Whats in a Name?

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The Lds church is trying to get away from the nicknames it’s been called for the past 170 years – “Mormons” and “LDS.”

Latter-Day Saints want to be called by the proper name given by the Lord to Joseph Smith – “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In a recent Church General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson said, “the name of the Church is not negotiable.  When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be and even precedes His declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ He is serious.”  Then President Nelson warned, “And if we allow nicknames to be used or adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He (meaning God) is offended.”   

But every Church President since Joseph Smith has freely used “Mormonism” when describing the religion.  The Church founder Joseph Smith said,

“One of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’ is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.” (History of the Church 5:499)

Now, suddenly God has revealed to Russell Nelson that He is offended by the reference to “Mormons” and “Mormonism?” 

President Nelson went on to state, “What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname?  When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the ‘LDS Church,’ the ‘Mormon Church,’ or the ‘Church of the Latter-day Saints,’ the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name.  To remove the Savior’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan.  When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us – even His Atonement.”

I’m quite surprised by that remark!  Because in 2010, the LDS Church launched a public campaign, “I’m a Mormon,” featuring biographical sketches of Church members throughout the world.  In 2014, the LDS Church released a full-length film, “Meet the Mormons.” 

Thomas Monson was the Prophet and President of the Church during that era.  He had been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a half century. and was involved in the public affairs department of the Church.  It seems that if anyone would have known the will of God concerning the offensive term “Mormon” or “LDS” it would have been him. 

But once Russell M Nelson replaced Thomas S. Monson as President of the Church, he confessed, “I realize with profound regret that we have unwittingly acquiesced in the Lord’s restored Church being called by other names, each of which expunges the sacred name of Jesus Christ.”

It seems that President Nelson is condemning every LDS leader from Joseph Smith on for the past 180 years for using “Mormons” in their speeches and writings.  As prophets and apostles, shouldn’t they have known they were being offensive to God? 

How could they not know that it was such a big deal to the God of Mormonism?  And why did God wait so long to make this “correction?” 

According to Nelson for a century and a half, past church leaders were giving victory to Satan and offending Jesus. 

Even, disregarding Christ’s atonement.

Nelson is admitting that Church leadership was wrong in allowing the Church’s choir to be known as “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”  For allowing the words “Mormons” and “Mormonism” to appear on official LDS websites, in periodicals, and in correlated manuals.

You see Elders, all this confusion should cause a member of your church to wonder – which of all these current and former church apostles was truly a prophet?

 

Key Words:  Mormon, Mormons, Mormonism, lds.org, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, atonement, M. Russell Nelson, changing the name of the Church, I’m a Mormon, Meet the Mormons, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints

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Mormons, now non-Mormons

President Nelson said, “When we omit His name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus of our lives.”  The irony is that Joseph Smith used three different names for the church in the span of eight years. Why would Jesus instruct Smith in 1830 to call it the “Church of Christ”, then change it in 1834 to the “Church of Latter Day Saints” and, then change is once again in 1838?  Was he carelessly removing Jesus as the central focus of LDS members lives? One possible reason it took Joseph eight years to settle on an official name is the fact that God wasn’t involved at all in the decision.

In my entire life I’ve never heard or read of anyone having the silly idea that the LDS worship the “ancient American prophet” Mormon.  Most people aren’t that naïve.

In the Bible, Jesus never mentioned what the future church would be called.  That’s because it was never intended to be a formal organization, a corporate institution.  They were simply believers in Jesus Christ. Those believers were known by a, number of titles: like, “the Way”, “Christians”, “Nazarenes”, “Church of Christ”, “Church of God”, “Church of the Firstborn” “Church of the Thessalonians”, etc.  The term “Church” comes from the Greek work “Ekklesia” which means “a called-out assembly or congregation.” It is a gathering of people “called-out” to follow Jesus. What it is NOT – nor ever has been is an institution that serves as the gatekeeper of salvation or eternal life.  It’s all about a personal relationship each follower has with Jesus Christ.

Calling the Mormon Church “The Church” or the “Church of Jesus Christ” or “The Restored Church” would be an acknowledgement of Mormonism’s truth claims.  Non-members will recognize that those are more than titles and people outside that faith should not give validation to those designations. It would be an admission that the “Great Apostasy” really occurred.  Thus, the need for the Church to be “restored.” And, Christians certainly do not support that doctrinal position. Besides, how is it any better to call it the “The Church” or “The Restored Church” if the name of Jesus is still absent?        

It is hard to break old habits and I believe the terms “Mormonism” and “Mormon” will be used by members and non-members till the end of time.  President Nelson has taken what seems to be his personal, opinion and used his authority as CEO to persuade others that it is God who is making this “correction” of the Church’s name.

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