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The name of the Church is not negotiable


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2 hours ago, Robert J Anderson said:

To me, it seems like a point to not belabor too much.  The substance of something is more important than the name of something.

Except that there is an explicit commandment from Christ in the Book of Mormon that His Church be called after His name, and some of our people seem to be resisting it. It is a serious matter to resist an explicit commandment from the Lord, one that is being proclaimed by His anointed prophets and apostles. 

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7 hours ago, rongo said:

@Amulek made the point a while ago that there is no suitable, workable term for "Mormonism" (system of beliefs and culture) and "Mormons" (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). We noticed that even Elder Anderson in his talk immediately switched to "Latter-day Saints" to refer to members. 

Yes, with respect to members of the church, Latter-day Saint(s) is clearly preferred, but there seems to be quite a bit of equivocation about why that is the case. 

As I've stated previously, I don't have any qualms with the prophet's direction to emphasize the full name of the church. It was given by revelation, and I'm completely comfortable with the sentiment that "the name of the church is not negotiable."

It is what it is, plain and simple. And when somebody talks about the "Mormon Church," I've got no problem with pointing out that there's no such thing as the Mormon Church - it's actually the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

But when somebody talks about Mormons, or asks if I am a Mormon, I can't quite bring myself to say that there's no such thing as a Mormon. I get that other's may feel differently, but that's just me. 

The best analogy I can think of off the top of my head would be to perhaps compare it to the administration of the Sacrament. The name of the church would be akin to the prayers over the bread and wine water. The prayers were given by divine revelation and are expressly stated by the Lord and, as such, are non-negotiable. However, using the term Latter-day Saints to refer to members of the church would be more like wearing a white shirt or avoiding ear rings - behaviors which are clearly desired, but neither of which are actually requirements imposed by God through revelation.

 

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I use the full name of the Church whenever possible, but I also use whatever term is most natural and non-awkward in real time communication with real people. I get the feeling that the "anti-Mormon-usage" people don't talk to non-members about the Church very often, if at all. This includes general authorities, whose anecdotes (Elder Nash excepted :) ) usually involve high-profile, exotic guests of state --- not normal, everyday people. 

I tend to agree. It isn't at all difficult to avoid using the term "Mormon" under any circumstances when pretty much everyone you run into is presumptively Mormon to begin with. 

And most of the people I see making a big deal about eliminating it completely* tend to be those grew up in and live within the so-called Mormon Corridor. 

 

*Except, of course, for those situations where Mormon is still considered appropriate (e.g., Mormon Trail), even though there isn't really a clearly articulated reason for why such exceptions should exist or how we would know when else they might be appropriate.  

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I enjoyed that talk by Elder Anderson for several reasons. First, I remember President Nelson giving promises for blessings in uding the name of the church, and it was interesting to hear fulfillment of that promise. Second, along with hearing about large scale blessings, I enjoyed hearing the story about the young girl in Tahiti who was firm in keeping the name of the church accurate as requested, which led to the baptism of her teacher. Finally, I'm interested to see if this will play out how Elder Anderson says it will, where he has promised more acceptance from the broader Christian community for staying true to the name. That was a pretty bold statement in my opinion!

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13 minutes ago, boblloyd91 said:

I enjoyed that talk by Elder Anderson for several reasons. First, I remember President Nelson giving promises for blessings in uding the name of the church, and it was interesting to hear fulfillment of that promise. Second, along with hearing about large scale blessings, I enjoyed hearing the story about the young girl in Tahiti who was firm in keeping the name of the church accurate as requested, which led to the baptism of her teacher. Finally, I'm interested to see if this will play out how Elder Anderson says it will, where he has promised more acceptance from the broader Christian community for staying true to the name. That was a pretty bold statement in my opinion!

I think the blessings angle is really interesting.

Will God honor a promise of blessings for such a thing, even if He doesn't care that much what name we use otherwise (I personally think He will but that's just my opinion)?  Can someone lose out on blessings even if they aren't doing anything specifically wrong (I think so, but again, just my opinion)?

It's interesting to contemplate how apostolic promises work especially when obedience to the prophet on something that isn't doctrine is the conduit for receiving them.

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14 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I think the blessings angle is really interesting.

Will God honor a promise of blessings for such a thing, even if He doesn't care that much what name we use otherwise (I personally think He will but that's just my opinion)?  Can someone lose out on blessings even if they aren't doing anything specifically wrong (I think so, but again, just my opinion)?

It's interesting to contemplate how apostolic promises work especially when obedience to the prophet on something that isn't doctrine is the conduit for receiving them.

Good question. I think the answer is yes. I forgot which talk it was (Elder Christofferson?) Where he talked about blessings coming from obedience. Of course God loves us, but I think if we're doing the things He asks we're going to see blessings because we're honoring that relationship 

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12 minutes ago, boblloyd91 said:

Good question. I think the answer is yes. I forgot which talk it was (Elder Christofferson?) Where he talked about blessings coming from obedience. Of course God loves us, but I think if we're doing the things He asks we're going to see blessings because we're honoring that relationship 

I think that even if we aren't doing the things that He asks but are doing the things that His prophet has asked in His name (even if the prophet is a little wrong) that He honors those promised blessings.

(Obviously I'm not talking about doing something actually wrong just because the prophet has said to do it.  I'm talking about those things that have no real judgement value in and of themselves but where the prophet has promised blessings for complying).

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7 hours ago, Amulek said:

It isn't at all difficult to avoid using the term "Mormon" under any circumstances when pretty much everyone you run into is presumptively Mormon to begin with. 

And most of the people I see making a big deal about eliminating it completely* tend to be those grew up in and live within the so-called Mormon Corridor. 

Amulek, you’re one of my favorite posters on this board, so it is with considerable hesitancy I would counter anything you say here. 
 

But I can’t let go unchallenged the implication that it is primarily us benighted yokels along what you call “the Mormon corridor” who would be disposed to hearken with exactness and thoroughness to what the Lord’s anointed declares under inspiration. I believe faithfulness and dedication is to be found throughout the Lord’s vineyard, whatever corner of the earth it might be in. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Amulek, you’re one of my favorite posters on this board, so it is with considerable hesitancy I would counter anything you say here. 
 

But I can’t led go unchallenged the implication that it is primarily us benighted yokels along what you call “the Mormon corridor” who would be disposed to hearken with exactness and thoroughness to what the Lord’s anointed declares undef inspiration. I believe faithfulness and dedication is to be found throughout the Lord’s vineyard, wherever the corner of the earth it might be in. 

I think it's just that the tradition is stronger in the corridor; outside, most people never even knew that Mormons were even Christians, and so it is now a wonderful opportunity to tell the world who we REALLY are.

On the other hand every other corner has an Evangelica church named something like The Community Church of Jesus Christ.

There is one a block or so from our Stake Center.

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5 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I think it's just that the tradition is stronger in the corridor; outside, most people never even knew that Mormons were even Christians, and so it is now a wonderful opportunity to tell the world who we REALLY are.

On the other hand every other corner has an Evangelica church named something like The Community Church of Jesus Christ.

There is one a block or so from our Stake Center.

I think we can’t afford to let the practices of Protestant sects hinder us in our determination to follow the commandments of Christ. 
 

Side note: Did you know there are at least two competing dictionaries each of which uses the name Webster’s in its title? 
 

The name Webster’s is not copyrighted. Neither is Church of Jesus Christ. 

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4 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think we can’t afford to let the practices of Protestant sects hinder us in our determination to follow the commandments of Christ. 
 

Side note: Did you know there are at least two competing dictionaries each of which uses the name Webster’s in its title? 
 

The name Webster’s is not copyrighted. Neither is Church of Jesus Christ. 

Thanks for the tip; no I had no clue about two "Webster's ".  Amazing!

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22 hours ago, Calm said:

I don’t know if other members’ experiences mirror my own, but the emphasis on the name now is an intelligent response imo as I have run into a number who thought the Church was nonChristian (labeled heathen by some in Russia), even in Canada (an Orthodox priest walked into the church bookstore—privately owned—and saw all the pictures of Christ on the wall and had to ask me if we believed in him, pointing to all the pictures, I could see the wheels turning as he was making the adjustment; others at school and elsewhere asked if we were Christians and not as in just “a different Jesus”).  

Missionaries in Russia told us Russians often thought they were sorcerers and spat on them and made the sign to avert the evil eye as they walked past.  The Russians had a strange mix of atheist and superstitious folk lore beliefs at times.  A very educated professor assumed my daughter and I were casting a spell when we were practicing “As I have loved thee” in ASL for the Primary program while waiting for a bus; I was offered a red string to tie around my head for a headache by an upper class businesswoman.  

 I believe Lebed might have included our faith as one of the three that should be expelled as foreign because he understood it to be nonChristian as he paired it with other nonChristian groups. He later sort of apologized, so if that was the reason it was likely corrected.  One Russian suggested Lebed confused us with the Masons.  The guy was a full out racist, so being trashed by him is almost a badge of honor…but whatever he thought we were, being known as “Mormons” created unnecessary  confusion imo for him and many other Russians. 

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-07-19-mn-25727-story.html

https://www.deseret.com/1996/7/1/19251996/lebed-s-statement-worrisome


I think using “Latter-day Saint” conveys the information we are Christian as many associate “Saint” with Christianity as well as “saint” being used to describe a member of the Christian community in the New Testament. 
 

I do believe in the past doors were closed because they didn’t understand we were Christian in many places if Russia was typical in that regard.  The “I’m a Mormon” campaign was, imo, one way to lead others to become more familiar with us as a people, a very good approach that capitalized on connecting our personal identities with what was already known. Moving on to create a better understanding of who/what we are now many are more aware of us seems to me a very logical next step. 
 

I summarize it as a two part approach, first “look at us, we are your neighbours” (I’m a Mormon) and then “now you know who we are, this is what we are” (setting aside the Mormon label so more become aware we are Christian).

I really do not disagree.  When I was active I always said I was a Letter-day Saint. If people did not recognise that I said Mormon, but that Mormon is a nick mane and not the official name of the Church.

The issue I have is that this has become like the 11th commandment after President Nelson made the strong emphasis the change. And to me it seems like it was a pet peeve of his and now that he had the power he as going to enforce it.  And this after the I am a Mormon campaign and Meet the Mormons. It is ust rather funny pedantic and many here make it so.  

 

Edited by Teancum
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10 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Amulek, you’re one of my favorite posters on this board, so it is with considerable hesitancy I would counter anything you say here. 
 

But I can’t let go unchallenged the implication that it is primarily us benighted yokels along what you call “the Mormon corridor” who would be disposed to hearken with exactness and thoroughness to what the Lord’s anointed declares under inspiration. I believe faithfulness and dedication is to be found throughout the Lord’s vineyard, whatever corner of the earth it might be in. 

Is it time to resurrect D*** Utah Mormons, Mr. Vice-President? :D :rofl: :D 

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17 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Except that there is an explicit commandment from Christ in the Book of Mormon that His Church be called after His name, and some of our people seem to be resisting it. It is a serious matter to resist an explicit commandment from the Lord, one that is being proclaimed by His anointed prophets and apostles. 

If you don't know already I'm not a lover of reading the scriptures well. Do you have a reference?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

If you don't know already I'm not a lover of reading the scriptures well. Do you have a reference?

Quote

 

3 Nephi 27

7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.

8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Amulek, you’re one of my favorite posters on this board, so it is with considerable hesitancy I would counter anything you say here.

No need for any hesitancy on your part. You are one of the (many) posters I like and respect on this board, and I am fully capable of liking / continuing to like people even when we don't always agree - though, honestly, I think we're only in partial disagreement on this topic.

 

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But I can’t let go unchallenged the implication that it is primarily us benighted yokels along what you call “the Mormon corridor” who would be disposed to hearken with exactness and thoroughness to what the Lord’s anointed declares under inspiration. I believe faithfulness and dedication is to be found throughout the Lord’s vineyard, whatever corner of the earth it might be in. 

I wasn't trying to make any sort of comment about faithfulness. I simply think that it's easier to adopt the use of a given term when the majority of the population readily accepts and uses the term as well.

That being said, I readily admit that word usage isn't static, and someday it may very well be the case that Latter-day Saint ends up being the primary identifier used when referring to members of the church.

Until that happens though, I'm not going to sweat it if somebody calls me a Mormon.

 

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11 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:
1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

If you don't know already I'm not a lover of reading the scriptures well. Do you have a reference?

Quote

 

3 Nephi 27

7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.

8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

 

Also
"For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (D&C 115:4)

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20 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

I'm interested to see if this will play out how Elder Anderson says it will, where he has promised more acceptance from the broader Christian community for staying true to the name. That was a pretty bold statement in my opinion!

It's also a statement that Elder Anderson didn't actually make.

The part that I believe you are referring to was talking about us someday being more welcomed because of our testimony of and devotion to Jesus Christ; it wasn't about what would happen if we were to stay true to the name of the church.

I'm not bringing this up to be quarrelsome, but I think it's important to have an accurate understanding of what Elder Anderson actually said - especially if you are going to be on the lookout for how his words / promises will play out.

 

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I like to use the term Latter-day Saint.  It isn’t too much of a mouthful and it is an accurate way to refer to members of the church.  I can say I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Or I can simply say I’m a Latter-day Saint.  
 

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On 10/4/2021 at 8:46 AM, pogi said:

I have made a sincere effort to stop using the terms "Mormon" or "LDS".  The one term that I still can't find a suitable replacement for and frequently end up relying on is "Mormonism". 

The Catholic church has Catholicism.  Evangelical churches have Evangelism.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has...???  What term is there that can so succinctly capture the larger culture and beliefs that belong to and describe the ways of life of Latter-day Saints?    

Any suggestions?  I'm not a fan of Latter-day Saintism (but unfortunately, I think that might be the next best thing).  Restorationism won't work because it is a shared term with other restoration churches and is too limited in its scope.  I am at a loss. 

I like the word that John Taylor used in canonized scripture to describe all the things that Joseph Smith did that were outside explicitly establishing a named organization: "In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain." (D&C 135:3)

The word that Taylor used to encompass all those things, the word that members ought to assume that God endorsed, since it was canonized into scripture? "Their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to “Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth." (D&C 135:7)
 

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31 minutes ago, the narrator said:

The word that Taylor used to encompass all those things, the word that members ought to assume that God endorsed, since it was canonized into scripture? "Their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to “Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth." (D&C 135:7)

Agreed, and I have seen that term still used by faithful scholars who "know better" but still have no better term to use.

I also think that there is as yet no replacement for "Mormon Studies" as an academic discipline.

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:
2 hours ago, the narrator said:

The word that Taylor used to encompass all those things, the word that members ought to assume that God endorsed, since it was canonized into scripture? "Their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to “Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth." (D&C 135:7)

Agreed, and I have seen that term still used by faithful scholars who "know better" but still have no better term to use.

I also think that there is as yet no replacement for "Mormon Studies" as an academic discipline.

The Church has said, ""Mormon" is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon or when used as an adjective in such historical expressions as "Mormon Trail."

In some cases the I think word "Mormonism" can also be considered a historical expression.

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14 hours ago, Tacenda said:

If you don't know already I'm not a lover of reading the scriptures well. Do you have a reference?

3 Nephi 27:4-12

4 And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?
5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.
9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;
10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.
11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return.
12 For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.

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9 hours ago, the narrator said:

I like the word that John Taylor used in canonized scripture to describe all the things that Joseph Smith did that were outside explicitly establishing a named organization: "In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain." (D&C 135:3)

The word that Taylor used to encompass all those things, the word that members ought to assume that God endorsed, since it was canonized into scripture? "Their innocent blood on the floor of Carthage jail is a broad seal affixed to “Mormonism” that cannot be rejected by any court on earth." (D&C 135:7)
 

What do you make of the air quotes around the word “Mormonism”.? Aren’t air quotes often used to connote disapproval of the term within the quotation marks? 
 

It strikes me as though the author (and I’m not sure it’s John Taylor, for the discourse was never signed nor by-lined) is using the term in a mocking sort of tone alluding to the fact that it was a common term of disparagement that the Church’s enemies used. Moreover, I’m not sure that, at this early juncture, the Latter-day Saints had come to embrace the term as they would do later on. 
 

Thus, I don’t at all agree that this  passage, when viewed in context, denotes the Lord’s endorsement of “Mormonism” as a name for His Church. In fact, he is on record as saying the opposite. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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