What Do Mormons Call Themselves Now?

In search of a new identity, the followers of the Mormon faith have recently embraced a shift in terminology. No longer referring to themselves as Mormons, they have opted for a more inclusive and accurate name. This article explores the reasons behind this change and sheds light on the new term that Mormons now use to refer to themselves. Discover how this rebranding aims to convey a sense of unity and a deeper understanding of their religious beliefs.

Introduction

The evolution of terminology

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the way members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints refer to themselves. While the term “Mormon” has long been associated with the faith, church leaders have emphasized the use of the official name to better align with their beliefs and teachings. This change in terminology has sparked discussions and debates about the significance and meaning behind the names used to identify members of the church.

Why the change?

The decision to encourage the use of the official name of the church stems from a desire to follow the teachings of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Church leaders believe that using the full name of the church helps to clarify the organization’s mission and purpose. It also serves to honor the Savior’s name and emphasize His central role in the church’s beliefs and practices.

The influence of church leaders

The shift in terminology can be traced back to church leaders, who play a crucial role in shaping the language used within the faith community. As prophets and apostles, they are seen as the mouthpieces of the Lord, guiding and directing the members in all aspects of their lives. Their teachings and counsel hold immense significance, and when they encourage the use of a particular terminology, it is often followed with earnestness and respect.

The Historical Term

The term ‘Mormon’

For many years, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were commonly referred to as Mormons. This term was derived from the Book of Mormon, a sacred scripture that stands alongside the Bible as a testament of Jesus Christ. The term gained widespread usage and became synonymous with the faith and its followers.

Origins of the term

The term “Mormon” originated from the name of the ancient prophet Mormon, who compiled the sacred records contained in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon, which chronicles the religious history of an ancient civilization in the Americas, is considered a keystone of belief for the church. As such, the moniker of “Mormon” became associated with members of the faith due to their strong belief in the book’s divine origins.

Acceptance and usage

Historically, members of the church embraced the term “Mormon” and used it as a way to identify themselves and their religious affiliation. The term was widely recognized and accepted, both within the faith community and among those outside the church. Over time, however, church leaders began to emphasize the importance of using the official name of the church as a way to strengthen the identity and teachings of the faith.

The Official Name

Focus on the name ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’

The official name of the church, as outlined in its foundational scriptures, is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” This name encompasses several important aspects of the faith and its beliefs, highlighting the central role of Jesus Christ and the latter-day restoration of His gospel.

Meaning and significance

The official name of the church reflects its commitment to the Savior and His teachings. By using His name, the church seeks to convey its dedication to following His example, teachings, and commandments. The inclusion of “Latter-day Saints” emphasizes the belief that the church is a continuation of the original church Christ established during His earthly ministry.

Doctrinal basis for the name

The name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” has a doctrinal basis within the faith. Members believe that in the latter days, Jesus Christ restored His church through the prophet Joseph Smith. This restoration involved the reestablishment of the original organization, teachings, and ordinances as instituted by Christ Himself. The official name reflects that restoration and serves as a reminder of the ongoing work of spreading the gospel and gathering followers of Christ.

The Emphasis on Christianity

The emphasis on Jesus Christ

Central to the beliefs and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a deep emphasis on the figure of Jesus Christ. Members strive to pattern their lives after His example, seeking His guidance and forgiveness. The name of the church itself is a testament to this important focus and highlights the members’ commitment to following Christ as their Savior and Redeemer.

The restoration of the gospel

One of the key tenets of the faith is the belief in the restoration of the gospel in its fulness. Members of the church believe that the original teachings and ordinances instituted by Jesus Christ were lost or changed over time. Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord restored these essential elements, including the authority to administer saving ordinances such as baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The terminology used to identify members reflects this restoration and underscores the distinctive nature of their beliefs.

Distinctive beliefs and practices

While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is rooted in Christian beliefs, it also holds distinctive doctrines and practices that set it apart from other Christian denominations. Members believe in modern-day revelation, the existence of additional scriptures, and the concept of continuing revelation through living prophets and apostles. These unique elements contribute to the need for a specific terminology to accurately convey the church’s beliefs and practices.

The Latter-day Saints

Definition and explanation

Within the church community, individuals are often referred to as “Latter-day Saints.” This term refers to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and distinguishes them from other religious groups. It serves as a unifying identifier for those who adhere to the faith’s teachings and practices.

The biblical reference

The term “Latter-day Saints” finds its roots in the Bible. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul referred to the saints as those who were “called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2) and as “saints by calling” (Romans 1:7). Drawing on this biblical language, church leaders have adopted the term to describe the faithful followers of Jesus Christ in this dispensation.

Embracing the term

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, individuals have embraced the term “Latter-day Saints” as a way to identify themselves and their religious affiliation. It reflects their belief in restoration and their commitment to following Jesus Christ. Embracing this term strengthens the sense of community and unity among believers while reinforcing the doctrines and teachings of the faith.

The Saints

The concept of ‘saints’

In Christian theology, the term “saints” traditionally refers to individuals who have been sanctified or set apart as holy by God. It encompasses those who strive to live righteous lives, seek personal holiness, and build a relationship with God. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this concept of “saints” takes on a broader meaning.

Historical and biblical context

Within the historical and biblical context, the term “saints” refers to all faithful followers of Jesus Christ. It extends beyond the idea of those who have achieved perfection and recognizes the ongoing process of becoming more like the Savior. This inclusive understanding aligns with the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the belief in the potential for all to progress and grow in their discipleship.

Meaning within Mormonism

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being referred to as “saints” carries a sense of responsibility and aspiration. It signifies their commitment to living according to the principles and teachings of the gospel, following the Savior’s example, and striving for personal holiness. This terminology reinforces the belief that all individuals have the potential to become saints through their faith and dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Church

Identifying as members of ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proudly identify themselves as members of the church by using its official name. This intentional choice highlights their commitment to the Savior and His teachings, as well as their belief in the divinely restored nature of the gospel.

Unity and community

By identifying as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, individuals become part of a vibrant and diverse community. This shared identity provides a sense of unity and belonging, fostering connections and relationships that span geographical and cultural boundaries. Together, members strive to support and uplift one another as they navigate life’s challenges and seek to live in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Global presence

With millions of members worldwide, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a significant global presence. By uniting under a common name, members are able to identify with a global community of faith, regardless of language or cultural differences. This recognition promotes a sense of connection and shared purpose, as individuals work together to spread the message of the restored gospel and emulate the teachings of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Community Identity

Mormon nicknames for each other

Within the community of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members have developed affectionate nicknames for one another. Terms such as “brother” and “sister” are commonly used as a way to denote the close familial and supportive nature of the church community. These nicknames serve to reinforce the strong sense of belonging and unity among members.

Sense of belonging

The use of nicknames within the faith community fosters a sense of belonging and inclusivity. It creates a familial atmosphere where individuals feel valued, loved, and accepted for who they are. As members interact with one another using these endearing terms, they are reminded of their shared beliefs, experiences, and purposeā€”strengthening their commitment to the gospel and their desire to support one another.

Shared cultural identity

In addition to the use of nicknames, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share a unique cultural identity that is often referred to as “Mormon culture.” This culture encompasses various customs, traditions, and practices that are influenced by the teachings and values of the church. While not all members may fully embrace every aspect of this cultural identity, it is an essential part of their overall community identity.

Media and Public Perception

Challenges in media representation

The shift in terminology within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has presented challenges in media representation. As the church seeks to emphasize the use of its official name, media outlets and journalists have had to adapt their language and reporting practices. This shift requires a level of understanding and awareness on the part of journalists to accurately reflect the church’s position and beliefs.

The need for clarity

The importance of clarity in media representation cannot be overstated. By accurately using the correct terminology, media outlets can avoid confusion or misrepresentation of the faith and its members. Taking the time to understand and respect the preferences of the church and its members contributes to a more accurate and respectful portrayal of the religion.

Addressing misconceptions

As with any religious group, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has faced its fair share of misconceptions and misunderstandings. The shift in terminology provides an opportunity for the media and the public to engage in meaningful dialogue about the faith and its beliefs. By addressing misconceptions and promoting accurate information, society can work towards greater understanding, respect, and acceptance of the diversity of religious beliefs.

Conclusion

The importance of self-identification

The evolution of terminology within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reflects the significance of self-identification and its impact on community and personal identity. Members of the faith have embraced the use of their official name as a way to strengthen their commitment to Jesus Christ and the restored gospel.

Understanding the diverse terminologies

It is essential for both the media and the public to strive for a deeper understanding of the diverse terminologies used within religious communities. Taking the time to learn and respect the preferred language of a particular faith group allows for more accurate representation and promotes greater unity and acceptance among individuals of differing beliefs.

Respect and acceptance

Above all, the shift in terminology serves as a reminder of the importance of respect and acceptance, regardless of religious affiliation. By using the preferred language of individuals and communities, we can foster an environment of understanding, inclusion, and respect for all. Embracing the diversity of terminologies is a step towards building bridges and creating a more harmonious society.