The History of the Name of the Savior’s Church: A Collaborative and Revelatory Process

Journal 58:3 (2019)
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The History of the Name of the Savior’s Church: A Collaborative and Revelatory Process

Author K. Shane Goodwin

Since its founding in 1830, the Church has had three official names (not including the fine-tuning of punctuation that came with the final refinement). Initially, it was the “Church of Christ,” then “The Church of the Latter Day Saints,” and then—as with so many other aspects of the Restoration—a line- upon-line process led to the name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” This article charts the refining process by presenting a timeline of the Church’s official and unofficial names and explores the nature of human and divine collaboration along the way. In addition to divine revelation, we also see in the construction of the name of our faith the imprints of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, and others.