The following is in response based on the revelation given to the Fellowship of Christ regarding the Council of Elders Report.
First Presidency Response
May 4, 2021
According to DoS 3c Article VI Section 4:
“The Council of Elders shall be appointed by the First Presidency. They shall include the First Elder and Elect Lady as co-presidents (2), and as councilors the co-presidents of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles (2), the co-presidents of the Quorum of Seventy (2), The Church Patriarch (1) and Church Matriarch (1), and one (1) other person to represent the General Assembly of Saints.
“There shall not be less than five (5) and no more than nine (9) including the two (2) members of the First Presidency. They are to be called upon to fill the pulpit, to pray for the sick, visit newcomers, shut-ins, absentees, hospital visitation, and all other duties meeting the needs of the Church of Christ. They shall also, along with the First Presidency, seek God’s direction for the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship, and support the First Presidency in the vision given them by God, in the Church of Christ’s present and future ministry. Members of the Council of Elders shall remain so until they resign or are deemed unfit.”
Based on this, the Council of Elders is made up of:
- 2 members of the First Presidency as co-presidents (Kristine and David Ferriman)
- 2 Apostles, a brother and a sister, as counselors (Alexei and Victoria)
- 2 Seventy, a brother and a sister, as counselors (Allen and N/A)
- The Patriarch and Matriarch as counselors (N/A and Loriann)
- Representative of the General Assembly of Saints (Tili)
Currently, Allen and Tili have both been absent for far too long and we declare their offices vacant per DoS 3s Article VI, Loriann is a friend and not officially the Fellowship Matriarch and according to Appendix C does not desire to hold an office in the Fellowship of Christ. Victoria, according to Appendix C does not desire to be an apostle for the Fellowship (no one or organization can remove her apostolic witness, and in conversation David had with her she has indicated that she wishes to continue on the council, this has been reflected below). Kristine pays tithes and attends the minimal number of activities to retain membership. Ruth normally stands in for Kristine.
According to Doctrines of the Saints 3c Article V:
Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship shall be eligible to all who give evidence to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who voluntarily hold to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. When a person chooses to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship and involve themselves, they are automatically considered a member (Ephesians 4:16).
A member is one who attends regularly, serves at and contributes financially to the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship and can answer the following question in the affirmative:
- Do you desire to come into the fold of God, and to be called a member of His Fellowship?
- Have you confessed your sins to the Lord, and repented of them?
- Are you obedient to the laws of the land?
- Are you willing to bear another’s burdens, that they may be light?
- Are you willing to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort?
- Are you willing to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that you may be in, even until death, that you may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that you may have eternal life?
Membership, ordinances, callings, and fellowship are open to all, regardless of race, gender orientation, sexual orientation, or marital status.
Based on lack of interest and/or attendance, we recommend the following:
- 2 members of the First Presidency as co-presidents (Kristine, represented by Ruth; and David Ferriman)
- 2 Apostles, a brother and a sister, as counselors (Alexei and Victoria, if she desires to continue)
- 2 Seventy, a brother and a sister, as counselors (N/A and N/A)
- The Patriarch and Matriarch as counselors (N/A and N/A)
- Representative of the General Assembly of Saints (Loriann)
Joseph Smith Jr. stated: “Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints” (TPJS p. 151). While this is not in any way binding on the Fellowship or any denomination we are aware of, it does show the need to have a Patriarch and/or Matriarch on the Council. We therefore would prefer Loriann to sit in Council as a Matriarch, but understand if this is not her desire, and will respect her wishes and appreciate her willingness to be involved to the capacity she feels most comfortable.
According to our bylaws, four people do not meet the requirements to maintain the Council of Elders (see above). If even one individual decides not to be a part of the Council, said council will be dissolved. In addition, we do not actually have any quorums beyond the First Presidency and the Council of Fifty. Based on this and the need to get others interested in the Fellowship more involved, we recommend that the Council of Elders meetings be changed to the Council of Fifty and that we invite all those called to the ministry within the Fellowship of Christ. It is our recommendation that the Council of Elders meetings be resumed once we have ample Saints that have gone through the School of the Prophets, understand their callings, and have committed to do the things the Lord has asked of us.
In addition, we also submit to you the following revelation (Doctrines of the Saints Section 125):
Revelation given to David Ferriman April 13, 2021
1 My son, David; thou hast come to me asking to know my will regarding the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship:
2 Is the Fellowship of Christ a church? a religious movement? an idea? or is it something else all together?
3 ¶ Behold, O man, the will of your God: The Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship is all these and more, for it is the very Kingdom of God.
4 ¶ Did I not tell thee: Unite my people in Kabbalaha? And thou didst seek to know the meaning of this.
5 And at the first thou thought Kabbalah meant the power of God, then thou thought Kabbalah was a way to help mankind understand my Word,
6 And then understood Kabbalah to be the holy traditions given to mankind of me through my servant Moses, and still thou thought Kabbalah to be something more.
7 And I say unto thee: it is all these and more: Yea, Kabbalah is a mysticismb, a theologyc, and a thaumaturgyd;
8 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.
9 ¶ And behold, therefore, I shall ask thee: What is the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship? Did I not tell my servant Joseph Smith Jr. the meaninge of my Church?
10 My Church are all they that repenteth and cometh unto me; and this is my doctrine, for the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil:
11 And they that cometh unto me shall humble themselves before me and be baptized in my name and shall be saved, for so is the Kingdom of God;
12 And the Church is my body, and the priesthood, or the power given me of the Father, is my blood; therefore, the Kingdom is the Church, and there in ye shall find many mansions.
13 ¶ How then shall ye of my Fellowship unite my people, my Israel, in Kabbalah? Doth not thy own lawsf that ye wrote out and agreed upon say that the very purpose of the Fellowship of Christ is to establish a Christian Church with a School of the Prophets?
14 And how can ye be a Church and build up my Kingdom if ye do not teach they whom I shall send unto my Church?
15 And I did sayg unto the First Presidency, through the mouth of my servant Joseph: Through you shall the oracles be given unto another; yea even unto the Church.
16 And how were these oracles to be given? Again, saidh I through my servant Joseph: Through your administration the keys of the School of the Prophets, which I have commanded to be organized, that thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe.
17 ¶ And this is thy ministry, and the ministry of all that are called of me unto all the Churches: Feed my sheep, seek out the lost and the lonely;
18 Therefore, find they that thou callest the spiritually homeless and shelter them in the bonds of my love, for this is my Law.
19 And I have one Lawi: thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
20 All they that add to the Law and to my Doctrine do so to their own peril, for I am a God of order and not or contention; therefore, fight not over theologies of man, but love one another in me.
21 ¶ As to those called to serve me in my Fellowship, I say: Thou, David, hath trodden too quickly, thou hast tried to walk further than thou art able, as I have warnedj thee against.
22 Behold, how can my Fellowship have a quorum of Apostles with but so few acting apostles? But as I have toldk thee, all are called to the Council of Fifty at the first;
23 Therefore, worry not about the Council of Elders, but the First Presidency shall oversee and care for my Fellowship, until such time as twelve are called and these chosel for themselves two to represent them in the Council of Elders.
24 Behold, I have given these, my commands; and until these are met there can be no quorum of Apostles, but Apostles within the Council of Fifty.
25 ¶ And thou and my servant Victoria did right to dissolve the Seventy, for they were too few in number;
26 Therefore, even as I have saidm, find and call seven brothers and seven sisters to be Seventy within the Council of Fifty;
27 And these shall be righteous, and as the Apostles, trained up in me by the School of the Prophets;
28 And these shall choose from among themselves seven, be these four brothers and three sisters or four sisters and three brothers it mattereth not,
29 And these shall establish the Quorum of Seven of the Fellowship of Christ to be established within the Order of the Ministry,
30 And from among them, they may choose one brother and one sister to represent them on the council, being the co-presidents of the Seventy; and I shall advise thee more at that time.
31 ¶ And of those that were willing to heed the call, Allen, Matthew, and Christian; behold, I say unto these: If thou desireth to heed my call and be a part of this council of Seven, study my Words and my works in the School of the Prophets until thou art ready that ye should train up those that I will call.
32 ¶ And unto Christian I say: continue as thou are in thy call as the Priest of the Fellowship of Christ that my holy days may be observed, even until a Levite is found; and this shall train you up in preparation for your place in my Kingdom.
33 ¶ As to thy call, my Fellowship, to unite my people, I say: accept those that all others reject with hope, joy, and happiness.
34 Worry not that there are those that judge others by the color of their skin, or their gender or sexual orientation, or in any way, for those who seek to hear my voice and heed my call must soften their hearts to these, my children.
35 Homosexuality is neither a sin, nor a confusion, it is an eternal principle, for thus did I create them; and so too are my transgender children;
36 Therefore, exclude them not, hide them not, and forgo them not; for these are my children, and I say unto thee: bring these children unto me.
37 Worry not what the world shall say unto thee for obeying my Law and my doctrine, but be thou obedient and thy tolerance shall be a light in the darkness;
38 But know that this is my light, the very light of Christ, and the darkness shall comprehendn it not;
39 Therefore, let my love and my light shine forth through the darkness that these, my children, shall no longer be lost, but be found in me and find a home in thee.
40 This is my commandment to my Church and my Kingdom, yea even all my Saints that wish to fellowship in my name; so mote it be, Amen.
a. See 2 David 3:9.
b. Mysticism, as used here, refers to the Creation becoming one with the Creator through our growth in Grace allowing us access to the Gifts of the Spirit.
c. Theology is the study of the nature of God, applied to personal religious understanding as it evolves and continues to develop.
d. Thaumaturgy is the use of spiritual gifts, or “miracle working.”
e. See Avahr 17:39 (DaC 3:16 CoC/10:67 CJCLdS).
f. See DoS 3c Article II 1.
g. See DoS 7b:4 (DaC 87:2a CoC/90:4 CJCLdS).
h. See DoS 7b:7 (DaC 87:3b CoC/90:7-8 CJCLdS).
i. See Leviticus 19:18, 33-34; Matthew 5:43-48, BoR 15:23-30.
j. See DoS 116:20-25.
k. See DoS 50e:22.
l. See DoS 12e:4-6.
m. See DoS 70:3-6.
n. See John 1:1-5.