The name “Mormon” apparently is a thing of the past within the LDS church.
Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told members Sunday to stop using the term “Mormon” or other nicknames, two days after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced it is changing its name to the “Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Nelson on Saturday announced another big change: Sunday services would now last two hours, not three.
The dropping of the name “Mormon” drew the most attention outside of Utah.
Nelson said using phrases such as “Mormon church” and “LDS church” is “a major victory for Satan.” Nelson had released guidelines in August requesting people to stop using nicknames, but he went further Sunday in explaining the significance.
“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,” Nelson said. “And if we allow nicknames to be used and adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, he is offended.”
Salt Lake City public relations expert Chris Thomas told the newspaper that the dropping of “Mormon” gives the church the opportunity to “emphasize its doctrine, mission and foundation as being Christian.”
There has been controversy over the denomination’s theology since it was founded in 1830.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., has said Mormonism has key differences from historical Christianity.
“The Mormon doctrine of God does not correspond to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Mormonism rejects the central logic of this doctrine (one God in three eternal persons) and develops its own doctrine of God -- a doctrine that bears practically no resemblance to Trinitarian theology,” he wrote. “The Mormon doctrine of God includes many gods, not one. Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that we are what God once was and are becoming what He now is. That is in direct conflict with Christian orthodoxy.
“Contemporary Mormonism presents the Book of Mormon as ‘another testament of Jesus Christ,’ but the Jesus of the Book of Mormon is not the only begotten Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, or the one through whose death on the cross we can be saved from our sins,” Mohler added.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Colin Maynard/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.