Visitors coming to us from other Restoration traditions often bring questions about Community of Christ's relationship with an admittedly messy history. You can read more at the World Church website, but here are nine principles in a nutshell:
Continuing exploration of our history is part of identity formation.
History informs but does not dictate our faith and beliefs.
The church encourages honest, responsible historical scholarship.
The study of church history is a continuing journey.
Seeing both the faithfulness and human flaws in our history makes it more believable and realistic, not less.
The responsible study of church history involves learning, repentance, and transformation.
The church has a long-standing tradition that it does not legislate or mandate positions on matters of church history.
We need to create a respectful culture of dialogue about matters of history.
Our faith is grounded in God's revelation in Jesus Christ and the continuing guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Community of Christ respects and honors the contributions and leadership of Joseph Smith, Jr. as its founder and original prophet-president while disavowing some of the later practices he implemented.
As the church continues to grow and develop in response to the needs of an ever-changing world, we find little purpose in hyper-focusing on the past. We use it to help us recognize our roots, learn from mistakes, and continue to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.