Question: What names did the Church go by prior to the revelation which established the correct one?

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Question: What names did the Church go by prior to the revelation which established the correct one?

The Church was referred to as "The Church of Christ," "The Church of Jesus Christ," "The Church of God," and "The Church of the Latter-day Saints"

B.H. Roberts, in a note on pages 23 and 24 of the History of the Church, Volume III, stated:

It will be observed that in verses three and four of this revelation the Lord gives to the Church its official name, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Previous to this the Church had been called "The Church of Christ," "The Church of Jesus Christ," "The Church of God," and by a conference of Elders held at Kirtland in May, 1834, (see Church History, vol. 2, pp. 62-3), it was given the name "The Church of the Latter-day Saints." All these names, however, were by this revelation brushed aside, and since then the official name given in this revelation has been recognized as the true title of the Church, though often spoken of as "The Mormon Church," the "Church of Christ," etc. The appropriateness of this title is self evident, and in it there is a beautiful recognition of the relationship both of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Saints to the organization.

The words "Church of Jesus Christ" are obvious references to the Savior and His Church. The addition of "Latter-day" highlights the Church's belief that it is not a new organization of Christians, but a restoration of Christians in the "Latter-days," or the days prior to Christ's return.

The label "Saints" identifies the members as those who are—or aspire to be—Saints. "Saint" comes from the Latin sanctus, meaning "holy." The Saints are those who have been made holy through the grace and blood of Jesus Christ.

Thus, the name of the Church emphasizes its links to Christ and His Church of former times in multiple ways.

Some critics try to impose inerrantist ideas on the Church—they act as if such things as official names and procedures can never change. But, the Latter-day Saints have never held such ideas—they believe that God gives a fair amount of leeway to His children as they seek to learn and do His will. And, they remain confident that God will speak by revelation when necessary to ensure that His Church will not stray from His intentions.

Notes