Latter Day Saints church leader rejects 'Mormon' label

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Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is based in Salt Lake City, Utah

People should no longer use the word "Mormon" to characterise the faith, the head of the Utah-based church has said.

Church leader Russell Nelson urged both followers and non-followers to stick to the official designation "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

Mr Nelson, 93, said the move had been prompted by God, who "impressed upon my mind the importance of the name".

However, he added, the central text of the Church would still be called the Book of Mormon.

The church's updated online guide says the terms "Mormon Church", "Mormons" and "Mormonism" are no longer acceptable.

It also bans the abbreviation "LDS" as shorthand for the faith.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Russell Nelson had headed the church since January this year

Among the faith's followers is 2012 US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.