WHO ARE WE
The Joint Conference of Restoration Branches is a body of people, individual branches and other authoritatively baptized members who share a belief in the distinctive message of the Restoration found in the Inspired Version of the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, the authority of priesthood and the sanctity of the ordinances and the sacrament.
The purpose of the JCRB 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. We exist to provide a venue for the members of the Restoration to confer together to make decisions on how to carry out these purposes.
WHO MAKES UP THE CONFERENCE OF RESTORATION BRANCHES (JCRB)
The Restoration Branch movement was created by members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many saints in the Restoration Branch movement are baptized members of that church, and most branches (congregations) in the Restoration Branch movement still believe in and teach the original doctrines of the church that was founded by Joseph Smith Jr., and continued under the direction of his son Joseph Smith III. In the 1970’s and 80’s many in leadership positions in the Reorganized Church began to introduce new and unusual doctrine, which created a major schism in the church, resulting in thousands of saints leaving or being forced out of that church. In the year 2000, the Reorganized Church changed its name to Community of Christ as it continued to alter the original doctrine and teachings of the church. That church no longer resembles the original church.
Saints in Restoration branches have maintained the original doctrine of the church but have struggled to significantly advance the Restored Gospel while learning how to function as “independent” branches outside of an organized church body.
Some saints and branches have banded together and organized new churches, i.e., Restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Church of Christ Restored, etc., while still trying to maintain and teach the original doctrine.
In 2005, for the first time since the split in the 1980’s, a large number of Restoration Branches came together in Independence, Missouri in a joint conference of branches. For those saints who gathered, it was the first time in more than two decades for most of them to have voice and vote in a church conference setting, beyond their local branch. There was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and there was a feeling of joy among the saints, as the branches of the church had come together in a way that had not been experienced in more than 20 years. While maintaining their autonomy, the branches no longer were necessarily “independent” but united in their desire to move the work of the Kingdom forward in a way that so many independent and separate smaller bodies were unable to do.
The Restoration Branches have continued to meet in Conference every year since. Some branches have never participated, some have stopped participating, while other branches who were not there in the beginning now participate. The Lord has blessed us greatly and we have seen a huge expansion in the missionary effort of the church and Restoration branches and tens of thousands of members can now be found in Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, Liberia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Malawi, Mozambique, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, the Philippines and the U.S., with missions ongoing in several other countries. Had the Restoration Branches remained “independent” there would not have been such success.
In addition, the Conference, in accordance with Restoration scripture and church law, has been able to call additional Seventy and organize a quorum of Restoration Seventy, call additional High Priests and organize a quorum of High Priests, and more recently the Conference has approved the calling and ordaining of Apostles and Evangelist Patriarchs.
While this very condensed and abridged history of the Conference of Branches will give you an idea of who we are, it does not tell you what we are not.
The Conference is not a church. We are a gathering of branches of the church who come together once a year to confer and conduct the business of the church in its currently scattered condition. The conference is known as the Conference of Branches, or Joint Conference of Branches, or JCRB. If we were a church, you could become a member, but the reality is that you CANNOT join the JCRB. Baptized members of the church can choose to participate in the annual conference either as individual members with voice and vote, or branches of the church can choose to participate in the annual conference by sending delegates to give their members voice and vote. Church members and branches must choose each year if they want to participate in that year’s conference. We are a portion of the church that has chosen to exercise our God given right as baptized members of His church, in accordance with Restoration scripture, to come together to confer and find ways to advance the missionary effort and our commission to go into all the world. Working together we have done what we could not have done separately. We have not formed a church, we have not organized, reorganized or set in order the church. Through the many branches and saints who participate in the Conference we are spreading the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ wherever He opens doors and He is opening doors all over the world. With 36 Seventy and many Traveling Elders going out two by two, all across the U.S. and throughout the world, the Church of Jesus Christ, restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., is adding to its number daily.
We continue to teach and preach the original doctrines and teachings of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but are legally prohibited from using that name to identify ourselves. Our branches are commonly referred to in this day and age as the Church of Jesus Christ, Restoration Branches.
It is our prayer that you will investigate the materials and resources available at this website and ask the Lord if these teachings are His teachings. If you have any questions about the gospel, the doctrine, the church, etc., please contact us. We will make every effort to respond to your inquiry in a timely manner and we look forward to the opportunity to share with you.