The Name of the Church: Some Half Baked Thoughts

I recently wrote a guest post regarding my nostalgia for the ‘I’m a Mormon’ Campaign. In that post, I argued that the campaign espoused a sort of inclusive Mormonism that we would profit from remembering and embracing. 

It was not my intention to start a debate on the wisdom of moving away from the Mormon moniker. The comments on that post, on the other hand, almost immediately did. As did the comments on a recent interview I did with Mormonland on the same subject. 

 With that in mind, it’s time to give the people what they want and share my own thoughts on the question. In this post, I don’t intend to make a full pro/con type argument surrounding the effort to remove “Mormon” from our vocabulary. Instead, I just want to offer two points on the debate that I feel are worth further consideration and, at least in my view, offer some nuance as we continue with that conversation. Both of these points are reflective of the ongoing thinking I have on the topic and may not be fully fleshed out. With that in mind I ask for your patience, and for you to set expectations accordingly. 

First Half Baked Thought

First, at least for President Nelson, I sincerely think that it isn’t so much about rebranding as it is about aligning the church with what he believes God requires of it. To that end, I think much of the critique of President Nelson’s intentions misses the mark. For instance, I often hear some variant of  “you don’t get to choose your nickname.” Which is obviously true. But, at least according to him, that isn’t quite what he cares about.

As he stated, “I did this because the Lord impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He decreed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…Thus, the name of the Church is not negotiable. When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be, and even precedes His declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ He is serious. And if we allow nicknames to be used and adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He is offended” (for the full quote see here).

I take him at his word on this. I don’t think there is any reason not to. While it is true that his efforts also included a new style guide for press and journalists I think it is fair to assume that he understands they will not fully embrace it. And, more to the point, that he can’t control what they do anyway. 

And to speak in defense of what I believe his intentions are, it has a sort of beauty from a ritualistic perspective. President Nelson asks us to view speaking the name of the church, a name inscribed in our scripture, as a sacrament unto itself. This ritual comes with instructions and conditions; not because these things “matter” in the strictest sense, but because ritual must have boundaries. A baptism doesn’t “count” if the person isn’t fully immersed, the bread isn’t “properly” blessed if the priest misses a word. When describing the Lord’s Church, it must be spoken by the proper name. And by the same token, if you take the sacrament with your left hand or bless someone by the “power” rather than “authority” of the priesthood or say “Mormon” sometimes it all just sorta still counts. Ritual is able to ride that line between rigid and malleable as we remember that ritual is never truly about itself. 

I know there is more to be fleshed out in the above, but I want to leave it there for now, if only because that is where I remain in my own thinking. And with that, I’ll move to my second point.

Second Half Baked Thought

Despite my above argument I confess I am left with a tinge of discomfort when I consider abandoning “Mormon” entirely. In practice, referring to oneself as a “member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” rather than a “Mormon” denotes one’s allegiance to an institution rather than to a heritage. This I find very uncomfortable. For me, detaching my relationship with my religion (just a little, or a lot, as need be) from the institution that manages it has been helpful in retaining my relationship with faith when the institution disappoints, either because of structural shortcomings or the faults of leadership. Mormonism has become a means whereby I connect with my mother and father and grandparents and ancestors. It speaks to my history. It’s in my blood. In fact, I consider Mormonism as something I couldn’t leave any more than I could stop being anything else that I just am. Mormonism is a community, one that, both historically and theologically, spans generations. A focus solely on the institutional church forces us to lose sight of that and limit our vision of what our religion means.

(Seriously) Half Baked Conclusion

I do wonder if there is a compromise between the two perspectives I have outlined above. Looking solely at the text of President Nelson’s words, and (in my view more importantly) the scripture he pulls from, it seems to me that the injunction is to refer to the church, the institution, by its proper name. That is the sacred thing God is speaking of in the Doctrine and Covenants. The “ritual” is being conducted when the name of the church is being employed. It is not, however, necessarily instructing members of that institution in how to refer to themselves.The Lord states “thus shall my church be called” not “thus shall my people be called.”  This distinction may seem superficial but I think it matters, especially when the Lord has a habit of using the word “people” much more often than the word “church” in that book of scripture. It is possible to conclude that the church must be spoken of in accordance with scripture, whereas the members of that church are under no requirement.

With that in mind, it seems logically coherent to say “The name of my church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints… I’m a Mormon” and be in alignment with both the  scripture President Nelson is concerned about and the personal concerns I listed above. Doing so would honor the passage of scripture the prophet is concerned with, while also recognizing that one’s “Mormon-ness” is not quite the same as their membership in our church. 

It also means you could still call them the “Mormon Tabernacle Choir.” Which is reason enough to buy in. 


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Taylor. Just to plug my own thoughts, I wrote about this several years ago and concluded both that as a believing member of the church I have an obligation to engage with Pres. Nelson’s words and that as a believing member of the church I have an obligation not to blindly agree. I think he misread the scripture (applying a presentist definition on “called”), that reading it with a presentist and literalist bent would prohibit us from using any nickname, and that there are practical reasons why we need the word “Mormon.” (And since then, I’ve read some scholarly works that try to respect Pres. Nelson’s preferences which led to tremendously awkward nomenclatures in truly excellent books.)

  2. I am happy to identify myself as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The problem is that if one wants to have an actual conversation about any element of the faith beyond simply proclaiming identity, one needs an adjective.

  3. I quite like the distinction made in the OP, since I have struggled with this issue ever since President Nelson’s stern prohibition of the word “Mormon”–a term and identity that I had proudly embraced for more than 50 years, never dreaming that I was doing so at Satan’s bidding. It may be that President Nelson is much more spiritually attuned than I am, but I wonder if his literalistic preference is also connected to the fact that, unlike me, he was not an active member of the Church when he was growing up and he never served a full-time mission. That is so say, perhaps he never really thought of himself as a Mormon in his formative years. It makes sense to jettison “Mormon Church” as a nickname for the Church itself, but to try to erase the adjective “Mormon” from the people, our tradition, and our history seems to me like being ashamed of the Book of Mormon, the thing that most differentiates Latter-day Saints from the rest of Christianity. I am happy to use the full name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I’m speaking of the Church as an institution (at least for the first mention), but I am also quite comfortable describing myself as a Mormon Christian, or in other words, a Christian who believes that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

  4. Ardis E. Parshall says:

    A non-member historian for whom I prepared a manuscript a couple of weeks tried to be sensitive to this. Because his topic was conflict with Us and Them as actors on the Western frontier, he needed some sort of inconclusive term to represent Us. When he incorporated parts of his previous writings where he had earlier used “Mormon,” he replaced that with either the full name of the Church or with “Latter-day Saint” as either a noun or adjective. He was trying. But because he was discussing matters where individual members of the Church were acting, sometimes in contradiction to Church instruction, the effect was to create the illusion that the Church as an ecclesiastical organization was responsible for the sketchy actions of some of its individual members.

    This is one area where I have objected from the beginning to the blanket use of the formal name of the Church. I’ve seen too many times where that practice linked the Savior’s name, or seemingly made a general social relationship into a formal ecclesiastical involvement, when neither the Savior nor the Church would have endorsed the connection.

    And then there’s the irritation of perfect strangers jumping into social media conversations with no contribution other than to berate someone for using the word “Mormon.” They’ve turned Pres. Nelson’s preference into a club to beat up on others, whether those others are members of the Church or not. This is not good.

  5. Good thoughts Taylor, half baked or not, I tend to agree with you on both points. I think Nelson was not setting out to rebrand, just make what he saw as a necessary correction. And I also agree that culturally, we are still Mormons.

    I think where people are saying it was an attempt to rebrand was that about the same time he came out with a new logo, and renamed the MoTab into the TCATS. So, it really fit in with the rebranding idea. And maybe he did see rebranding as a side effect. Other people certainly saw it that way.

    My own half baked thought is that when we correct people who call us Mormon, that we come across as arrogant, insecure, or easily offended. Especially after the “Meet the Mormons” campaign we look strange correcting people. We were proudly calling ourselves Mormons, now suddenly we correct people that that is not the proper name of our church and what we want to be called is just too long to use in normal conversation. It is just a really weird switch. And I have observed other Mormons correcting people and they come across badly. Here people are using a term that we ourselves were using in an advertising campaign, and now we are correcting them that it isn’t what we wish to be called.

    Most church nicknames start as an attempt to insult the group, and most religions eventually embrace the nickname. It takes 200 years or so for the group to start calling themselves by the previous insult, but they get there. But being as old as he is, Nelson grew up while it was still somewhat of an insult. I grew up 20 years after him and I remember people reacting to the “M” word. So, I kinda understand him not wanting to be called by the “M” word.

    We need a one or two word term by which we as a people and our church can be called. Something that can be used in conversation. People even shorten two word terms, after all, “JW” There currently isn’t even a two or three word to use to call us as a people, and there isn’t even a short phrase for the church. C. o. J. C. o. L. D. S. is just too long for conversation. That is why it gets shortened to LDS or Mormon. Sorry, Nelson, but we are stuck with “Mormon” unless someone comes up with another word that distinguishes us as a separate group. We can either welcome it, or come across as prickly by correcting people all the time.

  6. Personally, I am uncomfortable calling myself a Latter-day Saint. Why? Because I don’t consider myself a saint. I’m pretty flawed. To call myself a saint seems rather presumptuous. I am much more comfortable identifying myself as a Mormon. The Church has a name, and I’m perfectly comfortable using its name, even if it is long and clunky.

  7. We sometimes think the long name of the Church came out of the blue through a revelation. But history pops that illusion. The Church was first named the Church of Christ. Then, in 1834, a conference of elders voted to change the name to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. This was probably not acceptable because it left the Savior’s name out of the Church’s name, so various combinations of the two names began to be used. If you search the early documents, you eventually find that the Church was referred to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints–before the revelation making it official. It is more a case of the Lord ratifying what was already being used than coming up with a whole new name.

  8. eastofthemississippi says:

    I think it was mainly to discourage member and nonmember alike from Googling the word Mormon.

  9. I feel like President Nelson likes to use words in a manner that is technically accurate, but not the most common usage, and act as if his way is the norm. There was a great article on here in March about the usage of Divine Love. I feel the same way he uses revelation. If JS said revelation, you’d assume the heavens parted and either voices were heard or visions were seen. I don’t know if it is intentional but definitely causes confusion and if his words are taken at face value and without thought causes problems, imo.

  10. J. Mansfield says:

    Somehow right now I am drawing a line, probably imaginary in my head, between the concerns voiced in this post, and the move to using stock photography in the Liahona magazine. Photos of Mormons from here and there have ceded space to photos of random samples of humanity provided by Getty Images. (See the October cover.) No doubt many of the models would make fine members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints if the teachings of the church happen to reach their ears and penetrate their hearts, like stones providing suitable replacements for descendants of Abraham.

  11. I think we’ll see the importance of this shift further on down the road. As the West becomes less religious there’ll be a greater need to establish ourselves as a people who believe in a *literal* Jesus.

  12. bagofsand, I don’t think that we can or should attribute that type of purpose to Pres. Nelson. First, I don’t think we should because he didn’t say anything like that—he pointed to his (misguided, imho) reading of the D&C. Second, the fact that the church’s name includes the words “Jesus Christ” doesn’t say anything about literal belief or not. But third, and perhaps most importantly, the assumption that somehow a significant portion of Christians are going to stop believing in a literal Jesus strikes me as entirely unwarranted and deeply unfamiliar with other Christian traditions.

  13. When you exaggerate, (i.e. the Lord is “offended”) by the term Mormon, I can’t take you seriously.

  14. When someone says, what religion are you, it’s better to just say, “I’m a Christian”.

    That possibly invites followup. “Oh, What church do you go to?”

    There you appropriately reference the name of the church.

    I’ve never met a Muslim who says what type of Muslim they are. And I’ve never asked beyond finding out they’re Muslim. If someone told me they were Christian, it would educate me quite a bit about their beliefs, even though various doctrines and practices differ.

    If you want to distinguish what type of Christian you are, you could go with, “I’m a restored Christian” or a “restorationist Christian”.

    Oh? What’s that?
    ” It means my church believes not long after the apostles death the authority Christ conferred was lost”. I believe that authority was restored with the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints”.

    All that conversation would happen from simply saying, “I’m a Christian” in many instances.

    Of course it always ends in…”oh so you’re a Mormon…’

  15. Sam:

    “First, I don’t think we should because he didn’t say anything like that. . .”

    Of course, you’re right that he didn’t say that–and I could very well be wrong. Still, I don’t think it’s wrong to lay out on the table any number of reasons as to why we should follow prophetic counsel–even if some of those reasons end up missing the mark.

    “Second, the fact that the church’s name includes the words “Jesus Christ” doesn’t say anything about literal belief or not.”

    Yes–but it props the door open for conversation. Our official name signals to the world — in no uncertain terms — that we believe in the Savior. And with that understanding in place then it’s a simple hop, skip, and a jump, across Crocodile Creek to get to some of the finer points of our particular Christology.

    “But third, and perhaps most importantly, the assumption that somehow a significant portion of Christians are going to stop believing in a literal Jesus strikes me as entirely unwarranted and deeply unfamiliar with other Christian traditions.”

    It’s not that other denominations are going to radically change there views on the Savior. Though I won’t be surprised if we see a little “softening” of the doctrine in some churches. It really has more to do with people, in general, becoming less believing. And so what we’re likely to see (and are seeing) is the shrinking of congregations more than anything else.

    And so, as we (in the West) become less believing there will be a greater openness (generally speaking) towards some of the more secular interpretations of who and what the man Jesus was. And that’s why (for me) it isn’t a stretch to imagine the church becoming a flagship of sorts for all who believe in a literal Jesus.

  16. “As he stated, “I did this because the Lord impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He decreed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…Thus, the name of the Church is not negotiable. When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be, and even precedes His declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ He is serious. And if we allow nicknames to be used and adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He is offended””

    Interesting. If I were in charge and the Lord came and said this to me, I would immediately ask what is meant by the term latter-day. It’s been Saturday for quite some time. When does this week ever end?

    Next, I would wonder why he’s so easily offended. Didn’t Elder Bednar say that we can choose not to be offended? Or is it offense for thee, not for me?

    Lastly, I would wonder how we get from this statement, to rebranding the choir from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. We replaced Mormon with Temple, not Jesus Christ. I wonder if he’s still offended.

  17. This is the second, possibly third go around at casting aside the Mormon label in my memory. I’d told myself that I’d start paying attention when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was renamed. So now I’m paying attention.

    Having said that, and in light of what has happened before, while formal usage may not budge much from the style guide short of a pronouncement from the pulpit during conference, I suspect informal usage will slip back to closer to the past. The term Jack Mormon can’t work in any other way, though the meaning of that term has shifted enough since it was invented to make one believe anything is possible.

  18. Side topic, but this comment caught my attention: “When someone says, what religion are you…”

    Asking this would be highly bad mannered where I live and would just never happen. At the same time, saying “I’m a christian” would imply evangelical Christian. And to be honest, “christian” links to “hypocrite” so often that many see it as a dirty word. I’m wondering if this is just my area though.

  19. Roger Hansen says:

    In 1945, I was born Mormon and will probably die an agnostic Mormon. It’s my heritage. But with the current conservative leadership, it is becoming increasing difficult to keep my name on the books. I don’t think that God gives a damn if we are referred to as Mormons. That is Prez Nelson’s obsession.

  20. senatorgravett says:

    Former mormon, current episcopalian. I’ll just note that, now that I’m on the outside looking in, the intense interest on Pres. Nelson’s part in this issue (he basically gave the same take twice after all, first in 1984 (I think), then in 2018 or 2019) seems very weird. Just about every church has a nickname and a formal name; not sweating the nickname, or even embracing it is a sign of confidence.

  21. senatorgravett says:

    The logo is even weirder. A picture of a statue made by a 19th century Dutch sculptor and owned by the Dutch Lutheran Church is such a strange decision and, again, reflects a deep insecurity with the LDS church’s own iconography.

  22. In D&C 107:4 it says, “But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.” I have always found it curious to juxtapose that verse of scripture with the effort to excise “Mormon” from the Church’s lexicon and practice. One would think that the sample principles would apply here.

  23. Nicknames are convenient, but Pres. Nelson might not like all the baggage that comes with the word “Mormon”. We just need a replacement. There are Quakers and Shakers—I propose we embrace the term “Makers” as in “The God Makers”.

  24. 2 thoughts on this:

    1. Nelson did not come up with something novel here for the usage of the name of the church. This was a big thing in 1998 when I joined the church. Nelson simply applied a retrenchment to Hinckley’s prior ask and went deeper and further than Hinckley had, after Monson had gone the other direction.

    2. I like the name of the church. I like that it makes it clear that the church is a co-authorship belonging to two distinct groups, Jesus Christ and Us, the purported Latter-day Saints. I wish we would stop pretending the church has a single author (Jesus Christ only) and be more comfortable with our own fallible role in the operations of our religion.

  25. Matt W.–check the history. Elder Nelson had made an attempt to encourage the change and been gently contradicted by President Hinckley in back-to-back General Conferences. Here are the two talks:

  26. In conversation, I think very few people like the cumbersome 14-syllable phrase “member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” when identifying *ourselves* (as opposed to when we identify the church). If the Church doesn’t want us calling ourselves Mormons, I don’t understand why the Church asks us to say all that instead of the 4-syllable phrase “Latter-Day Saint.”
    I’m a Latter-Day Saint. She’s a Latter-Day Saint. Etc. It’s not quite as easy as “Mormon,” but it’s pretty close and is comparable in length to “Pentecostal,” “Evangelical,” “Presbyterian,” etc., so I’d imagine it has more of a chance to catch on.
    I guess they don’t want the Church to be called the “Latter-Day Saint Church,” but that doesn’t mean we always need to call ourselves MOTCOJCOLDS.

  27. Kristine: Fascinating. Was not aware of this. Thank you for the context.

  28. When I ponder Pres. Nelson’s insistence on this change, especially in light of the history of his previous talks on it (and his gentle correction by Pres. Hinckley), I am reminded of the phrase “gospel hobby-horse,” perhaps somewhat archaic but probably applicable here.

    I also think that the invocation of “victory for Satan” goes too far and could be justifiably called abusive. Surely God would have let Presidents Hinckley and Monson know, during all those “I’m a Mormon” years, no? By putting the matter in this light, Pres. Nelson makes it much too big a deal, and distracts us from “weightier matters,” while giving too much impetus to the fault-finders.

    Whatever happened to “avoid[ing] the too-frequent repetition of his name”?

  29. What’s fascinating to me is that, by casually throwing Benson, Hinckley, and Monson under the bus by saying their normalization of “Mormon” has been a “victory for Satan,” Nelson has inadvertently opened the door for future leaders to casually dismiss anything that *he* has said as a victory for Satan as well–and I deeply suspect that he has not thought through those implications.

    And frankly, that could be a good thing! Imagine future Church leaders declaring in General Conference, “The Black Priesthood Ban pre-1978 was a Victory for Satan,” or “Claiming God’s love is conditional has been a Victory for Satan,” or “Polygamy was a Victory for Satan,” or “Not ordaining women has been a Victory for Satan,” or “Opposing Gay Marriage has been a Victory for Satan.” Now, I’m not saying that anyone is *likely* to say these (though stranger things have happened); only that Nelson has now created that radical possibility, and I’m 99% sure he doesn’t even realize it. (Maybe this is an example of unconscious inspiration, who knows.)

  30. JB is not wrong, although I prefer to make a somewhat different and less cynical point. President Nelson’s idea about the use of the term “Mormon” gives us a chance to create the possibility of revelatory institutional change within the Church. It’s a chance to create ways of acknowledging and correcting past errors.

    As changes go, whether we are called Mormons is relatively minor. There are many things in the Church that matter much, much more than that. I don’t mean to dismiss the difficulty of the change. It’s not practical to put a word out of bounds when there is no actual replacement for it. More importantly, the word “Mormon” carries a vital load of culture and tradition that we probably don’t want to lose—or, at least, we shouldn’t toss it carelessly away. So there’s serious work to do if we want to make this change. Nonetheless, I don’t think the word “Mormon” is at the core of what matters most in the Church.

    If we’re serious about what continuing revelation might mean, we need to figure out ways of channeling and establishing teachings that come through revelation. That must include ways of putting mistakes behind us definitively. We don’t have that right now. That’s why this proposed change on the use of “Mormon” is an opportunity. It’s a chance to experiment with significant institutional change using an issue that probably won’t cripple us if we get it wrong at first.

    Right now there is no apparent effort to do what I’m suggesting here. As things stand, President Nelson’s directive on the word “Mormon” is an odd one-off, operating outside any systematic understanding of revelatory change. I don’t have any idea whether the leaders of the Church care about the problem and the opportunity I’m talking about. Taking up the task would be a very big job, and it’s much easier to point out the possibility than to make it happen. But the opportunity is there.

  31. eastofthemississippi says:

    Any bets on how long it takes after Pres. Nelson graduates from this earthly life that this becomes a total none issue and we go back to being ok with using Mormon? Way easier than the thousand yard stare received when saying you belong to the COJCOLDS.

  32. I wrote about this four years ago and have wrestled with the name and nickname issues since for my own writing, where I have a need to carefully distinguish between the institution and people who are inside, outside, on the fringes, at various points of believing and culturally belonging. I try to respect the Church’s guidelines, but I definitely push the limits, and break them on many occasions.

    While I’m not inclined to revisit the whole topic, I do want to reiterate my belief that President Nelson was boundary setting with respect to membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think his “victory for Satan” phrase was intended to reject and disparage “more than one way to Mormon” and “cultural Mormonism” and “middle-way Mormon” and (from the OP) “Mormonism has become a means whereby I connect with my mother and father and grandparents and ancestors. It speaks to my history. It’s in my blood. In fact, I consider Mormonism as something I couldn’t leave any more than I could stop being anything else that I just am.”

    Noting that I personally disagree with him, I believe President Nelson believes that that sort of Mormon or Mormonism should not be conflated with or confused with membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In practical effect, his is a campaign against the big tent.

  33. Aussie Mormon says:

    The “victory for satan” comment was specifically about the name of the Church. Why do people insist on claiming/implying that President Nelson said that any use of the word “Mormon” is a “victory for satan”?

  34. Aussie Mormon, it’s because that sentiment was entirely in line with the rest of his talk, and because it was a dumb thing to say. When you make such an over-the-top statement, people are going to have strong reactions. It’s similar to what happened with Elder Oaks’s call for “a little more musket fire” from BYU, which Elder Holland unwisely repeated.

  35. The victory for Satan stuff is easier to explain in my view.

    God wants the church to be known as this. It’s not. Light and dark. Liberty or Captivity. God or the Devil. If it’s not want God wants, it’s what Satan wants.

    Those getting upset about the use of Satan for a seemingly benign example, consider the Lord called Peter to his face Satan for the “sin” of expressing confidence that he wouldn’t die.

    President Nelson was positively Christ like in this regard.

  36. Roger Hansen says:

    I don’t believe in satan. So Prez Nelson’s “victory for satan” doesn’t bother me. Just like cold is the absence of heat, what people refer as satan is alienation from God.

  37. Stephen Hardy says:

    Peter was suggesting that Jesus need not go through the atonement. That he need not suffer and die. Although he was only trying to protect Jesus he was in fact protecting him from doing that which he had to do. It was a strong rebuke because he was tempting the Savior to not do his appointed task. It is not a good comparison to someone who self-refers as a Mormon.

  38. @ J. Mansfield–>really, we’re going to stock photography? For some reason this really bothers me. Feels like false advertising and a deep dive towards inauthenticity. What’s the driver I wonder–an overactive sense of protecting the actual people? I’m probably overreacting.

  39. Stephen, in either case (Nelson or Jesus), it’s a strong rebuke for a someone who is clearly not Satan. Your distinctions add little extra. Yes, Jesus needed to perform the atonement. The BCC-Jesus would have said, “Peter, you misunderstand my mission, here’s why I said what I did…” Instead he went Full Nelson on him. Or maybe Nelson went Full Jesus.

    In both cases, it goes against what Jesus wants. Therefore, my point stands = if it’s contrary to what Jesus wants, it’s Satanic. We have modern prophetic evidence and Jesus’ recorded words on it. It sounds overly harsh in both cases.

    That’s, uh, an uncomfortably expansive view of what it means to be Satanic.

  40. Left Field says:

    I quit subscribing to the church magazines years ago, so I didn’t know about the stock photography. I’m old enough to remember excellent covers, photography, and writing in the Ensign of the ’70s. More recent magazines have been much less impressive, even if the photography was still authentic.

    I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but Music and the Spoken Word relies heavily on stock footage. I hate it. The have a choir, an organist, and a full orchestra. I want to watch the performers. I don’t understand the benefit of reducing the performance to background music for overwrought footage of families walking on the beach, flocks of flying birds, children playing, and mountains.

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