Clif Hostetler's Reviews > In Pursuit of Peace: Community of Christ's Journey

In Pursuit of Peace by Andrew Bolton
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This book provides a summary history of the Community of Christ with particular attention placed on its peace witness over the years.

This book describes an arc of history with a continuous expanding understanding about the nature of God beginning with the Old Testament, modified by the New Testament, and then eventually the Book of Mormon . The founding members of this branch of Joseph Smith Jr.'s followers split from the group that moved west soon after Smith's death. The split was caused by disagreements over some of Joseph Smith Jr.'s more imaginative theological creations—polygamy in particular.

The following quotation from near the end of this book provides an understanding regarding the historicity of Joseph Smith Jr.'s founding visions.
Wayne Ham's work on the Book of Mormon was published in 1970. He concluded that the text was not ancient history but more likely a product of Joseph Smith's own inspired creativity in the 1820s.
Since the above quotation was in this book authored by members in good standing, I presume that it must be a widely accepted view within the church.

The Joseph III quoted below was the eldest surviving son of Joseph Smith Jr. Joseph III was the first Prophet-President of the church. The quotation provides an insight into his generally favorable view of pacifism.
Writing his memoirs years later, Joseph III criticized his father and other church leaders in Nauvoo, saying, "I believe it was a mistake to allow the spirit of militarism to take possession of the leading authorities of church."
His brother, Frederick M. Smith, who succeeded him as leader of the church had a differing opinion regarding pacifism in the following quotation.
Everyone must do his full duty to the government. Governmental solidarity demands it, and the church must be found teaching such duty to its members, and demanding such allegiance ...
....We are neither slackers nor cowards. In the past some of our men who, as elders in the church, have attempted to speak for this church, and from the mouths of slackers and cowardly pacifists have gone out expressions in regard to the attitude of the church which do violence to our real position.
Ironically, F.M. Smith's son-in-law was a conscientious objector during WWI and served a prison sentence for refusing the draft in England.

I believe it is the intent of the authors for this book to promote consideration of the Community of Christ as one of the traditional “peace churches.” Indeed the Community of Christ is emerging as an international peace church through such ministries as the Community of Christ International Peace Award, Daily Prayer for Peace, and resources to support conscientious objection to war.
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Reading Progress

November 28, 2019 – Shelved
November 30, 2019 – Started Reading
December 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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