In the first official history in twenty years, Mark A. Scherer--world church historian of the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or RLDS)-- offers a much-needed update giving the position of Community of Christ theologians, historians, and leaders on Restoration history. Currently available are the first two volumes of Scherer's trilogy, The Journey of a People. Volume 1 covers the period from 1820 to 1844, and volume 2 treats the years 1844 through 1946. The anticipated third volume will focus on the period from 1946 to the present and is due to be available in June 2016--just in time for the next world conference of the Community of Christ.
This is an important series for those who closely follow Mormon studies and other fields connected to the restorationist movements, along with those who study interfaith dynamics, Mormon history, and the modern approaches to that history. These works also have value for the general membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the laity of the Utah-based faith are likely unaware of the current position of the Community of Christ on key Restoration events, doctrines, and rites. Scherer's work is admirable in representing the views of leaders in the Community of Christ today on topics such as religious history, doctrine, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. As Scherer points out, not all in the former RLDS Church fully agree with his interpretation of "the church story" (1:xviii). Nevertheless, what Scherer describes seems representative of what I have heard at Community of Christ gatherings and symposia over the last decade.