Mormons: Don't call us Mormons
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "will step up efforts to discourage use of the term Mormon Church and instead emphasize the name Jesus Christ in references to the church," The New York Times reported yesterday. Instead of using "Mormon" as shorthand, the new shorter way to refer to the church should be "the Church of Jesus Christ." Really. "We haven't adopted a new name of the church," says Dallin H. Oaks, one of the church's highest officials. "We have adopted a shorthand reference to the church that we think is more accurate." Still, the church won't change names like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Mormon Trail and the Book of Mormon. Times reporter Gustav Niebuhr also talked to Jan Shipps, a non-Mormon expert on the church from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Shipps, who recently wrote an article for Beliefnet on why Mormons are discouraging use of the term, summarized the efforts as representing "the desire of Latter-day Saints—and not just the leadership—to be understood as a Christian tradition." Meanwhile, Mormons are gearing up for massive evangelistic efforts next year when the Winter Olympics comes to Salt Lake City. Brigham Young University will even shut its doors so students and faculty can volunteer and evangelize. Meanwhile, however, some controversy is brewing over the limits the church is putting on alcohol consumption.

Other Mormon-related news:

  • Religious rift rattles University of Utah | The anti-Mormon controversy has enduring history (The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Mormons won't take federal funds | "I am in favor of complete separation of church and state, and while we appreciate the offer of federal funding, we like to do ours on our own. Once the government is involved, regulations follow," Gordon Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tells Larry King (USA Today)
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