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So, what would Jesus drive?

Certainly not a Mercedes-Benz. Not if the Mormon church gets its way.

The luxury automaker wants to rename a Sandy Springs, Ga., street for itself — which could force a new address on its neighbor, the LDS Church's Atlanta Temple.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has indicated it will oppose the move, which would rename Barfield Road to Mercedes-Benz Drive, when the proposal comes before the City Council on March 7.

Atlanta-based LDS spokesman Bill Maycock told the Reporter Newspapers that the Utah-based faith doesn't feel right about having to, in essence, advertise the high-end automobiles in a future change of address.

"The Mercedes-Benz brand is known for prestige and luxury and class status and all that sort of thing," Maycock said. "In the Atlanta Georgia Temple of the church, we don't do any of that. … It's not what the Atlanta Temple is. It's not what the Atlanta Temple teaches its members."

Inside LDS temples, devout Mormons, whether rich or poor, don similar white clothing partly to enhance "a sense of unity and equality," the church explains on its website. There, members participate in their faith's most sacred rites, including eternal marriages.

Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland said company representatives have met with Mormon officials about the issue, but the automaker intends to drive on with its proposal.

Mercedes-Benz, which is relocating from New Jersey to Sandy Springs, has a long-standing tradition of renaming streets around its facilities.

The Atlanta Temple campus is next door to the planned new Mercedes-Benz USA headquarters site.

Bob Mims