What Critics & Many Saints Don't Realize About the Meaning of "Mormon"

Dustin Phelps addresses the misinterpretation of the word “Mormon.”

Dustin Phelps of Happiness Seekers says the word “Mormon” has been for a long time misunderstood by many. Different individuals from different spheres of religious life have interpreted the word in a different manner. Therefore, members of society have criticized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they don’t realize the real meaning of the word.

A good example is what Joseph Smith said about the word “Mormon.” He explained that the word “Mormon” originated from an Egyptian name which means “good” in the highest level (it would mean that Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”) where “good” would stand for pure goodness.

Going by the Joseph Smith’s definition of the word “Mormon,” Phelps says it is then interpreted that The Book of Mormon could mean “The Book of Goodness,” “Mormon Church” to mean “Church of Goodness” while “The Mormons” would mean “The People of Goodness.”

From the above definitions, Phelps declares it’s clear that the word “Mormon” has been misinterpreted in terms of linguistics and confused to mean “goodness.” It therefore calls for everyone who believes in “Mormonism” to stand firm and live within the guiding principles of their religion.

Phelps urges LDS members to understand they belong to a great Church that believes in “goodness” according to the teachings of the Good Shepherd. Mormons should all be proud of such belief and Phelps believes it’s their responsibility to endeavor to live by “goodness” despite earthly critiques and misunderstandings about the religion.

In conclusion, Phelps says it is worth noting what President Hinckley said about “Mormon” in a statement:

“Anyone who comes to know the man Mormon, through the reading and pondering of his words, anyone who reads this precious trove of history which was assembled and preserved in large measure by him, will come to know that Mormon is not a word of disrepute, but that it represents the greatest good—that good which is of God…

“All of this places upon us of this Church and this generation an incumbent and demanding responsibility to recognize that as we are spoken of as Mormons, we must so live that our example will enhance the perception that Mormon can mean in a very real way, ‘more good’.”

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