Letter: Don’t run from the term ‘Mormon’

Editor:

The question has recently been raised: Is the term “Mormon” politically correct (“Keep loaded terms out of The Chrony,” Oct. 19)?

The idea of naming a certain people based on a collective belief is not a new invention, certainly not new to followers of Christ. In Acts 11:26, we read of those saints who resided in Antioch being the first to receive the name “Christian.” Perhaps this was initially done contemptuously. However, those saints accepted this to become their manner of distinction from henceforth. Was it politically correct then?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ought not to worry about the possibly derogatory euphemism that is “Mormon.” Instead, I believe we should be educating those around us on what it truly is to be “Mormon.”

I recently read an article that poignantly stated one writer’s disbelief of the LDS Church based on lack of physical evidences supporting the Book of Mormon. I’m left to infer that the writer has no faith at all, not in the “Mormon” church, nor any other. “Faith,” as Paul states in his letter to the Hebrews, “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

“The evidence of things not seen” is why I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the kingdom of God upon this Earth. A testimony of spiritual truth must come of spiritual means. God would not leave his children to rely on historical data or even physical proof as evidence of the validity of his church and kingdom. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).

I joined the LDS Church in March of 2004 and have since served a mission in the Southern states, which has been the most incredible experience of my life. There isn’t a single argument against the church that I’ve not heard, whether from my own parents or from the thousands of people I saw during my two years in Georgia. I’ve studied the issues and weighed the concerns, yet inevitably I return to that which simply feels right. I’ve gained a spiritual witness of the church’s truthfulness not by examining physical evidence or relying on man’s wisdom, but by truly humbling myself and seeking God.

I know this is difficult for some, to believe when you cannot see. However, I testify that if you will blindly follow the savior of mankind, he will heal your eyes that you may see clearly the truth of his restored latter-day church. In doing so, you will face opposition and will be labeled as many things. However, whether I’m called “Mormon” or worse, I will never forget that I’ve taken upon me the name that counts, the name of Christ and what it means to have real faith.

Christian BaldreeJunior, School of BusinessUniversity of California, Sacramento