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When asked what church you belong to, how do you respond?


When Asked What Church You Belong To, How do you Respond?  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. When Asked What Church You Belong To, How do you Respond?

    • I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
      24
    • I'm a Mormon
      10
    • The Church of the Latter-day Saints circa 1834-1838
      0
    • The Church of Jesus Christ
      1
    • The Restored Church of Jesus Christ
      1
    • The Church of Christ circa 1830-1834
      0
    • I forget but it was founded by a guy named Joseph something
      0


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In another thread Scott Lloyd and I got into a pedantic discussion over the use of the I'm a Mormon terminology when referencing oneself and my assertion of its use being a victory for Satan.  This discussion caused me to wonder at the great power and influence President Nelson's had to enact such a seismic change in LDS vernacular with seemingly one simple request where in he made the use of the term Mormon, when referring to ones self, a hiss and a by word.

Not only have I personally been corrected when calling myself a Mormon, I've actually had members of the church get rather agitated when I've done so.  I still prefer using the descriptor Mormon when referring to myself, since the official name of the church is cumbersome and rather long, I prefer the nickname.

So I am curious to know how members of this august board refer to themselves when asked what church you belong to and I would also like to know if you have stopped referring to yourself as a Mormon Why have you done so?

For those that refer to themselves as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do you take a deep breath after doing so and do you share it in a normal conversational cadence enunciating each and every word or do you speed through the name and plow through it due to its length in a sing song manner?

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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Prepare yourself to be further tsk-tsk'ed for not adequately following the prophet in some people's eyes.

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I don't know if I've been asked that question within the last 20 years.  If I was, I would answer with the first option.

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My answer is #1 or #2, depending on the situation. Most often, I am asked if I'm a Mormon, and the answer to that is, "Yes, I am." The situation usually isn't conducive to using the precious little time solely talking about the change in emphasis, that our official name is ____, but sometimes people call us by the nickname ____, etc. It's best for communication to simply answer their question in an understandable, non-weird way, and use what time is realistically there to answer questions or steer the conversation somewhere fruitful. 

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29 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

For those that refer to themselves as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do you take a deep breath after doing so and do you share it in a normal conversational cadence enunciating each and every word or do you speed through the name and plow through it due to its length in a sing song manner?

Are those the only two choices?  Kind of seems like you are looking down on people who are trying to follow President Nelson.

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I was asked once a few years back and I said the first option and apparently the man asking had a nephew on a mission from the Phillipines to the Phillipines, I wasn't expecting that

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I can’t remember the last time someone asked me that question.

 

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7 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

Are those the only two choices?  Kind of seems like you are looking down on people who are trying to follow President Nelson.

Yeah I see where you are coming from, that was not my intent, attempt at humor.  But from my experience referring to oneself as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a mouth full.   One choice would be to respectfully provide the full name of the church while the other option would be to comply but not necessary do so in the spirit it was intended to be given

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7 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I can’t remember the last time someone asked me that question.

 

Interesting, but then I travel a lot, yes even during the pandemic, and as soon as I'm asked where I am from, they assume Australia or the U.K. ,  and I say Utah,  the second question I'm asked is. Oh are you a Mormon? to which I always respond, No, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  J/K

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5 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Yeah I see where you are coming from, that was not my intent, attempt at humor.

Tone can be difficult to convey when writing. 

 

6 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

from my experience referring to oneself as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a mouth full.

It is a mouthful.  But, as Bluebell mentioned earlier, I personally get asked what church I belong to very infrequently. 

 

7 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

the other option would be to comply but not necessary do so in the spirit it was intended to be given

No point in doing something if you don't believe in it. 

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5 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

the second question I'm asked is. Oh are you a Mormon?

To this question I would just answer yes. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I don't know if I've been asked that question within the last 20 years. 

1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

I can’t remember the last time someone asked me that question.

 

No disrespect or shade at you two, or anyone else, but it seems to me that the people who have the least struggle always using the full name are people who don't have conversations about the Church very often with non-members (and retirement or living in Layton and other things tend to reduce the opportunities people have to interact with non-members). For people who do interact frequently with non-members, insisting on the full name is a barrier to clarity (non-confusion) and effective communication. I use the full name as much as I believe is possible, but I don't hesitate to use Mormon if I believe it is better in that situation.

ETA: This is especially true of Mormon as an adjective. There is no suitable alternative, and the Church kind of acknowledged it when the handbook was briefly changed about a year and a half ago to say that we should try to use the full name, but if it doesn't work in that situation, Mormon is "acceptable" --- especially as an adjective. I made a note of this at the time, but it has been removed. In saying "Mormon culture" or "Mormon cinema," the "acceptable" variations are clunky and seem arrogant and stilted. 

I include the Brethren in this. I've gotten pushback before, but I don't believe they have very many "Joe six-pack" conversations with people very often.  During Covid they've been sequestered more than normal, and really only communicate electronically, but normally they have meetings in Salt Lake or area headquarters during the week and fly (usually first class or private) to a stake conference or maybe a mission on the weekend. If they encounter non-members, it's in a controlled, limited environment (e.g., special investigator or new convert meeting as part of stake conference). There is a lot of interacting with dignitaries and things like that, but those are very different from our conversations with co-workers and neighbors. 

Edited by rongo
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I tell them The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and when they get that puzzled look on their face I say aka Mormon church.

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17 minutes ago, smac97 said:

As it happens, Pres. Nelson speaks Chinese, so I imagine he's familiar with the foregoing translation problem.  I can't help but wonder if encountering it may have prompted him to seek and receive revelatory guidance about the importance of the name of the Church.

I think this is probably behind his long-held strong feelings on this point (cf. his 1990 talk that was just as forceful). The "Gates of Hell" thing is unique to Mandarin Chinese, and I think his study of it and using it over the decades is part of his strong feelings on this. 

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14 minutes ago, rongo said:

No disrespect or shade at you two, or anyone else, but it seems to me that the people who have the least struggle always using the full name are people who don't have conversations about the Church very often with non-members (and retirement or living in Layton and other things tend to reduce the opportunities people have to interact with non-members). For people who do interact frequently with non-members, insisting on the full name is a barrier to clarity (non-confusion) and effective communication. I use the full name as much as I believe is possible, but I don't hesitate to use Mormon if I believe it is better in that situation.

I include the Brethren in this. I've gotten pushback before, but I don't believe they have very many "Joe six-pack" conversations with people very often.  During Covid they've been sequestered more than normal, and really only communicate electronically, but normally they have meetings in Salt Lake or area headquarters during the week and fly (usually first class or private) to a stake conference or maybe a mission on the weekend. If they encounter non-members, it's in a controlled, limited environment (e.g., special investigator or new convert meeting as part of stake conference). There is a lot of interacting with dignitaries and things like that, but those are very different from our conversations with co-workers and neighbors. 

Ok. 

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24 minutes ago, rongo said:

people who don't have conversations about the Church very often with non-members

I have had conversations lots with nonmembers, but almost always they know I am a Latter-day Saint and that is often why the conversation starts.

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27 minutes ago, rongo said:

I include the Brethren in this. I've gotten pushback before, but I don't believe they have very many "Joe six-pack" conversations with people very often.  During Covid they've been sequestered more than normal, and really only communicate electronically, but normally they have meetings in Salt Lake or area headquarters during the week and fly (usually first class or private) to a stake conference or maybe a mission on the weekend. If they encounter non-members, it's in a controlled, limited environment (e.g., special investigator or new convert meeting as part of stake conference). There is a lot of interacting with dignitaries and things like that, but those are very different from our conversations with co-workers and neighbors. 

So because of Covid they have forgotten how to interact with people? And they don’t know how to interact with non-members? When the Brethren come to my stake they often want to meet with less actives and investigators specifically and not always in a “controlled, limited environment”. The myth of the out-of-touch apostle and seventy needs to die.

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37 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I tell them The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and when they get that puzzled look on their face I say aka Mormon church.

I do something similar.  If not when and I say, "you might know us as Mormon."

As for how often it comes up...it goes in spurts.  Sometimes fairly often.  Sometimes there will be a long time between.   I'm not sure why the differences as I can't find a pattern in how often I interact with people who are not members.

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17 minutes ago, Calm said:

I have had conversations lots with nonmembers, but almost always they know I am a Latter-day Saint and that is often why the conversation starts.

I've had both (where they know I am, and where they don't).

Most common is, "Mr. ____, are you a Mormon?" The answer to that is "Yes." Other conversation points follow, but it's confusing and odd to venture out into the variations of "Yes, but the real name is . . ." or "I'm a member of ____, but we sometimes are called ____."

I've shared this before, but I've seen students say, "There's no such thing as a Mormon," and their friends say, "Don't you go to that church next door 3rd hour?" and they repeat, robot-like, "There are no Mormons." It's weird (not saying you do this).

My son has had students in class say, "Hey, he's a Mormon," and point people with questions towards him. That's a good thing, and trying to argue the name of the Church case every time in those situations isn't good. It's best to simply answer the questions people put to us. 

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19 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

So because of Covid they have forgotten how to interact with people? And they don’t know how to interact with non-members? When the Brethren come to my stake they often want to meet with less actives and investigators specifically and not always in a “controlled, limited environment”. The myth of the out-of-touch apostle and seventy needs to die.

They didn't have many normal interactions even pre-Covid. It's not that they "forget" how to interact with people --- they don't talk to very many non-members in "normal life" situations. Even when being introduced to people briefly at stake conference, or going on a pre-selected ministering visit with the stake president, or having a convert or investigator fireside as part of stake conference, these aren't normal, everyday life interactions. They are about as controlled and limited as it gets. And they are what they do, weekend in and weekend out --- for decades, in many cases. 

I've been most disappointed in Q&As that aren't tightly controlled (there was one in Phoenix with Elder Ballard and Rasband a few years ago). There is a reason that the "Face to Face" things are very tightly scripted and controlled. 

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As others have said, I cannot remember the last time I was asked (probably when I went to Spain a few years ago), but if I were, and if and when I am, this is how I would (and will) respond:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2017-01-020-i-belong-to-the-church-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

And yes, to avoid any confusion, I would follow that answer up with, "Popularly, we're known as Mormons."  I agree with President Nelson's emphasis on the centrality (indeed, the indispensability) of Jesus Christ in Latter-day Saint belief and practice, and I also like what President Hinckley said quite a few years ago now:

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

Edited by Kenngo1969
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58 minutes ago, rongo said:

I've had both (where they know I am, and where they don't).

Most common is, "Mr. ____, are you a Mormon?" The answer to that is "Yes." Other conversation points follow, but it's confusing and odd to venture out into the variations of "Yes, but the real name is . . ." or "I'm a member of ____, but we sometimes are called ____."

I've shared this before, but I've seen students say, "There's no such thing as a Mormon," and their friends say, "Don't you go to that church next door 3rd hour?" and they repeat, robot-like, "There are no Mormons." It's weird (not saying you do this).

My son has had students in class say, "Hey, he's a Mormon," and point people with questions towards him. That's a good thing, and trying to argue the name of the Church case every time in those situations isn't good. It's best to simply answer the questions people put to us. 

Maybe the difference is that you are talking to a lot of high school kids and some of us are more likely to talk to adults.  I know a lot of adults who would never dream of asking what religion I am because spiritual and religious beliefs are too "personal".  

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