By Kent Larsen
LDS Church Objects to News Stories Calling Tom Green 'Mormon'
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
again told news media that the terms "Mormon fundamentalist" and "Mormon
splinter group" are inaccurate and asked that they not be used. The Church
registered its objections, its second to these term in less than a year, in
a press release issued last Wednesday. The release came amidst media
attention to the trial of polygamist Tom Green, who has been widely
characterized in the media as a "Mormon fundamentalist."
In making its objection, the Church pointed to the Associated Press
Stylebook which says that the term Mormon should be applied exclusively to
the Church and its members. The press release goes on to say that referring
to polygamists as "Mormon" is inaccurate because they "are not dissident
wings of the Church" and "have no affiliation whatsoever with The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
The most recent release comes just three months after the Church asked the
news media to stop referring to it as the "Mormon Church." Instead, the
Church asked that it be called by its full name, or by the shortened
version, "The Church of Jesus Christ." That request suggested that Church
members could be called "Mormons" but that the Church should not be called
by that name.
The Church made basically the same objection last September, after an
Associated Press story on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City,
Arizona. At that time, Mormon News observed that the Associated Press story
was widely distributed, with 10 of the 24 versions of the story using the
word 'Mormon' in its title. In the current round of stories, only the
Washington Times, and a number of newspapers outside the US and Canada,
called Green Mormon in the titles used on their articles. However, in many
of the articles Green makes clear that he calls himself a "fundamentalist
Mormon," and the articles frequently refer to the Church as the "Mormon
Use of Term "Mormon" in Recent News Coverage of Polygamist Issues
LDS Church Press Release 17May01 N1
LDS Church Wants to be Called 'Church of Jesus Christ'
LDS Church Objects to Media Calling Polygamists 'Mormon'