Statement by the Methodist Church
2004 Book of Resolutions Errata
Updated as of December 6, 2005
THE NURTURING COMMUNITY
16. Guidelines for Ministering to Mormons
WHEREAS, there is an expressed need on the part of United Methodists for more clarity on the issues surrounding the reception of people baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints (Mormons) who seek to become members of The United Methodist Church; and
WHEREAS, there are varying practices in United Methodist churches in such instances, some not recognizing the Latter-day Saints’ baptism, and so baptizing them; and some recognizing the baptism, and so receiving them as baptized Christians; and
WHEREAS, United Methodists seek to act in ways that are faithful, compassionate, and just in relationship to other faith traditions, extending hospitality toward all and charity toward those whose faith and practice differ from ours;
Therefore, while our denomination must continue to seek further clarity on issues of our own faith, we have enough clarity to take steps toward establishing a policy for The United Methodist Church regarding the reception of those converting from the LDS Church. It is our recommendation that following a period of catechesis (a time of intensive exploration and instruction in the Christian faith), such a convert should receive the sacrament of Christian baptism.
We, further, urge United Methodist churches to utilize Sacramental Faithfulness: Guidelines for Receiving People From The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), published by the General Board of Discipleship as a study resource and guideline for pastors and congregations who face the challenge of receiving former Mormons who seek to become United Methodists.
The board is further authorized to provide resources in accordance with these guidelines for pastors and congregations to help them receive former Latter-day Saints (Mormons) who seek to become United Methodists in ways that are faithful to our United Methodist heritage.
See Social Principles ¶ 161B.
Page 164, Resolution 40, Affirmation for the Historic Doctrines of the Christian Faith should read as follows:
Whereas, The United Methodist Church has long been guided by the teaching of the Scripture, the United Methodist Articles of Religion, the historical creeds of the Church, and the theological heritage of the Wesleyan tradition, and,
Whereas the Constitution of the United Methodist Church, in its Restrictive Rules (see¶16-20), protects both The Articles of Religion and The Confession of Faith as doctrinal standards that shall not be revoked, altered, or changed (Book of Discipline, pp. 58-58), and,
Whereas, the clergy covenant agreed to by all clergy entering the denomination includes the following question: "In covenant with other elders, will you be loyal to the United Methodist Church, accepting its order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline, defending it against all doctrines contrary to God's Holy Word, and accepting the authority of those who are appointed to supervise your ministry? (The United Methodist Book of Worship, p. 676. c.f.p. 666, also c.f. Book of Discipline, ¶304.1.i.)
Whereas, we affirm that abiding by our rules and upholding the doctrines of Christianity, is critical to the peace and unity both within The United Methodist Church globally.
Therefore, be it resolved, that the 2004 General Conference affirms its commitment to the basic doctrines of the Christian faith as taught in the Scripture, and in the United Methodist Articles of Religion, and in the sermons of John Wesley.
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