I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
My church has even put out a formal request to the media about how and when to use specific references to the Church.
The official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This full name was given by revelation from God to Joseph Smith in 1838.—
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.
When writing about the Church, please follow these guidelines:
- In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Please avoid the use of “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church” or “the Church of the Latter-day Saints.”
- When a shortened reference is needed, the terms “the Church” or “the Church of Jesus Christ” are encouraged.
- When referring to Church members, the term “Latter-day Saints” is preferred, though “Mormons” is acceptable.
- “Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon, Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Mormon Trail, or when used as an adjective in such expressions as “Mormon pioneers.”
- 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.
- When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, the terms “Mormons,” “Mormon fundamentalist,” “Mormon dissidents,” etc. are incorrect. The Associated Press Stylebook notes: “The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other … churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith’s death.”
Okay. *yawn* Are we all on the same page?
Nine times out of ten I call myself a Mormon. Or LDS. Five times out of ten Mormon is spelled wrong by the general public (Morman, which let’s face it, I have enough man in my life.) and three times out of ten when I use the term LDS, a joke is made about LSD. It’s also really close to FLDS (the polygamists, I cover that one here.) and the RLDS (also a completely different religion.) so for most people I keep it to the simple two syllable term, Mormon.
You’re not going to offend me if you call me a Mormon. If you precede it with four letter words ending in “ing” my feelings may bruise slightly. As long as you’re not trying to be hateful? Call me whatever you want. Same goes for most people I know who share the same beliefs as me, as long as you’re not being a jerk? We can take a joke and you can call us whatever is most convenient (which most of the time is Mormon.)
Now I can’t speak for other groups in the world. Everyone is going to take name calling differently. I have made the grave mistake of deeply offending someone by using the term “Jew.” It was not in a hateful or anti-Semitic way, however taken out of context I can easily see where I went wrong. At the same time I see other people using the term “Jew.” Even Rabbi Shmuley, (who’s totally on twitter HI RABBI SHMULEY!) used the term “Jew” in one of his tweets.
Is it one of those things where only those who are “in” are allowed to use the vernacular? *deep breath*
I hope you can understand why I’m frustrated. We’ve become so set as a society to take anything as an offense that we react before we think a lot of times.
Sometimes it’s easier to refer to someone as “the Jewish one” or “the gay one” or “the heavier one” or “the black one” or “the one in a wheelchair.” It’s not because we’re all Anti-Semites, homophobes, vain, racist or have something against handicapped people sometimes it’s just easier to point someone out with an obvious difference. You all know you have that one Aunt you refer to as “The Crazy One.” Every family has one. I remember at BlogHer last year trying to tiptoe around the fact that Heather B. was black. So what? She is! And she refers to herself as such on her blog.
But is okay as a white person to call another person black because I’m not? Because I don’t understand what it means to be black? Should I keep to the more politically correct term of “African American?” Is it even okay for me to refer to myself as a white person? Because deep down (okay, my nose) is a Greek person, and under that (my pale skin) is an Irish person.
Honestly I don’t like it when white (caucasian) people refer to themselves as “crackers.” It makes me uncomfortable, much as I would imagine the N term makes black (African American) people feel. (See? I can’t even utter the N word. But you know what I’m talking about.)
Why is race and religion and physical appearance such a big deal? Our president is black, I’d make friends with a Baptist just as quick as I’d make a friend with a fellow Mormon and frankly this whole Prop 8 mess? I speak for myself (MYSELF) when I say that I’ve seen more same sex couples take their unions more seriously than a lot of “traditional” couples. (I’m looking at you Britney Spears.)
We all have value, and short of those derfwads floating around the world who live to hurt people by calling them names like a six year old bully, most of us aren’t out to hurt anyone else.
So if I use the word “Jew” and eat bacon in front of a Jewish person it’s not because I’m a jerk or Anti-Semite. While I’ll do my best to keep my pork consumption to myself I won’t always remember. It’s not my lifestyle.
Just as if you cuss up a storm and drink three glasses of wine in front of me, it’s not because you’re a jerk trying to hurt or offend me, it’s what YOU are used to. (Or your name is Tanis.)
And if somewhere along the lines I offend you or you offend me? I’ll be sure to tell you like a grownup. Just as I’d expect you to do the same. Because the likelyhood that I meant to hurt you? Is smaller than a fish’s eyeball.