On Thursday, March 14, 2019 I recorded an insight I had about a recent pronouncement by the President of my church. He had asked that we use the official name of the church, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” rather than a nickname used for years or an acronym often used. (See “The Correct Name of the Church” By President Russell M. Nelson, October 2018 General Conference.)
This week in reviewing one of President Nelson’s addresses this last April, I thought to post those impressions as he mentioned this matter again.
In March 2019, one of my daughters sent me a quote from a small on-line merchant selling materials for church member’s use.
“OUR COMMITMENT TO BE IN HARMONY WITH THE REVEALED NAME OF THE CHURCH:
“On August 16th, 2018 President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding the name of the Church.
The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will.“The Name of the Church” 16 August 2018 Official Statement
“The Church has since released guidelines stating the use of [a historical nickname or the acronym] as a substitute for the name of the the church should be avoided…
“The Nauvoo Gallery has been working to put our website and our gallery store in Nauvoo, Illinois in harmony with this important revelation. It’s been customary for websites like ours to use [these various] terms…when describing our products for Google and other search engines. Our intention has been to help people find what has been termed as LDS products & LDS Gifts. It took many many months to build and add products to this website using those relevant and popular search terms – please bear with us as it may take a few months still to find each instance where we can better be in harmony with President Nelson’s message. Thank you for your patience and your kindness during this process.” (Temple House Gallery website)
As I listened to President Nelson’s talk again on a walk that day, and reflected upon this message, I came to understand the far reaching impact of this directive. I felt impressed to write the following to the owner of the store:
“My daughter recently pointed me to your statement on your website about your commitment to follow President Nelson’s directive on the church name very clearly. I wanted to complement you on that, and share with you an insight you generated within me because of it.
“In listening to President Nelson’s General Conference talk yesterday, I realized how brilliant the Savior’s work in this matter is. Your statement highlights that the effort to change the required elements online is significant. I realized that only those committed to President Nelson’s calling as prophet will undertake such an effort.
“The detractors of the church will (1) never wish to use the full name of the church, because it often works against their message about the church, and (2) will never undertake the effort to change their substantial on-line materials simply because of the effort required.
“In one instant, the Lord, through his prophet, has created a clear line separating his work from that of the detractors. In a moment, all their materials are cut off from the Lord’s work. The meaning of this verse from D&C 6:2 is much clearer to me:
Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words.Doctrine and Covenants 6:2
“Further, the Lord’s wisdom in using appropriate strategy became clear to me (see Alma 43:30) Only the Lord, who knew how the internet would develop, could foresee thirty years down the road how allowing official use of [the nickname and the acronym] for a time would entice the detractors to embed those into their materials, effectively pouring cement around their own ankles preventing them from changing when the Lord decided to make his move.
“I complement you on your commitment to follow the Prophet’s directive.
“When my daughter shared your statement with me, I immediately commented that I am sure at some future day, you will look back at the results of that work, and there will be a miracle that has occurred because of it.
“Keep up the good work.”
I also texted my daughter the following summary:
“I listened to Pres. Nelson GC talk on the name of the church yesterday, and realized how brilliant the entire thing is. The quote you gave from that small store in Nauvoo highlights that (1) only members will go to the effort to change their web pages, (2) detractors will never want to list the actual name of the church, preferring instead to use something without the Savior’s name in it to degrade it, (3) they will never go to the effort to do what that store is doing, (4) so in one instant the church is separated from all the marginal material on the internet about it.
“Only the Lord would know that not drawing a clear line 30 years ago on this point, allowing things like [the nickname and acronym] to initially develop, would set in place the foundations of the detractors in such a way that when he decided to make it all clear, they would be stuck with the weight of all they had created.”
There is a clear line developing which will separate truthful statements about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the untruths published about it for decades.
And note that nickname for the church does not appear in this post. I’m grateful to have it classed by search engines with websites dedicated to truth, rather than those dedicated to something else.
I hope that idea is encouraging to anyone working–in some cases working hard–to have their materials similarly classified.