Called in His Name

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“Called in His Name,” Ensign, September 2018

Digital Only: News

Called in His Name

“We’re not changing names,” President Nelson says. “We’re correcting a name.”

Go Ye Therefore, and Teach All Nations

When the Savior organized the original Church of Jesus Christ, He called the Apostles to carry the gospel throughout the world.

Go Ye Therefore, and Teach All Nations, by Harry Anderson

President Russell M. Nelson recently emphasized that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be called by its correct name, as revealed by the Lord in scripture.

“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church,” President Nelson said in a statement issued August 16, 2018. “We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. … Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.”

In conjunction with President Nelson’s statement, an updated style guide was released calling for an end to the use of nicknames, abbreviations, and incorrect names when referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nicknames such as “the Mormon Church” or “the LDS Church” have overtaken and overshadowed the Church’s appropriate name, which was given by the Lord.

A few days later, during a media interview that followed a devotional in Montreal, Canada, President Nelson said, “We’re not changing names. We’re correcting a name.”

Canada: President and Sister Nelson in Montreal

Sister Wendy Nelson (left) accompanied President Nelson as he met with members in Montreal, Canada.

Photo by Scott Taylor, Church News

Using the correct name will help correct misnomers that have persisted since the Church’s early history. The effort to use the proper name follows the Savior’s own scriptural directive and allows members and nonmembers alike to acknowledge His role.

“The name of the Church is not negotiable,” President Nelson said, “because the Lord has told us what His Church shall be called.”

Two significant scriptures teach this doctrine:

“Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:4).

[Christ's image]

The Savior said, “How be it my church save it be called in my name?”

Christ’s Image, by Heinrich Hofmann

“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” (3 Nephi 27:8).

During the interview in Canada, President Nelson said that undoing tradition of more than 100 years may be challenging. “All we know is the Lord has said, ‘Thus shall my church be called … The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ That’s enough for me.”

The updated style guide gives direction about properly referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For example, when a shortened reference is needed, use of the terms “the Church” or the “Church of Jesus Christ” is encouraged. In addition, “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” (see “Style Guide—The Name of the Church” for these and other directives). Church websites and materials will be updated over time to reflect these changes.