BARB - I read recently that the LDS church wishes to be known as the "Church of Jesus Christ". Does this mean that "LDS" and "Mormon" are no longer acceptable? Why was that particular name chosen since it has long been used by a fundamental Protestant church? Won't this lead to confusion and won't it bother the original group?

JOEL - The official name of the Church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". That has always been the name and always will be. The Church has only suggested that, while referring to the church in for example news stories, after having used the whole name once in the article, it can be shortened to the "Church of Jesus Christ" in other areas of the article to help save on space. The church would rather this be done instead of referring to it as the Mormon or LDS church.

Here is the official statement on the use of names referring to the Church:

"The official, full name of the Church should always be used by the Church and its members. Media organizations are encouraged to use the official name when referring to the Church as an institution in their reporting. They will be asked to avoid references to "Mormon Church," "LDS Church" or "The Latter-day Saints Church."
When a shortened reference is needed in news reporting or other instances, the terms "the Church" or "the Church of Jesus Christ" are encouraged. When referring to members, the term Latter-day Saints is preferred, though "Mormons" is acceptable.
"Mormon" is correctly used in proper names such as The Book of Mormon, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Mormon Trail, or when used as an adjective in such expressions as "Mormon pioneers."
The term "Mormonism" is acceptable in describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (5 March 2001)

So "LDS" and "Mormon" are still acceptable in many situations except when identifying the Church organization itself. The name "Church of Jesus Christ" is not an official name and should therefore not cause too much concern for any other organization that also uses it. There are several other Christian religions that also refer to themselves as belonging to the "Church of Jesus Christ", even though that is not their official name.

Return to top

Return to Questions