"Called by a New Name" : Mission, Identity, and the Reorganized Church
Journal of Mormon History
Salt Lake City, UT
Mormon History Association
In 2001, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints adopted the name the Church of Christ. Scherer traces the history of early name changes for the church and describes in detail the process that led to the recent name change. A history of the church's name changes can be traced from the time of Joseph Smith, Jr., until 6 April 2001, when the new name was officially announced. In 1860 Joseph Smith III "reorganized" the church and added the preface to its name in order to distinguish it from other Mormon groups while maintaining its claim as the natural heir to the church his father established. The issue of identity was likewise a primary factor in the debate that ensued in the process of selecting a final church name.The new name identifies the church with its mission to proclaim Christ and to build communities of love, joy, and hope.