Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Need of a Name

Thomas Jefferson wrote that Paul of Tarsus was "the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."

By his teachings, Paul has pervaded and forever stained the title of Christian, such that I do not feel inclined to adopt it.  Jesus was certainly not a Christian, for he was an observant Jew.

Just as Paul poisoned the term Christian, so has The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints poisoned, to a large extent, the terms "Latter-day Saint" and "Mormon" in both the popular view and that of the religiously informed.

I am a little bit Jew, a little bit Christian and a little bit Mormon, but I do not feel entirely comfortable using any of these titles plainly to speak of my faith.  Yet, I want to share.  I want to be counted.  There is need for a name in this, not because the name itself is so important, for Mormonism must seem to be a nonsense word to anyone unfamiliar with the book from whence the name is derived, and its etymological roots are even unknown to those who are most acquainted with it.  My people need a name, so that they may be called out.  There is a usefulness in having a name.

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