Mormonism and Latter-day Saints

The term "Mormonism" has historically been used to refer to the culture and teachings of:

  1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  2. The broader religious movement founded by Joseph Smith, which includes the Church as well as several offshoots.

Referencing the Church

In recent years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has moved away from having the term "Mormonism" refer to the culture and teachings of the Church. The Church's style guide, updated in 2018, states:

The term "Mormonism" is inaccurate and should not be used. When describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the term "the restored gospel of Jesus Christ" is accurate and preferred.[1]

Referencing the Broader Religious Movement

The term "Mormonism" (and the related term "Mormons") has also been used to refer to the broader culture and teachings of the religious movement founded by Joseph Smith.[2] For example, the History Channel's website (History.com) states:

Mormons are a religious group that embrace concepts of Christianity as well as revelations made by their founder, Joseph Smith. They primarily belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has more than 16 million members worldwide. Another Mormon denomination, the Community of Christ, is centered in Independence, Missouri, and has about 250,000 members.[3]

Notes

  1. "Style Guide — The Name of the Church"
  2. See, for example, Steven Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration (Fourth ed.), (Independence, Missouri: Restoration Research 1990).
  3. "Mormons", History.com, retrieved 7 November 2021.