“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” –James 1:5
The following are some common questions people asked in regards to the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship.
Isn’t there only one Mormon Church?
No, there are well over 100 Latter Day Saint denominations and many of these consider themselves to be Mormon Christians. The Church of Christ, founded by Joseph Smith Jr., became disorganized upon his death. The “keys to the kingdom” were in the hands of a number of men, including but not limited to the apostles, James Strang, the Council of Seven, and Smith’s second counselor, Sidney Rigdon.
The oldest denomination based on the original church was organized in 1844 under the authority of an angel ordaining James Strang as the next prophet/president of the Church. A letter from Joseph Smith Jr. naming Strand his successor followed the ordination by week or so. The largest Mormon denomination was legally organized in 1851 when the 12 Apostles took a majority of members out west. There they started a new church with a slight change to the name using the authority stated in their Doctrine and Covenants section 107:23-24. Sidney Rigdon was made equal in authority by God in DaC 87:3a CoC/RLDS and 90:6 CJCLdS.
Others had the same, more, or less keys given them by God through Joseph Smith Jr. and were called of God to continue the work that all may be edified in Christ. Not everyone was up to the task of going west, and not all desired to be or join with the polygamists. In addition, the Lord knew the heart of Brigham Young and ensured there would be branches of the Church of Jesus Christ that would give the keys of the priesthood to all that are worthy, regardless of race or gender. And, many branches rejected various keys restored by Joseph Smith Jr. all together, including the Latter-day Saint branch. By allowing for a number of branches of Zion to be created, the Lord ensured that more souls could come unto him and that all of the keys would be available on the Earth.
Do I have to leave my current church to join the Fellowship?
The easy answer is no, you don’t. We are not a traditional church/denomination but a denominational religious movement. We do not teach the idea that any church is God’s “one true church.” We are a part of the larger Latter Day Saint vineyard. When we say “Church of Jesus Christ,” we are referring to all Christians as each individual is the body of Christ. When three or more gather in Christ’s name, they are a church.
However, this doesn’t mean that those belonging to a denomination that sees itself as the “one true church” will not ask those in the Fellowship to chose them exclusively at risk of excommunication. We do ask that members be honest with any other churches, sects, or denominations they may belong to about their association in or with the Fellowship of Christ, and pray to the Lord for guidance on how to go about it. We are not a secret society. We are a nondenominational Latter Day Saint/Mormon movement.
What do you mean “nondenominational Mormon?”
And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.” -3 Nephi 5:32-34 RAV, 11:31-33 OPVand…
“Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.” -Avahr 17:39-40 (DaC 3:16 CoC/RLDS, 10:67-68 CJCLdS)
Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship was brought to the Church by the Holy Spirit. All positions are given through the spirit of prophecy and revelation. The founder was called of God and given the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood, the office of Elder, by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition, the angel Raphael, who is the same Melchizedek that Abraham paid tithes to, resurrected, was sent by the Lord and he placed his hands upon David’s head, ordaining him to the office of High Priest, just as he did Joseph Smith. This was to ensure he had the keys needed to organize the Fellowship and do the work the Lord has called all in the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship to do. All those that come into the Fellowship with Priesthood keys from the various sect bring those keys with them. Additional keys are given by the power and authority of Jesus Christ through members of the Fellowship as needed.
What is the point of all this?
For too long Christians have been at war with each other, a war of ideologies. The Lord wishes for this to end. We are all a part of the one heavenly Church of Christ. We all grow in Grace as we follow the Spirit. The reason the Lord has given us so many different denominations and branches of Christianity has been to create a place for everyone on their unique spiritual paths. The Devil uses the differences between us to create chaos and contention. The Lord wishes for the fighting to end and for all Christians to live in harmony, focusing on what we have in common – faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – and not our differences.
What is the Fellowship of Christ’s position is on homosexuality and sex-same relationships?
Membership, ordinances, callings, and fellowship are open to all, regardless of race, gender orientation,
sexual orientation, or marital status.” -Doctrines of the Saints 3c Article V
We fully accept the LGBTQ community. We will marry and/or seal same-sex couples for all time and eternity.
The Fellowship fully supports same-sex marriage and encourages homosexuals to follow the law of Christ just as straight individuals should. In the Fellowship, all marriages may be sealed for time and all eternity.
We feel that once bisexuals marry, they should be faithful to their marriage covenants. They may marry someone they fall in love with, regardless of gender. At this point, the two become one with God. If they, together with the Lord, wish to be sealed in a relationship with another, male or female as the original Latter Day Saints practiced, the sealing must be consensual between all parties. And, all parties must be of legal age. At this time all of those involved become one, and together they are one with God (see Doctrines of the Saints 17e).
While we do not fully understand the nature of trans persons, we full embrace them and except them as the gender they identify with. The Latter-day Saint’s Family: A Proclamation to the World states: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” While this document is not binding on the Fellowship, we interpret this to say that in the premortal life they were created as spirit one gender and born here another, and agree with this idea. This Proclamation is not scripture, the revealed Word of God. We admit this idea is conjecture and could be true in some circumstances but false in others or wholly incorrect all together. At this time the Lord has not revealed answers on this topic, other than to love and accept all persons. Transgender individuals deserve the same rights, love, and respect as anyone and everyone else.
What is Kabbalah? Is all this magic stuff of the occult? Isn’t Mormonism a cult?
Kabbalah is a mysticism, a theology, and a thaumaturgy; Kabbalah is the tradition of Israel, it is my doctrine, and thus it is a mysterious art, for my doctrine is too simple for mankind to comprehend.” Doctrines of the Saints 125:7-8
Kabbalah is a form of Judaism that went into hiding around 600 BC, though it has make appearances in popular Jewish culture during various periods of time. It is an ideology with much in common with the Latter Day Saint Movement. There are a number of branches or schools of Kabbalah, Mormon Kabbalist is one of them. You can read more about Kabbalah specifically here, here, and here.
“Occult” means “secret.” In these latter days, God is restoring all as it was at first. In the beginning, things were not hidden but given to Adam and Eve to share. Today, all of these things are being restored and shared with the world as a sign of God in this, the final generation. All that God reveals to the Saints will be revealed to the world. No secrets.
Is Mormonism a cult? There are definitely cults within Mormonism. While some would define all religions cults, based on the cultural definition the more secretive, possessive, controlling, and possessive branches of our faith would definitely be classified as cults or cultish. The Fellowship of Christ desires to be open, transparent, and democratic to allow the Holy Spirit to move the Saints to guide the Fellowship, rather than giving all power to one individual or a small group. Our aim is to support the victim, not the oppressor; to strengthen the weak, not give more power to the strong; and to accept all that wish to worship with us inclusively.
We do not pretend to have all of the answers, and we further warn that anyone claiming to have all of the answers, or to be the only source of God’s truth should be treated with skepticism.
I’ve heard you promote worshiping on Saturday not Sunday, why?
The first thing to understand is that we’re a nondenominational movement and we have people who worship on Saturdays and Sundays. To avoid confusion some call Saturday “the Sabbath” and Sunday “the Lord’s Day,” as in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Sabbath” can be any day of the week for anyone. We hold no hard rule on this, nor do we have a list of things people can or cannot do on the Sabbath. Whatever day one chooses, the Sabbath is a time to cease our worldly labors and dwell on teshuvah (the return back to God). We do this by giving ourselves fully to the Lord on this day. What that means will vary from person to person and congregation to congregation. But there is no mandatory or universal Sabbath day.