Date: October 08, 2018 02:51AM
The Church's effort to move away from the term "Mormon" is primarily an effort to minimize the ability to find negative information about the Church on the internet.
The term "Mormon" is unique to the LDS Church. There is no use of the term Mormon or LDS except as those terms are associated with the church founded by Joseph Smith. When people search those terms on the internet, negative (albeit true) information about church history and doctrine is inevitably discovered. True - the term "latter-day saints" is also somewhat unique, but those words are actual words used in many contexts. that term is not nearly as unique as the abbreviation "LDS" or the term Mormon.
By scrubbing those terms from the vernacular and requiring that the words "Jesus Christ" always be used, the Church hopes that (1) investigators will associate the Church with a more generic brand of Christianity; (2) Investigators will have a more difficult time finding anti-"Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" information; and (3) if investigators ask, "wait, are you the Mormons who (polygamy, black priesthood ban, etc.)," Missionaries will respond with, "No! People used to falsely accuse us of being Mormons, but we have never been Mormons. We have always been Christians who follow Jesus Christ."