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Seeking to Build a More Inclusive World


2 January 2024 | Stassi Cramm

The January/February Herald historically highlights the vital themes of racial justice and Black history recognized in the USA. These continue to be important topics for Community of Christ in all nations to study, discuss, and act as we embody our Enduring Principles, especially the Worth of All Persons, Unity in Diversity, and Blessings of Community. 

The approval of World Conference Resolution 1326 in April 2023 on Racial Justice was a significant step as we collectively declared racism a sin. As a system rooted in racial prejudice and the false belief in the innate superiority of one race over others, racism perpetuates a universal condition of separation and alienation from God and one another. Guided by Jesus’s declaration of God’s love for all, we are called to confront racism in all its forms. This is an integral part of our faith journey. 

Racial injustices manifest in various ways from individual actions to institutional structures, including within our church. As disciples, it is essential that we learn to recognize and address racial injustices that occur in our communities and congregations. Christ’s message of peace is about breaking down dividing walls and recognizing the worth of every person as a child of God. 

As disciples, it is essential that we learn to recognize and address racial injustices that occur in our communities and congregations. Christ’s message of peace is about breaking down dividing walls and recognizing the worth of every person as a child of God. 

WCR 1326 committed Community of Christ to critical actions in our pursuit of racial justice. This included working toward eradicating institutional racism within our faith community and the broader society. The ultimate aim is to create an inclusive church within an inclusive society, fostering a just, equitable, and peaceful world for all. Achieving this goal requires group and individual prayer, study, discernment, worship, love, justice, and nonviolent advocacy. 

Before the 2023 World Conference, the World Church Diversity and Inclusion Team reviewed the Community of Christ Scripture and Race paper and added a preface, which you can read on the Diversity and Inclusion page. This paper’s relevance persists today, just as it did in 2006, when it was written. It issues a challenge to all of us, inspired by the gospel and scripture: 

…we bear witness that the Holy Spirit is calling the Church to faithfully be a multiracial/ethnic body extending worldwide ministry by reaching to all persons in honor, respect, and equality. 

The paper challenges us to: 

  • Be a Church that opposes racism and that will not use scripture to oppress, marginalize, diminish, or dominate anyone (from the Scripture statement). 
  • Actively work to continue to change perceptions, attitudes, and practices that deny full participation of all persons… 
  • Be a Christ-centered Church celebrating the Worth of All Persons with mutual acceptance of all races and ethnicities… 

As part of the Diversity and Inclusion team’s commitment to its goals, members developed and offered education sessions on Identifying Microaggressions and Resisting Unconscious Bias. Learn more on the Diversity and Inclusion webpage. 

Since WCR 1326 was approved, our apostles have been exploring ways to encourage and guide people in fields around the world to learn more and find methods to create inclusive communities. The First Presidency, in collaboration with a subteam of the Standing High Council, is identifying resources and actions to guide leaders in their pursuit of racial justice. 

Together, let us continue our journey toward justice, guided by our shared faith, love, and commitment to one another and fueled by the eternal hope of building a more inclusive world. 

The challenges of addressing racial injustice and finding collaboration across the diverse perspectives surrounding this issue can feel overwhelming. Some might perceive that making a difference is impossible. However, we are reminded of the wisdom that when entering a dark room, we do not seek to sweep out the darkness; rather, we look for the means to turn on the light. Our identity, mission, message, and beliefs light the way in becoming an inclusive people and in contributing to the creation of inclusive societies worldwide. In the words of Doctrine and Covenants 165: 

6a. Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed. 

6b. As Christ’s body, lovingly and patiently bear the weight of criticism from those who hesitate to respond to the divine vision of human worth and equality in Christ. This burden and blessing is yours for divine purposes. 

Together, let us continue our journey toward justice, guided by our shared faith, love, and commitment to one another and fueled by the eternal hope of building a more inclusive world. 

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