The purpose of the Conference of Restoration Branches is to bring people into a covenant with the Father through Jesus Christ. We exist to spread the Restored Gospel of Christ, to assist in the gathering of the House of Israel, and to establish Zion, a city of righteousness, the New Jerusalem.
Role of the Conference
The Conference exists to provide a vehicle for members of the Restoration to confer, discuss and make decisions on how to carry out our mission.
General Conference Officers
Conference leaders are elected annually, to serve up until and throughout the next General Conference. Emails to each can be addressed to their office (like "secretary") @ConferenceOfBranches.org. Current Officers include:
Committee membership positions may be based on elected office, through appointment, or by vote/approval during General Conference business meetings. From time-to-time temporary committees are established with assigned goals. Current committees and chairpersons include:
|+ Youth Activities (Jackie Shearer)||+ Information Technology (Duane Newman)|
|+ Restoration Women's Ministries (Barbara Giertz)||+ Education (Will Howen)|
|+ Publishing (H. Alan Smith)||+ Credentials (General Conference Recorder)|
|+ Missionary Funding (David Newman)||+ Books, Tracts & Periodicals (Gary Whiting)|
History of the Restored Church
In the early 1800s, in the midst of a “great revival,” a seeking young man acted on the counsel found in James 1:5, "if any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God…” and he knelt in prayer to ask God which of all the dueling churches he should join. A bright light and personage appeared to him saying he should join none of them, and the restoration of God's church for the end times commenced as young Joseph was taught from on high. From 1830 to 1844 God’s restored church grew to more than 200,000 saints.
In 1844 Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were assassinated, leaving thousands of grieving Saints to carry on with the work without the leadership of their prophet and seer, who had translated the ancient records published as the Book of Mormon. In the midst of spiritual confusion and physical persecution, Joseph's family chose not to join Saints who were dividing into different groups under various men claiming the right to lead the church. There were many saints that did not believe the doctrine of polygamy and other strange doctrines brought into the fractured church following the death of Joseph. In 1852 a conference of branches was convened by saints who still clung to the original teachings of Joseph the Martyr, and they came together to preach against that false doctrine. In 1853 this conference of branches reorganized the church. Apostles, High Priests and Seventy were ordained and the Zarahemla Stake was established. For the next seven years the Reorganized Church labored to spread the restored gospel of Jesus Christ while also gathering other scattered and disaffected saints back into the true fellowship. In 1860 God spoke to Joseph and Emma’s eldest son, Joseph Smith III, instructing him to join the reorganization, and he was accepted by the saints as president and prophet of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS).
There would be other presidents of the RLDS, each of Joseph Smith's lineage, but in the latter part of the 20th century some church leaders began openly promoting viewpoints alarming to many Saints who wished to preserve the purity of the restored gospel and sacred covenants of the faith. There began to be a de-emphasis on the Book of Mormon as scripture. The ordination of women into the priesthood was implemented. Non-heterosexual relationships were viewed as acceptable covenants of marriage before God. The laws and the culture that RLDS leaders encouraged were at odds with scripture. Ordinances and doctrine which made the Restoration unique among other Christian faiths were altered or abandoned. Tenets that had paved the way for man to have a personal covenant relationship with God and allow His people to establish Zion were made to seem of little or no importance.
Today the Restoration is fractured. For the past 40 years, the saints from the original RLDS have struggled to find a way forward. A number of saints have organized new churches, while some have formed independent restoration branches, which have become churches. This is not in harmony with how God designed His church, how Jesus built His church in New Testament times, or how Christ’s church was restored to the earth in 1830. It is the hope of this Conference to bring together Restoration Saints who have a desire to spread the fullness of the gospel of Christ throughout the world. It is our desire to help people everywhere to come into a covenant relationship with God, building up His church in many lands and places where they can assist in gathering the House of Israel and establishing Zion in preparation for the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.