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Latter-day Saints leader says use church's full name, not Mormon

By Sommer Brokaw
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Temple is shown here in Salt Lake City, Utah. File Photo by UPI/Shutterstock/Sopotnicki
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Temple is shown here in Salt Lake City, Utah. File Photo by UPI/Shutterstock/Sopotnicki

Aug. 18 (UPI) -- President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has changed the church's style guide to use the its full name instead of shorter substitutes like "Mormon" or "LDS."

Nelson announced the change in a statement Thursday, directing people that "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," was the proper reference to the church to use in news and church communications going forward instead of terms like "LDS" or "Mormon Church."

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Adherents believe the church name was originally determined in a revelation giving through Joseph Smith the the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, on April 26, 1838.

The only exceptions to the style guide changes are that "Mormon" could be correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon or in historical terms such as the Mormon Trail, a path that church members took from Illinois to Utah in the mid-19th century.

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The style changes have been initiated in recent weeks, the statement said.

Nelson, 93, said he decided to change the style guide because of a revelation about "the importance of the name"' from God.

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"The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name," Nelson's statement said. "He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will."

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Richard E. Bennett, a professor of church history at Brigham Young University, told The New York Times the change was unlikely to have much impact outside of church members.

"I don't think it's going to stop our friends outside of the church from calling us nicknames," Bennett said. "But certainly among members of the church, we'll be making a greater effort to follow the directions."

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