Columns Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

The name ‘Mormon’: Why all the fuss, and why now?

Me this week making soup for the missionaries in my retrofitted “Meet the Mormons” apron.

It’s been two weeks now since Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, devoted an entire General Conference talk to the now-verboten word “Mormon,” emphasizing the importance of using the full name of the church.

This has been tried before. In fact, it was a bête noire of President Nelson’s long before he assumed the religion’s top post in January of this year.

In the April 1990 General Conference talk “Thus Shall My Church Be Called,” then-Elder Nelson made many of the same points he reiterated more forcefully at this recent Conference:

1990, “Thus Shall My Church Be Called” 2018, “The Correct Name of the Church”
“I refer to a name given by the Lord: ‘Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ (D&C 115:4.) Note carefully the language of the Lord. He did not say, ‘Thus shall my church be named.’ He said, ‘Thus shall my church be called.’ “It was the Savior Himself who said, ‘For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’”
“We are all pleased when our names are pronounced and spelled correctly. Sometimes a nickname is used instead of the real name. But a nickname may offend either the one named or the parents who gave the name.” “When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be and even precedes His declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ He is serious. And if we allow nicknames to be used or adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He is offended.”
“By divine directive, the title of the Church bears the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whose church this is. (See D&C 115:3–4.) He so decreed more than once. Nearly two thousand years ago, the Lord said, ‘Ye shall call the church in my name; …’” “When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the ‘LDS Church,’ the ‘Mormon Church,’ or the ‘Church of the Latter-day Saints,’ the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.”

 

The main difference between the two talks is not in their arguments, which are remarkably consistent, but their tone. President Nelson has adopted a far less conciliatory tone than Elder Nelson did 28 years ago.

Whereas once a nickname “may” have offended Jesus or his Heavenly Parents, now Christ is offended. Period.

Whereas the earlier talk offered the full name of the Church in the manner of a request (one that was gently redirected by President Gordon B. Hinckley in a subsequent General Conference address six months later), now it has been elevated to the status of a commandment.

This is not a name change or a simple rebranding, says President Nelson; “Instead, it is a correction. It is the command of the Lord.”

And whenever the nickname “Mormon” is used, he suggests, Satan wins.

Mormons—or rather, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—are being told to correct one another and anyone else who continues to use the convenient, short, time-honored, and Hinckley-approved nickname “Mormon.” It seems to be becoming a litmus test of obedience, and not just for church members. Journalists, for example, are being asked to use the nine words of the church’s full name on first reference, which major media style guides already advise. So that’s not any different. But ever after they’re asked to use “the Church of Jesus Christ” (implying that this is the only Christian church) or “the restored Church of Jesus Christ.”

This is problematic for reporters and writers. It is not the job of a religion-neutral media to adopt or validate the truth claims of whatever religions they’re writing about. Some denominational names do have truth claims already baked in—is Roman Catholic really catholic, meaning universal? Is Orthodox really orthodox, meaning doctrinally pure? Have Reformed Christians and Reform Jews actually changed from the traditions that preceded them? Etc.—but in those cases, the truth claims have been part of the religion’s name for centuries. With Mormonism, “the restored Church” is a term of comparatively recent vintage, as seen in this index of General Conference talks.

Word incidence of “restored church” in all General Conference talks of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by decade. https://www.lds-general-conference.org/.

What’s more, people outside the Church don’t associate this term with Mormonism, making it virtually useless to journalists who want to serve their readers’ needs. What does serve journalists’ needs is the term Mormon. For every time “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” is searched on Google, “Mormon” is searched between 75 and 100 times. (Interestingly, the term “Mormon” enjoyed a noticeable spike of search activity during and after General Conference. That’s a lot of victories for Satan that seem to have been inspired by the church’s own insistence at correcting its name.)

A Google Trends comparison of searches for the full name of the church (blue line, at bottom), “LDS Church” (yellow line, near bottom), and “Mormon” (red line at top).

There are two fascinating aspects of the name correction. First, President Nelson has essentially rebuked the entire church and all of the deceased presidents who preceded him, particularly President Hinckley, for all those satanic victories. President Hinckley’s if-we-can’t-beat-em-we’ll-join-em attitude informed the notion that while “Mormon” was an incomplete nickname, members of the Church could redeem the word by doing “more good” in the world.

The idea that “Mormon means more good” informed the Church’s successful “I’m a Mormon” campaign and the 2014 church-sponsored film Meet the Mormons. Earlier this week on Facebook, what popped up in my timeline in that “on this day four years ago” schtick was this screen shot from the Deseret News in October 2014, as the newspaper was heavily promoting Meet the Mormons. What a difference four years can make.

A flashback screenshot of the Deseret News from October 2014.

Second, the name-change-that-is-not-a-name-change comes at exactly the same time that the LDS Church is gingerly dismantling some aspects of the hyper-systematic Correlation program that has defined Mormon life for the last half century. At the same General Conference in which President Nelson hammered home the One True Name of the church, the denomination shortened its weekly church meetings from three hours to two, opened the door for small groups to meet in members’ homes, and promoted the fellowship-oriented new “ministering” program that has replaced the checklist-oriented home and visiting teaching programs.

In other words, the church is becoming more relaxed in some areas, but is holding the line in others—specifically, its right to define itself through what it views as a unique institutional relationship to Jesus Christ. Emphasizing membership in that institution (“I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”) rather than the more capacious term “Mormon” (which includes individuals who are active in and no longer affiliated with the institution) means that the institution is, in the end, more important than the individual.

President Nelson is right that this “Mormon” name correction is neither cosmetic nor inconsequential. Rather, it may become a defining characteristic of a religion that is anxious to separate the wheat from the chaff in the pluralistic 21st century.


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About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church," which will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2019. She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

49 Comments

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  • Many people consider the “LDS” to be a less-than-fully Christian organisation. One of the defining indicators of a religious cult is held to be that it ranks its unique texts as equal or superior to the scriptures used by the church it is grounded in. By that definition the LDS is clearly a cult of Christianity (and, presumably, Christianity a cult of Judaism).

    In a very (in its own opinion anyway) Christian nation there is clearly a benefit to be gained from appearing to be a better extension of Christianity than a competitor to it. Imagine how much more difficult Mormons lives might be if they were, in the US, regarded as as non-Christian as Muslims or atheists.

    By insisting on the “Christ” reference there is a possibility that the LDS will be more widely accepted as a full member of the Christian church – thus making it likely that the business called the CoJCLDS(?) will continue to enjoy the same regulatory framework – a framework of exemption, privilege and unquestionability – that more orthodox Christian churches a) enjoy and b) are, in some cases, pushing hard to be reserved only for what they accept as Christian ministries.

    In other words this may be firstly an attempt to protect the finances and the “club-membership” by fixing the brand as Christian in the eyes of non-Mormons.

  • “Always hoped that I’d be an Apostle, knew that I could make it if I tried…and they’ll all talk smack about us when we’ve died!”

    Elders, if you are able to outlive your predecessors, you can always have the last laugh if you become the President of the Church.

    Which, in this instance, makes the concept of a living prophet a capricious concept.

  • The nation and world should go about its business, unvexed by this tempest in a teapot.

    If Satan is winning because a tiny portion of the world’s population is using “Mormon” rather than “The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints”…..well, the game is already lost, and by a worse margin than the 73-0 Bears victory over the Redskins.

  • I can see President Nelson’s point, this IS the Church of Jesus Christ and not Mormon’s, Joseph Smith’s, etc.—“of Latter-day Saints” is more of an adjectival phrase. OTOH, “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” is a WEE bit cumbersome and the problem with using “the Church of Jesus Christ” as a shortened form is that there are plenty of other “Church(es) of Jesus Christ” out there and the point of a name is to differentiate. One possible shortening is JCLDS, which has the advantage of being both pithy and different from other churches.

  • Excuse me but if my facts are not corect the church called itself the church of christ from 1830 to 1834
    Then changed it to latter day saints from 1834 to 1838 only after that did it call itself the church of jesus christ of latter day saints my question if it is really gods true church why did it take 8 years to get the name correct

  • Basically, any given apostle’s personal views can become the mind and will of God, if he lives long enough to become president of the church.

  • Church leaders always seem to forget to mention, when speaking of the name of the church, that the current name is the third given to the church. They act like the church was always called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It wasn’t.

    Next, the current name is just too long. Especially in the 21st century. Mormon is a good nickname at 2 syllables. But it emphasizes the modern revelation of the Book of Mormon over the central figure, Jesus.

    ‘Christian’ is a good nickname. Again, 2 syllables. But besides being taken, it’s too generic for a church that likes to think it’s special.

    The church needs a nickname that’s 1 or 2 syllables and references Jesus but that isn’t ‘Christian.’

    Christer
    Jesusite (3! syllables)
    JeChrists
    Chrisus

    That’s all I got. But their PR department should be able to come up with something.

  • Meh, it took the ancient apostles a while to figure out that Jesus was the Christ.

    The whole name of His church was/is in the scriptures but the prophet Joseph Smith failed to see it initially.

  • Isn’t Latter-Day Saints already a nickname in common usage? It’s short, easy to say yet distinctive, and implies a level of “successor to all the other churches”.

  • The constant misrepresentation of President Nelson’s words bothers me. What he said was: “To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us–even His Atonement.”

    This is not the same as whenever “Mormon” is used, Satan wins. President Nelson suggests a final state, the common misrepresentation substitutes a single part of a pattern and substitutes it for the end result. It’s subtle, but important.

  • From a journalist’s perspective, how difficult is this really? As Jana mentioned, most style guides already direct journalists do use the full name of the Church on first reference. The thrust of this effort asks journalists to do what they already tell themselves to do. In most articles, “the Church” is perfectly clear. How often are people writing articles about multiple churches where references to multiple specific churches are so numerous as to make writing out “The Church of Jesus Chrisy of Latter-day Saints” burdensome? And where that happens, it would seem that using “LDS Church” would be less offensive (although not in line with the Church’s style guide), and yet we constantly see “Mormon Church” which has been emphatically discouraged for years.

    And when referring to members of the Church, is “Latter-day Saints” really so burdensome? In terms of syllables, it is shorter than Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Episcopalians, and Russian Orthodox, and the same as Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists.

  • “Latter-day Saints” doesn’t fly, either. According to Nelson:

    “When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the ‘LDS Church,’ the ‘Mormon Church,’ or the ‘Church of the Latter-day Saints,’ the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.”

  • Totally agree with you. People are always looking to misinterpret and malign, so discord and so forth. i don’t troll other religious articles of other churches. It’s an “anti” thing. Most of the world SERIOUSLY doesn’t care about this stuff. it’s always the dis-affecteds – ax to grind. Hence, useless, trivial, and of no consequence in their comments. (just like mine)

  • I don’t think Jana is intentionally misrepresenting President Nelson, and I don’t think it’s an anti thing, but I do think that in the world of blogs and opinion pieces, getting things accurate has become secondary to getting a point across and taking down straw men.

  • Any chance that Nelson’s proclamation will be as widely disregarded by ordinary Mormons as Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae was by ordinary Roman Catholics?

  • Rusty’s statement about Satan’s victories is absurd on its face. How can he be taken seriously? So Monson and Hinckley who promoted the I Am a Mormon campaign were Satan’s unwitting tools and gave Stan a “major” victory? It used to be the Lord’s prophets were dead and cold for several decades before getting thrown under the bus. I also think if God is as easily offended (along with his lieutenant the Holy Ghost) as Mormons think, they worship a petty and petulant being.

    Here’s the thing. How does Nelson “know” all of that? (Warning: Plot Spoiler) Jesus didn’t come down and tell him. Here’s a news flash for some members. None of those guys has talked to Jesus like they want us to believe. They have “promptings” and “impressions” which coincidentally move them in the direction they already agree with. They have no problem letting the members think they have some special relationship. In fact, every now and then, one of them refers to himself (easy to use gender-specific nouns for this organization) as a “special witness” knowing that for some it will imbue what follows with extra weight. Except that the term “special witness” is literally style over substance. There’s nothing more special about their so-called promptings than any other person has. They don’t have lectures from Jesus in the solemn assembly room in the Salt Lake Temple. Rusty doesn’t get a personal one on one with Jesus in the holy of holies. Yet they have no problem declaring what God likes or dislikes. Which, by happy chance, happens to be exactly how they feel on the same subjects.

    And to JM, you can’t have it both ways. Mormons get to send out missionaries (I was one of them) and tell everybody they don’t have the full truth, or that the only way they can be with the families together is by priesthood power, which only the Mormons have. Mormons get to exclude parents, relatives, and friends, from weddings. Mormons get to disallow membership and basic ordinances to children of gay marriages. Mormons even got to disallow blacks from having the priesthood until 1978. But, don’t some ex-mormon or other person dare come in and challenge Mormon doctrines, or prophetic (so-called) statements, or history, because…persecution. If you want to get on the internet and represent, be prepared. Or else go to reddit r/lds where only conforming comments are allowed and anybody who has ever posted on an “unfaithful” sub, regardless of content or the tone of that comment, is banned for life. (Seems apropro for a Mormon-themed discussion group) Then you can experience an amen chorus.

    I made some important and fundamental life decisions (get married too young, have children too young, tell dear wife to have children she wasn’t prepared for cuz need to give bodies to God’s spirits, etc.), paid a crapload of money (tithing, fast offerings, in-kind donations for all sorts of activities), lost years of life (just count the hours devoted to meetings, callings, etc., spanning 50 years) based on teachings, doctrines, and a white-washed history that are demonstrably, provably, wrong or false. And for an organization the does not hold itself to the same standard it does to its members (truthfulness, kindness to all of God’s children, burying abuse and molestation incidents, etc.) That’s the sound of betrayal. Nope, not gonna shut up. As Roger Daltrey belts out, “Won’t get fooled again!” If you really are a member of the one and only true religion, the true restored Gospel, with the sole authority to act in God’s name, surely Elohim will inspire to you/reveal to you answers to a few probing questions or respond to simple truth challenges? After all, our intellect is only human. The divine intelligence is more than a match for us, yes?

  • Nicely stated and well-written analysis that is very accurate and yet far more gentle toward the loony old man now appointed as the “Mouthpiece” of God in Salt Lake City. But Nelson could be just nutty enough to want to rebuke the writer for trying to be fair.

  • Do you think that groups like Denver Snuffer’s Remnant movement are driving the Church’s embrace of meeting in small groups at people’s homes?

  • So, you’re just going to ignore my point completely and use my comment as a jumping off point for your own tirade, huh?

    Danny, calm down. Get a glass of water or warm milk, and see if there might be some better, more productive use of your time that doesn’t raise your blood pressure.

    And if you’ve been kicked off of r/lds, then it’s because you’re a troll. Your criticism might hold true for r/latterdaysaints, but the fact that you don’t make those distinctions indicates an overall disregard for detail that is a crucial component of intelligent conversation.

  • “So, you’re just going to ignore my point completely and use my comment as a jumping off point for your own tirade, huh?”

    I guess the honest answer is, um, yes. It was a bit of tirade wasn’t it? But it waassss fun to write.

    I’ll ignore the troll comment (mostly) and simply point out even the sub monitor admitted I hadn’t trolled. Also, since you don’t know what I wrote, you can’t possibly know if I trolled or not. Actually, I was told I was a “sheep in wolf’s clothing” (which is kinda funny, as in amusing, to me) for the sole reason I had posted comments in “unfaithful” subs, the substance and tone of my comment in the “faithful” sub being irrelevant. I guess the sub monitor feared even good advice if it came from somebody not sharing the faithful view. I just wanted to point out another illustration of the morbid fear of the church and many of its members of anything not pre-approved and correlated by the church. And also the persecution complex that follows many members. To me, the church is much like the adults in the movie “The Village”. Ok, ’nuff said about that.

    “…and yet we constantly see “Mormon Church” which has been emphatically discouraged for years”. That’s patently false. Again, the I Am A Mormon campaign. Or talks by others, I think it was Hinckley, that basically told members don’t sweat it when people call you Mormons. Go ahead and try to thread that needle, but I’m telling you, at the very least that campaign was wildly inconsistent with Nelson’s current pronouncements.

    “To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan.” Seems to speak for itself. The distinction you make seems to make no real difference. If not perfectly accurate, saying everytime somebody calls us Mormons Stan wins, is close enough for practical purposes.

    You suggest Nelson made a “subtle point”. So the Lord inspires his prophets to make subtle points? Like the Lord’s loving prophet Elisha calling the bear to devour the kids for teasing him about his bald head? That kind of subtlety? Ok, I’m having some fun. But point made. And judging by the queries of members in the more “faithful” Reddit subs, the subtlety you perceive is lost on other members.

    Now, I’m going to poke back just a little. You also ignore my points completely when I challenge the more fundamental aspect of Nelson’s talk, namely, that he isn’t inspired by God in this instance, or generally. Nor does he have any real reason to act as if he does. He and the general authorities are rock stars who lip sync.

    Zamp, I’ve seen other threads go on forever. I’m in danger of doing that. So, go ahead and reply. I already concede the ground and will leave you with whatever last word you want to write on this. I’ve made my points.

  • Re being banned on a sub: Sure, whatever you say.

    Re “Mormon Church”: The use of the term “Mormon Church” has never been ok. What has changed is tolerance for the term “Mormon” to refer to members of the Church. From the old style guide: “While the term “Mormon Church” has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use.” and “Please avoid the use of “Mormon Church”, “LDS Church” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints”.” “When referring to Church members, the term “Latter-day Saints” is preferred, though “Mormons” is acceptable. [The new style guide changes this]” https://www.mormonnewsroom.co.za/style-guide

    “is close enough for practical purposes” – It isn’t.

    “So the Lord inspires his prophets to make subtle points?” Yes. 1 Kings 19:11-13

    “You also ignore my points completely when I challenge the more fundamental aspect of Nelson’s talk, namely, that he isn’t inspired by God in this instance, or generally.” If you made some argument that consisted of something other than your own opinion, I could respond to it.

    “I’ve made my points” – You haven’t.

  • *Snort
    That’s a very wicked and anti-Christian belief to hold, to assume that the apostles are not actually communing with God, and assuming purely secular and worldly motives and personal thoughts of people who you are not. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
    “For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

  • The choice of name was the result specifically of the fact that the 1830s had a lot of religions that called themselves “The Church of Christ”. Today, the “Church of Christ” is a proper name for one of the splinter factions of the LDS religion which broke off and even abandoned the Book of Mormon.

  • *Snort
    And *YOU* don’t think *YOUR* personal beliefs about the doctrine of God are not the most true and correct doctrine? Because by your logic, every time someone says something they believe is true, you’re “committing the sin of vanity”.

  • Assuming and expressing secular and worldly reasons you think someone else does something demonstrates more your own secular and worldly mind than actually demonstrates anything about how the religion you are not a member of actually functions.

  • A lot of bigotry and vindictiveness in this comment towards a man that did you no wrong. That’s even worse than the understandable hatred towards someone who actually wronged you, but to whom Christ commanded you to forgive.

  • That’s a not-subtle prejudiced slander against the LDS Church, to try to compare it to Scientology. Obvious anti-LDS propaganda.

  • Factually false.
    The religion has been around since 1830, and was formed as a religion.
    The Catholic Church is literally a country (Vatican City), but that doesn’t mean its first purpose and nature is a nation instead of a Church.

  • I am open to suggestions. Just not the blatant trampling of my and others’ civil rights going on in this administration and on this forum.

  • “Obvious anti-LDS propaganda.” You think? Thanks for the insight. /s Yes, I was being snarky and enjoying every second of it. But on a serious note, there is irony when a Mormon sniffs at a Scientologist. The documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” contains a number of uncomfortable (for Mormons) parallels with the LDS church. Anybody with eyes to see, can.

  • Actually, koseighty’s position is far more likely to be true. Based on my own life experience, I believe it is far more likely a con man figured out how to get money and women than it is that God the Father and Jesus beamed down and had a face to face with a 14-year old.

    Mormons claim their leaders are inspired and receive revelation from God. That’s what normal people would refer to as an extraordinary claim. A Hitchens maxim is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Provide us the evidence, please.

  • Thanks for the holy temper tantrum. I’m sure that Nelson and the 14 other old lunatics will give you your just rewards for sucking up.

  • President Hinckley, if we could speak with him, would teach us to follow the living prophet. Each guides us through the particular times of their stewardship. I’m cool with that.

  • See (Amos 3:7, Eph. 2:19-20, 4:11-14.) Not doubt you believe God Lost his power to guide his “church” from the heavens. Mankind must wait until Jesus Christ returns to earth speaking the words as quoted In (Zechariah 14:3-4, 13:6.) The resurrected Savior appears among modern Israel and declares himself as the one whom was crucified in the “house of my friends.” (See Revelation 1:7-8.) Or maybe you will believe the two prophets who are called of God and or maybe they are called by the devil according to you, to prophesy and declare the gospel of Christ among the unbelievers for three and a half years. For that amount of time no doubt volumes and hundreds of pages concerning the doctrine of Christ and his church will be written for the world to read. Obviously the true church will be identified and correct doctrines will be taught by these men of God. All issues concerning doctrine among Christendom will be clarified. I look forward to that day! (See Revelations 11:1-12.) But do you?

  • Steve, I appreciate your comment. I’m familiar with those scriptures. I just no longer accept them as authoritative. Why?

    Because that is the reasonable conclusion based on the best available evidence and scholarly study. They are the writing of individuals and groups who, like everybody else, had motives, axes to grind if you will. For instance, Isaiah looks to be written by 3 different individuals. Chapters 40-55 are clearly the work of an outraged expatriot who is upset with the Babylonian exile and rants about how foreigners will be punished by God. Whereas the first part of Isaiah is post-Babylonian and is quite complimentary of King Cyrus for letting the Jews return to Jerusalem.

    Moreover, the actual authorship of many of the books is unconfirmed (for instance Genesis through Deuteronomy, or Isaiah as already mentioned).

    So, using scriptures in a discussion with me isn’t going to be a winning move.

    What you think will happen is what logicians refer to as a construct. Whether or not prophets are inspired, or there will be a Second Coming, are constructs. They can neither be proven nor disproven. Maybe it will happen. But isn’t there a disconnect between the loving Jesus of the New Testament and wrathful one who will burn the Earth at the Second Coming? Why are Christians ok with the possibility of scores of innocent people dying horrifically because they did not follow Christ?

    Finally, if there is a god who created the incredibly vast cosmos, I expect he or she or they aren’t that concerned about a doubting Danny living on one planet located in a backwater eddy of the Milky Way, which is itself just one of billions of galaxies in our universe.

  • Jana Refuses to talk about the BAN of COLORED MEN in the Quorum of 12. Every time this CULT renews another 90 year old RACIST White man to enforce it it makes me Throw Up !! Jana, you need to look in the Mirror & for once tell the truth about this FAKE religion !!!!

  • No, colored men are not banned! I’m sure with 100 million members, many from Africa, there probable will be general authorities of color. The Savior directs his church from the heavens to modern apostles and prophets. Who directs your church today? By the way, list for me any prophet from the Bible of color other than that of Isreal descent !

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