It seems like there should already be a thread about this, but I’m unable to find it. If you believe I’m getting to rigid here, no flames, please. Charitable honesty will suffice. Bear in mind that my ultimate motive is to coexist charitably with my Mormon neighbors.
A couple of years ago, the LDS church put out a statement that they no longer want people calling them “Mormons” or “LDS.” https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/17/us/mormon-church-name-trnd/index.html
Normally, I don’t make a big deal about honoring request prefaced with, “I prefer to be called _____” But what they are requesting feels like an imposition on my own faith and beliefs, like an entire theological agenda is being forced on me. Am I the only one who feels this discomfort?
First, part of the motive is for them to be associated as run-of-the-mill Christians, a notion with which I respectfully disagree.
“Mormon is a long-standing nickname for the church and for the movement, but the church leadership has always been concerned that the nickname has obscured the fundamentally Christian nature of the church and the religion,” Mason told CNN.
Asking me to alter my language feels like asking me to agree with them theologically. Then there’s this part.
From now on, it prefers that people use the church’s full name, and when a shortened reference is needed, to just use “the Church” or “Church of Jesus Christ.”
As Catholics, we know that while our goal is sainthood in Heaven, sainthood on earth requires a rigid process of canonization. While their definition of “saint” may vary from ours, I still feel uncomfortable calling them “Latter Day Saints” and have only reluctantly used the term LDS.
As to referring to the LDS Church as “the Church,” Mormons have long preached that they are of the One True Church. To put it mildly, we Catholics disagree.
Calling them “the Church” seems to presuppose that of the thousands of religions and denominations out there, theirs is the only one that matters enough to be a "the." And “Church of Jesus Christ” sounds like a vague and misleading attempt to conceal associations with Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Moronai, and various teachings that deviated vastly from Christianity.
But here again, I feel like I’m being asked to set aside my own beliefs by accommodating their language preferences.
So what is the right, charitable way to address this faith community while still upholding the tenets of my own faith? Or would you just honor the request and move on?