The non-Latter-day Saint Dictionary

Last week, Andrea left a comment regarding a commonly-used LDS word that she didn’t know. As I considered it, I realized there are multiple phrases we Mormons use that would leave most people scratching their head in confusion. Personally, I think it is because of top-secret plan. Considering all of the persecution the church received in its early days, a separate language would be super-helpful in making sure that we can break off and form our own country should we have any other problems. I’ll have to think some more about this plan and perhaps clue you all in on the details…Hmmm. Anyway, I figure we could just have British English, American English, and Mormon English! (Does that mean all LDS students would automatically have met their second language requirement in college?)

Anyway, I am obviously too Bendict Arnold to lead this rebellion, since I’m about to clue any nonmembers in on the language, thereby enabling them to break the code and learn all our plans. But that’s okay. Hopefully, no LDS secret agent-type folks will take me out. If I disappear, though, ya’ll will know what’s happened….

So here are some commonly used, sometimes confusing LDS words that might turn up in our conversation or in our blogs:

Ward: Most folks refer to the building they meet at on Sundays as their “church”, while we instead refer to the whole denomination as “the church.” The ward, then, is where most of us meet for Sunday worship. (Does that mean a “ward of the state” would be an LDS church building dangerously crossing the line between church and state?)

Branch: Those of us who meet in much much smaller groups on Sunday call our buildings ‘branches’. As a branch member, I can attest that we are slowly growing, just like a branch on a tree. But I’m not sure we make a very good club.

Stake: A collection of several wards and branches. We all meet together twice a year for Stake Conference which, sadly, does not involve A1 sauce or grilling.

Tithing: I got called on this one by the blog editors! Did you non-LDS folks know that, for most Christians, the word ‘tithing’ does not exist? They pay ‘tithes,’ or they ‘tithe.’ Not us, we’ve evolved our own term for it! Just another sign of how we are trying to create our own language! (I can’t believe you guys got me in trouble on this one!)

Granted, this isn’t a long list. I’m struggling with my ability to fully betray us all. Don’t worry; next week, we can talk about some of the secret acronyms! In the meantime, I will just hope my water cup isn’t spiked the next time sacrament is passed.

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