Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ

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Given to Joseph the seer by the gift and power of God; Fayette, New York, April 10, 1830. This version was taken from the First Book of Revelations of the Church of Jesus Christ, pages 53-58. It is recorded with changes as Section 17 of the Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants, and Section 20 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Doctrine and Covenants. Their Section and verse numbers are placed after Fellowship verses. 

1 [17:1a1/20:1a]The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days being one thousand eight hundred thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in the flesh;

2 [17:1a2/20:1b] It being regularly organized and established agreeable to the Laws of our Country, by the will and commandments of God in the fourth month and on the sixth day of the Month which is called April.

3 [17:1b/120:2] Commandments were given to Joseph Smith Jr. the seer, who was called of God and ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ, an Elder of the Church;

4 [17:1b2/20:3] And also to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God and ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ, an Elder of the Church, and ordained under his hand,

5 [17:1c/20:4] And this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and forever; Amen.

6 [17:2a/20:5] ¶ For after that, truly was it manifested unto this First Elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangeled again in the vanities of the world;

7 [17:2b/20:6] But after truly repenting, God ministered unto him by an Holy Angel whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all whiteness,

8 [17:2c-d1/20:7-9a] And gave unto him commandments, which inspired him from on high, and gave unto him power by the means of which was before prepared that he should translate a book, which book contained a record of a fallen people,

9 [17:d2-e/20:9b-11a] And also the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, and also to the Jews, proving unto them that the Holy Scriptures are true,

10 [17:2f-g/20:11b-12] And also that God doth inspire men and call them to His holy work in these last days, as well as in in days of old, that He might be the same God forever; Amen.

11 ¶ Which Book was given by inspiration is called the Book of Mormon and is confirmed to others by the ministering of Angels and declared unto the world by them.

12 [17:3a-c1/20:13-15] Wherefore, having so great witnesses by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter receive this work either to faith and righteousness, or to the hardness of heart in unbelief to their own condemnation.

13 [17:3c2-d/20:16] For the Lord God hath spoken it, for we the Elders of the Church have heard and bear witness to the words of His glorious majesty on high to whom be glory for ever and ever; Amen.

14 [17:4a1/20:17a] ¶ Wherefore, by these things we know that there is a God in Heaven who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting;

15 [17:4a2/20:17b] The same unchangeable God, the maker of Heaven and Earth, and all things that in them are;

16 [17:4a3-b1/20:18] And that he created man male and female, and after His own image, and in his likeness created He them;

17 [17:4b2/20:19] And that he gave unto the children of men a commandment that they should love and serve Him, the only being whom they should worship;

18 [17:4c/20:20] But by the transgression of these Holy Laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man.

19 [17:5a/20:21] Wherefore, the Almighty God gave His Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those Scriptures which have been given of Him;

20 [17:5b/20:22] That He suffered temptation, but gave no heed unto them;

21 [17:5c/20:23] That he was crusified, died, and rose again the third day;

22 [17:5d1/20:24] And that He ascended into Heaven to sit down on the Right Hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father.

23 [17:5d2/20:25] Therefore, as many as would believe and were baptized in His holy name, and endured in faith to the end, should be saved.

24 [17:5e-g1/20:26] Yea, even as many as were before He came in the flesh from the begining which believed in the words of the holy prophets, which were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, which truly testifies of Him in all things,

25 [17:5g2-h1/20:27] As well as they which should come after, which should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son;

26 [17:5h2/20:28] Which Father and Son and Holy Ghost is one God Infinite and eternal without end; Amen.

27 [17:6a1/20:29a] ¶ And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ and worship the Father in His name,

28 [17:6a2/20:29b] And endure in faith on His name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

29 [17:6b/20:30] And we know that justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is just and true.

30 [17:6c/20:31] And we also know that sanctification through the Grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is just and true to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength;

31 [17:6d/20:32] But there is a posibility that men may fall from grace, and depart from the living God.

32 [17:6e/20:33-34] Therefore, let the Church take heed and pray always, lest ye fall into temptation; yea, and even he that is sanctified also.

33 [17:6f1/20:35a] And we know that these things are true and agreeable to the Revelations of John, neither adding nor diminishing to the prophecy of his Book;

34 [17:6f2/20:35b] Neither to the Holy Scriptures, neither to the Revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift & power of the Holy Ghost;

35 [17:6f3-g1/20:35c-36a] Neither by the voice of God, neither by the ministering of the angels; and the Lord God hath spoken it.

36 [17:6g2/20:36b] And power and glory be rendered to His holy name, both now and forever; Amen.

And again by the way of commandment to the Church concerning the manner of Baptism:

37 [17:7b1/20:37b] ¶ Behold, whosoever humbleth themselves before God and desireth to be baptized, and comes forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit,

38 [17:7b2-c/20:37c] And witnesseth to the Church that they have truly repented of all their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve Him unto the end,

39 [17:7d1/20:37d] And truly manifest by their works that they have received the spirit of Christ unto the remision of their sins;

40 [17:7d2/20:37e] Then shall they be received unto Baptism into the Church of Christ.

The duty of the Elders, Priests, Priestesses, Teachers, Deacons, and Members of the Church of Christ:

41 [17:8b1/20:38-39] An Apostle is an Elder, and it is his calling to baptize, and to ordain other Elders, Priests, Priestesses, Teachers, and Deacons;

42 [17:8b2/20:40] And to administering the flesh and blood of Christ, according to the scriptures,

43 [17:8d/20:42] And to teach, expound, exhort, and to baptize, and to watch over the Church,

44 [17:8e/20:43] And to confirm the Church by the laying on of the hands and the giving of the Holy Ghost,

45 [17:8f/20:44] And to take the lead of all meetings, and so forth.

46 [17:9/20:45] ¶ The Elders are to conduct the Meetings according as they are led by the Holy Ghost

47 [17:10a/20:46] ¶ The Priests’ and Priestesses’ duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and administer the Sacrement;

48 [17:10b/20:47] And to visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in seecret, and also to attend all familiy duties;

49 [17:10c-d1/20:48-49] And to ordain other Priests, Priestesses, Teachers, and Deacons, and take the lead in meetings;

50 [17:10d2/20:50] But none of these duties is he to do when there is an Elder present, but in all cases also to assist the Elders.

51 [17:11a/20:53-54] ¶ The Teachers duty is to watch over the Church always, and be with them and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the Church nor hardness with each other, nor lying nor backbiteing, nor evil speaking;

52 [17:11b/20:55] And to see that the Church meets to gether often, also that every member does their duty.

53 [17:11c-d/20:56-57] And they are to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the Elder, or Priest or Priestess, and is to be assisted always and in all their duties in the Church by the Deacons;

54 [17:11e-f/29:56-59] But neither the Teachers nor the Deacons have authority to Baptize, nor administer the Sacrament, but to are to warn, expound, exhort, teach, and invite all to come to Christ.

55 [17:12a-b/20:60] ¶ Every Elder, Priest or Priestess, Teacher, or Deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto them by the the Power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains them.

56 [17:13/20:61] The several Elders composing this Church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three Month to handle Church business, as necessary.

57 [17:15/20:64] And each Priest, Priestess, or Teacher who is ordained by any Priest is to take a cirtificate from them at the time which when shewn to an Elder, that Elder is to give them a licence, which shall authorize them to perform the duty of their calling.

The duty of the members after they are received by Baptism:

58 [17:18:b:20:68] ¶ The Elders or Priest are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning this Church of Christ to their understanding previous to their partaking of the sacrament and being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the Elders, so that all things may be done in order.

59 [17:18c/20:69] And the members shall manifest before the Church and also before the Elders by a Godly walk and conversation that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable to the Holy Scriptures: walking in holyness before the Lord.

60 [17:19/20:70] ¶ Every member of this Church of Christ having children are to bring them unto the Elders before the Church, who are to lay their hands on them in the name of the Lord & bless them in the name of Christ.

61 [17:20/29:71] ¶ There cannot any one be received into this Church of Christ who have not ariven to the years of accountability before God and are not capable of repentance.

And the way of Baptism is to be ministered in the following manner unto all those who repent:

62 [17:21b/20:73a] ¶ Whosoever being called of God and having authority given them of Jesus Christ shall go down into the water with them, shall say calling them by name:

63 [17:21c/20:73b] “Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Amen.”

64 [17/21d/20:74] And then shall they immerse them in the water and come forth again out of the water.

65 [17:22a-b:20:75-76a] ¶ And it is expedient that the Church meet together oft to partake bread and wine in rememberance of the Lord Jesus; and the Elder or Priest shall minister it, and after this manner shall he do:

66 [17:22c-d/20:76b-77] He shall kneel with the Church, and call upon the Father in mighty prayer saying: “O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in rememberance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Som, and always remember Him and keep His commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have His spirit to be with them; Amen.”

67 [17:23a-b/20:78-79] And the manner of administering the wine: Behold they shall take the cup and say: “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those​ who drink of it, that they do it in rememberance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always Remember Him, that they may have His spirit to be with them; Amen.”

68 [17:24/20:80] ¶ Any member of this Church of Christ transgressing or being over taken in a fault shall be dealt with according as the scriptures direct.

69 [17/25a/20:81-82a] ¶ It shall be the duty of the several Churches composing this Church of Christ to send one or more of their Teachers to attend the several conferences held by the Elders of this Church with a list of the names of the several members uniting themselves to the Church since the last conference,

70 [17:25b/20:82b] Or sent by the hand of some Priest or Priestess so that there can be kept a regular list of all the members of the whole Church in a book kept by one of the Elders; whomsoever the other Elders shall appoint from time to time.

71 [17:25c/20:83] And also, if any have been expelled from the Church, so that their names may be blotted out of the General Church Record of names.

72 [17:26.1/20:84a] ¶ Any member removeing from the Church where they belong, if going to a Church where they are not known, may take a letter certifying that they are a regular member and in good standing,

73 [17:26.220:84b] Which certificate may be signed by any Elder or Priest, if the the member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the Elder or Priest; or may be signed by the Teacher or Deacons of the Church.

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