was developed independent of the LDS church’s chapters and verses, and so the two traditions’ referencing system doesn’t match. You can buy physical copies of the BoM here.
The Doctrine and Covenants: Community of Christ, on average, adds a new section to its D&C every 2 years. Currently there are 165 sections. This is a member-created website of all the sections, this is where you can buy physical copies, and this is where you can buy a digital copy.
The Inspired Version: Community of Christ has the entire “Joseph Smith Translation” of the Bible, and can be purchased here.
Sharing in Community of Christ
“Sharing in Community of Christ” is probably the best starting place. It is the collaborative result of many leaders, teams, and individuals to concisely convey and explore CoC’s identity, mission, message, and beliefs. Some particularly noteworthy extracts include:
The Mission Initiatives, which we believe are the aspects of Christ’s mission, and therefore our mission.
The Mission Prayer, which is a commonly-used mantra for us to meditate on as we pray.
Basic Beliefs, which touch briefly on many different topics
Temples as Life-giving Symbol, which summarizes what the temple is and what it means to us. There are no secret rituals which are performed in the temples.
We Proclaim Jesus Christ, which is a summary of our relationship with Christ.
The 9 Scripture Affirmations, which summarize what scripture is and isn’t for us.
Perspectives on Church History, which summarizes our relationship with our past.
Content I’ve Created
I joined Community of Christ, specifically the online Beyond the Walls congregation, on February 6th, 2021, and was confirmed over a streamed service which you can watch here. I have been passionately studying Community of Christ history, theology, and culture since then! I have created a number of things which i feel are valuable resources:
“Joining a Church You’ve Never Been to” is my 2021 Sunstone presentation. It is a summary of my spiritual journey and Community of Christ history.
“Eschatology in Community of Christ Though the Ages” is my 2022 Sunstone Presentation. It is a summary of Community of Christ’s relationship with the afterlife from 1829 to the present.
The Book of Mormon: Plain and Precious Truths, which is my project to create an inclusive and plain english version of the Book of Mormon.
John Hamer Lectures
John Hamer grew up LDS and has since joined Community of Christ and become a Seventy and also the pastor of the Toronto, Canada congregation. He is a historian, mapmaker, and graphic artist who has done a wonderful job of conveying many topics which span our history, theology, and culture. He has appeared on many podcasts, but also helps posts weekly lectures on his congregation’s YouTube page (and are consolidated in a list here). The following are some of my favorite videos he has helped produce:
Undefining ‘God’, which helped me give up pre-conceived notions of who and what God was and allowed me to explore healthier conceptions which better resonate with me.
The Bible As Seen through Reformation Lenses, which drastically shifted my understanding of scripture.
The Historical Jesus, which provides an overview of what can and cannot be known about the historical Jesus and will talk about the difference between the portrait painted by academic history, the portraits painted by scripture, and the experience of the divine Christ as understood by Christians.
Homosexuality and the Bible, which takes a look at what the Bible does and doesn’t have to say about homosexuality. In contrast to the claims of many Evangelical Christians, the component texts of the Bible do not condemn same-sex orientation.
Joseph Smith the Seer, which seeks to cut through the mythic portrayal of the young Joseph Smith Jr. to try to understand him in his historical context.
Community of Christ’s Special Calling in the 21st Century, where he outlines his belief in the value of inclusive community institutions in a polarized world that is rapidly turning its back on progressive institutional churches
Project Zion is a coffee-themed podcast which talks about Community of Christ culture, history, scriptural interpretations, current events, church finances, life experiences, and all sorts of stuff. It frequently features seventies, apostles, and members of the first presidency. A full list of its 400+ episodes can be found here, but here are some of my favorites:
Bishop Carla Long’s Youtube Channel
Carla Long is a Bishop and also a pastor (the two aren’t necessarily the same thing). She has a youtube channel where she touches on topics that are very pressing for many people in videos that are typically under 5 minutes long. You can find all of her videos here, but these are the ones that stood out to me:
Does God Want Your Obedience?: Carla explains that “obedience” is typically essentially used as a threat, which is not how God works.
Are You Worthy of God’s Love?: “Your worth does not grow or diminish because of who you are, what you believe, whom you love, or what you do. There is nothing, nothing, nothing you can do that would make God love you any more or any less than God already does.”
Is It Time to Rethink God?: “God is much, much, much more than an old man on a throne, or a beautiful forest, or even a hug between two people. God has many different faces. … It becomes blasphemous when a religion or a person or a church says that they know exactly who God is.”
The Fall of the One True Church: Carla explains the pitfalls of the “One True Church” mentality and how she and Community of Christ gave it up.
De-Weaponizing Scripture: “… If you are using scripture to make sure that you stand out from another person to show them what you were doing is right and another is doing is wrong; if you’re using the Bible to put someone on the other side of a line that you have drawn in the sand, then you aren’t using scripture correctly. You are weaponizing scripture, and that is simply wrong.”
Don’t Doubt Your Doubts: Using the story of Abraham, Carla illustrates how doubts are an important factor of growing spiritually.
Beyond the Walls Social Hour, a place to chat every Thursday at 7PM (Mountain time)
Beyond the Walls facebook group, the digital wing of the Toronto, Canada congregation – NOTE: You are able to join and be an active member of this congregation from anywhere you are in the world.
Latter-day Seekers, a Community of Christ group for people with an LDS background
The Faithful Disagreement Policy, which affirms our right to dissent
Temple Tuesday, which explores the temple in Independence, Missouri with all of its meanings
Community of Christ Dialogue, the largest general-purpose Community of Christ facebook group
Latter Day Truth, which has digitized a huge portion of historical church resources
CofC Stuff Webvault, which is an archive of some historic contemporary sermons.
Herald House, which is the church’s publishing arm and has many good books.
World Conference Resolutions, which are statements that the delegates of the church have voted to pass.
Our Ministry Tools, which is a consolidated place for policies and procedures