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Dear Gramps,

i want to know the meaning of the word mormon.the origin and if there is prove to that.i am a missionary serving in the ghana accra mission,i was ask n could not answer so please help me out.thank you.


Dear Clemet,

The word Mormon has come to mean “more good” within the Church, but evidently this is not based on either Greek or Latin as indicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

The following statement was published in the Times and Seasons May 1843  (T&S 12:194) and credited to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

It has been stated that this word [mormon] was derived from the Greek word “mormo.” This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon…. [The] Bible in its widest sense, means good; for the Savior says according to the gospel of John, “I am the good shepherd;” and it will not be beyond the common use of terms, to say that good is among the most important in use, and though known by various names in different languages, still its meaning is the same, and is ever in opposition to “bad.” We say from the Saxon, “good”; the Dane, “god”; the Goth, “goda”; the German, “gut”; the Dutch, “goed”; the Latin, “bonus”; the Greek, “kalos”; the Hebrew, “tob”; and the Egyptian, “mon.” Hence, with the addition of “more,” or the contraction, “mor,” we have the word “mor-mon”; which means, literally, “more good.”

Official LDS historian B. H. Roberts removed the quote from his History of the Church compilation, saying he found evidence that W. W. Phelps wrote that paragraph and that it was “based on inaccurate premises and was offensively pedantic.“(inappropiate display of learning)

In his October 1990 conference talk,  President Hinckley stated  that the “more good” translation is incorrect.    He told the following story:  “More than fifty years ago, when I was a missionary in England, I said to one of my associates, ‘How can we get people, including our own members, to speak of the Church by its proper name?’  He replied, “You can’t. The word Mormon is too deeply ingrained and too easy to say.” He went on, “I’ve quit trying. While I’m thankful for the privilege of being a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the Church which bears His name, I am not ashamed of the nickname Mormon.”  “Look,” he went on to say, “if there is any name that is totally honorable in its derivation, it is the name Mormon. And so, when someone asks me about it and what it means, I quietly say—‘Mormon means more good.’ ”  Mormon means ‘more good’” is a positive motto for members of the LDS Church..His statement intrigued me—Mormon means “more good.” I knew, of course, that “more good” was not a derivative of the word Mormon. I had studied both Latin and Greek, and I knew that English is derived in some measure from those two languages and that the words more good are not a cognate of the word Mormon. But his was a positive attitude based on an interesting perception. And, as we all know, our lives are guided in large measure by our perceptions. Ever since, when I have seen the word Mormon used in the media to describe us—in a newspaper or a magazine or book or whatever—there flashes into my mind his statement, which has become my motto: Mormon means “more good.”


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