Strangers and Pilgrims

Season 1 – Death of the Prophet Joseph Smith

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Starting Again & The Name of the Church

I haven’t written anything on this blog — or done anything on the podcast in a long time.

I wrote back in April 2017 that I was working on a film script, and so was temporarily stopping writing Season 2 of the podcast. I didn’t expect the film script to get bought, or have it go anywhere, and so when I wrote that last blog post in April I figured I’d have Season 2 of the podcast out in the summer. But, the script ended up doing more than I thought it would.

It got bought, and produced. In that process it went through 13 rewrites — or 13 drafts. I wrote the first 8 drafts, and did the re-writes based off the notes of the Director and Producer attached to the film. And, then the Director did the last 5 rewrites based off my and the producer’s notes. The director says that he didn’t actually do 5 rewrites, that he only did 3, and that his numbering system only make it look like he did five. But, either way.

The director, in July 2017, while we were doing rewrites raised the budget, and the film was shot in early November 2017 — there are some good actors attached to the project, I think. They did pretty good.

I would talk more about the movie, or link to it, or use people’s names associated with it — but nothing about it has been published yet. Everyone is keeping it close to the vest. And, I don’t want to be the first person to say something about it on the internet.

So, the reason that I just stopped — out of nowhere — with Season 2 of the podcast, is because I was doing rewrites on this Church history movie I wrote. The movie tells a story from the life of Joseph Smith. It isn’t the story of his death, though. It’s not based off the podcast. I do, though, have that script written already, though — a script telling the story of the death of Joseph Smith. It’s just a big budget script — probably $5 million dollars. So, in order for that movie to get made, this movie coming out in 2019 will have to do very well.

Anyway, what I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks is going back and re-recording all the first season episodes of the podcast.

In October 2018, Russell M. Nelson, the prophet and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Church Joseph Smith founded, gave a talk in General Conference titled “The Correct Name of the Church”.

In that talk, Russell M. Nelson referenced an official statement he put out regarding the proper name of the Church — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This official statement directs people to an updated style guide which says:

While the term "Mormon Church" has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use.

In his conference talk, President Nelson said:

the name of the Church is not negotiable. When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be and even precedes His declaration with, “Thus shall my church be called,” He is serious. And if we allow nicknames to be used or adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He is offended.

What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.

Since this talk in October 2018 I’ve been meaning to fix the podcast and take out all the times that I used the term “Mormon” or “Mormon Church” or “Mormonism” — but I haven’t done it. And, I was a pretty big offender — in the first episode of the podcast there were probably 70 times that I referred to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the “Mormon Church” or to its members as “Mormons”. So, I’m repenting now, and starting to get myself more in line with the teachings of the prophet.

So, over the next few weeks I will be updating every podcast episode, all the scripts, and information on the website, and on the podcasts, so that I use the appropriate, correct name of the Church and its members.