LDS Family Services

A mother embraces her adopted children, wondering which service helped her obtain them.

Our noble quest to remove anything “Mormon”-related continues, and now we’re getting deeper into the apparatus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, renaming such altruistic endeavors as LDS Charities and LDS Family Services.

In an update to the article that has now become a Tumblr roll of announcements related to the cause, the Church explained that LDS Charities will now be named Latter-day Saint Charities while LDS Family Services will be, for some reason, just Family Services.

Alright, the charity wing rename makes sense. It’s longer, but it’s getting away from “LDS” and just spelling stuff out. Nothing more to say on that front.

So why on earth is Family Services not just called “Latter-day Saint Family Services”? Apparently the Church thinks this is the Family Services™ of… the whole world? Failing to distinguish our own church’s Family Services from the similar organizations of other faiths is, frankly, baffling. It’s as if your high school just dropped the location or other identifier and changed its name to “High School” while smugly expecting everyone else to understand. I can’t wait for that great rivalry of High School vs High School!

For good measure, let’s take a quick glance at related services from across the religious realm:

  • Lutheran Family Services
  • United Methodist Family Services
  • Catholic Family Services
  • Muslim Family Services

But no, we have no need to be Latter-day Saint Family Services. Our family services trump all others. We need no identifier! None!

This exciting news comes five years after LDS Family Services ceased functioning as a full-service adoption agency and embraced a new business model centered around counseling services for birth and adoptive parents. Some argued this was a preemptive move as the Church forecasted the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, and such a change in law would have complicated the Church’s ability to provide adoption services if it wished to deny those services to same-sex couples. Catholic Charities has faced a similar issue.

Apparently since we decide to hemorrhage good SEO in the past year, we’re just throwing in the towel completely on Family Services. Indeed, a quick Google search of the term yields absolutely nothing Latter-day Saint-related.

Now that lds.org is no more, the Tabernacle Choir is absolved itself of “Mormon” in its name, and President Nelson has dissuaded us from even calling ourselves “Mormons,” it seems there are few frontiers left to cross in this effort. Mormon Helping Hands still yields search results, but it was quietly renamed to—you guessed it—Helping Hands.

In this spirit, I propose we ditch the identifier on everything. We believe in the Bible and in the Book. At Welfare Square you can learn about the great work of Charities. Heck, we should even lobby state governments to change place names. Arizona’s Mormon Lake will, from this point on, be called “Lake” and history books will refer to that little sojourn along the Platte River as simply “The Trail.”

The only one we can’t clean up in such a way is, ironically, the Church’s full name. We don’t own the copyright for “The Church of Jesus Christ.” That honor belongs to Alice Cooper’s people.