After a two-month hiatus, I returned to blogging and social media. Seemed simple enough. I figured that taking some time off would uncomplicated things a little…
Not so fast.
On Thursday I received a flurry of unexpected emails, messages, texts and blog comments, all asking the same question:
“What are you going to do?”
I had no idea what they were talking about, but quickly found out: President Nelson issued a statement that very well could have called me our by name:
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. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.(link)
It was further detailed in a style guide published on (ironically titled) MormonNewsroom.com. The gist of it is that the Prophet asked everyone to stop calling people Mormons, stop calling the Church the “Mormon” Church, and to stop calling it the LDS Church. He asked us to stick with the full name of the Church, or shorten it to “The Church,” or “The Restored Church of Jesus Christ.” Even more so, he asked us to quit calling ourselves Mormons.
Now, to a lot of people, this might not even merit a raised eyebrow. To me, it has a significant ripple effect. I have been parading around as MIddleaged MORMON Man for almost 8 years. I have published two books with that name on the cover, run a blog with “Mormon” in the title for over 1200 posts, done interviews and guest posts, etc. There are thousands of links from all over the internet pointing at my blog. The intricacies and interweavings are amazing. (I can’t even get my head around what www.LDS.org web designers have ahead of them.)
Branding is a LOT of work. Rebranding is even more. For me, it is a matter of reconciling the past 8 years, but for the Church, it will be gargantuan task of rebranding an organization that has been around for close to 200 years. (My task suddenly looks easier!)
Yes, we went through this before a few years back, and it didn’t stick. Then we doubled down using the term “Mormon” everywhere you looked. Now it is time to try again.
Why? Simple: Because the Prophet asked us to.
I was so impressed to see some already transition away from using the terms Mormon or LDS. Others, like me, are taking a slower approach, while some are busy arguing that it “just won’t work, so why even bother.”
I don’t know if it is going to work or not. Does that matter? Nope.
Either we are going to try and follow President Nelson’s counsel…or we are not.
THE NEXT STEP FOR ME
I dunno! I need to figure out what to do, and how to go about doing it. I willingly admit that I am not thrilled about it. Does it matter? Nope.
So, I throw open the doors for your suggestions. What do you think I should do? I am sure that some of you will just goof on the fact that I am getting old, but some of you will actually offer substantive ideas for the transition. I would love to hear from the latter.
If I like your idea, and end up using it, I will send you a signed copy of my latest book.
In the meantime, I am going to acknowledge the need for change, begin making the transition, and watch. Either way, I hear the death rattle of MMM as we know it.
I plan on looking to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, LDS.org, the LDS Business College and other institutions to glean ideas on how to go about it.
Forgive me for not having made the transition yet. It is coming. I am trying to figure out how to best be obedient right now.
The times they are a changing…
Let me now what you think!