The church’s longtime website, LDS.org, now redirects to ChurchofJesusChrist.org, and Mormon.org will soon switch over, too. In May, the church stopped posting on its @MormonChannel Instagram feed and encouraged followers to move to @ChurchofJesusChrist instead.
The church-affiliated publishing house, Deseret Book, has been phasing out or renaming titles that used the word Mormon, prompting authors to scramble to rename their books and figure out new marketing plans — ones that don’t require the use of internet search terms that are 11 syllables long.
The shift became impossible to ignore when the church’s iconic musical organization announced in October that it would no longer be known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
All of this has left adherents with a bit of whiplash, especially following the church’s 2011 “I’m a Mormon” advertising campaign, in which leaders went all in by placing ads on buses and billboards in New York’s Times Square and plastering the internet with profiles of tens of thousands of Mormons.
Some members have felt relief and a new optimism about broader inclusion in American society.
Viewing this strictly as an outsider, I see a benefit in keeping American religions as relatively distinct, rather than more coordinated. The distinctly LDS approaches to poverty and missions, might have been less likely to evolve had the Church been closer to mainstream American Protestantism in earlier times. Here is the full NYT story.