The Reason Why the ‘Mormon’ Church has Changed its Name

President Nelson received instructions from God on changing the name of the church.

Russell M. Nelson, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is quite familiar with the almighty. The 94-year-old can be found, many a night, at the side of his bed, meticulously writing down what God is dictating to him.

His wife, Wendy Nelson, recalled the process in a recent church video. She said she often leaves the room and later President Nelson will emerge saying “Wendy, you won’t believe what’s been happening for two hours. The Lord has given me detailed instructions on a process I am to follow.”

Some recommendations by the Lord are minor in nature, and a few are considered both by God and by the Latter-day Saints followers as of prime importance. To give an example, Nelson in 2018 announced the almighty had instructed him to stop the “Mormon” moniker. The church nickname was around from the 1800s. The organization should now be referred to using its full name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church swiftly edited its digital footprint, including websites, email addresses, and social media accounts. It also changed the name of the well-known “Mormon” Tabernacle Choir. Leaders of the church have requested media companies not to report the church as the Mormon Church but to use its full, formal name. However, a journalist has noted the infeasibility of using a nine word name in news article headlines.

Revelation is one phenomenon common to almost all religions. Even in mainstream Christianity, such occurrences are frequent, including the older Hebrew Bible and the New Testament tome. One of the supposed first revelations made by God to a human was through Moses when he saw the burning bush. God also whispered to Elijah. Modern believers, however, regard both Bibles as closed canons. According to them, God has spoken in these books and has not uttered any wisdom from then on. The mighty may talk again before the final trumpet at the end of it all. Many religious people hold the view that the age of prophecy has long gone. Even Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church holds the same opinion. He speaks about the “discerning” power of God’s will but has not spoken about revelations.

The only exceptional religion in this aspect is Latter-day Saints. They have a firm belief in continuous revelation. The canon of this church is open and could be subject to revision by the top leadership. The president is perched at the top of the administrative hierarchy and is regarded by other church members as a revelator, seer, and prophet. President Nelson is called a "Prophet." The present-day revelations, however, are a far cry from Moses’ days, with God’s instructions resembling a person wearing a business suit. According to Brigham Young, a predecessor of Nelson, God gives revelation to only those who have a clean and pure soul.

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