Thou shalt Morm no mo’. That’s the new message coming out of the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is, once again, trying to drop the “Mormon” moniker when referring to all things Latter-day Saints.

The Mormon (err Latter-day Saint?) Newsroom published remarks by Church president Russell M. Nelson explaining some of the new changes:

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.

First off, President Nelson clearly loves the dramatic moves and the big teases. We still don’t know all the details about new manuals for youth and Primary, but we know they are coming! Ministering is the new Home Teaching. Temples in Russia. The list goes on.

What differs here from previous attempts to use the Church’s proper name is President Nelson’s statement that the Lord “has impressed” upon his mind, hinting at straight revelation, not just PR politics.

While we don’t know many details about what will change, we have a bit more to go on based on the Newsroom’s updated style guide section.

Here are the guidelines as currently constituted:

  • In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
  • When a shortened reference is needed, the terms “the Church” or the “Church of Jesus Christ” are encouraged. The “restored Church of Jesus Christ” is also accurate and encouraged.
  • While the term “Mormon Church” has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use. Thus, please avoid using the abbreviation “LDS” or the nickname “Mormon” as substitutes for the name of the Church, as in “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church,” or “Church of the Latter-day Saints.”
  • When referring to Church members, the terms “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” or “Latter-day Saints” are preferred. We ask that the term “Mormons” not be used.
  • “Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon or when used as an adjective in such historical expressions as “Mormon Trail.”
  • The term “Mormonism” is inaccurate and should not be used. When describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the term “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ” is accurate and preferred.
  • When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, it should be stated that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not affiliated with polygamous groups.

And here are the guidelines as of last week:

  • In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
  • Please avoid the use of “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints.”
  • When a shortened reference is needed, the terms “the Church” or “the Church of Jesus Christ” are encouraged.
  • When referring to Church members, the term “Latter-day Saints” is preferred, though “Mormons” is acceptable
  • “Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon, Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Mormon Trail, or when used as an adjective in such expressions as “Mormon pioneers.”
  • The term “Mormonism” is acceptable in describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, the terms “Mormons,” “Mormon fundamentalist,” “Mormon dissidents,” etc. are incorrect. The Associated Press Stylebook notes: “The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other … churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith’s death.”
  • See a list of hashtags the Church uses on its social media channels.

Alright, I’m not a copy editing and AP expert, but our resident grammarian Rob Trishman is, and you should check out his post analyzing the style guide suggestions in painstaking detail. However, let’s do a quick rundown of the differences at play.

Salt Lake wants journalists to refer to the Church in second instances as “the restored Church of Christ” as shorthand for “church” et al. This will never happen. Ever. Except at the Deseret News.

“LDS” and “Mormon” are out. SEO be darned. “The people will come to us!” we say.

Also, we are no longer Mormons, apparently. We’re all ex-Mormons! “Hey, what religion are you?” “I’m a Latter-day Saint.” “What on earth is that?” “A Mormon, but we don’t go by that anymore.” “Why not?” Situation to explain everything about the Church manifests itself and conversion is assured. This is glorious.

“Mormonism” is out, too. While the other “encouragements” are a variation on previous themes, this change is the most overt, as recent guidelines said that “Mormonism” was a perfectly acceptable way to describe the lifestyle, values, doctrine, and culture of Latter-day Saints.

In addition, eschewing the term “Mormonism” does in some ways fly in the face of the Church’s latter-day founder, who had no qualms with the term:

“Mormonism is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ; of which I myself am not ashamed.”

-Joseph Smith

The Church previously referred journalists to the AP Style Guide when it came to Mormon offshoots, but now it straight up tells news outlets to go out of their way to explain the distinction. No complaint here.

If you’d like to read a terrific breakdown of all things Mormon from a trademark perspective, check out our friend Carolyn Homer’s terrific article at By Common Consent. It demonstrates the digital dangers at play by abandoning “Mormon.”

Naturally, it remains to be seen what will come of the Church’s various Mormon-related properties—Mormon.org, #ImAMormon, Mormon Channel, Mormon Messages, Mormon and Gay, Mormon Helping Hands, etc.—but this represents a fundamental, if clunky shift into propriety.

Also, we hereby change the name of TWiM to This Week in Members of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of the Restoration.