Jesus taught the Nephites to attach His name to His Church.
"And how be it my church save it be called in my name?" He asked them. "For if a church be called in Moses' name then it be Moses' church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel." (3 Nephi 27:8.)
In latter days, the Master reiterated this directive in a revelation given through Joseph Smith April 26, 1838, at Far West, Mo., to the presiding officers of the Church. (See Doctrine and Covenants 115:1-4.)
"Previous to this," wrote Elder B. H. Roberts in History of the Church, "the Church had been called 'The Church of Christ,' 'The Church of Jesus Christ,' 'The Church of God,' and by a conference of Elders held at Kirtland in May 1834, . . . it was given the name 'The Church of the Latter-day Saints.' All these names, however, were by this revelation brushed aside, and since then the official name given in this revelation has been recognized as the true title of the Church, though often spoken of as 'The Mormon Church,' the 'Church of Christ,' etc. The appropriateness of this title is self evident, and in it there is a beautiful recognition of the relationship both of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Saints to the organization."
Thus it is that on more than one occasion, Church leaders have suggested that it is best for members to refer to the Church by its full and formal title, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, rather than by the colloquial name "Mormon Church." (See, for example, "Policies and Announcements," Ensign, March 1983, p. 79.)
The wisdom of this counsel can be readily seen when it is observed that some who assume an adversarial role toward the Church and its leaders endeavor to spread the falsehood that it is not a Christian religion. It serves their purpose to remove the name of Christ from the title of His Church in everyday speech and conversation if they can.
Information distributed by the Church to news media representatives reporting on Church matters contains this guideline: "The term Mormon Church has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, but most Church members prefer not to use this as a formal title.
"The correct name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . . should be used whenever possible in referring to the Church as an institution."