What Should Catholics Call Mormons?

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. :slight_smile:
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?


I think it’s safe to say that most anyone who’s spent any time in the US knows that LDS/Mormons are not run-of-the-mill Christians, so in the spirit of Charity and respect, I think it’s best to call them LDS, as they’ve requested. We know better, but as an act of kindness and so as not to insult anyone, it seems pretty harmless. I would chalk it up to being similar to calling a transgender person by their preferred pronoun set; not because you agree with it or endorse it, but because you want to respect people and you’ll get a lot farther evangelizing using someone’s preferred nomenclature than by insisting upon using terminology that they’ve asked to no longer use.


To clarify, they’ve requested NOT to be called LDS anymore. Otherwise, I’d be inclined to agree with you.

I call people what they ask me to call them.


It seems reasonable to use their full name, then.

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Uh, the LDS/Mormons I know say that they’ve requested to no longer be called “Mormon” and that LDS is the preferred terminology…?

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In the link it says they want to be known as “the church” or “the church of Jesus Christ.” As they are neither of those I will not call them such.


I do not go to CNN for religious information, they are a commercial news outlet.

I go to my sister & BIL, who are members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, or to my friends/neighbors who belong to this religion, what they wish to be called. They all tell me that LDS is fine.

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They don’t want the abbreviation, just “Latter Day Saints” stated in full.

I could be making much ado about nothing and could easily be missing some important theological context. But at least on the surface, the title seems self-congratulatory, like me asking to be called “Holy Anointed One of the God’s One True Catholic Church.”


Most Mormons I know don’t have a problem with either Mormon or LDS. Seriously, I just typed in Mormon.org, check out the redirect, and, as you’ll recall they had the “And I’m a Mormon” campaign some years ago. If they don’t want me to call them Mormon, they should not have done that. If they don’t want me to call them LDS, then they need to shorten their name.


Oh, I see. You may be right. In either case, we know they’re not the True Saints of the True Church, so complying with their wishes seems to be simply the polite thing to do. Just my opinion.

They suggested that term if one is shortening their full name. The solution is simply to use their full name.

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I’ll just call them Mormons or polytheists depending on the situation.


I guess. As long as you don’t mind them calling you something you’ve asked people not to call you. It seems less than charitable – and certainly not a good first step toward evangelization.


Most of my family and friends are Mormon. They refer to themselves as Mormon and so do I. While the president of the Church has tried to steer away from that term, it is still the common usage in my area. Recently I was at one of the satellite campuses of BYU. Actually, last week. It’s Mormon all the time.

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“They”. The leaders in a marketing campaign maybe, but “they” as in your average Mormon, Latter Day Saints, lds, etc don’t really care and probably prefer “Mormon”
Except my FLDS acquaintances, who most certainly prefer “FLDS”


Sounds fair enough. I identify as Royalty and from here on out request that everyone call me Your Majesty.

Sorry - just lightening the mood with my trademark ill-timed humor . . .


In the same way I call my dear FLDS friend “Mormon” just to irritate him (sarcasm is my love language).


Lol! Those FLDS really like to make sure you don’t think they are just plain”Mormon”. Like calling an SSPX goer, a regular plain old Catholic…


Former Mormon here. Mormons LOVE to play the victims and act like everyone is just picking on them. So while I use the word Mormon all the time, I generally use the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” when speaking with them. Simply because I don’t want to play their game. I refuse to give them more ammo in their belief that the world is out to get them.

Sadly, too many people lack the common sense needed to do the same.

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