Why do we use first initials for LDS leaders who otherwise use their middle names? M. Russell, L. Tom, D. Todd, L. Whitney — we all know who these people are. What is the reason for continued usage of first initials, rather than simply saying “Russell Ballard” or “Todd Christopherson”? This seems to be a peculiarly Mormon tic. Granted, there are a few famous non-Mormons who have used similar nomenclature — F. Scott Fitzgerald, for one; L. Ron Hubbard, for another. But the majority of famous middle-name users simply omit the first initial. Who ever heard of T. Woodrow Wilson or J. Paul McCartney or T. Sean Connery? (Thanks for the examples, Wikipedia.)
When did Mormons get in the habit of keeping and prominently using the first initial, and why? Does anyone know?