As I’ve written before, one of my favorite things about the Day One journaling app is the “On this Day” feature that lets me remember moments from my past—often moments I might have forgotten if I hadn’t journaleda bout them.
This morning, Day One reminded me of a hymn service my local Community of Christ congregation held a couple of years ago. I had been invited to share a memory of a favorite hymn.
This is a fascinating bit of history. Derry was an early convert to Mormonism who emigrated from England to Utah, became disgusted with polygamy and what he saw as an abusive system of tithing and church governance, and returned to the American Midwest, where he joined the RLDS church and became a leader and missionary in that denomination. Like The Giant Joshua, it’s odd to read something that is so clearly “a pioneer story” but isn’t uniformly positive.
I picked up a copy of this book at the 2023 World Conference of Community of Christ, after it being on my wishlist for some time. It does an excellent job of examining the subjectivity of Restoration scripture by tracing its evolution over time. I remarked to a friend earlier this week that it’s a shame it was written in the 90s (and originally, the 60s) rather than now, when there’s so much more available to do this kind of work.
One of the more interesting passages of scripture produced by Joseph Smith Jr. is in Section 36 of the Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants (or the Book of Moses in the Latter-day Saint Pearl of Great Price):
And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residee of the people, and he wept, and Enoch bore record of it, saying, How is it the heavens weeps and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
I was disappointed this morning to see this article in the Salt Lake Tribune. The article reports that BYU professor Sarah Coyne “became the target of online bullying and hostile emails” after discussing “her child’s years of wrestling with gender dysphoria, including suicidal thoughts and agonizing mental health issues” in a class she was teaching. According to the article, this is something that she has done for several semesters, but this time, her action “made it into a critical article in a conservative off-campus newspaper… which was retweeted by Utah Sen[ator] Mike Lee on his personal Twitter account.
A week from tomorrow, I’m heading to Independence, Missouri to attend a few days of the 2023 World Conference of Community of Christ—and to act as a voting delegate in any of the legislative sessions that take place during my short time there. This is the first time since my confirmation into Community of Christ that a World Conference has taken place (the last one was in 2019), so I’ve been thinking about this for several months as “my first World Conference experience.
A mentor in Community of Christ is encouraging me to attend the April 2023 World Conference—and even to register as a voting delegate. The idea of a church conference that asks for bottom-up consensus is very different than my previous, top-down ecclesiastical experience.
Yesterday, I listened to a new episode of the Project: Zion podcast, the semi-official podcast of Community of Christ. This episode was an interview with Shandra Newcom, one of two apostles-designate who will begin their service after the April 2023 World Conference of the church. It was a delightful episode, and I posted something to the Community of Christ subreddit that I wanted to repeat here:
What a great episode!