Question for our LDS friends

This may have been asked before - but I did not know how to phrase it to do a search so I’ll ask again…

What is the meaning / significance of the name / term “Latter Day Saints”?

Thanks for any help…


Greetings James,

In the ancient church, the members were called saints. The word “saints” is used frequently in both Old and New Testaments. Paul began each of his epistles with a greeting to the saints of the various cities. For example, to the members of Colosse he opened: “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse.” (Col. 1:2)
Paul told the newly baptized members at Ephesus that they were “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Eph. 2:19)

Latter-day Saints believe that the official name of the modern church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was received by revelation. The name recognizes Jesus Christ as the head of the church, while the term Latter-day Saints distinguishes today’s members from those of the ancient church.

In Doctrine and Convenants Section 115:3,4 Christ directed that His Church be named "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found here

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.

The LDS Bible dictionary here defined a “Saint” as…

The word saint is a translation of a Greek word also rendered “holy,” the fundamental idea being that of consecration or separation for a sacred purpose; but since what was set apart for God must be without blemish, the word came to mean “free from blemish,” whether physical or moral. In the New Testament the saints are all those who by baptism have entered into the Christian covenant (see Acts 9:13, 32, 41; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Philip. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:14–15). See also Holiness.

So, a Latter-day Saint would be someone who entered into the covenant of baptism in the last days. (And for the record, LDS only view baptism in the LDS church as valid since we believe that only the LDS church possess the authority to administer the ordinance of baptism.)

I hope this helps…

Thanks…Most helpful.


I remember reading somewhere that the name actually changed several times before it was finally settled on today’s name. Is that correct? Were all of the names revelations, or just the name that we have today?

  1. Church of Jesus Christ

  2. The Church of God,

and then in 1834, the name was officially changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

In April 1838, the name was officially changed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Revelations? Naaaa. Either God is fickle, or js was…which one do you figure?

Good question… Here is a link to an apologetic website discussing the name changes

They have also and are still rewriting the bible omitting certain parts not in conformity with their teachings.

lol at this site. The facts could show that js was actually Satan with horns and a tail and FairMormon site would right an article about how the horns were actually the new Umin and Thummin and that the tail was actually given by God in a Revelation…

The MormonThink website also has an interesting article on the matter:

That was a pretty dissapointing answer for me. I expected someone to address the fact that these were revelations and why God changed His mind. The answer sounds pretty, but it really doesn’t answer anything and it completely whitewashes the fact that these names were revelations.

When was it changed to “Latter-day”? (Not to be confused with Latter Day.)


From the “FairMormon” article linked above…
In 1851 when the church formally incorporated, the name included a corporate initial article “The” and a British hyphenization of “Latter-day,” thus becoming the formal name we use to this day, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”


I just want to say thanks again to our LDS friends for the answers. I’ve always wondered about the name…and still do to an extent. The fact that the LDS believe it to be a name “divinely revealed” is good information. However, it does not entirely satisfy either. Frankly I would have been more satisfied had the name not been claimed as “divinely revealed”

While not wishing to attack or debate, I will say that, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of ALL (early-mid-and latter) day saints, I find such a limiting title to be troubling.

Even allowing for the LDS view of the great Apostasy, it does not make sense to me.
By describing it as a church of “letter day” holy people, it separates itself from the church of “early day” holy people.
I do not find this to be consistent with God’s plan of salvation being a continuum from Abraham, through Israel, and thence through Christ and the community He established.

Of course this view is likely influenced heavily by the fact that I reject the idea of the Great Apostasy…Which is an entirely different topic and I won’t derail my own thread by going into that.
I’m sure that there are already threads on that subject here.

I’ll just say thank you once again for the informative answers and links.


Divinely revealed legalisation. (British spelling).

The LDS teaching is a continuity of apostasy and restoration. As a Mormon, it was described to me as a wave, the peaks being eras of righteousness, which declines in apostasy to wickedness, a restoration occurs, and peaks at righteousness again, to inevitably a decline in apostasy. Rinse. Repeat.

Abraham was a peak. So was Jesus.

Yes I can see that making sense… We hold a similar view as Catholics - that the Church has gone through good times and bad and is - as we sometimes say - constantly in need of reform.

Yet - I just cannot square this idea of cycles with either the LDS idea of the “great apostasy” (losing the keys). I guess this (as I see it) strange name “Latter day Saints” strikes me similarly as a false separation from the past.

Oh well - I asked the question and got the answer…and this is good.


This is interesting. Never heard it explained this way. So does that make Joseph Smith the final and permanent peak? He did make claim that he accomplished something Jesus couldn’t even do; that is, keeping the church from apostatizing.

when I was Mormon, I was told the Apostasy occurred sometime after 100 AD, though no date was ever given.

I found this article at that is consistent with a 100 AD apostasy. I still don’t understand how the LDS church can use Bible prophecies as evidence of an apostasy when they consider the Bible is to be a product of an apostate church. Oh well, I guess those verses were the few that were translated correctly.

Anyway, I also read this in the article…
“The apostasy did not happen because the Apostles were gone; the Apostles were taken because the apostasy had occurred.”

I have never heard this before, and it doesn’t make sense to me. Supposed every single Christian but the Apostles apostatized, so Christ decided to pack it all up and quit? I mean, He intervened with Paul when he was persecuting the church, so it’s obvious he was interested in the preserving teachings and the Church. Why would He stop all of a sudden? Odd to think that God came personally in the flesh, saved humanity, and rose from the dead…but people were only interested in the message for a few decades.

I can’t believe I used to take the apostasy as a given fact. How blind I was.

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