President Nelson Announces: ‘Mormon’ is out

The Church released the following statement from President Nelson,

“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.”

According to reports from the LDS Church News website this change will focus mostly on how news outlets refer to the Church with the following updated style guide,

“The official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The full name was given by revelation from God to Joseph Smith in 1838.

*In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

*When a shortened reference is needed, the terms “the Church” or the “Church of Jesus Christ” are encouraged. The “restored Church of Jesus Christ” is also accurate and encouraged.

*While the term “Mormon Church” has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use. Thus, please avoid using the abbreviation “LDS” or the nickname “Mormon” as substitutes for the name of the Church, as in “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church,” or “Church of the Latter-day Saints.”

*When referring to Church members, the terms “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” or “Latter-day Saints” are preferred. We ask that the term “Mormons” not be used.

*”Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon or when used as an adjective in such historical expressions as “Mormon Trail.”

*The term “Mormonism” is inaccurate and should not be used. When describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the term “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ” is accurate and preferred.

*When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, it should be stated that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not affiliated with polygamous groups.”

This is a shift from statements from 2011. The Deseret News reported,

“It’s also a name the LDS Church has tried to downplay previously, but in recent years has re-embraced with increased use, thanks in part to high-tech advances.”

In 2001, then Apostle, now member of the First Presidency, Dallin H. Oaks told the New York Times,

”I don’t mind being called a Mormon”

The Times then went on to report,

“Elder Oaks said the church would not discourage use of the term Mormon for church members, although he said it officially prefers they be known as Latter-day Saints.”

This also appears to be a departure from the Church’s efforts to embrace the brand “Mormon” with it’s massive media campaigns “I’m a Mormon” and feature length films, “Meet the Mormons” and “Meet the Mormons 2

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