Community of Christ History
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting..." - James 1:5-6
(Grove site near the Smith home)
In the early 1800s, a young boy named Joseph Smith knelt in the woods near his family home in Manchester Township, New York. He felt separated from God; he also wanted to know how he could make his life count for good in a world full of confusion and sin. He wanted to join with God’s people, but he had no idea how to do that. So, in response to the scripture from James, he prayed to God.
How long this first attempt at verbal prayer lasted is not known, but he came to a point of deep despair. At this point, a vision surrounded him with love and mercy. From that light came a voice as clear as his own. As the vision ebbed and the voice faded, Joseph felt that he knew the truth. He felt the healing presence of God within and the forgiving mercy of Christ. He knew that God would be with him.
He struggled through his teen years, trying to balance his experience with God with his desire to be accepted by others in his community. He continued to have significant spiritual experiences, one of which led to the Book of Mormon. He also felt called to establish a church, officially organizing it on April 6, 1830.