SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today sent out a message, asking members, the media and others to drop terms like “Mormon” and “LDS” when referring to the Church.
“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church,” said President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church, in a prepared statement. “We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will,” President Nelson said.
He said additional information would be coming forth in the future.
Under the guide, the Church asks that people use its full name on first reference, and “The Church of Jesus Christ,” “the Church” or “the restored Church of Jesus Christ” afterward.
The Church said the term “Mormon” is not an authorized title and that abbreviations like “LDS” should not be used in reference to the Church or its members. The guide said “Mormon” is correctly used in reference to the Book of Mormon and “in historical expressions as Mormon Trail.”
“It feels to me as though what the President of the Church is saying, ‘Surely if we want everybody else to get the name of the church right, we’d better start by getting the name of the church right. And some of the problems with some of the nicknames that we have all used and fallen into is that they cut out the name of Jesus Christ ‘” said Sheri L. Dew, Executive Vice President of Deseret Management Corporation.
Dew, a former member of the Church’s General Relief Society Presidency, called the announcement a “tsunami” in scope, much more than a re-enforcement of a former policy.
The changes are reflected in a new media guide published on the Church’s website.
Dew said she attended a meeting with young adults last Sunday, in which President Nelson spoke of the Church’s name. Based on that, she expects the church will ask members to follow the change.
“Surely we can start by calling ourselves the right name and by recognizing who it is that we follow, that being the Savior,” Dew said.
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