Latter Day Saint Church
A Latter Day Saint (LDS) is a member of a movement which trace their origination to the teachings of Joseph Smith Jr. and the Church of Christ he started in 1830. The main denomination is now known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The first known use of the term was in 1834, shortly before the Church of Christ was informally renamed "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" to distinguish it from other "Churches of Christ" that were being established at the time.
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 LDS in order to distinguish them former day saints of the Christian church.
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 LDS."
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 that church.
Because the LDS Church is by far the largest and most well-known of the various LDS denominations, a number of churches who consider themselves LDS 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 LDS refers to itself informally as the Strangites.
Similarly, members of the Church of Christ 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 LDS denomination, changed its name from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 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. Nevertheless, the term LDS may be appropriately applied to all denominations within the LDS 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
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