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Church Leader Wants To Move Away From Term 'Mormon'

By Stina Sieg
Published: Sunday, August 19, 2018 - 5:10am
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The 93-year-old leader of the Mormon Church is trying to change how people refer to the faith.

President Russell M. Nelson is asking the full name be used: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nelson said a few shorter variations are acceptable, but they do not include the common abbreviation “LDS.”

Patrick Mason, the chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University, said he thinks many of the religion’s faithful will try to abide by the new guidelines, but he doubts popular culture will move away saying “Mormon.”

“It’s a brand name that’s been well-established. It’s been associated with a presidential candidate, you know, with all kinds of things,” he said. “So it’s very tough to change that, and there’s no incentive for outsiders to do so, simply because the church requests it.”

Mason said church leaders have long been uncomfortable with the term, but in recent years the faith used the word “Mormon” in marketing campaigns and on its websites.