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Joshua Valentine

Views on Name Correction vs. Wrong Name Continuance

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First, I am curious to know how members view the possible implication that by ¨correcting¨ the habits and policies of the naming of the LDS Church and its members Nelson is calling into question the leadership of previous presidents. Nelson did not simply say that this is what we are going to try to do now because God has said this is a good time to do it, he indicated that God had been offended for all the years and all the presidents that the Christ-less terms were used (and somehow either did not speak, was not heard, or was not obeyed).

As the Salt Lake Tribune related about Gordon B. Hinckley:

Gordon B. Hinckley, who became church president in 1995, understood the dilemma.

“‘The Mormon church,’ of course, is a nickname. And nicknames have a way of becoming fixed,” he preached in the October 1990 General Conference. “I suppose that regardless of our efforts, we may never convert the world to general use of the full and correct name of the church. Because of the shortness of the word ‘Mormon’ and the ease with which it is spoken and written, they will continue to call us the Mormons, the Mormon church, and so forth.”

Hinckley recalled a member in England telling him: “While I’m thankful for the privilege of being a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the church which bears his name, I am not ashamed of the nickname ‘Mormon.’”

When someone asked him about it, the man replied, “‘Mormon’ means ‘more good.’”

Hinckley knew that wasn’t the actual meaning, but adopted the man’s thinking about the tag.

“We may not be able to change the nickname,” the affable leader concluded, “but we can make it shine with added luster.”

After all, Hinckley said, Mormon is the “name of a man who was a great [Book of Mormon] prophet who struggled to save his nation, and also the name of a book which is a mighty testament of eternal truth, a veritable witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/08/16/lds-church-wants-everyone/

 

Second, I would like to know what members have heard or plan to do themselves when it specifically comes to referring to members of the LDS Church. The statements by Nelson seem to indicate that ¨Latter-day Saint¨ (not LDS) is fine or ¨member of the Church of...¨. What will you call fellow members/yourselves? Thanks!

 

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1 hour ago, Joshua Valentine said:

First, I am curious to know how members view the possible implication that by ¨correcting¨ the habits and policies of the naming of the LDS Church and its members Nelson is calling into question the leadership of previous presidents. Nelson did not simply say that this is what we are going to try to do now because God has said this is a good time to do it, he indicated that God had been offended for all the years and all the presidents that the Christ-less terms were used (and somehow either did not speak, was not heard, or was not obeyed).

 

This is certainly not the first time that Church leaders have asked members of the Church to refer to the Church by its proper name, calling it after the name of Jesus Christ. And President Nelson is certainly not the only Church leader to have requested it. The expressed preference has been in place for many years.

In my opinion, what is offensive to God is past refusal or resistance to this divine directive given by God through the instrumentality of His anointed servants, as well as the fact that such refusal has played into the adversary's hands by facilitating the de facto severance of the name of the Church from the name of Him Who founded it. I view the recent re-emphasis by President Nelson as an earnest effort to correct that past errancy on the part of many of the membership at large..

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Second, I would like to know what members have heard or plan to do themselves when it specifically comes to referring to members of the LDS Church. The statements by Nelson seem to indicate that ¨Latter-day Saint¨ (not LDS) is fine or ¨member of the Church of...¨. What will you call fellow members/yourselves? Thanks!

For many years now, I have avoided the terms "Mormon Church" and "LDS Church," as per directive from the leadership of the Church,  so I have not had any challenge in adapting to the recent instruction in this regard. 

I have on occasion used the term "Mormon" or "Mormons" to refer to members of the Church, but since the recent instruction from President Nelson, I have consistently referred to Church members as Latter-day Saints or as Church members. Again, it has not been difficult for me to do so.

If I may ask, why do  you, who have in the past written publicly in opposition to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, care what it calls itself?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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7 hours ago, Joshua Valentine said:

Second, I would like to know what members have heard or plan to do themselves when it specifically comes to referring to members of the LDS Church. The statements by Nelson seem to indicate that ¨Latter-day Saint¨ (not LDS) is fine or ¨member of the Church of...¨. What will you call fellow members/yourselves? Thanks!

I can only speak from my experience, but what I have seen in my own ward is that most members still use the term "Mormon" or "LDS" when referring to the church or to members.  This is especially true of the youth (they mainly still say "Mormon Church" or "she's a Mormon"....or "a member of the church" or "LDS").

What I have been impressed with is how the media has responded and respected the wishes of President Nelson.  I feel they've really tried to make the change in print.

We always try to use the full name of the church when one of us is conducting a meeting (sacrament meeting and even ward council, etc.) as a Bishopric.  I have to admit that within my own family and friends, I still use the term Mormon or LDS and so do they.  Sometimes someone will jokingly say, "You mean The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"?   And that usually gets a laugh and a "oh yeah" or "yes" :)  )

Edited by ALarson
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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In my opinion, what is offensive to God is past refusal or resistance to this divine directive given by God through the instrumentality of His anointed servants, as well as the fact that such refusal has played into the adversary's hands by facilitating the de facto severance of the name of the Church from the name of Him Who founded it. I view the recent re-emphasis by President Nelson as an earnest effort to correct that past errancy on the part of many of the membership at large..

So do you believe that past leaders were in error too or that they "played into the adversary's hands"?  How do you feel about this talk by Gordon B. Hinckley:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/10/mormon-should-mean-more-good?lang=eng

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He replied, “You can’t. The word Mormon is too deeply ingrained and too easy to say.” He went on, “I’ve quit trying. While I’m thankful for the privilege of being a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the Church which bears His name, I am not ashamed of the nickname Mormon.”

“Look,” he went on to say, “if there is any name that is totally honorable in its derivation, it is the name Mormon. And so, when someone asks me about it and what it means, I quietly say—‘Mormon means more good.’” (The Prophet Joseph Smith first said this in 1843; see Times and Seasons, 4:194; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 299–300.)

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After all, it is the name of a man who was a great prophet who struggled to save his nation, and also the name of a book which is a mighty testament of eternal truth, a veritable witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. May I remind you for a moment of the greatness and of the goodness of this man Mormon.

And so, while I sometimes regret that people do not call this church by its proper name, I am happy that the nickname they use is one of great honor made so by a remarkable man and a book which gives an unmatched testimony concerning the Redeemer of the world. Anyone who comes to know the man Mormon, through the reading and pondering of his words, anyone who reads this precious trove of history which was assembled and preserved in large measure by him, will come to know that Mormon is not a word of disrepute, but that it represents the greatest good—that good which is of God.

....in a very real sense Mormonism must mean that greater good which the Lord Jesus Christ exemplified.

....I testify of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this the dispensation of the fulness of times. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that when people speak of us by the name of this book, they will compliment us, if we will live worthy of the name, remembering that in a very real sense Mormonism must mean that greater good which the Lord Jesus Christ exemplified.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I think President Nelson is addressing one of his personal pet peeves.

This.  I agree 100%.  But I also feel it's a good thing to use the proper name of the church when possible.  It is obviously something that has really bothered President Nelson for years though, and now he's in the position to do something about it.

The real negative regarding his statements (IMO) is how they almost make the usage of the word "Mormon" to be evil now and if one uses that term they are "playing into the hands of the adversary".  I think that's going to such an extreme (and it also contradicts past leader's statements), and I don't agree with that.  I love Gordon B. Hinckley's words and attitude on this topic (that I quoted above).

Edited by ALarson
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43 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I can only speak from my experience, but what I have seen in my own ward is that most members still use the term "Mormon" or "LDS" when referring to the church or to members.  This is especially true of the youth (they mainly still say "Mormon Church" or "she's a Mormon"....or "a member of the church" or "LDS").

What I have been impressed with is how the media has responded and respected the wishes of President Nelson.  I feel they've really tried to make the change in print.

We always try to use the full name of the church when one of us is conducting a meeting (sacrament meeting and even ward council, etc.) as a Bishopric.  I have to admit that within my own family and friends, I still use the term Mormon or LDS and so do they.  Sometimes someone will jokingly say, "You mean The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"?   And that usually gets a laugh and a "oh yeah" or "yes" :)  )

This is what I've observed as well.  I haven't seen anyone flinch when I've used the word Mormon during church on Sunday, even when making comments in class.  I suspect most people don't see this as a big issue.  Like I mentioned in my last post, I think it is a pet peeve of President Nelson's.  Its like switching the toilet paper from rolling on the outside to rolling on the inside, or the way someone uses their toothpaste tube.  Pretty sure most people see this as unimportant. 

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11 minutes ago, ALarson said:

This.  I agree 100%.  But I also feel it's a good thing to use the proper name of the church when possible.  It is obviously something that has really bothered President Nelson for years though, and now he's in the position to do something about it.

The real negative regarding his statements (IMO) is how they almost make the usage of the word "Mormon" to be evil now and if one uses that term they are "playing into the hands of the adversary".  I think that's going to such an extreme (and it also contradicts past leader's statements), and I don't agree with that.  I love Gordon B. Hinckley's words and attitude on this topic (that I quoted above).

Whats weird about the whole playing into the hands of the adversary logic is that it makes the devil seem so petty and stupid.  Its almost like President Nelson is trying to turn the word Mormon into a swear word and make it culturally taboo. 

Look at the change of the name for the MoTab to The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square?  What???  Its not like he added the words Jesus Christ to the title of the choir, he just removed the word Mormon.  If the reason for the name change is to emphasize Jesus Christ, why didn't they attempt to add Jesus Christ to the title of the tabernacle choir?  The internal logic of this argument doesn't seem consistent to me.  

Edited by hope_for_things
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23 minutes ago, ALarson said:

So do you believe that past leaders were in error too or that they "played into the adversary's hands"?  How do you feel about this talk by Gordon B. Hinckley:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/10/mormon-should-mean-more-good?lang=eng

 

 

I think in recent years, the Brethren have been united in trying to get the membership to use the full and proper name of the Savior’s Church. I believe it is members who have refused to comply who have played into the adversary’s hands and, to the extent they continue to refuse, continue to do so. 

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9 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Whats weird about the whole playing into the hands of the adversary logic is that it makes the devil seem so petty and stupid.  

I thought it's made God look petty and stupid.  if the devil get's delighted when the term Mormon is used and has been used, then it's only because the devil knows it's offending God.  He couldn't possibly be happy about it if it didn't matter to God.  I find it all just completely silly, in the end.  It's sad to me to think what God has been reduced to by this.  

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2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think in recent years, the Brethren have been united in trying to get the membership to use the full and proper name of the Savior’s Church. I believe it is members who have refused to comply who have played into the adversary’s hands and, to the extent they continue to refuse, continue to do so. 

You stated:

7 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

what is offensive to God is past refusal or resistance to this divine directive given by God through the instrumentality of His anointed servants

That seems to include past leaders and more specifically Gordon B. Hinckley's statements in the past.

I think they (Gordon B. Hinckley and Russell M. Nelson) disagreed on this, but that President Nelson is now in a position to proclaim what has been a pet peeve of his for years.  I honestly don't feel it's wrong unless it's taken to an extreme or if those who still use the terms "Mormon" or "LDS" are accused of playing into the adversary's hands.

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I think President Nelson is addressing one of his personal pet peeves.  The arguments he's making for why this is important seem shallow when compared to challenging issues facing our world and the church in general.  He may personally feel inspired and motivated about this topic, and perhaps there is some good that can come from his efforts, but it seems to me that if we're prioritizing and looking at good, better, best, type criteria this particular issue is way low on the totem poll from my vantage point.  

I think God felt we were done with the transition period of getting away from the nicknames and abbreviations and, through President Nelson, is now making it a command. It seems petty to many but they are comparatively foolish mortals (many with an axe to grind) whereas God sees the end from the beginning and sees that this change will have positive effects for at least one and more likely many of his children.

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Just now, The Nehor said:

I think God felt we were done with the transition period of getting away from the nicknames and abbreviations and, through President Nelson, is now making it a command. It seems petty to many but they are comparatively foolish mortals (many with an axe to grind) whereas God sees the end from the beginning and sees that this change will have positive effects for at least one and more likely many of his children.

It could be seen as similar to the progression of treatment of the Word of Wisdom, first info is provided on the correct way of doing things, but people are not commanded.  Then given a time when greater push to get used to the idea, more specifics on certain things, and then it becomes a commandment.

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18 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think God felt we were done with the transition period of getting away from the nicknames and abbreviations and, through President Nelson, is now making it a command.

A "command"?  

Do you honestly believe we are breaking one of God's commandments if we still use the terms "Mormon" or "LDS" in relation to members or to the church?  

I think it's important to keep things in perspective here regarding statements from past Prophets who have been in error or who have just been speaking as a man or giving their opinion.  I know that Pres. Nelson loves the "R" word (revelation), but in my opinion, this is something that's bothered him for years and I believe he does feel inspired or that it's right.  But I would not classify it as a commandment from God.  Just my feelings....

It is nice to see the media using the full name of the church and I do support that.

Edited by ALarson
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My take on this is that there is a time and season.   Maybe use of Mormon at one time wasn't such a bad thing as to warrant this emphasis and correction.  Maybe it even served a purpose.   But I really really get how use of that term makes it easier to argue that it isn't His Church.    And I get how making sure we all remember it IS His church is more important today than ever.

 

Even if it has been something Pres. Nelson has long thought about, it isn't like He didn't know who was eventually going to be in charge.

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18 minutes ago, ALarson said:

A "command"?  

Do you honestly believe we are breaking one of God's commandments if we still use the terms "Mormon" or "LDS" in relation to members or to the church?  

Yes. I am not saying it would be a particularly serious sin but it would be one unless done out of ignorance or accidentally out of habit. I did it when I was teaching two weeks ago but I caught myself and corrected it.

19 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I think it's important to keep things in perspective here regarding statements from past Prophets who have been in error or who have just been speaking as a man or giving their opinion.  I know that Pres. Nelson loves the "R" word (revelation), but in my opinion, this is something that's bothered him for years and I believe he does feel inspired or that it's right.  But I would not classify it as a commandment from God.  Just my feelings....

It is nice to see the media using the full name of the church and I do support that.

If the prophet cannot give commandements from God then no one can and since all of the General commands we have (absenting those given by personal revelation or by local leaders or to families) were usually received by prophets and were virtually always recorded by prophets if we cannot trust a prophet’s counsel we should either chuck the scriptures or admit we prefer to garnish the sepulcheres of dead prophets while defying the living ones. President Nelson was very clear about how serious this is. It is ironic. If he makes it clear how serious it is some people accuse him of hyperbole and being petty. If he had soft-pedaled it the same people would have dismissed it as vague counsel.

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35 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think God felt we were done with the transition period of getting away from the nicknames and abbreviations and, through President Nelson, is now making it a command. It seems petty to many but they are comparatively foolish mortals (many with an axe to grind) whereas God sees the end from the beginning and sees that this change will have positive effects for at least one and more likely many of his children.

I agree that all mortals are foolish, including President Nelson, when compared to a perfect deity.  

The idea of a God that cares about labels and names more than other seemingly much more important priorities, like poverty, slavery, abuse, is concerning to me theologically speaking.  

Edited by hope_for_things
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27 minutes ago, Calm said:

It could be seen as similar to the progression of treatment of the Word of Wisdom, first info is provided on the correct way of doing things, but people are not commanded.  Then given a time when greater push to get used to the idea, more specifics on certain things, and then it becomes a commandment.

Another possible analogy would be the Adam God doctrine, that Brigham Young was passionate about, but quickly fell out of favor and is now considered heretical.  

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26 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Yes. I am not saying it would be a particularly serious sin but it would be one unless done out of ignorance or accidentally out of habit. I did it when I was teaching two weeks ago but I caught myself and corrected it.

If the prophet cannot give commandements from God then no one can and since all of the General commands we have (absenting those given by personal revelation or by local leaders or to families) were usually received by prophets and were virtually always recorded by prophets if we cannot trust a prophet’s counsel we should either chuck the scriptures or admit we prefer to garnish the sepulcheres of dead prophets while defying the living ones.

Well, I'm going to disagree that this is now one of God's commandments.  I do not believe a person is sinning or breaking a commandment if they still use the terms "Mormon" or "LDS" to describe members or the church itself.  I feel that's very much taking it to the extreme.

I do however, think it's a positive step to remind us of the full name of the church and I do like how it is now being used in the media (when speaking of the church and writing about it).  I very much support that.

But I do not believe it's a sin to use other, more common or familiar terms.  I still also believe that this is coming from President Nelson (he's expressed this opinion over the years) and I respect that, but I do not think it's actually a commandment from God.  Our Prophets speak as men and give their opinions (which have been proven wrong over time at times).  I doubt this will be changed in the future, but I also doubt it will ever become a sin to not strictly follow it.  That's my opinion (and others agree who I've heard discuss it in my ward, or in discussions within friends and family too).  

I'm fine if you disagree....I respect that as well.

Edited by ALarson
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32 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Another possible analogy would be the Adam God doctrine, that Brigham Young was passionate about, but quickly fell out of favor and is now considered heretical.  

Good point.

I’ll bet that Brigham Young believed this was a revelation.  So, was it a commandment from God to believe it?  I don’t know.  But it shows what can happen when we don’t remember that our leaders are human and speak as men and make mistakes.  I’m sure Pres. Nelson felt inspired to push this change and I support it.  However, I also still use the shorter names at times and most definitely still hear members using them.  I doubt that will change other than in more formal settings (such as public speaking or printed articles).

Edited by JulieM
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Just now, JulieM said:

Good point.

I’ll bet that Brigham Young believed this was a revelation.  So, was it a commandment from God to believe it?  I don’t know.  But it shows what can happen when we don’t remember that our leaders are human and speak as men.  I’m sure Pres. Nelson felt inspired to push this change and I support it.  However, I also still use the shorter names at times and most definitely still hear members using them.  I doubt that will change other than in more formal settings (such as public speaking or printed articles).

The mischievous part of me would love to attend a priesthood leadership meeting of some kind with a visiting apostle, preferably an Oaks, Bednar or Nelson, one of the more strict personalities.  And then if given the opportunity to ask a question, to ask a sincere and perfectly appropriate question, but insert the term Mormon a couple times into the question.  It would be so fun to see if the apostle completely loses composure and feels compelled to publicly correct my "error".  :D Oh well, one can dream...

 

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3 hours ago, ALarson said:

I can only speak from my experience, but what I have seen in my own ward is that most members still use the term "Mormon" or "LDS" when referring to the church or to members.  This is especially true of the youth (they mainly still say "Mormon Church" or "she's a Mormon"....or "a member of the church" or "LDS").

What I have been impressed with is how the media has responded and respected the wishes of President Nelson.  I feel they've really tried to make the change in print.

We always try to use the full name of the church when one of us is conducting a meeting (sacrament meeting and even ward council, etc.) as a Bishopric.  I have to admit that within my own family and friends, I still use the term Mormon or LDS and so do they.  Sometimes someone will jokingly say, "You mean The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"?   And that usually gets a laugh and a "oh yeah" or "yes" :)  )

It's funny that the media is trying to follow Pres. Nelson on this, while the members aren't.  

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It's funny that the media is trying to follow Pres. Nelson on this, while the members aren't.  

Who has posted that they’re not at least trying to use the proper name?  Just because members are still using the shorter, more common description or names doesn’t mean they’re against it.  That’s just being realistic about it and honest.

I think it’s sort of like comparing the letter vs. the spirit.

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13 minutes ago, JulieM said:

Who has posted that they’re not at least trying to use the proper name?  Just because members are still using the shorter, more common description or names doesn’t mean they’re against it.  That’s just being realistic about it and honest.

I think it’s sort of like comparing the letter vs. the spirit.

I realize that, that's why I didn't say that the members who weren't using it were against it.

I was commenting on Larson's post where he said "what I have seen in my own ward is that most members still use the term "Mormon" or "LDS" when referring to the church or to members.  This is especially true of the youth (they mainly still say "Mormon Church" or "she's a Mormon"....or "a member of the church" or "LDS").

What I have been impressed with is how the media has responded and respected the wishes of President Nelson.  I feel they've really tried to make the change in print."

It struck me as funny, that the media is trying to respect Pres. Nelson's wishes while a lot of members don't put that much effort into it (or don't believe it's important at all).  I wasn't making any other commentary on it than that.  :) 

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14 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I realize that, that's why I didn't say that the members who weren't using it were against it.

I was commenting on Larson's post where he said "what I have seen in my own ward is that most members still use the term "Mormon" or "LDS" when referring to the church or to members.  This is especially true of the youth (they mainly still say "Mormon Church" or "she's a Mormon"....or "a member of the church" or "LDS").

What I have been impressed with is how the media has responded and respected the wishes of President Nelson.  I feel they've really tried to make the change in print."

It struck me as funny, that the media is trying to respect Pres. Nelson's wishes while a lot of members don't put that much effort into it (or don't believe it's important at all).  I wasn't making any other commentary on it than that.  :) 

He also stated that as a Bishopric they’re making an effort to always use the proper name.  I think that’s support.

I find his observations that you quote above to be spot on and see the same in my ward.

I do try to use the full name when teaching or if someone asked me which church I was a member of, of course.  But I still say LDS or Mormon or the church.  I confess that I do.

Edited by JulieM
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