The Name of the Church

K. Douglas Bassett

D&C 115:4; Conference Report, Nelson, Apr. 1990, pp. 17-21; Ensign, Hinckley, Nov. 1990, pp. 51-54; Answers to Gospel Questions, Smith, 1:96; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 299-300; Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 6

“There is no valid reason why Latter-Day Saints should speak of themselves as Mormons. Missionaries should not be engaged in selling Mormonism, but in the mission of persuading people to believe in Christ … and becoming members of his Church… . We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints… . ” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:174-175)
“The matter of the name his Church should bear was of great importance to the Savior… . Thus the name of the Church was not obtained through study or research, but by revelation direct from the Lord. Does it not seem incredible that of all the churches in the world, there was not one that bore his name when the Lord restored his Church in this dispensation?” (LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, pp. 135-136)
“[The Savior] gave it his name, and he advised us that it should be so called. Again I want to mention that fact to some of our brethren. Don’t let the Lord down by calling this the Mormon Church. He didn’t call it the Mormon Church. It is all right for us to believe in the Book of Mormon. He expects us to do that, but he told us what to call this Church. The Lord has said: [3 Ne. 27:8].” (George Albert Smith, Conference Report, Apr. 1948, p. 160)
“Rather than using ‘Mormon Church,’ we should call the Church by its name—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ‘for thus,’ the Lord told us in a revelation, ‘shall my church be called in the last days’ (D&C 115:3-4).” (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Feb. 1993, p. 13)
“When he revealed the name by which the Church was to be called, he used some interesting expressions. He said, ‘For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (D&C 115:4). The word the is significant: not just Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because to say ‘The Church’ distinguishes this as the only true church on the face of the earth. He didn’t say Mormon Church; he didn’t say LDS Church, but the clear, firm, unequivocal statement, ‘even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’” (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Nov. 1971, p. 13)
“The First Presidency has requested that we not refer to ourselves as ‘the Mormon Church’ but by the name the Lord gave his church by revelation: ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (D&C 115:4).” (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Mar. 1994, p. 66)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon