The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced changes to emphasize the correct name of the church. President Russell M. Nelson released a statement in August of 2018 clarifying the name of the church:
The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name 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. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.
Speaking to the media in regard to the announcement, President Nelson added: “We have to be careful to protect the name ‘Mormon.’ The media will think that we are tossing it out. We aren’t. We just want to be accurate. Mormon was a man. He was a prophet. He was a writer, a record keeper. We honor him and treasure the book that bears his name. We’re talking about the name of the Church.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the name of the Church Latter-day Saints believe came by revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (see Doctrine and Covenants 115:4). “Jesus Christ directed us to call the Church by His name because it is His Church, filled with His power,” President Russell M. Nelson has said. The Church is now making changes to many of its communication channels to reflect the faith’s full name and better convey commitment to follow Jesus Christ. More than getting the name right as an institution, the invitation to use the full name of the Church is an opportunity for Latter-day Saints to refocus their lives on the living Christ.
“Every day we should ask ourselves, ‘How can we better live as Jesus Christ taught and lived?’” President Nelson said. “This mindset will help fill our lives, our homes, our neighborhoods, and our churches with more of Christ’s light and power.”
The changes the Church is making apply to many aspects of Church communications. Four areas are of note for Latter-day Saints and the general public:
Websites: The Church’s official website will become ChurchofJesusChrist.org. This change is effective today, March 5, 2019, when the domain name ChurchofJesusChrist.org begins pointing to the LDS.org home page. In the coming months, the ChurchofJesusChrist.org domain name will replace what were the following:
- LDS.org (ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
- MormonNewsroom.org (Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
Eventually, Mormon.org will be incorporated into the new domain as well. However, because its primary audience is those outside the Church, merging it with the Church member-focused ChurchofJesusChrist.org will take more time.
Work is underway to unify and restructure all these websites into a new, more cohesive and personalized experience under the ChurchofJesusChrist.org domain. Until that time, Mormon.org will change to ComeuntoChrist.org.
Social media: Several Church social media accounts will consolidate and give greater emphasis to the name of the Savior’s Church. These social media channels will publish content more focused on living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- A new Facebook group has been established to build community and better inform individuals about Church news and updates. This group is called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Inspiration and News.” This group is designed to be a place of community and connection for Latter-day Saints.
- The Church’s Twitter account display name will continue to be called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” with the username of @ChurchNewsroom and will be the primary source on social media for news from the Church.
Mobile Apps: Many of the Church’s mobile apps will be renamed to align with recent direction from Church leaders regarding the naming of Church products.
- LDS Music becomes “Sacred Music”
- The Gospel Library app keeps the same name
Email Domain: The email addresses of all Church employees, general Church leaders and many volunteers will begin using the @ChurchofJesusChrist.org domain instead of the current @ldschurch.org. Like other changes, this adjustment is intended to help keep the name of Jesus Christ prominent in all the Church does.
Much work remains, particularly as the Church make changes to products in numerous languages throughout the world. The First Presidency asks Latter-day Saints and others “to be patient and courteous as changes are made.” Read the First Presidency letter.
A History of the Name of the Church
Latter-day Saint scripture and history show that getting the Church’s name right has been an evolving process from the faith’s earliest days. In the Book of Mormon, for example, Christ’s disciples could not agree on what to call the Church. Christ’s answer was to “take upon you the name of Christ.” In 1830 the Church was organized as the Church of Christ. The Church adopted a resolution in 1834 to change the name to the Church of the Latter Day Saints to distinguish it from other Christian denominations of the time. Then in 1838, the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Joseph Smith that the name of the Church is to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Over the years, the Church standardized the spelling and hyphenation of its name, making it The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it is used today.
Since the first year of the Church’s founding, critics and others have sought to call the Church and its followers by other names — names Latter-day Saints used out of convenience at first but then came to embrace themselves. It’s hard work to undo nearly 189 years of history, culture and practice. But with God the impossible is possible. As President Nelson made clear in August 2018, “we have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with [God’s] will.” Church leaders understand that this is a complex, multifaceted effort.