Project Zion Podcast

316 | Cuppa Joe | Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series | Andrew Bolton

October 20, 2020 Project Zion Podcast
Project Zion Podcast
316 | Cuppa Joe | Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series | Andrew Bolton
Project Zion Podcast
316 | Cuppa Joe | Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series | Andrew Bolton
Oct 20, 2020
Project Zion Podcast

Project Zion Podcast is bringing you follow-up interviews with the presenters of the Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series. Today we have Andrew Bolton to share about his lecture, "Who Was Right About World War I: Frederick M. Smith or F. Henry Edwards?"

You can find Andrew's original presentation here and be sure to keep an eye out for more episodes from the presenters from the Summer Lecture Series. 

Host: Karin Peter
Guest: Andrew Bolton

Show Notes Transcript

Project Zion Podcast is bringing you follow-up interviews with the presenters of the Historic Sites Foundation Summer Lecture Series. Today we have Andrew Bolton to share about his lecture, "Who Was Right About World War I: Frederick M. Smith or F. Henry Edwards?"

You can find Andrew's original presentation here and be sure to keep an eye out for more episodes from the presenters from the Summer Lecture Series. 

Host: Karin Peter
Guest: Andrew Bolton

Josh Mangelson  00:18

Welcome to the Project Zion Podcast. This podcast explores the unique spiritual and theological gifts Community of Christ offers for today's world.


Karin Peter  00:34

Welcome to Project Zion Podcast. This is Cuppa Joe, where we explore Restoration history. And I'm your host Karin Peter. Today's episode is a collaboration with Community of Christ Historic Sites, as we interview the presenters from the 2020 historic sites Summer Lecture Series, and these lectures can be found at the Historic Sites website, and we'll put that in the notes on the Project Zion website. Our guest today is Andrew Bolton. Andrew is an author, a former college and high school teacher, and an activist. He has served Community of Christ in many capacities, including coordinating peace and justice ministries for the church worldwide. He taught in the Community of Christ Seminary, and he served the Council of 12 apostles with responsibility for Asia and indigenous peoples from 2007 to 2016. Now retired from church employment. Andrew has returned to England with his wife, jewel, and currently serves on the World Church Peace and Justice Team and he serves on the European Peace Team. And the European Peace Team is currently hosting the European Peace Colloquy, a series of webinars each illustrating a dimension of Christ's peace.  For more information, you can email Andrew at [email protected] President Steve Veazey will be speaking Sunday, September 27 2020. That will be recorded and you can find it at Andrews essays have been published in the Journal of Mormon History Dialogue, as well as Restoration Studies and the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. With two others he's completing an online resource called for a approaches to violence or family camps, retreats and church schools. The authors will also teach it as a series of webinars in February and March of 2021. Andrew has also written a second book on the Sermon on the Mount, learn on the mountain serve in the valleys that is in process of publication, and we'll let our project Zion listening group know when that comes out. So with that said, welcome, Andrew.


Andrew Bolton  03:33

Thank you, Karin.


Karin Peter  03:35

It's so good to have you here. I enjoyed your summer Lecture Series contribution, which for the historic sites series was titled, "Who Was Right About World War One? Frederick M. Smith, or F. Henry Edwards. Now for our Community of Christ listeners, both of those names are familiar to our listeners who come from other traditions? Not so familiar. So as we begin, can you say a little bit more about these two individuals to kind of introduce them to our listeners?


Andrew Bolton  04:14

Yes, certainly, Frederick M. Smith became prophet president of Community of Christ in 1915 is the only president of the church that we've had with a PhD, which was spectacular, I think, in 1915. He was 40. when World War One broke out in Europe in 1914. He was the son of Joseph Smith, the third grandson of Joseph Smith, Jr. He was really into Zion, and connected also with the contemporary social gospel movement. And he didn't mind quoting socialists like Karl Marx, he taught "to everyone according to their need from everyone according to their ability," for instance, another of his sayings was "luxury was wrong, unless it was commonly enjoyed" and so his words about economic justice sound as radical as his grandfather's. He was also though an American nationalist. And when the United States joined World War One on April the sixth 1917, also Good Friday. He supported the draft. He was opposed to pacifism and would not allow it to be preached from the pulpit. He referred to pacifists as cowardly slackers. And I get a feeling he was just totally disgusted by them. He was prophet president during both World War One and World War Two. And he didn't change his views in World War Two and in fact, he was a colonel in the Missouri National Guard in World War Two, so you get the picture. F. Henry Edwards was British became 17 the day Great Britain is Empire entered the war on the fourth of August 1914. He was training as an accountant. His parents were working class and Welsh and then moved from North Wales to Birmingham, England looking for work. They were first of all LDS and then they joined the Reorganization. And you have a sense that they were a strong and devoted church family. Conscription or the draft was introduced for the first time in British history in January 1916. So it was innovation so it caused a stir. Edwards refused to be drafted to be a CO was a legal right. But the hearings were very biased against COs. They had a member of the army onboard, whose job it was to make sure no one was approved as a CO. And Edwards, not surprisingly, was refused CO status, its appeal also for And he was arrested at home in December 1916 was court martialed and sent 412 days hard labor at the notorious Wormwood Scrubs Prison in London. What else there he was able to persuade a new tribunal, the central tribunal that in fact he wasn't authentic CO. He chose the option of doing civilian work of national importance, and was sent with 1000 other young COs to Dartmoor Prison, which was decommissioned and used as a work camp. If you've seen or heard the Sherlock Holmes story, Hound of the Baskervilles, that's the prison. Gloomy, misty, dark, haunting prison. And Edwards was there for two years. He had to do work of national importance and for him, it was working in the kitchen. So you have Smith President of the church, a US patriot with a PhD at age 40 at his prime. F. Henry Edwards was a British working class teenager, a trainee accountant, a priest, and a pacifist. And the question I was posing, I'm posing is who is right about World War One?


Karin Peter  08:20

Thank you for that introduction to both individuals. So a lot of our readers may be more familiar with World War Two. In American culture at least, it has been the subject of multiple films and television series, and has received a romantic kind of aura about it from cinema and from television. We are less familiar with World War One. So can you just give us a brief overview of it, you put it in context in your lecture, and I want to point people to about lecture so they can see not only the wonderful photographs that you provide, but to hear your lecture in complete detail, which is marvelous. But we do need some context about World War One.


Andrew Bolton  09:15

So I, by researching F. Henry Edwards then I began to understand World War One. So I read these words by John Keegan, a World War One historian. He wrote these his first words of the book, "The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary conflict." It was a local conflict that did not need to go global. It could have been solved locally. European empires were in conflict. There'd been an arms race between Germany and Britain. And it was the first mechanized chemicalized industrialized war that resulted in eight and a half million military deaths, 6 to 13 million civilian deaths. Over 50 million deaths from Spanish flu. So it was terrible from that point of view. Michael Kazan, another historian, this time, an American historian at Georgetown, said, "Historians both left and right now see the First World War is a terrible and tragic mistake." So there's a unity about assessing World War One from the historians. So why was it tragic? Well, the Bolshevik Revolution would not have happened in 1917. It ended empires, the Austrian/Hungarian Empire was over after the war. We drew the maps of the Middle East, which still have consequences today. World War Two followed caused by World War One the unjust peace the Versailles Treaty. That meant Holocaust the atom bomb and the Cold War. Followed World War Two. And 9/11 is a consequence of World War One. So we do well to understand World War One. And Matthew Naylor, who's the president and CEO of the national World War One Museum in Kansas City and a Community of Christ member said this "World War One was the founding catastrophe of the 20th century." So let me repeat those ominous words. "World War One was the founding catastrophe of the 20th century." And if we're to understand our century, we have to understand World War One.


Karin Peter  11:41

Thank you for that context. For those listeners in the Greater Kansas City area, that might be an excellent place to visit when the pandemic recedes enough that we return to some semblance of community life together. With a bit of context about the climate of World War One and the catastrophic results of World War One, let's go back to F. Henry Edwards and his choice to register as a conscientious objector at this time. And if you could tell us a bit, not an easy path, what caused him to choose to do this?


Andrew Bolton  12:27

So his conscience, and we'll come to the actual words that he used his rationale. So there are 20,000 COs in Britain in World War One. And the United States there's also resistance a third of a million didn't register. Around 6000 British COs were court marshaled, and F. Henry was one of them. We have his crime that led to him being court marshalled.


Karin Peter  12:55

You showed that on your lecture, correct? 


Andrew Bolton  12:57



Karin Peter  12:57

That card? 


Andrew Bolton  12:57

Yes. Yeah. And he was one of his part of a movement of COs, but many others were also resisting the war. So many socialists were against the war, they had an international perspective. So workers in other lands his brother's comrades struggling with capitalism, like they were. And there were soldier poets like Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen, who in their poetry told the terrible truths of war. Sassoon was a soldier from the beginning of the war August 1914. He wrote a letter of protest to his commanding officer in July 1917. It included this line, "I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops and can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends that I believe to be evil and unjust." His letter was published in The Times, the establishment newspaper, and read in Parliament. He was saved from being court-martialed by being sent to him mental asylum. And women were also part of the protest movement. So John Francis was a general in World War One, a British General. And he had a sister who campaigned against the war. So there would be some interesting conversations in that family. And so far we've found Eight World War One Latter Day Saints conscientious objectors, six from the LDS tradition, one of whom was Canadian, three were British, older men married with children. One was from Utah, who was a British immigrant so we could count him either way, and while the German who got in the medical corps and lost a leg when a British grenade landed between him and his patient, so there were two RLDS conscientious objectors, F. Henry Edwards, and a Missouri farmer, married with children, called Charles Dexter Brash, so we should celebrate him too, he had a fifth grade education. So of this group of eight Latter Day Saint conscientious objectors, F. Henry's the youngest, and the only one for whom we have a written account of his reason for being a CO. Actually, Charles Dexter brush just put down the name of the church. So tribunal records, the draft boards, in Britain were nearly all destroyed after World War One. And there were nearly 20,000 COs in Britain and World War One to having those tribunal records would have been fascinating, but we don't have them. But Edwards wrote a letter to The Saints Herald age 17, written on the 12th of February 1915. Published May the 12th of the same year. And here's the relevant extract. "My fellow countrymen are making great sacrifices for their king and country and I want to be willing to give my life if need be, for my King, capital K, the King of Kings, and for the establishment of his Kingdom to be a patriot in the great sense." So what I marvel about this statement is he got the parallel between the King of kings and King George the Fifth, I think it was. And he got the parallel between his country and Christ universal kingdom. And he's only 17 when he puts this together. So it's amazing that he was so insightful and was able to articulate that.


Karin Peter  16:39

What catches me in that quote from his letter to the Herald, is how he used the word patriot. I wish to be a patriot and it cast this interesting light in the current conversations that take place in the United States that confuse patriotism with national ism and confuse patriotism with allegiance to a civic country, as opposed to he's using it patriot as his allegiance to God's peaceful brain to God's kingdom. And I think that informs our conversation in the United States greatly at this juncture.


Andrew Bolton  17:24

Yeah, yes, yes. And he's only 17 I remember when I was 17, I wouldn't be able to articulate that. So it was also a fact that the church had just begun again in Germany, 1914. Think of the close relationships we share with one another in the church. It was unthinkable for him to accidentally kill a German church member. And there's a story in the British Isles that one of the tribunals that he was asked if he was willing to serve on the Minesweeper, apparently he said yes, if it could clear British mines as well as German mines. So again his universalism.


Karin Peter  18:02

Yeah. When you introduced F. Henry, you talked a little bit about when he went before the tribunal, and he was sent to is that Wormwood? Did have that correct? Prison. And he had quite a journey with that. So if you could tell us a little about that journey from Wormwood to then to the prison where he served with the other CEOs. And then you talk about something that is called the home office scheme, which I found an interesting aspect of his journey. So if you could kind of chronicle that for us that would be helpful.


Andrew Bolton  18:41

So Lloyd George, a Welshman, was Secretary of State for War and later Prime Minister. He said he wanted the path for COs to be a "very hard one." Very hard ones in quotes. So prison was hard labor. Cold in winter, hot in summer insufficient food on purpose to week to week and the resistance of COs you were alone in your cell and no visits or letters for the first two months, there was a silence rule. And so you couldn't talk when you were out on your exercise and that has mental issues. And there was punishment, field punishment number one was the worst where you got arms tied to a post, and you were leaning forward. It was very uncomfortable. The Frenchmen were a group of COs taken to France, about 40 of them, May or June 1916 and they were going to shoot them. One of them tossed the message out of the railway carriage onto a station platform. And it got to his family, who alerted their MP and the Quaker MPs then lobbied the prime minister and got it stopped. So people didn't know they were going to be executed or not. And the records show that 73 conscientious objectors died in prison. 31 COs went insane. So it's tough. The home office recognize that all these COs were being mistreated. I mean, those questions asked in Parliament, we had the allies of Quaker MPs, their deaths were happening and so on. So develop the home office scheme, which was a work scheme that people could choose and do work of national importance, and be out of the way and public mind but not so mistreated. So the Dartmoor prison, this notorious Hound of the Baskervilles prison was converted to a work camp. Locks were taken off the doors. Basically, the COs ran the prison, but they did nine hours work a day.


Karin Peter  21:05

So as you were describing his experience in prison in hard labor, much of what you're describing would now be considered torture by our current modern understanding of the treatment of prisoners of war or conscripted individuals. So when we talk about prison in hard labor, we're talking about some very severe punishments that happened to individuals in them. So when you talk about this very difficult path, it is an extremely difficult path that he chose. Would he have known? Would he have had any understanding that this was what was going to happen when he chose conscientious objection?


Andrew Bolton  21:46

Yeah, I think so. I mean, church family contemplating going to prison. I mean, it's outrageous, isn't it? Now his parents supported him. So he's fortunate in that, but not all church members understood that. I'm prepping to talk about that later. So yeah, it's it's a tough road. But I think in some ways COs appreciated that because when that came out, we couldn't be accused of counting.


Karin Peter  22:15

So let's contrast F. Henry's experience and his choice with the very nationalist perspective of F.M. Smith, Frederick Madison Smith. So you shared a little bit about what he felt about the war, but their perspectives were quite different. Can you tell us more about his experience, and then what happened after the war with these two individuals?


Andrew Bolton  22:42

So F.M. Smith was ordained president of the church in 1915. His dad died, Joseph the Third around December 1914. And the last editorial written by his dad, Joseph the Third,  supported US President Wilson's stand of neutrality. And that was good because we had American LDS members who have German heritage as well as British heritage. So this made for peace in our congregations. This all changed on the sixth of April. ominous isn't the sixth of April 1917. 


Karin Peter  23:17

Very much so. 


Andrew Bolton  23:19

And the crucifixion Friday when the US joined the war, so F.M. Smith was not the only church leader who joined the patriotic bandwagon. Catholic bishops, Protestants supported the war, urged the young men to obey the draft, to yeah, be draft, be conscripted. And you have the terrible reality of Catholics killing Catholics and Protestants killing Protestants in crime. So F.M. Smith, as I've said, would not let passivism and be taught from the pulpit, thought they were cowards and slackers, and he didn't change his views in World War One or World War Two. But there's also a peace side to him. Zion was about holistic peace and justice. And he was really into that. His that, Joseph the Third, in a Doctrine and Covenants section, spoke of apostles of peace in 1913. and F.M. Smith in 1920, also had a section added to the Doctrine and Covenants with this apostle of peace idea. Also, F.M. Smith popularized the church seal beginning in the 1920s. Before that, it was invented in 1874. It was just used for legal documents. But now in the 1920s, it began to be used on a stationary letterheads and church publications. So the lion and the lamb led by a child with a garland of laurel leaves and the word "peace" at the bottom began to be seen more widely in the church. So he moves in a peace direction unwillingly, but he does that, I think is responding from an awareness that World War One was not everything he believed at the time. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, and quite evidently didn't become that.


Karin Peter  25:16

In fact, it became the opposite as it begat World War Two,


Andrew Bolton  25:19

Yes, the Russian Revolution, and so on.


Karin Peter  25:23

So here we have these two individuals, F.M. Smith, as you described him who was an interesting character in his own right as you delve into his life a little bit in other contexts. He was a very interesting individual. The picture of him, American, nationalist, well educated, privileged in very many senses of the word. And F. Henry Edwards, so very different. So their experiences during the war were quite different. What happened afterwards? F. Henry Edwards, spent his time in two prisons. And then comes home to community afterwards. What was that like?


Andrew Bolton  26:06

So I think we, it's helped us understand F. Henry Edwards commitment to going to church. So for instance, he was allowed out from Dartmouth prison to go to a congregation in Exeter. The whole trip took at least five hours, the round trip. And it was mostly uphill on the way back.


Karin Peter  26:32

A five hour trip to go to church from the workcamp where you're already exhausted and staying in a prison atmosphere.


Andrew Bolton  26:43



Karin Peter  26:44

That's commitment. 


Andrew Bolton  26:45

Yeah, he was committed to church. 


Karin Peter  26:48

So all of us who don't want to get up early on Sunday morning to log in online, hear this quite well. Yeah.


Andrew Bolton  26:55

Yes. And the local branch bought him the bicycle So, those difficulties that are in his home congregation in Birmingham, and we live in a city not far from Birmingham, and I was researching F. Henry Edwards some years ago and I was talking with Ida Dick's a dear elderly sister about this and then she said, Oh, there was trouble in the Birmingham branch. So what happened was when the F when the Edwards family came into the church into the congregational building some words saying God is marching his army, and that the line will have no cowards in our ranks. So it was very difficult for a while, as some would walk out when he stood to preach. In the end, he won most. He lost his trainee accountant position because he was the CO, but he ended up working for the church. So British church leaders recognized his abilities as a minister. So he worked through these but it was tough for a while.


Karin Peter  28:03

Going home after that experience would be difficult for most but to go home to your church community, different than your home community, but your church community and have that kind of division would be really difficult to get over. It's admirable that he then begins working for the church and, and exhibit such a love for the church throughout his life. So let's talk about that. He does begin working for the RLDS Church. How did that happen for this young man?


Andrew Bolton  28:34

So he was really good at detail. He was good at keeping records. So he gets two sticks of church membership. And if you look at the volumes of church history, the statistics about the membership of the church at different periods. So he's done the statistics. I mean, he was training as an accountant. He probably learned shorthand in the prison because it was a class offered. So he was more educated than a number of people and some practical skills. And he's very diligent, very capable. So we've talked about F.M. Smith and F. Henry, he was having very different views than they actually meet in 1920. So British Isles is an important historic mission of the church and F.M. Smith has been delayed in coming to this after his ordination in 1915. So in 1920, came along missionary tour. After World War One, and he needed a secretary. So F. Henry was asked to be the secretary. So this is pregnant with possibilities, isn't it? So this is actually what happened in their first meeting, and the words of F. Henry, "I went to F.M. Smith's room the first time in fear and trembling. I soon found that he was kindness personified when I settled in a little I even ventured a question or two. For me it was like a course in church administration." So kindness personified and F.M. Smith became a mentor. F. Henry Edwards had had a good relationship with his dad. They talked about church teachings, and history and so on. And he fell into that kind of relationship with F.M. Smith. And so that was a very positive and surprising outcome from their encounter.


Karin Peter  30:33

Very surprising. It's one of the marvelous aspects of the story, this meeting that you described in your lecture of this young man who spent his time during World War One in prison and workcamp. And this very educated president of the church with his America nationalistic tendencies. It's like a movie waiting to happen in that scene. So during your lecture, you show this marvelous photo in which we see Present Smith, F.M. Smith, and F. Henry Edwards and Smith's daughter, Alice. So share a little bit why that's significant.


Andrew Bolton  31:10

Well, there's this story just before that, so there is background. So F.M. Smith, in 1922, called F. Henry had risen to the council. He was just 25 is the youngest ever called and the Council of 12 in the Community of Christ. And so, this illustrates it's possible in the Community of Christ have very different perspectives on some issues, but still have a very loving, trusting, productive working relationship.


Karin Peter  31:43

So, I'm going to, I'm going to stop there and ask you to, to re clarify so that our listeners Don't miss the importance of this. With everything that F. Henry Edwards experienced, and everything that F.M. Smith said about conscientious objectors and his position during both wars, he calls F. Henry


Andrew Bolton  32:10

Into the Council of 12. Age 25.


Karin Peter  32:14

This is a this is a momentous happening considering their experiences during World War One.


Andrew Bolton  32:22

So the illustrate you can have faithful disagreement and still get on together. They they model unity in diversity. So it is wonderful. So I want to say that Smith trust in Edwards was justified. He served in the Council 12 for 24 years. Then he was called into the First Presidency by Israel A. Smith in 46 later by W. Wallace Smith, in 1958. So he served in the First Presidency 20 years. So it's a total of 44 years in church leadership. That's a long time and he was a very good efficient administrator is also being called articulator for the chat. That's the title of Paul Edwards book about. Paul Edwards is the son of F. Henry and a scholar, historian. So Edwards in his preaching and in his writing voice the message of the church. And according to Keith Wilson, a BYU professor of Provo, Edwards wrote more than any other church leader, either in Community of Christ or the LDS Church. So he got up but we got up at 3 or 4 in the morning to write, then did a full day's administrative work. Yeah, F. Henry was also a good pastor. So you remember people's name really well. So for instance, he knew my wife Jewel, and always greeted Jewel by name when he met her as a child and as a teenager. So the other wrinkle in story is F. Henry Edwards marries F.M. Smith's daughter Alice, and they have two sons, both of whom are still alive. They lost a child, and they adopted a child. And they were married over 50 years.


Karin Peter  34:17

So when we see the picture with other individuals with F.M. Smith, and his daughter, Alice and F. Henry, we see this complete coming around of this story and these divergent paths to not only sharing in leadership of the church but in their family experience. And Paul Edwards has some wonderful tales to tell us about his mother, Alice, F.M., and F. Henry, and he's a delight to listen to. During the lecture, you shared a little bit about F. Henry's role as articulator of the church. And you talked about his contribution of introducing a concept of grace into the church. Can you share a little bit more about this this? This was new information for me, and maybe for our listeners.


Andrew Bolton  35:14

So in some ways that memory is the creator Community of Christ. But he does it very skillfully, it's not obvious, but he, he helps various currents going that direction. So that's another big topic that go he introduces grace into the church. Actually, grace is central to the teaching of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Remember, Paul experienced grace, he held the coats of those who stone Stephen. He persecuted the church and then he was met by Jesus on the road to Damascus and was converted. So Paul, coming into the early Christian church experienced grace, it wasn't theoretical. It was experiential. St. Agustin for centuries later also emphasize God's loving saving grace. It was reclaimed by Protestant reformer Martin Luther. And the letter of James talks about both faith and works. Latter Day Saints quote James about this, but they tended to emphasize works. The transformation of life being worthy in the LDS tradition. And so sometimes we Latter Day Saints forgot about grace. But the truth is, we can't be good in our own strength. We love God because God first loved us to quote 1 John. It's love that releases the power to love in us. Grace releases the power to be gracious to others. And F. Henry Edwards is in touch with British Christianity. He reads Anglican theologians. He doesn't quote them. He doesn't name his quotations. He doesn't cite them. Which was okay in those days. And if you're preaching you don't need to say, but he's in touch with grace. And Anglican theologians can be very helpful. Now I want to tell a story. So it's around 1955,1956 F. Henry Edwards is a member of the First Presidency, invited to go to Australia. And one of his duties on that trip was to open the new church building at Drummoyne in Sydney. There's a plaque as you walk in the door, saying, opened by F. Henry Edmonds. And Geoff Spencer who later walk work for the church, a very important theologian, in his own right, was a student sitting his final exams, and he was struggling. Do I go to church and listen to F. Henry Edwards who I may never hear again, or do I pass my exams? So he compromised. He took his books to advise at the back of church during the service. F. Henry stood up to preach. And he preached on grace. Geoff was transfixed put his books to one side and listen. And it was a life changing experience for Geoffery Spencer. And Geoff went on to magnify the gospel of grace and his own ministry. So, I want to state, gospel means good news. And without grace, there is no good news. There's no gospel. So no grace, no gospel. Grace is the good news. And so I'm very grateful that F. Henry Ewards helped us come to a balance. I re-emphasizing the importance of grace. There's right there in the beginning of the New Testament church.


Karin Peter  38:50

And we see that in our own Enduring Principles currently when we talk about Grace and Generosity and grace runs through Community of Christ, those currents that you talk about F. Henry introducing, they run through Community of Christ.


Andrew Bolton  39:06

And it's the first Enduring Principle. 


Karin Peter  39:08



Andrew Bolton  39:10



Karin Peter  39:10

Marvelous. So, Andrew, I know that your areas of study are broad, and we've had many conversations about that. But how has your study into Community of Christ history, specifically, let's talk about this concept of what F. Henry Edwards, contributed to the church, how has this study contributed to the shaping and forming of your own discipleship?


Andrew Bolton  39:39

So I came into the church and I heard these stories about F. Henry Edwards. My big regret is I never interviewed him. It was a one opportunity to do it, and I didn't do it. So here we have a working class, British teenager who was very courageous. That's an inspiration for me and the path of faithfulness to Jesus is sometimes lonely, sometimes hard. He was willing to endure a shame or ridicule the disapproval of others and taking his stand. So I'm inspired by his courage. The central tribunal had a Lord and a Sir, interviewing him. So aristocrats, educated, speaking pompously in a very intimidating town, working class, young man, and he's stood up to them with courage. And so Edwards is an inspiration to me of courageous discipleship. And his story is important for the church. Now as we consider non violence at the 2022 World Conference as we think about Jesus commandment to love our enemies. F. Henry's story is important for our day, too. 


Karin Peter  40:52

For our Project Zion listeners, what are some aspects of this story of relationship between F. Henry and F.M. Smith that might inform us in our discipleship as we move forward together as community?


Andrew Bolton  41:07

So they vigorously disagreed about war. And I have good friends who vigorously disagree with me about violence and war on the Gospels' teaching. F.M. Smith was a US nationalist at Henry Edwards was a conscientious objector. However, their relationships were kind, warm and respectful. And that happens in the church. F. Henry was called to be an apostle at the age of 25. F.M. Smith allowed his daughter, beloved daughter Alice to marry and Henry. So, F.M. Smith and F. Henry model faithful disagreement, unity and diversity and as Community of Christ begins a major discussion on non violence at the June 2022 World Conference, F.M. Smith and F. Henry Edwards model how we can stay together, work together, love each other whilst disagree.


Karin Peter  42:07

You give us a picture of our best selves. So we're going to bring our episode to a close Andrew and it has been a wonderful chatting with you about this and again, I want to point our listeners to historic to see Andrew's lecture in full, and complete with photographs and other aspects of the story. But before we come to a close, do you have any closing thoughts you'd like to share with our audience?


Andrew Bolton  42:36

So to be a conscientious objector is more than being a conscientious objector against war. To be a conscientious objector is the essence of being a disciple. We're called to be conscientious objectors against poverty, against racism, against Islamophobia, against anti semitism, against sexism, against abuse of the earth. So conscientious objectors are calling his disciples. And to hear the voice of Jesus and follow Him means one must be a conscientious objector to many things, as they exist now, as we pursue a kingdom life on earth as it is in heaven. Unless we have the courage to live out the worth of every person and the sacredness of creation, we're not following Jesus. So conscientious faithfulness to Jesus means conscientious objection to many things in the fallen world. We can learn from the conscientious objectors of World War One, and subsequently, as they were called in World War One, the storm troopers of resistance against that war.


Karin Peter  43:50

Thank you, Andrew, for that and for being with us today.


Josh Mangelson  43:53

Thanks for listening to Project Zion podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on Apple podcast, Stitcher, or whatever podcast streaming service you use. And while you're there, give us a five star rating. Project Zion podcast is sponsored by Latter-day Seeker ministries of Community of Christ. The views and opinions expressed in this episode are of those speaking and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Latter-day Seeker Ministries or Community of Christ. Music has been graciously provided by Dave Heinze.