The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that they have dropped the names “LDS” and “Mormon” from their mobile apps and tools in keeping with a recent decision by church leadership over how the religious group should be labeled.
In an announcement released Thursday, the LDS church explained that the name changes were made “to align with recent direction from church leaders regarding the naming of church products.”
“The terms ‘LDS’ and ‘Latter-day Saint’ should not be used to qualify objects, such as temples, scriptures or doctrine, that belong to the Lord or His church,” stated the religious group.
“Instead of ‘Latter-day Saint temples,’ for example, the appropriate references would be ‘temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ or ‘house of the Lord.’”
Specific changes listed by the LDS church included: “LDS Tools” changed to “Member Tools,” “LDS Media Library” changed to “Gospel Media,” “Mormon Messages” changed to “Inspirational Messages,” “LDS Music” changed to “Sacred Music,” and “LDS Sing-Along” changed to “Sing-Along Hymns.”
“Various other services and mobile apps, such as LDS Seminary and Institute, will simply remove ‘LDS’ from the name,” added the church.
In August of last year, President Russell M. Nelson announced that they would no longer use shortened names like "Mormon" and "LDS Church" to identify themselves.
"The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," stated Nelson at the time.
"We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. In recent weeks, various church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so."
Among the entities given a name change was the renowned musical ensemble the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which officially became “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square” last October.
Ron Jarrett, president of the famed music organization, said in a statement last year that the new name for the choir "will represent a change after so many years."
"But we have always been a forward-looking people, and we are focused on what is not changing: the world-class musicianship, the inspiring arrangements and programming, and our weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast continuing a tradition begun 90 years ago," stated Jarrett in 2018.
"The name may change, but everything that people know and love about the choir will not only be the same but will get better and better."
In response to the news, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler said in a podcast that he believed the name change was the LDS church making "a truth claim" and reaffirming their belief that "all other Christian churches are not real churches."
"The official teaching of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, popularly known as the Mormons, is that their church is the restoration of the true Church, which had disappeared on earth between the time of the disciples, properly the Apostles, all the way until Joseph Smith in the United States in the 19th century," said Mohler last year.
"Notice the definite article, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In that name, there is a clear claim to identity with Jesus Christ, but a clear claim of discontinuity and absolute distance from the church from the time of the Apostles until Joseph Smith."
Mohler added that "there is far more than the question of nomenclature when the president of the Mormon church says that Mormons shall no longer be known as Mormons."
"That's not just a name, it's a claim. It's a truth claim and evangelical Christians had better understand it clearly," said Mohler.