Leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints “don’t want you calling them Mormons anymore”

This is an unusual entry in the news and commentary articles of the Inter Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP). 

The second half of the headline is from the CNN article that reads: “Mormons don’t want you calling them Mormons anymore.” The headline is coy, disrespectful , and provocative. 

Of course CNN would never publish a headline doing the same thing to any of the dozens of communities sacrosanct to CNN, blacks, homosexuals, transgender, immigrants, violent political activists, and so forth for a long list. [You yourself can create the same headline by CNN if they did the same thing to Blacks or Gays]. But for believers of a quiet, constructive, family oriented, conservative group that has risen from object of mob-violence to fielding a candidate for United States President, then its fine to mock. 

Historic Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints sits on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Why run the article at all? Because miraculously, despite it’s infantile and shameful headline, the news outlet actually does a good job of covering this significant development in the religious world. And that they have dedicated resources to cover important religious news at all is itself news. 

IRFWP re-publishes this article in our dedication to and support for greater interfaith understanding and relations. 

One of the very first steps in growing and improving in interfaith, is to make ever greater efforts to grasp deeply the self-understanding, and the needs and expectations of the group(s) with whom you seek to dialogue, and grow with in love and mutual care. 

It goes without saying that attending humbly to requests by any group about “how we like to be called,” is extremely important. And the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints have come forth with searing clarity about “how they like to be called.”  

This request is not simple, and despite being rude, CNN does a very good job to raise the right questions. Here is the beginning the article: (You can click at the bottom to read the CNN piece in its entirely)

(CNNThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is embarking on a rebranding effort of sorts.

The church, commonly referred to as the Mormons, really wants people to stop using that word. It also wants people to stop using LDS as an abbreviation. From now on, it prefers that people use the church’s full name, and when a shortened reference is needed, to just use “the Church” or “Church of Jesus Christ.”
These preferences are contained in a new style guide that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released Thursday. It states that while “the term ‘Mormon Church’ has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use.” It also asks that the term “Mormons” not be used in references to members.


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