CLEVELAND (AP) -- A new United Methodist Church policy statement declares that the Mormon church, ''by self-definition, does not fit within the bounds of the historic, apostolic tradition of the Christian faith.''
The paper says this means Mormons who become Methodists should be treated as converts from another faith and undergo baptism.
The United Methodist Church is the third largest U.S. denomination, with 8.4 million members, while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranks seventh, with 5 million members.
The policy, approved at a Methodist conference without debate, says Mormonism has ''some radically differing doctrine on such matters of belief as the nature and being of God; the nature, origin, and purpose of Jesus Christ; and the nature and way of salvation.''
The Methodists say Mormonism believes in a ''gendered, married and procreating god'' with ''a body of flesh and bones,'' and ''more closely resembles a tritheistic or possibly a polytheistic faith'' than monotheism.
The Methodists also object that ''the Jesus of Mormonism is not co-eternal with the Father'' and that Mormons add other scriptures to the Bible.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, the Mormon church responded: ''Latter-day Saints embrace both ancient and modern revelations that proclaim Jesus Christ as the living, divine Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Any assertion otherwise demonstrates a lack of knowledge of Latter-day Saint doctrine and teachings.''
On the Net:
Latter-day Saints (official): www.lds.org. United Methodist Church (official): www.umc.org
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