This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
For the past year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in a mighty battle over rightful ownership of its name with Canadian polygamist Winston Blackmore.
This week, the Utah-based faith won.
Blackmore agreed to give up the names "Mormon," according to Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham, "and any variation of the name 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.' "
This is the latest skirmish in a war over who is truly a "Mormon" that has been going on for more than a century and it remains a point on contention with Utah's own polygamists, who are part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints FLDS).
LDS officials frequently complain when journalists use the term "Mormon fundamentalist" to describe FLDS members, while FLDS adherents see themselves as "Mormon" because they share a belief in church founder Joseph Smith, the faith's signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, and many long-standing religious practices.
The main difference is, of course, polygamy, which the LDS Church gave up more than a century ago.
Blackmore, whose ancestors continued marrying multiple wives after the LDS Church stopped endorsing it, registered the name, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Inc." in British Columbia in 2010, Bramham writes, but LDS officials "didn't notice until last year when it went to register the name in Canada."
On Monday, the British Columbia Supreme Court "issued an order prohibiting Blackmore and his followers from using the name 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Inc.' or any similar names," she writes, "known in court-speak as 'any other colourable imitation thereof.' "
The LDS Church is "pleased with the court's decision," spokesman Eric Hawkins said Wednesday, "which protects the interests of the church and helps reduce confusion."
The order bans, Bramham writes, any actions that would "cause confusion between Blackmore's group and the LDS or in any way [suggest] that there is an association between the two groups."
It also bars Blackmore and his followers from "questioning, attacking, challenging, [and] contesting the validity of, and objecting to, opposing or otherwise impugning or interfering in any way, including by way of legal proceedings of any nature," she writes, "with the Utah-based church's use of its trademarked names."
Finally giving up the fight, Blackmore has agreed to change his group's corporate name to "the Church of Jesus Christ (Original Doctrine) Inc.
Apparently, that is different enough.
Peggy Fletcher Stack