I’m excited to introduce Kristine & David Ferriman from the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship. It’s really kind of a unity movement, and they cater to those with “spiritual PTSD.” We’ve going to learn more about their beliefs. I love this saying. They have beliefs that will offend everyone. You’ll definitely want to find out what that’s all about. They are very progressive, and in a lot of ways LGBT-friendly, feminist-friendly, and polygamy-friendly, including gay polygamy. We’ve had a lot of firsts on Gospel Tangents, and I’ve got two firsts on this show. This is the first time we’ve ever interviewed a prophetess on Gospel Tangents, as well as our first internet Mormon Church.
David: My name is David Ferriman. This is my wife, Kristine. We are both the co-presidents with another person, actually, to make the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship, which is a mouthful. So, we generally call it the Fellowship of Christ or just The Fellowship. I’m not really sure what all you want to know. We’re an online movement, more than a church. During COVID, we did quite a bit of meetings for a variety of different people. But, recently, after all the churches opened back up, a lot of people went back to their home churches, and they still associate with us. But, being more of a movement, we don’t have a building at this point, if that makes sense.
Kristine: Our mission is mostly centered around making sure that people know that God loves them, and that they have a place within Christianity and within Mormonism, regardless of their histories or their personal beliefs or lifestyles.
GT: All right, so it’s an online church. I know a lot of ex-Mormons have said, “Why can’t we do church online?” But you’ve been doing it since the beginning, it sounds like, pretty much?
David: Yes, and I will say my ministry, personally, is more about helping people through what I like to call spiritual PTSD, then trying to build a church. Does that make sense?
GT: You kind of sound a little bit like Denver Snuffer.
David: Um, no, we…
GT: Because he doesn’t want to have a church, either. But it’s a movement. It sounds like you’re more of a movement than a building with four walls and a roof.
David: The only reason why is because the people that come here already have a church. So, it’s not like we’re going to say, “Well, you can’t be a part of Community of Christ, or the Salt Lake City Church, or, the Strangites, or whatever. You’ve got to be a part of us now.” So, with that they may come to, for example, we were doing the first, the new moon services as prescribed in the Old Testament. It was being led by a priest who is a fundamentalist Brighamite. Then, people speaking, or participating in it, one guy was a Strangite, another was from the RLDS branch of the faith, and so on and so forth. So, it’s hard to say, “Okay, well, we’re a church having a church meeting,” when these people already belong to other organizations.
GT: So, these are all dual citizens, I guess.
David: Yes, exactly. There are people who want us to start a church, but they’re like alone in Washington State and wherever else they are.
GT: David, I spoke with you on the phone awhile back with Alan Broadus. One of the things that stuck to my memory was, “We have something that will offend everybody.”
David: That’s what I like to say, “We have something that will offend everybody.”
GT: Can you go into more detail on that?
David: Well, yeah, sure. So, for example, we don’t believe that you have to be a polygamist to get into heaven, or to get to the highest degree of the Celestial kingdom. But, if you are a polygamous family, you’re welcome to worship with us. Then, also, you don’t have to be homosexual, but if you are, you’re welcome to worship with us. Those are two groups, generally, they don’t meet eye-to-eye, for various reasons. Most of the fundamentalists I meet say, “You know, it’s amazing. If you could just get rid of the gays, it’d be great.” That’s not going to happen. So, it’s always like just this one thing that seems to bother people, and it’s like, Everything’s so great, except for that. I’m so offended by it. If you just cut whatever that is out.
GT: So, it seems like you said you even supported gay polygamy. Is that right?
David: So, basically, my whole thing is–I’m speaking both as myself, and also kind of telling you what one of the revelations I had said. But basically, the idea is that as long as you’re consenting adults, you prayed on it, and this isn’t–marriage isn’t between two people, or three people, or however many people. It’s between two people and the Lord, or three people and the Lord or five people and the Lord, or whatever it is. So, if you’re like Brigham Young and have 50 wives, God has to be a part of every single one of those relationships. Also, you have to make sure that everybody, you and each individual in that unity has to make sure that you’re all working together in some way. So, like I said, it’s not mandatory to get into heaven or anything. But, if that’s what the Lord calls you to do, who am I to tell you [that] you can’t listen to God? Does that make sense?
GT: Yeah, so some people would call it a very progressive stance. I’m sure a lot of people, like you said, it will offend a lot of people. (Chuckling)
Find out more! What do you think of David & Kristine’s movement?
We’re going to learn more about their wide-open canon. They believe a lot of scripture from a lot of different not only Mormon movements, but they are open to even the Koran and non-Christian scripture as well.
GT: Okay, so Kristine…I know you introduced yourselves as co-presidents, and then somebody else is in the First Presidency. Are you are you a prophetess? As well as he’s a prophet?
Kristine: I guess I am. I don’t know that I like that title. I believe that everybody is capable of receiving revelation or receiving guidance from God.
GT: Does David receive more revelations than you, generally speaking?
Kristine: Probably, yeah.
GT: Have you received a revelation?
Kristine: I have. I have received many revelations. I’m much more quiet and much more low-key about them. To me, it’s much more of a personal kind of thing.
GT: So, you don’t write them down. I would guess you have some sort of Doctrine and Covenants or something like that. I want to talk about some of these revelations you’ve received.
David: We have our revelations in Doctrines of the Saints.
Wide Open Canon
David: Basically, if people send us a revelation, we will publish it. But that doesn’t mean we’ll canonize it. Everything has to be voted on. But we kind of stopped canonizing things for a while because one of the things we’re worried about is number one, we have an open canon. So, it’s really the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the two things you really kind of need to believe. The Doctrines of the Saints is really more for how to run an organization. Right? So, we may publish things on the website, and it may be a revelation. But that doesn’t mean people have to accept it as scripture. One example is we did vote to canonize The Book of the Law of the Lord from the Strangites. But that doesn’t mean that if you say, “I don’t think this is scripture,” that we’re going to kick you out. Do you know what I mean?
GT: So, they’re kind of on a lower level than the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Is that fair?
David: Yeah, that’s fair. I think the way I would categorize is the Torah, and the Gospels are number one, and then the Book of Mormon is there to help explain and help us understand the Torah and the Gospels. I would say 3rd Nephi probably is one of the Gospels.
GT: Okay. So, wow, a very open canon. I recently had an interview with John Pratt from the Brazil group. Do you have anybody from that group? The Reborn LDS Church.
David: No, but we did have people that–it was kind of interesting. They 100% fully support and believe that the sealed portion is a legitimate, translated, book of scripture. But they didn’t believe that Mauricio was a prophet. So, he had the right to translate it, but he didn’t have the right to start a church.
GT: That’s interesting.
David: Yeah, so because of that, if you actually go to the website, you’ll find articles that mention that particular book of scripture. It’s not canon. But it is canon for some people that associate with us.
GT: Oh, wow. Of course, now this brings up Muhammad and Hinduism and that sort of thing. Do you take any of their scriptures as legit?
David: What we say is that anything that helps you get closer to Jesus Christ is scripture for you. If you’re going to write an article, or teach a lesson, or give a talk or preach a sermon, or whatever you want to call it, and you have something from something else that is going to help people get closer to our Savior, read it. If it speaks to them, then that makes it scripture for them. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. We’re not Universal Unitarians. We don’t think that everything is definitely correct. But, we believe that there are truth in all things. For us, it’s the 14th article of faith that’s more traditionally known in the Brighamite church as the 13th article of faith, “We believe all things. we hope for all things.” So, we try to look for the good in everything.
What do you think of their open canon?
We’re going to learn more about David’s angelic ordination in our next conversation with David & Kristine Ferriman, co-presidents of CJCCF. We’ll learn more about their unification movement and a little bit more about their church.
David: Words can’t describe it. I had a conversation with the Lord, and the Lord told me in that conversation that he wanted me. He had called me to a ministry, and that he wanted me to go out–and what to do and how to do it. Of course, part of it was starting a website and putting revelations I had and information I had on the website.
David: I remember. I went upstairs, and I was terrified to tell Kristine what I had just experienced, because I was afraid she was going to think I was crazy, or she was going to call me apostate or whatever. Instead, she called me an idiot. The reason why was because I told her. “God has asked me to do this thing. He wants me to help unify the saints, and I don’t think it’s going to work, and the reason why is because every church, it’s like, they have a bad guy. The LDS Church now has the bad guys are the gays. For this [other] church, the bad guy are the Mormons, and there’s always a bad guy. But we’re not supposed to have a bad guy. We’re just supposed to love everybody.
She’s like, “You’re an idiot. So, let me get this straight. You’re telling me that God told you to do something, and you don’t think it’s going to work, even though God told you to do it?”
I was like, “Okay, well, when you put it that way, I guess I do feel like a little bit of an idiot.” But I think that’s one of the reasons why the Lord called me to do this is because of the fact that I’m skeptical of myself, which gives me the humility to not just force things upon people, I guess. But that’s the experience that I that I had. Sorry, that was kind of a long story. But, anyway, yeah.
GT: So, let me make sure–so you’ve had– so approximately what year did the Angel Raphael ordain you? Was it to be a prophet? Or what did he ordain you to?
David: As a high priest.
GT: Just a High Priest, okay. What year was that?
David: Oh, I didn’t write any of this stuff down. I want to say was 2014 or 2015, because it wasn’t exactly when all this happened.
GT: Okay, so, when the November 2015 policy came out, that’s when you have this–was it a vision or a revelation from God, that basically called you out of the LDS Church? Is that right?
GT: Well, Kristine, can you tell us a little bit more about church services? You know, in the LDS Church, we’ve got sacrament meeting and Sunday school and priesthood, Relief Society. Do you have those sorts of things? And how does your Sunday worship usually flow?
Kristine: We’ve done some Sunday worship on Zoom. We focus a lot on, I guess, at home worship and knowing and being able to have a guide to doing that kind of thing at home. We do the sacrament. We don’t usually do it every week. Sometimes we’ll do it once a month or, what have you. But, the Sunday worship is pretty much like most other churches. There’s a sermon or speaker. People are welcome when we’re on Zoom, to share thoughts. We go through songs and poems and readings.
GT: It wouldn’t seem that different than a traditional LDS service. Is that right?
David: I will say, we tried singing hymns, when we first started doing the Zoom services, and it’s a mess, because the timing just isn’t there.
Kristine: It doesn’t work on the computer, but individually…
Would you like to attend their internet services?
If you’re looking for THE TRUE CHURCH I doubt you’ll find it with these folks. But they sound like nice people who seem to be very accepting of all people and ideas. So if “community” is your thing, go for it.
This brings to mind that famous quote from Joseph Smith: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
JCS: I assume you are joking by attributing that quote to Joseph Smith. It is usually attributed to Voltaire, but it was actually a paraphrase of Voltaire by Evelyn Beatrice Hall.
You could argue, that JS took Christianity to a new level. But with BY and beyond, the Church seems to have lost it’s way. I wonder if what is needed is someone, or some group, to further elevate the Church to a new level. We need more than an “ongoing restoration” or restoring. We need a wholesale return to the teaching of Christ. Plus an update of the policies/doctrine/actions for the 21st century.
Snuffer, Ferrimans, and the like, don’t do it for me. I believe that change needs to come from members interacting with the institutional Church leadership. But at this point, there is no way for this to happen.
I thought the Joseph Smith quote was “I disapprove of how happiness is the object and design of our existence, but it feels so good not to be trammeled that I’ll defend to the death your right to govern yourself after I’ve taught you correct principles.”
The funny thing is that we (some of us at least) look down on Snuffer and others who say the current Church has fallen and that we need a reboot. We look down on that because we like to label those folks apostates. Yet in a very fundamental way both Christ and Joseph Smith were radicals who rejected the status quo. We (LDS) accept them for what they did but we hate it when others do the same thing today.
note: it pained me to compare JS to Christ but I was making a point about rejecting the establishment
Ziff: I love that quote! Yeah, I wonder what it would feel like not to be trammeled at Church.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” I probably wouldn’t agree with some of what they say, but I am a fan of people getting together and seeking for truth. I’m not sure I believe in a “ONE TRUE CHURCH” that teaches ALL of the truth, but I believe truth can be found among most religions, and we should embrace all truth, come from where it may.
But do they have a basketball team?
I can’t defend anyone’s right to disparage Bon Jovi, honky tonks, or Irish nachos.