The Meaning Behind Our Name

Church-of-Jesus-Christ-of-Latter-day-Saints-Mormon-signWhen it comes to religion I am usually referred to as a Mormon, and that seems normal because over time, members of my church have come to accept this name as their religious identity.  But why are we called Mormons? We probably developed the name because of the central scripture of our church called The Book of Mormon. This book was named after an ancient prophet named Mormon who compiled all the records that are presently included in this book of scripture. The official name of my church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it’s members are LDS (for Latter-day Saints). Throughout this post I hope to clearly convey why we are called members of the LDS Church, and the meaning behind its name.

As Christians, our teachings are based off of the life, example, and ministry of Jesus Christ.  We believe him to be the Son of God and that he performed the Atonement where all can be saved by obedience to the laws of the gospel.  If that is the core principle of the gospel which comes from the Bible, then why should we be called Mormons? We don’t worship Mormon. We believe in the book he compiled, but the book’s purpose (that is written on the front cover) is to be another testament of Jesus Christ.  Inside this book are testimonies of Jesus Christ that show how his Atonement can save those who choose to follow his example in choosing the right.  So, we declare ourselves as members of Jesus Christ’s church for a reason.

What does it mean to he a “Latter-day Saint”? Latter-day refers to our current time period, the last days.  We and most other Christians believe that we are living in the last days, or the time period before Jesus Christ will appear to the world.  So it is our responsibility to prepare ourselves and others for the coming of our Savior.  Living a worthy life, sharing our beliefs with others, and providing a good example to those around us are the main ways we strive to prepare for Christ’s second coming to the earth.  And last, to be a “Saint” means to be a person of exceptional holiness.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we try to follow the example of Christ as best as possible, living holy lives that would please God.

In closing, referring to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Mormons is normal and accepted, but it doesn’t quite capture the true identity of who we are. The Book of Mormon, which sets our religion apart from other Christian religions, is based off the teachings of Christ, not Mormon. To put it simply, LDS members are Christians living in the last days, preparing themselves and others for the second coming of Christ.

5 Responses to “The Meaning Behind Our Name”

  1. gary robinson says:

    Plz be honest! You believe that Jesus was “a” son of God not “the” Son of God!. Gods word does not teach us that we must do good to get to heaven, but that we need to accept the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for our sins. This is the “gospel”. Once we are saved we should and will do good, but it is not that good that gets us to heaven. “For by grace are we saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2:8,9

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks for your comment, Gary. I’ll respond to both of your questions here.

      First, we certainly believe that Jesus Christ is the unique and Only Begotten Son of the Father. Because of this, He was able to die on the cross for us and for our sins, allowing us the opportunity to return to Him after this life. We also believe that we are the children of God, for “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). This is not to be understood that we share Christ’s quality of perfection and Godliness, but that we all come from God, the Father of all.

      Second, You are absolutely right that God saves us beyond our ability to do so for ourselves. We rely on the grace of God because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We believe that we access the gift of Christ’s redeeming blood through obedience as Christ taught; “Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

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