A Mormon’s Survival Guide

by Andrew Webber

This blog entry is specifically for my friends who are LDS and may be contemplating
attending Community of Christ. I hope this also is able to bring a new perspective to my
friends in Community of Christ, so that they may become better at reaching out to our
LDS friends and truly making them feel welcomed at the table. I hope that both
communities can use these tips and hopes that we can come together in “community” of
Christ.

Survival Tip One: Don’t Trust Everything on the Internet.
My journey with Community Christ started with the internet. I had been vaguely aware
of Community of Christ growing up, but I had heard lots of rumors. Rumors such as:
“they no longer believe in the Book of Mormon, they believe Joseph Smith was a fallen
prophet, and they no longer believe in the restoration.” There are many other things I’ve
heard said, but these are the main falsehoods that are spread about Community of
Christ. As you search the internet, you will find some Community of Christ members
who may back up these claims, but keep in mind they only speak for themselves. The
church’s official webpage acknowledges the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and The
Restoration. All of them are seen as very important parts to the development of
Community of Christ. There are countless of people who believe in the Book of Mormon,
Joseph Smith, and The Restoration just as strongly as LDS members, but there are those
who don’t. This at first can be very confusing to us who share an LDS background. It’s
hard for us to understand how this can possibly work and at times it can be frustrating
to Community of Christ members on both sides, but remember Community of Christ
affirms the Worth of All People and all our welcome at the table. If you have an LDS
background and you have a strong testimony of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and
the Restoration don’t be afraid to share that with others. There are plenty of Community
of Christ members who feel just as strongly about it as you.

Survival Tip Two: Open Yourself to Receive God’s Message
When I first started attending my local CofC congregation I was listening for someone to
reference the Book of Mormon. Week after week passed and I heard nothing. Then one
Sunday someone spoke from 3rd Nephi and I was like “finally!” Looking back on it, I
missed a lot of important messages because I was fixated on wanting a book referenced.
Remember that Community of Christ does affirm the Bible as the scriptural foundation
of the church. The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants serve as additional
witnesses of Christ’s love and mercy, so don’t be surprised if the Book of Mormon is not
mentioned the Sunday you attend or if you attend for awhile and don’t hear it. Be
patient and allow yourself to receive God’s message. Remember scripture is not to be
worshiped.

Survival Tip Three: Introduce Yourself
When you attend the LDS church for the first time everyone wants to talk to you and
they want to know what they can do for you and if they can share with you the “gospel.”
The Community of Christ does not proselytize, so it may be likely that no one will
pressure you to sit down, so they can share the “gospel” with you. Don’t take this the
wrong way. They’re just not that interested in converting you. However, you may want
to speak to someone about the church in further detail especially the church in your
local area. There are a few things you can do. Some congregations have slips that you
can fill out with your information you can do that and wait for someone to contact you,
or you can introduce yourself to the “pastor” or a person presiding. Tell them you want
to know more, and they will share with you. So, don’t be shy and don’t wait for someone
to actively pursue you. Pursue them first!

Survival Tip Four: Jesus Must Be Your Foundation
John 14:6 clearly states: “I’m the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me.” Jesus is the foundation. While there are many things and
mediums in which we can communicate with God we must acknowledge that ultimately
he is what he says he is. Joseph Smith when asked about his religion said: “The
fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets,
concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and
ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only
appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost,
the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the
restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.” (Elders’ Journal, July
1838, p. 44) We make things so difficult. Tip Four is simply have Jesus as your
foundation.

Survival Tip Five: What would Joseph Smith Do?
By this time you probably have a lot of questions and you probably have been dealing
with the questions “What Should I Do?” “Where should I Go?” “What is right for my
family?” etc. Remember you’re not alone with these questions and great men and
women have struggled with the questions for centuries. When Joseph Smith was faced
with these same questions, he turned to James 1:5-6 “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…” As we know Joseph went into the grove and he
prayed. He had an experience that changed his life and forever changed the lives of
those who would know him as prophet. Final Survival Tip: Pray.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *