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Draft Definitions


The First Presidency invites the church into the process of developing definitions for violence, nonviolence, and nonviolent action.

On 12 April 2019, the World Conference passed World Conference Resolution (WCR) 1319. The resolved statements:

Resolved, that, over the next three years Community of Christ members and leaders discuss the role nonviolence plays in the pursuit of "peace on and for the Earth" (Doctrine and Covenants 165:1d) and in the life and mission of the church; be it further

Resolved, that, scriptural, theological, and historical discussion resources on the principles of nonviolence be produced and suggested for members and friends of Community of Christ as part of our continued commitment to peace education and advocacy; and be it further

Resolved, that, the position of Community of Christ on nonviolence be referred to the First Presidency for a report and/or statement to be presented to the 2022 World Conference.

As Community of Christ continues to engage in conversations about the role of nonviolence in living Christ’s mission, the First Presidency has determined that the body needs working definitions to support this process.

Community of Christ continues to engage in conversations about the role nonviolence plays in the pursuit of "peace on and for the Earth" (Doctrine and Covenants 165:1d) and in the life and mission of the church (first resolved statement). Also, the First Presidency continues to prayerfully consider what should be included in a statement on nonviolence (third resolved statement). To support these activities, the Presidency has determined that working definitions for violence, nonviolence, and nonviolent action are needed that are simple, easily translated, and easy to remember. Working definitions are NOT a replacement for a statement. With the church’s input, the Presidency will develop definitions first. Then the definitions will assist the church as we continue our conversations on nonviolence and work towards developing a statement.

The Presidency invites the church into the process of developing definitions for violence, nonviolence, and nonviolent action. Draft definitions for consideration and discussion:

What is violence? Violence is individually or collectively by intention or neglect bringing harm physically, emotionally, spiritually, or relationally to oneself, another person, group, nation or creation.

What is nonviolence? Nonviolence is avoiding actions as much as possible that harm through intention or neglect in one’s life context.

What is nonviolent action? Nonviolent action is the practice of spiritual preparation and then pursuing justice and positive change by confronting specific situations of injustice using nonviolent strategies.

What is your level of support for these definitions? Are there any you would modify and if so, how?

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