Thursday, October 10, 2013
Some LDS Church Names, Terms Abandoned/Changed Over the Years
The organization, magazine and business names within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have changed over the years.
For example, today there is the Young Women organization. But it wasn't always so. The group started as the Young Ladies' Relief Society. It was also referred to as the Young Ladies' Retrenchment Association, the Young Ladies' National Mutual Improvement Association, the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association and the Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women — all before today's title.
Today's Primary groups — nursery, Sunbeams, CTRs and Valiants — used to have a variety of nicknames.
Here's a partial list of some of the names and abbreviations previously used in the church:
A.C.M.I. — The Arizona Co-operative Mercantile Institution, the title for a short-lived Arizona version of ZCMI.
Beacons — This was a short-lived title for 8-year-olds in the primary, starting in 1953.
Bluebirds — These were 10- and 11-year-old girls, starting in the 1926 Primary organization. Later, they were just the 10-year-olds.
Children's Friend — Original name of The Friend, a church magazine for young children, from 1902 to 1970.
Co—Pilots — This was the title for Primary 7-year-olds in 1952.
Deseret Sunday School Union — Original name of the church's Sunday School program.
Firelights — In 1960, this was the 10-year-old Primary girls.
Gaynotes — The 9-year-old Primary girls in 1959 used this title, as part of the revised Liahonas (Little Homemakers) girls program.
Junior Sunday School — A standard church program for about 50 years, starting in 1933.
Juvenile Instructor — The official publication of the church's Sunday School, from 1866 to 1930. The name was simplified to Instructor, until it ceased publication in 1970.
Improvement Era — The original name of today's Ensign magazine, from 1897 to 1970. There was also a Relief Society Magazine, from 1914 to 1970.
Larks — Primary girls, age 9, used this name in 1929.
Lihomas— This was an umbrella title for all older Primary girls in 1940.
M-Men and Gleaners — Young men and young women departments in the church's MIA program, for ages 17-23, that began in 1921.
Merrihands — Eleven-year-old girls in 1959 were called Merrihands.
Merry Misses — What 9-year-old Primary girls were once called.
Mi-kan—wees — Starting in 1929, this was the name for 12- and 13-year-old girls
Moonbeams —A past nickname for Sunbeams, the youngest Primary class.
Rainbows — A former name for 6-year-old Primary children.
Stars — What 4- and 5-year-old primary children were nicknamed.
Seagulls — Use of the name began in 1922 for 12-and 13-year-old girls. Later, the Seagulls were 11-year-old girls.
Targeteers — A past nickname for 8-year-olds in the Primary.
Trekkers — Previous name for 10-year-old Primary boys.
Vanguards — Part of the YMMIA program for boys, ages 15-16, from 1928 to 1933, until the Boy Scouts began an Explorers program and the church adopted that.
Ward teaching — Original title for today's home teaching, until 1964.
Zion's Boys and Zion's Girls — These were the 7- and 8-year-olds starting in 1928. They were also known as Zeebees and Zeegees for some 20 years.
SOURCES: www.lds.org/churchhistory; Deseret News Archives; 2008 Church Almanac; and Wikipedia.
(-Originally published in the Deseret News, Jan. 24, 2008, By Lynn Arave.)