Latter Day Saint

Latter Day Saint

A Latter Day Saint is an adherent of the Latter Day Saint movement, a group of denominations tracing their heritage to the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. and the Church of Christ he organized in 1830. This article concerns the use of the term "Latter Day Saint" and its variant Latter-day Saint, which is used exclusively by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Usage of the term

Origin of Latter Day Saint

The first known use of the term "Latter Day Saint" was in 1834, shortly before Joseph Smith’s Church of Christ was informally renamed the "Church of the Latter Day Saints" to distinguish it from other "Churches of Christ" that were being established at the time. [See "Minutes of a Conference", "Evening and Morning Star", [ vol. 2, no. 20] , p. 160.] The term derives from Smith's teaching that adherents of the religion God established were "saints" in the same sense that Paul of Tarsus used the term, meaning that they were followers of Christ. They are termed "latter day" saints in order to distinguish them from the saints of the early Christian church ("former day saints")fact|date=June 2008. The church adopted the term officially April 16, 1838 with a revelation delivered through Smith, "For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." [Burton, Rulon (1994) We Believe: Doctrines and Principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Tabernacle Books. ISBN 0964069601]

Latter Day Saint vs. Latter-day Saint

The British styling "Latter-day Saint" — including both the hyphenation and lower-case "d" — came into common use in about 1852 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was incorporated by that name in Salt Lake City, Utah. This form is used only by that denomination, and its usage and the abbreviation "LDS" generally denote only members of the Utah-based church.

Because the LDS Church is by far the largest and most well-known of the various Latter Day Saint denominations, a number of churches who consider themselves Latter Day Saints have informal terms that refer to their members, in order to avoid confusion. For example, the denomination that is officially named the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" refers to itself informally as the "Strangites". Similarly, members of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) are often referred to as "Hedrickites", and members of The Church of Jesus Christ are often called "Bickertonites". In 2001, the Community of Christ, the second largest Latter Day Saint denomination, changed its name from the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", while retaining the longer name for legal purposes, partly to avoid these types of confusions, although they have always referred to members as "saints" and the church informally as the "Saints' Church". [Judd, Peter & Lindgren, Bruce (1976) Introduction to the Saints Church. Independence, MO: Herald House. ISBN 0964069601] Nevertheless, the term "Latter Day Saint" may be appropriately applied to all denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement.

Latter Day Saint vs. Mormon

"Latter Day Saints" are commonly referred to as Mormons, a nickname derived from the title of The Book of Mormon. However, the size and prominence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have led to the terms "Mormon" and "Mormonism" being generally understood to apply only to the church and its members; that is, to the "Latter-day Saints". The desire of the church to emphasize doctrinal teaching of Jesus Christ has led to its urging journalists to use the terms "Latter-day Saint" and "Mormon" only in reference to members of the church or as an adjective in such expressions as "Mormon pioneers", while referring to the church as either "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" or the shortened form, "the Church of Jesus Christ". [ [ LDS Style Guide] ] The Associated Press Stylebook states the following concerning the use of the term "Mormon": “The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other Latter Day Saint churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith’s death.” Nevertheless, the term is often used to refer to adherents of Mormon fundamentalism who believe in plural marriage, [The term "Mormon fundamentalist" appears to have been coined in the 1940s by Apostle Mark E. Petersen: Ken Driggs, "'This Will Someday Be the Head and Not the Tail of the Church': A History of the Mormon Fundamentalists at Short Creek", "Journal of Church and State" 43:49 (2001) at p. 51.] a practice that the LDS Church officially abandoned in 1890.

ee also

*Succession crisis


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Latter-day saint — Lat ter day saint . A Mormon; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints being the name assumed by the whole body of Mormons. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Latter-day Saint — ☆ Latter day Saint see MORMON n …   English World dictionary

  • Latter-Day Saint — noun a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints • Syn: ↑Mormon • Hypernyms: ↑Protestant • Instance Hyponyms: ↑Smith, ↑Joseph Smith • Member Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Latter-day Saint — 1. adjective Of, or pertaining to, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Syn: LDS, Mormon 2. noun A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints …   Wiktionary

  • Latter Day Saint — noun A member of any of the several Latter Day Saint denominations which descend from the church founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. See Also: Latter day Saint …   Wiktionary

  • Latter-day Saint — Lat′ter day Saint′ n. rel a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints • Etymology: 1825–35 …   From formal English to slang

  • Latter-day Saint — a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. [1825 35, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Latter-day Saint — /lætə deɪ ˈseɪnt/ (say latuh day saynt) noun → Mormon …   Australian English dictionary

  • Latter-day Saint — noun Usage: often capitalized D Date: 1834 a member of any of several religious bodies tracing their origin to Joseph Smith in 1830 and accepting the Book of Mormon as divine revelation ; Mormon …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Latter-Day Saint — Joseph Smith author of The Book of Mormon …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games