Is the Mormon Church Dropping the Name “Mormon”?

FILE - The Salt Lake Temple from January 2018. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
FILE – The Salt Lake Temple from January 2018. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday that church leaders have launched a major effort to use the full name of the church instead of nicknames or abbreviations.

“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,” President Nelson said in a statement. “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.”

The church released a style guide with the statement.

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“Please avoid,” the style guide states, “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.'”

It encouraged a new shortened reference for the church, the “Church of Jesus Christ,” and said “the restored Church of Jesus Christ” is also accurate and encouraged.

The news elicited immediate questions on Twitter and elsewhere: What will happen to the name of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Or the church’s own Mormon Channel, Mormon Messages, “Meet the Mormons” movies or even the official website, lds.org?

For the past decade and more, the church has used the nickname “Mormon” in the official names of websites, media channels and international branding campaigns like “I’m a Mormon,” in which church members were encouraged to share who they are and finish their video or written statements by saying their name and stating, “and I’m a Mormon.

The church declined further comment on specifics, pointing to its statement, which added, “See the updated Newsroom style guide, which provides direction on how to properly refer to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the coming months, Church websites and materials will be updated to reflect this direction from President Nelson.”

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SOURCE: Tad Walch
Deseret News

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