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Associated Press updates style guide on references to church, Latter-day Saints, term 'Mormon'

SALT LAKE CITY — The Associated Press has updated its style on references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“We are changing our style on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church in 2018 began moving away from the widely recognized terms Mormon church and LDS church, and now prefers that its full name be used and that members be referred to as Latter-day Saints,” the AP Stylebook account tweeted.

The stylebook's Twitter account recommended the following guidelines for newsrooms and writers who follow AP style:

  • Use the full name of the church on first reference.
  • For second references, use phrases such as "the church," "church members," "members of the faith" (without quote marks).
  • "Mormon," "Mormons" and "Latter-day Saints" are acceptable only “when necessary for space or clarity or in quotations or proper name,” according to the AP.
  • The AP recommends including a short explanation about the church when mentioning its full name. The account explains, “The term Mormon is based on the church's sacred Book of Mormon and remains in common use by members of the faith.”

Flashback: The church updated its guidelines back in August 2018 with a style guide that said, "Please avoid using the abbreviation 'LDS' or the nickname 'Mormon' as substitutes for the name of the Church, as in 'Mormon Church,' 'LDS Church,' or 'Church of the Latter-day Saints.'"

Earlier this week, the First Presidency announced changes to, and other communication channels.