SALT LAKE CITY (KLIX) – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will now be known by a different name.

In an effort to steer away from the term “Mormon” when describing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church said it is changing the name of its famous choir to “The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.”

Mormon Leadership Conference
George Frey, Getty Images

The Choir, which is known across the globe for its music, is heard weekly on the Music & the Spoken Word program. The Church said while the Choir will go by a new name, the music and its mission will be the same.

“A new name for the Tabernacle Choir will represent a change after so many years,” Ron Jarrett, president of the Choir said in a statement announcing the name change. “But we are focused on what will not change: the world-class musicianship, the inspiring arrangements and programming, and our weekly Music & the Spoken Word broadcast continuing a tradition begun 90 years ago!”

President Russell M. Nelson, the presiding leader of the more than 16 million-member worldwide church, explained that the Church’s effort to get away from the use of the word “Mormon” when referring to the faith is to correct more than a century of tradition.

“We know that it's going to be a challenge to undo tradition of more than a hundred years,” he said on Aug. 18 in Montreal. “The Lord has told us what His Church shall be called [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]. So, we're not changing names, we're correcting a name.”

The name “Mormon” comes from the Book of Mormon, which was named after the principal prophet and record-keeper of the scripture. Nelson later told members of the media:

“We have to be careful to protect the name ‘Mormon.’ The media will think that we are tossing it out. We aren't. We just want to be accurate. Mormon was a man. He was a prophet. He was a writer, a record keeper. We honor him and treasure the book that bears his name. We're talking about the name of the Church.”

Church leaders have hinted that other name changes will likely occur where the name “Mormon” is currently used to describe the religion.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said "this is going to be an extended, multi‑year effort, but this will not be something that will be attempted and then pulled back on.”

The Church said including “Temple Square” in the Tabernacle’s new name reflects the historic setting of the Choir’s home base at the Tabernacle in downtown Salt Lake City, where it has performed since 1867.

The Tabernacle Choir has won a number of awards over the years, including one Grammy Award, four Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Radio Hall of Fame, and the Classical Music Hall of fame.

The new name will not affect the Choir’s music or its popular Music & the Spoken Word.

“The name may change, but everything that people know and love about the Choir will not only be the same but will get better and better,” Jarrett said.

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