Watch how Elder Bednar answers tough questions from the national press

Some quick thoughts: he is direct and to the point and answers directly from Church doctrine. He does not shy away from promoting Church policies, even with regards to tough questions on issues of sexuality. This man is very clearly inspired by the Lord.

This entry was posted in General by Geoff B.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

38 thoughts on “Watch how Elder Bednar answers tough questions from the national press

  1. So simple, so clear, so direct! A true Apostle of Jesus Christ!
    But as a distracting side note, I couldn’t help but notice Mr. Romney at the table and wondered how he can justify his socialist views with the Gospel? Well, even the misinformed need to hear it.

  2. Elder Bednar answered the questions as one would expect him to respond, but I cannot agree with all responses. On tithing; The way out of poverty is by keeping the commandments. ??? In poverty stricken African countries? Really? I could make other comments, but this will suffice.

  3. Bill, it seems to me you need to go to more Elders Quorum meetings. 🙂 This is a standard description of the blessings of tithing that I have heard dozens of times at church. I lived in Brazil and served in a bishopric there and I told many poor Brazilians this same thing all the time. I saw it happen in Brazil myself many times. Here is the point: either tithing is a commandment of the Lord or it is not. The Lord promises that if you pay tithing you will be blessed, both spiritually and temporally. This does not mean you will become rich if you pay tithing, but it does mean that you will be less poor over time if you consistently pay tithing. I knew several families who lived in the favelas of Brazil who made less than $100/month, and they paid tithing and they were blessed financially for it in many small ways. So, yes, this does happen, and this is what people in Brazil are told all the time. God is a God of miracles. Bill, I would like to remind you this is a blog that supports the Church. I am happy to answer heartfelt questions, but it sounds to me like you are a Church critic, not a supporter. This may not be the blog for you.

  4. Hans S, the more time that Mitt Romney spends with the apostles, the better. He may change some of his views on important subjects, and that would be a very, very good thing.

  5. “Mormon” is a pejorative? That’s what Elder Bednar said. He said “Mormon” is a label given by our enemies.

    I wonder what the prophet Mormon feels about this. I wonder what will become of the Book of Mormon. I marvel that the east coast media continues to label the DC temple the “Mormon” temple, and will do so for years to come. What else would they call it?

    Thing is, for all of President Nelson’s protestations, there is no adjective other than “Mormon” that succinctly and distinctly describes people who believe in the prophetic restoration brought about through Joseph Smith. Yet in his zeal to do away with the word “Mormon”, President Nelson is straining at gnats and throwing away a lot that is good. And he is providing no worthy substitute of a label, which is why “Mormon” temple will always be the description used by the east coast media to describe the church’s landmark building that sits along the DC belt route.

    Notice that the reporter misstated the church’s name and used a “pejorative”. She said the “Church of Latter-day saints”. The reporter proved that no matter what Mormons want others to say, others are free to ignore Christ and malign the name of the church.

    Call me a Mormon. Call me a Latter-day saint. Call me a Christian. Just don’t call me late to dinner.

  6. I could not agree more with Elder Bednar’s statement on tithes. Pay your tithes no matter what and watch the blessings flow.

  7. I have a feeling that many converts, especially those who were previously in other churches, thought “It’s about time!” when Pres Nelson announced the move away from the Mormon moniker.

    ” I wonder what will become of the Book of Mormon.”

    I predict that the cover and title page will be changed to swap the positioning of the title and sub-title, so as to give the Savior “top billing” over one of His prophets. And perhaps Mormon himself (Moroni’s dad) will say “It’s about time!”

    Possible arrangment and relative font sizes:
    {font size 3} Another Testament of
    {font size 5} Jesus Christ

    {font size 4} The Book of
    {font size 4} Mormon

    @A_Disciple: Your comment hints that you were born in the church. As someone who had to find the church from the outside, I assure you that the use of the word Mormon as an adjective and identifier, anything other than the given/proper name of an historical individual, has been a hindrance and hurdle. It has provided a level of “friction” to proselytism and conversions.

    You BiC folks, in general, don’t see that truth as readily as an outsider can — because you were “born in the pond” and don’t fully understand how someone discovers, sees, and approaches the pond from the outside. Somewhat like how a fish doesn’t know what water is, because it has never experienced “not water”, until it is removed from the water.

    And for most people, no amount of missionary work can give them that outsider perspective — no one can shed their lived experience and adopt the perspective of an experience they never had. You can understand it from an intellectual basis, but not from an experiential basis.

    I fully agree with Pres Nelson that stopping the use of the word Mormon for anything other than the name of the ancient prophet is a necessary step for the explosive exponential church growth (via conversions) that the church will soon experience.

    The process was actually started under President Monson. I remember a letter went out and was read over the pulpit, around the 2012 time frame, to start using the full and correct name of the church. It wasn’t heeded much.

    Pres Nelson repeated Pres Monson’s directive, and effectively said “and now we mean it.”

    “Call me a Mormon. Call me a Latter-day saint. Call me a Christian. Just don’t call me late to dinner.”

    With all due respect, it’s not about _you_. It’s about removing some friction that’s hindering a few million converts in the US, and tens of millions of converts world-wide.

  8. @Bookslinger

    Mormon is the name of a revered prophet. It is not a pejorative. It is also not the name of the Lord’s restored church. Neither is “Church of Latter-day saints” the name of the Lord’s restored church. But we don’t see hand wringing over the label “Latter-day saints”.

    The hand wringing over the name Mormon begs the question of what did Mormon do wrong? What is the future of the Book of Mormon if Mormon is a bad word? What would Mormon think about this? He clearly loved his name!

    Note that when Jesus explained the name of his church he did not say Moses was a pejorative. He simply explained that if the church was named for Moses then it would be Moses church.

    The piling on of the name Mormon by current church leadership bizarre. It is a simple thing to say that the church is dropping the Mormon label from its properties as such changes are appropriate. The change is not because the devil rejoices when the Mormon label is used but because the name changes are appropriate (ie it doesn’t need to be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir).

    And church leadership still has not provided a word that quickly and succinctly describes adherents to the church. And lacking a word, the rest of the world is going to continue to use the Mormon label.

    Please note, there is no controversy about the name of the church. This is simply a question of labels and recognizing that no label other than Mormon fits so well, just as no label other than Catholic defines those who believe in the Pope and Jew succinctly defines those of that race, faith & culture.

  9. A Disciple, if you want to be called a Mormon, I have no problem with that. But you should know that indeed in the 19th century this was an epithet given to the early Saints by the Church’s enemies. And it stuck because we Saints are a forgiving and good-hearted lot. And also it is easier to say “I am a Mormon” than to say “I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” As Book notes, the Church has been de-emphasizing “Mormon” and re-emphasizing the true Church’s name for many years now.

    I will take exception with you saying that President Nelson is straining at gnats. That is simply not an appropriate way to discuss the prophet, at least on this blog. Here is how it works: President Nelson is always right when it comes to his prophetic statements. (I am not saying he is always right in other areas of his life, but when it comes to his prophetic statements, yes, he is always right). Our job is to bend our will to the prophet’s statements, which means avoiding criticizing. If we don’t understand, we should just say quiet and wait for personal revelation or we should put it on a shelf and revisit it later.

    Now, there are times when people will not do what the prophet asks. Several prophets have told Saints not to use birth control, for example, but I think almost all of us do use birth control. I did not get the COVID vaccine, and I don’t like wearing masks. So there is obviously room for personal revelation and personal decisions on many issues. This is why I say that if you want to call yourself a Mormon, I personally am OK with that, but there are actual reasons for the change.

    I have tried really hard when discussing the Church with non-member friends to refer to it by its full correct name. But it is not easy in conversation to do this. But I try.

  10. A.D. Apparently your lived experience among non-members is very different from mine. Your last comment illustrates that you and I don’t have the same picture of how non-members, especially those who are active in other Bible-believing churches, view the Restored church.

    Geoff is spot on. “Mormon” is __used as__ a perjorative against us to this day. A typical refrain is “They’re not Christian, they’re Mormon.” That is an epithet, a perjorative. It’s based on a misunderstanding that church members have helped foster for far too long.

    I suppose the Lord has His reasons for not making this correction or adjustment until 2018. He has not deigned to make thoses reasons public.

    But policies change… polygamy, no-polygamy, ordination to priesthood, age of ordination, temple ordinandes/ceremonies, etc., etc. There have been members who have balked at every change. Let’s not be balkers.

    Mainstream Christianity is currently falling apart at the seams. Churches are splitting (recursively, even) along progressive vs traditional lines.

    Millions of sincere believers in Christ are currently, or will soon be, looking for a new “church home.” We need to remove whatever roadblocks or “friction” we can — without changing doctrine, of course — to help them find the true church. “They’re not Christian, they’re Mormon” is one such roadblock or point of friction.

  11. @Geoff, @Bookslinger,

    My complaint concerns leaders of the church saying in their own words that “Mormon” is a pejorative. That it is a negative label. Consider that the name of Jesus is blasphemed and slandered and sneered at everyday around the world. Should Latter-day saints deny the name of Christ because enemies of Christ use the label as a pejorative?

    So why are we allowing critics to define what is a Mormon? Why are church leaders enabling the negative treatment of the label? Why is it presumed the Mormon label is negative? It certainly wasn’t negative when the church was inviting the world to “Meet the Mormons” It wasn’t negative when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was touring the world to much acclaim.

    Please explain how on the one hand we church members can teach the story of Joseph F Smith declaring he is a “True blue Mormon” and then on the other hand we are to disown and deny the label? I am not smart enough to do the mental gymnastics this logic demands.

    If I am asked if I am a Mormon I am answering Yes!. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and I believe the Book of Mormon is holy scripture. I am not allowing the label to be a pejorative. I am claiming it and will defend it. I am not saying it is the name of the church. I am saying Mormon is a good and desirable label.

    You can answer however you like. But I am still waiting for an explanation of how one can agree with critics that Mormon is a pejorative and at the same time proclaim that Mormon was a great, Christian prophet who compiled a miraculous book of scripture. Talk about creating stumbling blocks of confusion!

    I further find it bizarre that modern era prophets can have universities and buildings named after them, but Mormon, he gets NOTHING. Well, maybe he keeps his name on his book but we’ll see how long that lasts, given his name is a pejorative and our current slate of church leaders are disowning it.

    Lastly, if the Mormon label is a stumbling block for the church, why did the church have its greatest growth all the while that label was broadly used throughout the church? And since the label was disowned, what has happened to church growth? It certainly hasn’t been energized. The argument that the Mormon label is a hindrance or obstacle lacks real world evidence.

  12. Disciple, I don’t feel passionate enough about this issue to go back and forth anymore. As I say, if you want to call yourself a Mormon, I am OK with that. I have been trying to say the Church’s full name over the last few years, but as I say it is difficult.

    Just an explanation, not being argumentative: Mormon was a great prophet, but it is not the Church of Mormon, it is the Church of Jesus Christ. Anyway, that is all I have to say on this issue. Peace.

  13. A.D. “My complaint concerns leaders of the church saying in their own words that “Mormon” is a pejorative.”

    Uh… you failed to comprehend his meaning. You apparently took it out of context.

    Re-watch the video. Clearly, when take _in context_, he meant it is “used as” a pejorative by critics of the church. He obviously did not mean it is a negative in all possible uses.

    You remind me of my younger self before I found out I’m on the autism spectrum. You’re barking up the wrong tree because you are being too literal and not understanding the context of what was said.

    Those were unprepared remarks in the video, and you have to make allowances for _context_ as opposed to parsing something that was deliberately written and crafted beforehand.

    I know from lifelong frustration how hard it can be for us Autism spectrum people to understand others who are not literalists like we are.

    Maybe that’s your situation here, maybe not. I’m just guessing. But either way, the resolution of your paradox is to take the words that you consider to be problem words _in context_, and not require that they stand alone in an exacting, anal-retentve, literal, universally applicable, all-or-nothing way.

  14. “Journalists need to interface more with you?”

    Yes. That’s how journalism is supposed to work. Lol.

    And I’ve got a feeling that of all the people who would be most bothered by the term “Mormon,” it would be Mormon himself. Mormon had nothing good to say about self-aggrandizement or cults of personality. The idea that he’d be the target of one, I suspect, would have drawn a reaction from him somewhere between side-eye and angry denunciation.

  15. Sorry, going to add the name discussion here… I’ve never liked the term ‘Mormon’ being used for either the Church or its people – and definitely not being used for me. (I’m also a ‘born-and-raised in the Church’ member). I think it’s more common in the US/North America, though. I always disliked when other members would call themselves ‘Mormon’.

    Why?
    1. Elder Bednar correctly identified it as a pejorative – not because it’s always used that way, but because that’s what it began as (and this is, also, what he said – along with Bookslinger’s reminder that these were questions being asked and answered on the spot). The name itself isn’t a pejorative, but when appplied to members of the Church or the Church itself, it is/has been. I like Lattertarian’s take on this, too.
    2. The name does not describe what I am. I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ, and that is essential, central, and extremely important. Nothing else in my life is, or should be, more important than that. I want to be His disciple, I want to live my life in accordance with Him, I want Him to be my Saviour – and He is my Saviour. This is so, so important to my identity, that I don’t accept any other name besides that as what I want to be called, regarding my religion.
    3. In my experience, people calling themselves ‘Mormon’ tended to, really, be talking about their cultural experience or membership. They used it to mean everything, but it seemed to me that they were more identifying what this was as the culture of ‘being Mormon’. Not sure how to explain this well.
    4. President Nelson making it a thing isn’t about him, and it’s not new. Like I’ve described, this has been my perspective all my life, and the name has always been important – the Lord emphasised that very clearly in 3rd Nephi, when they wondered what to call the church. It’s ancient, not recent.
    5. The reason people have trouble with it who report on the Church or comment about it is partly its length, but I think it’s also because to use the full name – as you saw with the video, where even though the lady had brought up the topic, so must have been aware of the actual name, and Elder Bednar stated it in his answer, she still used the term she first had – ‘The Church of Latter-day Saints’ – means stating the name of Jesus Christ. This is uncomfortable for people because (a) they don’t like saying that name, if it’s not in swearing, and (b) it means admitting, implicitly, that it is, actually, the Church of Jesus Christ. No one wants to call it that. Not other Christian churches, and not non-Christian reporters or whoever.
    I think the length contention is, mostly, an excuse. And in the end, if members use it, are we saying that our convenience (in saying a few extra words) matters more than God’s own name for His church, or obedience to His directions, or being proud that we’re His disciples?

    So, this is not a President Nelson thing. It’s a truth and clarity thing – and it’s not just for the Church. It’s so people know where God’s church is – can clearly identify it, even by the name.

    As you can see, this matters a lot to me – I even wrote a blog post about it : http://peaceabletreasures.blog/2015/06/22/why-i-dont-want-you-to-call-me-mormon/

  16. The idea that people use “Mormon” as an ethnic identifier is legit. It’s an ethnicity with internal traditions and jargon every bit as much as “Catholic”. It also means you can be a member of the Church and not be Mormon. That separation is a valuable thing to recognize.

  17. The institutional Church abandoning use of the word “Mormon” has been long overdue, and it’s absolutely inspired. In face, President Nelson received a direct revelation on the subject.

    I remember President Nelson saying that people were telling him that it couldn’t possibly be done, due to a host of cultural and historical factors. His response: “It can be done, and it will be done.”

    Yes. And yes. He was right on both counts.

    That, my friends, is a prophet.

  18. @geoff

    I regret implying I was in disagreement with you. My reaction to your posts is invariably “two thumbs up”. I wish you had a like button and I would be clicking it very often.

    For those critical of the Mormon label I ask you a simple question. Every group of people has a label that links the people to the ideology / religion of the people. For example, Muslims are followers of Islam. Catholics follow Catholicism. Baptists follow a protestant form of Christianity.

    What label exists to uniquely identify members of the Church and what they believe? And if your answer has more than 3 syllables please appreciate that people will not use it. The media will not use it. And given a two syllable word already exists recognize that that word will be used, even by Church leaders!

    This tension is evident in the style guide provided by the Church. In the style guide, after dismissing the Mormon label, the point is given that Mormon can be used as an adjective for historical landmarks, such as the “Mormon Trail”. Ok then , so people have a question, why is it called the Mormon Trail?

    And if you ask this question to a good latter-day Saint their brain freezes. Because they have been now taught that Mormon is a performative, a negative, and do how does one have a positive conversation when this word is involved?

    Our 13th article faith says we believe in being benevolent. People of good will do not create barriers to conversation. They do not create conflict when none need exist. The current LDS position to revert back treating the Mormon label as a negative creates a stumbling block to understanding.

    Was Ezra Taft Benson also a prophet of God? Is God a changeable being? As I wrote, at the first, I cannot make sense of the new anti-Mormon messaging and here is one example why.

    “Ezra Taft Benson Sings Old Mormon Song in 1989 General Conference”

    https://www.ldsliving.com/listen-ezra-taft-benson-sings-old-mormon-song-in-1989-general-conference/s/73633

  19. Christ never said “come be a Christian.” He said “come follow me.” Discipleship has never properly been about being sure you’re using the right label. Labels are a trap.

  20. “Christian” is a pejorative, as noted in both The New Testament and in The Book of Mormon.

  21. A.D.:
    This quote from Elder Bruce McConkie might be helpful to people in adjusting to any new church policy, not just the specific one he was refering to.

    From: https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Bruce_R._McConkie:_%22Forget_everything_that_I_have_said%2C_or_what_President_Brigham_Young_or_President_George_Q._Cannon_or_whomsoever_has_said_in_days_past_that_is_contrary_to_the_present_revelation%22

    “All I can say to that is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness, and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more. It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about […]. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them.”

  22. ‘Christian’ was originally a pejorative applied by others! At least it contains the name of Christ, though. And, two thousand years does a lot of mellowing =).

    Such a good quote there from George Q Cannon.

    This blog does have a ‘like’ button – it’s under ‘Like This’ (which is under ‘Share This’, with its buttons). It’s a grey little button with a star on it.

  23. I have to chime in here. Bookslinger and Idealist At Large have already successfully unpacked and explained the reasons Elder Bednar’s comments were taken out of context here. Book and Idealist are spot-on in their assessments so I won’t belabor the point.
    What I will add, however, is that “the argument that the Mormon label is a hindrance or obstacle lacks real world evidence” is false. I am just one person so of course do not constitute a large data set but I can say with certainty that using the full name of the Church has been very helpful, both for my non-member husband, and in my experiences living overseas.
    Is it a pain to use so many words and “syllables?” Yes. And am I tempted, and at times take the short cut? Of course. But when I talk to my husband about the Church – properly – and thereby saying the *name* of Jesus Christ, a power comes into our conversations that is different than in the past. It’s as if I can feel the Lord saying to my heart “you have stood up for me. I will verify your words.” I know that that power is softening his heart. (As an aside, other mainstream Christians are fond of praising his *name* and declaring there is “power in His name.” How right they are!) I can’t articulate all the reasons I know this makes a difference (perhaps it is just a personal Witness) but I know it is true.
    So this is not just about a mere “label.” Language shapes perception -especially for those outside our Church who do not know better.
    How it warms my heart when I overhear my husband using the full-name of his wife’s Church to other of his Christian friends. It’s as if, instead of feeling awkward about explaining that his wife is “one of those Mormons,” he can say that I am a member of the Church of “Jesus Christ.” It almost seems like it legitimizes it for him and make him feel less awkward; sort of like “who can argue with that?”
    I also think that while the label has been, and is at times (again, context matters) a hang-up and an obstacle, it is also an opportunity. We’ve lived overseas in Spain for the last several years and when I’ve talked to people, using the full name, it has sparked a completely different conversation. Some honestly do not know we are Christians. They had no idea the name of Jesus Christ is in the title. They thought Mormon was just some weird “American” religion where all the women dress like the FLDS.
    I remember some dear Spanish friends, who don’t speak English, were asking me about my church. In my best Spanish (which isn’t that good) I started trying to explain and said the full name of the church in Spanish. One of the ladies stopped me mid-sentence and asked (in Spanish) “wait, did you say Jesus Christ? Ahhh! You believe in Jesus Christ?” “Si, si” I responded. And then, as if something had been cleared up for her, she replied “well that’s good enough for me. Your church believes in Jesus Christ. That’s it. That’s it.”
    This, coming from someone who had no idea, is compelling. Had I just said I was Mormon, or, because it would’ve been more convenient (especially in Spanish) to just say I was part of the “Mormon” church, I would’ve missed an opportunity to shed some light. And had that happened, I do think the devil would have “rejoiced.”
    These experiences have shown me, first-hand, how the label has been an obstacle. I have been blessed in these little ways to be a part of turning that obstacle into an opportunity. At least in my mind, these experiences do in fact constitute “real world evidence.”

  24. Hillary,

    I appreciate your remarks. I completely agree that the name of the church is as declared and should be used and emphasized. I further agree that it is inaccurate and unhelpful to say “Mormon church” No such church exists!

    The question concerns how we, as Latter-day Saints communicate to the world the name Mormon. It is a real name. It is in the title of “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.’

    So where in the conversation do we witness that we believe in the Book of Mormon? And how do we respond when people naturally respond, “oh, you are a Mormon?”

    Are we ashamed to be associated with the Mormon label? What does that communicate to others when we become dismissive if not beligerent about the Mormon label all the while we want people to read “The Book of Mormon?” If I were a nonmember I would be very confused by the negative emotions LDS people attach to one of their great prophets and title of their scripture. As a member I find it unfortunate that we have created a stumbling block in introducing people to the Book of Mormon and explaining its importance to our faith.

    We can do both. We can teach the correct name of the church and also not be ashamed or take offense that our belief in The Book of Mormon makes us, in the eyes of many, “Mormons”..

  25. “But when I talk to my husband about the Church – properly – and thereby saying the *name* of Jesus Christ, a power comes into our conversations that is different than in the past.”

    Yes! There is meaning and _power_ in all the names of all three members of the Godhood. There is power and _effect_ when His/Their name is spoken.

    I encountered this early on in my book distribution project. I spoke to a ln immigrant family while we were in line at a store. Up to 10 other people were in earshot in the two check-out lines. I offered a “free book in Shona from my church”. The lady asked “what is it about?” I answered “it’s about ancient people who believed In Jesus Christ.” And I felt that power or effect you’re talking about.

    I don’t like to get “proselyte-y” in public. My modus operandi is very casual. “Wanna free book in [language name] from my church?”. But when that lady asked me, since _she_ asked the question, I felt that I had leave to give the correct answer even though the answer is fully in the religious realm. If any bystanders balked, I could reply “Well, she asked, and I just told the truth.”

    ‘ It’s as if I can feel the Lord saying to my heart “you have stood up for me. I will verify your words.”

    YES! I felt something like that too. I sensed angels rejoicing and high fiving each other and saying “Look! He said the Lord’s name in public!” The bystanders who overheard it got a “second-hand testimony.”

    ” (As an aside, other mainstream Christians are fond of praising his *name* and declaring there is “power in His name.” How right they are!) ”

    AMEN, SISTAH !

  26. A.D. : I hope you can wrap your head around this cultural and vocabulary change quickly, because there are more “cultural changes” coming soon.

    Elder Cook spilled the beans in this Love-Share-Invite training video, in which he and Elder Uchtdorf introduce Elders Nash and Ringwood. His relevant remarks start one minute in from the beginning.

    http://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/how-to-share/introducing-love-share-and-invite?lang=eng

    He says we “must think and do from a fresh perspective”. Ie, we need to _think_ differently!

    Then he later says “we must change church culture.” Wow.

  27. Not sure I should still comment on this, so hopefully it’s a good thing… Bookslinger, I appreciate where you’re coming from about not being ashamed of the prophet Mormon or The Book of Mormon. This is distinct from what’s being said about the term ‘Mormon’ as a description of either the Saints or the Church.

    I think we all appreciate, respect, and are immensely grateful for Mormon’s amazing work, his deep commitment to discipleship of Christ, his love for his people, and his good teachings. And for being such a good father to Moroni.

    We surely all, who are commenting about this, also respect, love, and appreciate The Book of Mormon.

    These two things are distinct, as I said, from being clear that the name of the Church and the name by which we call ourselves, as Christ’s followers, should not be that of any other person than Christ. Mormon, as a prophet and leader and wonderful historian, is not my Saviour, and not the head of the Church. While I’m happy to be associated with him, I could as well call myself a Nephite, Jacobite, or Moroni-ite, because I would love to be associated with those prophets as well.

    We can be associated with The Book of Mormon, and those who wrote in it, without needing to call ourselves by its name or by any of their names. Not wanting to be called by the name of its major compiler isn’t being ashamed of him or that book. We can talk about the book without calling ourselves ‘Mormon’.

    So, the feeling that we should not be ashamed of the book or the prophet whose name it carries can lead elsewhere than letting ourselves be called, or calling ourselves, a name that doesn’t describe what or whose we are, and is also misleading and unhelpful for those who don’t know anything – or know incorrect things – about the Gospel and the Church. We can talk about being members of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ *and* The Book of Mormon; about being disciples of Christ *and* respecting the contributions of prophets like Mormon and Joseph Smith and Moroni.

    Does this help to clarify the position?

  28. Idealist,

    I appreciate your perspective and I largely agree. I have long understood the preferred label to associate oneself with the Church was “Latter-day saint.” Grammatically this is what the name of the church implies. It is Christ’s church and the Church is composed of saints of the latter-day. The connection is complete when one recognizes a saint is a follower of Jesus Christ.

    Yet invariably, the media shortens the name of the Church to the “Church of Latter-day Saints.”

    What I wish is church leadership was more sympathetic that our Church doctrine is unique and members and non-members want to recognize that uniqueness. In general conversation “Gospel of Jesus Christ” is fine to explain what we believe. But when a distinction needs to be made between the teachings of our Church and those of other Christian faiths, it helps to be able to make a clear distinction.

    Mormon / Mormonism does not need to be the label for the Latter-day saint religion. But it sure would be helpful to have a word, and not a drawn out phrase, that would communicate the uniqueness of our faith. That not only do we believe in New Testament Christianity, but we understand the Gospel covenant was in place prior to Jesus’mortal ministry – a point profoundly taught in the Book of Mormon.

  29. “In general conversation “Gospel of Jesus Christ” is fine to explain what we believe. But when a distinction needs to be made between the teachings of our Church and those of other Christian faiths, it helps to be able to make a clear distinction.”

    Yes. The words “True” and “Restored” have helped make that distinction.

    President Nelson has been doing what is called “claiming territory.”

    In April 2020 Gen Conf, and in the Proclamation on the 200th anniversary of the Restoration/First Vision, Pres Nelson used the phrase “Christ’s New Testament Church restored”.

    I left a comment somewhere that that was a “dog whistle” to Evangelicals and Pentacostals. I would also call it “claiming territory.”

    That was a big step up in boldness. And I think “New Testament church, restored” is revealing about where the Lord and Pres Nelson want to take things.

    The word “The” in “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” is also, always has been, “claiming territory” too.

    I expect to see more. And it will also be proclaimed with respect, love, and compassion to the many Christ-seekers who currently make their religious home in other churches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.