Church leader: Nicknames like ‘Mormon’ and ‘LDS’ are ‘victory for Satan’

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Russell M. Nelson prays during the church's twice-annual general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 6, 2018 | Associated Press photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The president of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reiterated Sunday that he wants members, the media and others to use the faith’s full name, saying nicknames are “a major victory for Satan.”

Addressing church members during a conference in Salt Lake City, Russell M. Nelson said the church’s name “is not negotiable.”

President Russell M. Nelson waves as he leaves the morning session of a twice-annual conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Salt Lake City | Associated Press photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

“When the Savior clearly states what the name of his church should be, and even precedes his declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ he is serious,” Nelson said. “And if we allow nicknames to be used and adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, he is offended.”

Nelson, 94, who is considered a prophet, reiterated that his instruction is not a name change, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“It is a correction,” he said. “It is the command of the Lord.”

Nelson’s speech came after the church announced Friday that the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been renamed the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. It’s the first big change since Nelson announced guidelines in August asking people to stop using previously accepted shorthand names.

The entry about the church in the Associated Press Stylebook remains unchanged, listing Mormon churchLDS church or the Latter-day Saints as acceptable terminology after the full name of the church is used on first reference in a news story. Many news outlets follow the style guide — including St. George News.

The faith had embraced and promoted the term Mormon over the past several years, using it in a documentary and TV and billboard ads. A church webpage that was up before Nelson’s announcement had described the term as an “unofficial but inoffensive nickname for members.”

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs during the twice-annual conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Mormon leaders delivered spiritual guidance and church news as the faith’s conference kicks off in Salt Lake City one day after the faith announced it was renaming the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir to drop the word “Mormon.” | AP Photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

If people use Mormon to describe the church or its members, Nelson on Sunday urged adherents to “be courteous and patient” in their efforts to correct them.

Nelson, who in January took over the top post of the Utah-based faith with 16 million members worldwide after the previous president died, rejected what he called “worldly arguments,” including the benefits of internet search engine optimization with the word “Mormon.”

The faith believes that God revealed the full church name to founder Joseph Smith in 1838. The term “Mormon” comes from the church’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, which followers believe is based on the record-keeping of an ancient prophet named Mormon.

Written by the Associated Press with information from The Salt Lake Tribune. St. George News contributed to this report.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • iceplant October 7, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    This is utterly absurd.
    What are you going to call the Book of Mormon from now on?
    LOL @ “Nelson… urged adherents to “be courteous and patient” in their efforts to correct them.”
    Oh, for crying out loud. This is what it’s coming down to now? I can’t even…

    • DRT October 7, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      I guess when you are 94 years old and sent to the “head of the class,” it goes to your head. In other words, senile. Crazy as a loon. Bat crap crazy.
      Hey Rusty, ain’t nuttin’ wrong with nicknames. LDS, Mormon, or the full title, it is all the same. The only difference is what a person decides to be offended by. My referring to my Mormon friends as Mormons has never offended any of them, to my knowledge. And with a few of them, if I had offended them, I certainly would know it.

      With all the serious problems in the world to get sidetracked by something like this, is certainly the work of Satan. That old devil is just laughing his socks off over this.

      • iceplant October 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm

        That’s the thing I don’t understand. I have family all over Utah who are active Mormons and who are proud to be called such. I don’t agree with the church but I respect my family enough to let them worship whatever way they choose.
        THIS, however, has left the wife and I scratching our heads. And I know we’re not alone by a longshot.
        I think you might be onto something with the senility angle. A dementia screening may be in order because this is bonkers.

    • KR567 October 7, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      maybe you should your new Supreme Court Justice ..Brett Kavanaugh

  • Dolly October 7, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    So if I understand this correctly…”The faith had embraced and promoted the term Mormon over the past several years, using it in a documentary and TV and billboard ads. A church webpage that was up before Nelson’s announcement had described the term as an “unofficial but inoffensive nickname for members.” But now The Church is “saying nicknames are “a major victory for Satan.” So which is it? Did the Lord change his/her mind? Why would the Lord be offended? Doesn’t the Lord forgive our sins? Doesn’t seem like much of a sin to me. No wonder “outsiders” think the Church is way beyond strange!

  • high5 October 7, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Poor man has made a fool of himself.
    Even it members will question this church-
    What an Empire.

  • 42214 October 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Jimmy Swaggert has more credibility than this old fool.

  • KR567 October 7, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Reverend Al Bundy has more credibility than this guy

  • michael bodell October 8, 2018 at 4:31 am

    How distressing to hear a man of science give credence to a mythological boogeyman while the true evils of poverty, greed and injustice threaten to overwhelm civilization. It all seems so juvenile

  • Real Life October 8, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Is this guy even alive? Somebody should check his pulse.

  • Kace45 October 8, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Each prophet has his own impressions that influence how he choses to direct the church. Nelson has for many years been emphatic about the official name of the church. Really, this is not a new topic for him. When “The Book of Mormon” musical was released on Broadway, it portrayed “Mormons” in a negative light. As a result, the church launched the “I’m A Mormon” media campaign to counterbalance the musical’s portrayal of Mormons as naive and narrow with examples of the real lives of Mormons. I think this was a brilliant campaign. Now, Nelson is trying to change what has been a rather successful marketing effort to brand Mormons in a positive light. While I understand his perspective, I think it is somewhat curious considering the church itself launched this effort. I wish him the best. But it will be an uphill battle.

  • great success October 8, 2018 at 8:53 am

    It would be nice if President Nelson showed the same kind of conviction for solving some of the much larger and pressing issues in world. Especially considering the amount of capital the church can play with. Instead monetary resources are primarily used for investment purposes, such as building luxury residential sky rises in Philadelphia, The Alexander, to name just one of their many real estate ventures.

    • InGodITrust October 8, 2018 at 9:34 am

      As the leader of a worldwide church, I daresay that President Nelson is more aware of and concerned with the pressing issues of the world when compared to the average U.S. citizen. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does in fact donate large amounts of financial and humanitarian aid to those in need, but it recognizes that not all problems are solved by throwing money at them. An investment, by definition, is the giving of money, time, or effort to someone or something with the expectation that it will be worthwhile and profitable when all is said and done. I find it incredible to see the ways in which The Church invests in bettering the lives of others, both spiritually and temporally, furthering education, and building beautiful places of worship.

      • great success October 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

        It’s true InGodITrust, the LDS CHURCH does provide annually roughly $40 million a year in charitable donations, based on a 30 year collection of data, according to Deseret News and other sources. It’s a bit of a tough issue because the church is not open about their finances. However in countries where they are required to divulge such information, outside parties have been able to predict roughly an annual profit rate for lds church, ranging from 6-8 billion a year. Therefore, using those figures, charitable donations annually by the lds church is give or take a rate of .5 percent of their total annual profits. That’s pretty far below par all things considered, considering the amount of capital they have to play with as I said before. Considering the Lds church is the second most wealthy religious institution in the world, behind only the Catholic Church and their lucrative assets, it’s disheartening to see organizations like the 7th day Adventist and other less profitable institutions give more to charity and relief than “the lords church.” If you listen to the men at the pulpit, they spin their rhetoric to make the congregations believe LDS church leads all in relief. I agree that just throwing money at an issue is not the best way to solve such problems. But could the church implement constructive solutions at a massive scale that would help combat disease, poverty and hunger, particularly in third world countries? You know, as opposed to rebuking Kenyans for their dowries and asking them to make tithing to the church a priority instead?

      • iceplant October 8, 2018 at 11:09 am

        Let’s be honest here. The church also sticks its nose into politics where it doesn’t belong. This entire debacle with medical cannabis has left them with egg on their faces. Everyone knows they’re trying to protect their pharmaceutical investments. Their stocks stand to take a hit once cannabis is legalized. Whatever happened to separation of church and state? A theocracy is no way to run a state. Non-Mormons are essentially forced to like the way the church “votes” no matter what. There’s no true voice of the people in Utah. Only backroom deals and “special legislative sessions” that purposely exclude people with whom they don’t see eye to eye.

        I ask you… how is that a fair and democratic process? How is that allowing people to exercise their free agency? Something the church promotes quite heavily. It seems more and more that they’re doing these things to save face because they know you can’t have a 1950’s mentality in the 21st century and they’re trying to play catch up. It’s kinda sad to watch, really. No other state in the US is run this way. Not a single one. Utah is trapped in its own version of reality. Straight from the prophet’s mouth.

        “Do this, don’t do that, lather, rinse, repent.”

  • Mike P October 8, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Oh, for Christs sake !

  • redrock4 October 8, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    OK – now did he say that nicknames were a victory for Satan? Because even the Satan thing is ridiculous. And when some “prophet” says this, well it starts to sound like something happening in Colorado City.

  • Arcana October 8, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Please stop reporting on this crap. If I cared about what the mormons were doing I’d go to church. This is getting out of hand. It’s not real news.

  • htown October 11, 2018 at 6:35 am

    The major problem that us LDS people have is that the new stance states that the Lord made this directive by revelation in 1838. They fail to mention that the Church name was the Church of Christ by revelation in 1830; Later in 1836 Sidney Ridgon asked Joseph to seek a new revelation and the Church name was changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. So is the Church the only true church as claimed, if so why does the named keep changing by revelation. There sure has been a lot of old revelation lately that has been discarded as outdated, or that wasn’t really a revelation, rather a personal statement. Why can’t our unpaid clergy that has an annual salary of $175,000 get the eternal truth so we don’t keep changing our stance?

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