Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch
819 West Waldo Ave., Independence, MO 64050
1. The members of the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch consider themselves to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ as originally restored and organized, by command of God, on April 6, 1830, and reorganized on April 6, 1860. We are not a separate denomination, nor have we formed a new church, but are a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ.
2. We believe the "Restoration Movement" is alive within the Restoration Branches and is a part of "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST" in this day.
3. We believe we are commissioned to perpetuate and practice the doctrine as taught by Jesus Christ and restored to earth through his prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of His church, and it should be called after His name; and whatever is done in it should be done in His name (3Ne 12:19-22), although He uses mankind in that work.
ARTICLE I - STATEMENT OF BELIEF:
A. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES: We believe the Holy Scriptures (Bible) is the divinely sanctioned Word of God in so far as it is correctly translated. We consider the Inspired Version to be the standard version of the Church.
B. THE BOOK OF MORMON: We believe the Book of Mormon is divinely revealed Scripture and contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a true account of God's dealings with the ancient Americans. The RLDS 1908 Edition is the standard edition of the church.
C. THE BOOK OF DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS: We believe that God continues to reveal himself in this day and age. A portion of continuing revelation may be found in the RLDS Doctrine and Covenants. We accept, as scripture, that which is in harmony with the Inspired Version of the Holy Scriptures and the Book of Mormon.
D. THE LAW OF THE CHURCH: We believe the Three Standard Books named above contain the law of the Church and their teachings should be adhered to on matters of faith, doctrine, and practice.
E. THE GODHEAD: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe that God, the Father, and Christ the Son, are two separate personages.
F. THE EPITOME OF FAITH: The Epitome of Faith as given by Joseph Smith, Jr., is a partial summary of our beliefs. (See Appendix A)
G. JOSEPH SMITH, JR.: We believe that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a true prophet of God, and his experiences, such as the vision in Palmyra's grove, and the obtaining of the Book of Mormon plates, etc., are actual facts of history.
H. MARRIAGE: We believe in the scriptural definition of marriage, which is between one man and one woman. We believe sexual relations outside of a scripturally defined marriage are prohibited. (See Gen 2:30; Jacob 2:36; D&C 42:7d; 49:3a-b; 111:4b)
ARTICLE II- MEMBERSHIP POLICY
A. VISITORS: We encourage all to attend our services, classes, and activities and invite all to come unto Christ.
B. THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER: We welcome all to attend. However, we are close communionists, and only those who are baptized and confirmed by authority in the Church may partake of the emblems.
C. MEMBERSHIP (Voting Members):
1. All persons baptized and confirmed in the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch shall be voting members.
2. All persons whose membership has been established by approved transfer shall be voting members.
3. All members shall have privilege of voting at all branch business meetings, unless they transfer membership out of the congregation, hold membership in another branch, or have been excommunicated from the branch for unrepentant sin by vote of the branch through lawful church court procedures.
D. REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSFERRING to the Church of Jesus Church, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch and becoming a voting member:
1. An individual, formerly baptized by one having authority, may apply for membership in the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch.
2. Those applying for membership in the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Restoration Branch will be reviewed by the Priesthood and Membership Authorization Committee whose recommendations shall be transmitted to the Branch Presidency for final approval.
ARTICLE III- PRIESTHOOD:
A. PRIESTHOOD CALLS: The Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch will consider calls to the priesthood when the Branch President testifies that he has received Divine inspiration that such calls should be made. Such calls will be reviewed by the Melchizedek Priesthood, who shall make their recommendations to the Branch Presidency. The authority of the Branch in such matters is limited to the voting on calls to the office of Elder, Priest, Teacher, and Deacon.
B. PRIESTHOOD MEMBERS TRANSFERRING to the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Restoration Branch will be reviewed by the Priesthood and Membership Authorization Committee, who shall make their recommendations to the Branch Presidency for final approval.
C. VISITING PRIESTHOOD MEMBERS asked to participate in the ordinances must be approved by the Branch Presidency prior to participation.
ARTICLE IV - GOVERNING POLICIES:
A. The Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch shall be organized and shall function as a "Branch" of the Church in accordance with the commandments of God as outlined in the Scriptures and these Bylaws.
B. The final authority of the Branch rests with the voting membership in harmony as set forth in Section A above.
C. BUSINESS MEETINGS:
1. ELECTION OF A BRANCH PRESIDENT shall take place at a regularly scheduled annual business meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch during the month of April of each year. The Branch President shall be nominated from the Melchisedec Priesthood of the Branch and elected by majority vote. If a member of the Melchisedec Priesthood is unable to serve, the Branch President shall be nominated from the Priests, Teachers, or Deacons (respectively) of the Branch and elected by majority vote. The method of voting shall be by ballot. Final selection of a Branch President requires a majority of the total ballots cast, thus a run-off vote is required if none of the candidates receive more than 50% of the total ballots. The term of office shall be for one year, with no limit to the number of consecutive terms.
The newly-elected Branch President shall appoint his Counselors who will be presented to the membership for sustaining vote at the next regular business meeting. The Branch Presidency shall take office on the first of July. All those constituting the Branch Presidency shall be selected from the eldership within the Branch, if available and willing to serve.
2. A PRIESTHOOD & MEMBERSHIP AUTHORIZATION COMMITTEE of five (5) or seven (7) priesthood members shall be appointed by the Branch President and approved by the Branch to review priesthood and members requesting transfer into the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch, and their recommendations shall be transmitted to the Branch Presidency for final approval.
3. ELECTION OF BRANCH OFFICERS shall take place at a regularly-scheduled business meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch during the month of July to take office the first of the following September of each year. The officers shall include a Branch Recorder, Branch Secretary, and Branch Treasurer. Other officers shall be selected by the Branch as deemed necessary. The Recorder, Secretary, Treasurer, and (if elected by the branch) Assistant Treasurer shall be selected from the voting membership of the branch.
4. CONSIDERATION OF THE BUDGET shall take place at a regularly-scheduled meeting of the Branch during the month of August or September of each year, for the fiscal year beginning in September.
5. NOTICE OF ALL BUSINESS MEETINGS should be given to the membership at least two (2) weeks before the meeting. The Branch Presidency will normally call all Branch business meetings. However, under special circumstances, a two-thirds vote of the Melchizedek Priesthood or 25 percent of the Membership can call a business meeting.
6. BRANCH FUNDS DESIGNATED FOR OBLATION are available for assistance of the poor and needy. The Oblation Committee shall be appointed by the Branch President to consist of three members at large, plus the Branch President and the Branch Treasurer, having ex-officio status. The purpose of this committee is to review, and approve or disapprove oblation requests.
7. No member of the congregation, including the Branch President or Treasurer, may expend funds in excess of three hundred dollars ($300.00) without approval in the branch budget or in other branch business meetings; exception being oblation funds approved by the Oblation Committee.
8. Any elected officer of the Branch can be removed from office by a simple majority vote, if consideration is deemed advisable by 25% of the Branch membership requesting that consideration.
D. In order to provide the proper checks and balances in the government of the Church of Jesus Christ, Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch, the priesthood shall meet with the Branch President and his Counselors on a regular basis to assess both the spiritual and temporal condition of the Branch. No authority is given to the Priesthood to legislate. The appointed Priesthood Secretary shall take minutes of all Priesthood meetings whenever a vote in the body is taken.
E. THE BRANCH RECORDER shall keep a record of all ordinances performed under the authority of the Branch as well as a current roster of membership. Records of all minutes of all business meetings shall be maintained and kept in safekeeping by the Branch Secretary. Duplicate copies of all documents kept by the Branch Recorder and Branch Secretary shall be kept by at least one other appointed person to guard against possible loss.
F. PROPERTY: The Branch shall have authority to own property in the form of a building, land, etc. All such property shall be held in the name of the Branch. All purchases and sales of such property shall be approved by the vote of the Branch.
G. BYLAWS: Proposed amendments to these bylaws must be introduced at a Branch business meeting for consideration and initial approval by majority vote. Proposed amendments must be published for availability to the membership of the Branch at least two weeks in advance of the business meeting. Such amendments must receive final approval by a 2/3 vote of those present and voting at a subsequent business meeting, to be held at least two weeks following the initial meeting.
Approved January, 1992
Revised August 28, 2016