The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
With all the hubbub about referring to the church by the proper name, as directed by church president Russell Nelson, let’s stop and look at what the church name is. Why does the official name of the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) contain a hyphen (-) and s lowercase ‘d’ (day)? Aside from the dozens of other more simple names or acronyms for the church or the
Mormon nickname victory for Satan nickname, wouldn’t it be more correct as “Latter Day Saints”? Yes, and it was actually named this way originally.
In Joseph Smith’s time, it was ‘Latter Day’. Today, the church uses ‘Latter-day’ in its name. See the revelation which was made into D&C 115 as found in the Joseph Smith papers here.
And also unto my faithful servants who are of the high council of my church in Zion, for thus it shall be called, and unto all the elders and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world. For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.Revelation, 26 April 1838 [D&C 115]
Joseph Smith Papers
There were three successive names used by the original church in its early days:
- “Church of Christ” official by Joseph Smith to all Mormons in April 1830.
- “Church of Latter Day Saints” was made official by Joseph Smith to all Mormons in April 1834.
- “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” was made official by Joseph Smith to all Mormons in April 1838.
The hyphen was added to the mainstream Mormon church name at the time of the incorporation of the church because the name including ‘Latter Day’ had already been taken by the Strangite Church. The church is legally incorporated as the “Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. But we won’t get into the corporate nature of the church here. It is the name of the church with the hyphen here. This is because they could legally claim this format since it had been used in Britain. This in itself isn’t a big deal, but leaders have made a big point to call the church by its proper name now. They reference the place in the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord states what the church should be called in the revelation! But he stated the non-hyphenated version. The church has subsequently changed D&C 115 to match the ‘Latter-day’ version. That’s all they could get the rights for after all.
3 And also unto my faithful servants who are of the high council of my church in Zion, for thus it shall be called, and unto all the elders and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world;
4 For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.D&C 115:3-4
The scriptures are silently changed to retroactively match the updated legal name of the church. And church leaders make such a fuss about getting called by the proper name claiming it’s the game the Lord gave the church. This is when Russell Nelson took the reigns of the church and suddenly God changed his mind to match what the current church president thought about the word Mormon and the great “I’m a Mormon” campaign to capitalize on the “Mormon moment”. They want to use this verse as a reference to what the church should be called but don’t want us to notice that what we have in the scriptures is not even the original “revealed” church name given by God.
The Correct Name of the Church, General Conference October 2018
- It is not a name change.
- It is not rebranding.
- It is not cosmetic.
- It is not a whim.
- And it is not inconsequential.
Russell M Nelson
Sorry, God, that name was lost since the other group controls it legally so we’ll make a slight edit. But we’ll still point to this revelation whenever there is a question regarding the exact name of the church, which is your church. No big deal right? As stated, during the succession crisis when Joseph was killed, this version of the name was taken by another splinter group led by James Strang because it was continuously used.
Brigham Young initially argued that Smith could have no immediate successor, but rather that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (of which he was president) should be sustained as the presiding body of the church. Young and his followers migrated west to the Salt Lake Valley, in what became Utah Territory, continuing to use Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as their name until incorporating in 1851, when the spelling was standardized as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. This organization has become the largest Latter Day Saint body in the world today. Both the Utah LDS Church and the Strangite church posit themselves as the sole legal continuation of Smith’s organization; neither considers the other to be legitimate, nor do they recognize the validity of numerous other Latter Day Saint sects.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter_Day_Saints_(Strangite)
The Strangite Splinter Group
The Strangite group controlled the name Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They claim to be the continuation of the original church. They are in fact the legal continuation and kept the original name of the church and had about 12,000 members. James Strang, who competed for leadership of the church had a letter he claimed was appointing him the next church president. He gained many followers and even claimed to find more ancient plates, and translated them.
Many prominent Latter Day Saints believed in Strang’s “letter of appointment” and accepted him as Mormonism’s second “Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator”—at least in the short term. These included the church’s Presiding Patriarch and apostle William Smith (Smith’s only surviving brother); Book of Mormon witness Martin Harris; Nauvoo Stake President William Marks; second Bishop of the Church and church trustee-in-trust George Miller; apostle John E. Page; former apostle William E. McLellin; Smith’s mother Lucy Mack Smith; and other members of the Smith family. Another adherent was John C. Bennett, former mayor of Nauvoo and a former member of the First Presidency.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter_Day_Saints_(Strangite)
James Strang married multiple women and was shot in the back and killed by dissenters. Even though he didn’t die immediately, like Smith, he didn’t leave a clear succession plan claiming that a successor would be revealed by god and the visitation of angels.
The Strangite church has a site detailing the history of the church from their point of view as it relates to the Utah/Brighamite splinter group which grew into the main Mormon church
- “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” was still in use by Joseph Smith when he was killed in 1844.
- “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” was used by James Strang from 1844 until he was killed in 1856.
- “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” has been continuously used by members of the church ever since.
- “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” is a name or phrase that has been been used by multiple competing faiths in the public domain since 1844, so nobody has an exclusive right to the name.
- The additional capitalized first article (“The”) has also been used by us as a variant of our name since 1838, and British hyphenation (“Latter-day Saints”) has also been used by us as a variant of our name since 1838.
- We have no affiliation with the so-called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is now actually incorporated as “Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. They are incorporated as a corporation sole, in effect having only one member.
- The so-called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, existed without an actual presidency from 1844 to 1847. They were not incorporated until 1851, after our undisputed use of the name throughout the world. Then, they were dissolved as a corporation by an Act of Congress in 1887 (see the Late Corporation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. The United States, Supreme Court, which upheld the dissolution). They do not actually exist, legally.
- In prior litigation with us, the Corporation of the President above admitted: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a legal entity and has no legal existence,” and “The LDS Church is not a legal entity and owns no assets.” In Federal litigation, the Corporation of the President above has argued, “The Church does not exist as a legal entity. . . . there is no entity with formal, legal existence and no assets to satisfy any judgment. . . .The LDS Church is a religious entity that conducts no business and has no assets with which to satisfy a judgment. . . .” (Olinger v. Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 521 F. Supp.2d 577, 2 (E.D. Ky. 2007) (See, in that case, Defendant’s Response in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand, at https://goo.gl/5NHAeV).
- Nor is the name of the Church a standard character mark (a trademarked name) of any corporation. Here, trademarks exist only where the typeface has been trademarked as a stylized logo of the above Corporation of the President (or rather, its holding company, Intellectual Reserve).
- Thus, we are the original Church, and we welcome any publicity and clarification about this.
- Therefore, we own the domain name http://www.ChurchofJesusChristofLatterDaySaints.org and its variants rather than an acronym like LDS.org. We registered our name in good faith and with a bona fide purpose, with no intent to profit, after it was unclaimed by anyone else. We have rights (our own use) or legitimate interests (critique of other entities or individuals) in all of our registered names. All of our reserved names involve our work as investigative journalists and Mormon historians, either to critique religious entities and their history or respond to our critics. We are within our rights of the free press and religious liberty of the First Amendment. We are presently redeveloping our sites and broadening our sites to include our other reserved domain names in various contexts.
Thus is the story of how the church retrofits scripture to meet its current needs. We must always follow prophets and church leaders. We take their words as the literal word of God. That is unless they contradict current church leaders, in which case, we current leaders trump previous leaders. Which does seem to be happening regularly. Even in some cases, the church leaders will be contradicting themselves (as is the case of the November policy and subsequent reversal both apparently via revelation). When they can get away with it, rather than contradict anyone, they will just change the record. They can make “grammatical” updates to the scriptures, title pages or chapter headings, hide other versions of the history as in the first vision, cleverly misconstrue previous leader statements with a convenient ellipsis or simply bury them, and control and evolve the narrative to their needs. Once you see what they are doing, and how they have learned to gaslight the world, you see examples of it everywhere!