I know that some members of the LDS church do not like to be referred to as Mormons.

Is Mormon an acceptable term to use here? If not, what alternative adjective should be used?

Is Mormonism an acceptable term? If not, what alternative noun should be used?

  • very good question, I hope that some LDS users post here, it has been quite some time since I have gone to an LDS Church myself. – Malachi Jan 15 '14 at 15:00
  • 3
    As this is a dupe on the main site, I've migrated it and linked it to the other. – wax eagle Jan 15 '14 at 17:38

Mormon was a person, (they named the book after him), and the LDS church does not follow a person, they follow God (And Jesus).

Mormon is a nickname that was given to them because of the name of the extra book they had called "Book of Mormon" the name of their church is precise "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"

while in my experience they haven't taken any offense to being called Mormon, I always try to use the term LDS, I believe that it is more correct than Mormon.

Mormonism implies Cult, which is a touchy subject.

I as a non-denominational Christian would say that they are not a Cult, because I believe we would have to classify other religions as Cults as well.

I wouldn't use the term Mormonism because right away someone who doesn't know anything about the religion would instantly think "Cult", and I prefer not to help other people judge a large group of people.

If I were still Mormon/LDS I would prefer to be called an LDS Member or Latter-day Saint. Mormon wouldn't bother me, but I would prefer something more formal.

  • An an academic setting, which this site strives to be, cult is the correct term for all religions. – fгedsbend Jan 15 '14 at 15:19
  • I disagree @fredsbend, all religions do not force conformity, which is what I would say is the defining factor of being a Cult or not. but I do see how you could say that all religions do that. but I think even in an academic setting there are those that are called religions and those that are called cults. there is a line drawn in the sand somewhere. – Malachi Jan 15 '14 at 15:24
  • No need to say that the LDS church follows God and Jesus rather than Mormon any more than the Lutheran church needs to say they don't follow Luther. And the Lutherans don't mind about Lutheranism, so in general terms like that are probably okay, though perhaps not in this specific case. – curiousdannii Jan 15 '14 at 15:29
  • @malachi Definition 1 is vernacular, definitions 2 and 3 are academic. Also, The word originally meant its now academic meanings (see second paragraph). Whether you agree or not is your opinion, while what I have said is a matter of fact. – fгedsbend Jan 15 '14 at 15:40
  • you said Academic Setting and not by definition. I am sure that there are those who in an academic setting would say that not all religions are a cult. by these definitions we could say that some cultures are Cults, or some countries are cults (definition 5). Darwinism or global warming could be considered a Cult under definition 6. but this isn't a debate on the word "Cult" it is what do Mormons prefer to be called? which is what I was trying to explain with the different terms that I know of for LDS Members. – Malachi Jan 15 '14 at 15:54

In his comment, fredsbend linked to the exact duplicate on the main site, but unfortunately we can't mark duplicates across meta/main sites. As such, I'll just paste my comment from an answer on the main site here to help answer the question:

An additional resource about the use of the name of the Church is the the Church's official policy about it: mormonnewsroom.org/style-guide -- which basically says: "While the term 'Mormon Church' has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use ... 'Mormon' is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon, Mormon Tabernacle Choir ... or when used as an adjective ... The term 'Mormonism' is acceptable in describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is commonly known as the Mormon Church (hence the outreach site, mormon.org, designed for those who are unfamiliar with the Church), the Church's full name is preferred.

So basically:

  • Mormon - okay in "Book of Mormon" and "Mormon Tabernacle Choir" or as an adjective in some cases
  • Mormonism - okay for describing the attributes of an LDS lifestyle

Granted, the style guide is mainly for media and other published works, and in practice, I don't think typical Latter-day Saints will be offended if you call them Mormons. (As with any group, though, it depends on the context.)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.