THE MORMON CURTAIN
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CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM
A satirical look at Mormon Doctrine by Runtu. "I thought maybe I'd help the outside press get a better understanding of Mormonism by defining common terms."
READER'S NOTE: This is satire!
| I thought maybe I'd help the outside press get a better understanding of Mormonism by defining common terms.
Aaronic Priesthood: The power and authority for young boys to pass out bread and water, collect money for the church, and sit together telling fart jokes in sacrament meeting.
Abinadi: Stock martyr character in the Book of Mormon who was burned at the stake. For some reason, this name has not caught on among Mormons.
Abominable Church: See Church of the Devil. Any organization that fights against the true church, specifically the Catholic Church, the Democratic Party, and Oprah's Book Club.
Abraham: Ancient prophet who made great covenants with God and would have killed his son if an angel hadn't made a timely intervention. Revealed such mysteries of God as the origin of black people, advanced astronomy, and how to turn Egyptian hieroglyphs into Kolob and enish-go-on-doshling.
Accountability, Age of: The age (8) at which a child is now ready to make informed decisions and promises about how they will live their lives.
Adam: First man on earth and star of the endowment ceremony. Also the God of this world, the Father of Jehovah, and the only God with which we have anything to do.
Adam-Ondi-Ahman: Empty field in Missouri where Adam will return to bless his children.
Adultery: Having sexual relations with someone who is not your wife. (Note: does not apply if your name is Joseph Smith.)
Agency: Freedom to choose good or evil, such as wearing sleeveless dresses or having two earrings in one ear.
Alcohol: A pernicious substance invented to enslave humanity and which God prohibits. (Note: does not apply if your name is Joseph Smith.)
Alma the Younger: Book of Mormon knockoff of Paul, only more successful.
Alms: Money given to the LDS church to care for the poor. Should not be confused with volunteering at homeless shelters or giving food or money to beggars.
Amen: A word expressing gratitude that the talk is over.
Ammon: Nephite who ministered to the Lamanites, which was a disarming experience.
Angels: Messengers from God. Can be distinguished from demons by asking them to shake hands or tell you who won the 1943 World Series.
Antichrist: Anyone who opposes Christ or passes a healthcare bill including an individual mandate.
Apostasy: When other churches change their beliefs or practices. See Continuing Revelation for the Lord's pattern of change.
Apostate: A knowledgeable church member who does not keep his or her views a secret.
Apostle: In ancient times, a witness of Christ; in modern times, a bureaucrat who dissembles in BBC interviews.
Ark: The sailing vessel Noah built to preserve all animals from the Great Flood; according to apologists, this is not to be taken literally.
Armageddon: The final battle when the faithful will battle the forces of darkness arrayed against them: the United Nations, Planned Parenthood, and the Girl Scouts.
Articles of Faith: Thirteen points of LDS belief that are so important that all children must memorize them before age 12 and forget most of them by age 13. These also appear on missionary cards sold in the BYU Bookstore.
Ask, Asking: The act of praying for confirmation of what you already believe.
Atonement: Jesus' suffering for all sins, except for apostasy and any other sins that require the blood of the sinner to be shed. (Note: Jesus' suffering is not valid atonement until we have suffered excruciating and lasting pain; see also The Miracle of Forgiveness.)
Authority: Power given to young boys, missionaries, church leaders, and high-level bureaucrats to act in the name of God. Not available to women, non-Mormons, and apostates.
| I thought maybe I'd help the outside press get a better understanding of Mormonism by defining common terms.
Babel: The location from which all languages came when God was angry with the people for trying to build a tower to heaven. Only Jared and his family were spared, and they were blessed to travel for a year in crowded, suffocating semisubmersible barges with their animals so that they could later be destroyed.
Balaam: An ancient prophet whose life was saved by a talking ass. (Note: the ass bears only superficial resemblance to some General Authorities.)
Baptism: A ritual cleansing in which the subject is immersed in water and thus symbolically washed of his or her sins. It is important to note that Jesus cannot forgive anyone's sins unless they've had the right baptism by the right authority (sorry, Catholics and Protestants). Is considered a status symbol in many missions, where baptism may also be referred to as "dunking" or "bapping."
Barley: A grain used to make "mild drinks" such as beer, which are approved of God. Oh, wait.
Bear: What God sends when you piss off a prophet. Also can refer to erroneous teachings about Satan from sectarian ministers.
Beard: In Old Testament times, a sign of piety; trimming of beards was considered a mark of idolatry. Modern prophets have declared that beards are not appropriate for righteous priesthood holders and should be PhotoShopped out of church publications and university catalogs. May also refer to Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith's wife.
Beatitudes: Blessings Jesus pronounced for certain pious behaviors and traits. Joseph Smith revised them twice before he got them right. These traits have been rendered obsolete by the For the Strength of Youth pamphlets.
Beelzebub: Satan or anything Satanic, such as chai lattes or Harry Potter books.
Bible: The word of God corrupted by apostate and careless scribes. The Book of Mormon was brought forth to testify that the Bible is true.
Bishop: A judge in Israel, which generally means someone who conducts meetings and asks adults and children inappropriate questions about sex behind closed doors.
Blasphemy: Denying God, expressing belief in organic evolution, or questioning the propriety of building a multibillion-dollar mall.
Book of Mormon: The most correct book on earth; we know this because it has been revised and corrected dozens of times. It was translated from golden plates that Joseph received from an angel. After receiving the plates, Joseph didn't actually use them in his translation process; instead, he placed a stone in a hat and put his face into the hat, a technique he had mastered when seeking buried treasure and lost horses.
Brethren: A generic term for those whom the Lord has called to be General Authorities in the church. It must always be spoken with reverence, unless of course a leader is referring to the lower rungs of the priesthood.
Bride: A woman who is lawfully wedded to her husband. (Note: does not apply if your husband's name is Joseph Smith.)
Brigham Young University: A place where Mormon high school graduates learn information that reinforces their beliefs and prepares them to serve missions and marry other BYU students in the temple. Once referred to as "the Harvard of the West," most people just call it "the Y" when they've stopped laughing. May have detrimental effects if listed on a resume.
| I thought maybe I'd help the outside press get a better understanding of Mormonism by defining common terms.
Cain: The first murderer, and progenitor of a race of those cursed with black skin and prohibited from holding the priesthood (see Canaanites). Also known as Master Mahan. A modern apostle described meeting Cain as follows: “He walked along beside me for about two miles. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark.” This account was confirmed by prophet Spencer W. Kimball in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, which gave rise to speculation that Cain is Bigfoot.
Calling: Any formal assignment from a church leader. Considered to be inspired of God, whether or not you were the first choice or the bishop actually gave it more of a moment’s thought. May often be used as a means of keeping people at their meetings: for example, a less-active member might be asked to hand out programs or ring the bell between meetings. This is effective only if the less-active member is afraid to say no.
Calling and Election Made Sure: To have one’s exaltation in the highest kingdom of heaven sealed irrevocably, meaning that you now have a green light to commit any sin you wish, and it’s covered; you’re still going to the celestial kingdom. Generally, to have one’s CAEMS, one must be invited to a special temple ordinance referred to as the second anointing or second endowment. These ordinances used to be fairly commonplace, but in recent times they have been reserved only for multibillionaires, select General Authorities, and a software developer from Cedar City whose hobby is Book of Abraham apologetics.
Calvary: The place where Jesus was crucified. Erroneously believed by other Christians to be where Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world, whereas it was just the encore after the main even in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Canaanite: Person of African descent cursed with dark skin (see Moses 7:8). Not to be confused with the alleged dwellers of the land of Canaan.
Carnal: Usually refers to sexual intercourse, but when Melissa Lott Willes affirmed that she had “carnal relations” with Joseph Smith, she meant in the sense of “chaste and platonic friendship.”
Carthage Jail: The place where Joseph Smith willingly gave his life after he ran out of bullets and the Masonic Distress sign failed.
Celestial Kingdom: The highest level of heaven where the righteous dwell on “a globe a globe like a sea of glass and fire” (DandC 130:7) in the presence of God. Only heterosexual couples married in LDS temples will be admitted; since 1978, it is open to black people, and they don’t even have to be servants.
Celibacy: An abominable practice of apostate Christianity, almost as evil as masturbation.
Chaldea: The land south and east of Babylon. Also named by Abraham centuries before it existed.
Chariot: A wheel-less platform or litter bearing the king and miniature ceremonial animals. Not an anachronism in the Book of Mormon.
Charity: The pure love of Christ, the highest form of love possible. Needless to say, homosexuals cannot feel this kind of love.
Chastity: Abstinence from sexual activities before marriage and complete sexual fidelity in marriage. (Note: Does not apply if your name is Joseph Smith.)
Child of God: The enlightened teaching that humans are descendants of God who, if they don’t have faith and obey, will be sent to a lower kingdom forever.
Choice: A pernicious euphemism for abortion.
Chosen: The humbling notion that you have been saved and selected to be born Caucasian, Mormon, and American.
Christ: The only person who ever lived who was better than Joseph Smith.
Christians: Worldly apostates who have corrupted the word of God (usually prefaced with “so-called”). When in public, Mormons use this word to show that they are just like every other church.
Church: The formal organization of believers directed by the priesthood by revelation from God, as well as the religious subsidiary of a multinational corporation.
Church of Christ: The formal name of the LDS church given by revelation in 1830.
Church of God: The formal name of the LDS church in the early 1830s.
Church of the Latter Day Saints: The formal name of the LDS church given by revelation in 1834.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The formal name of the LDS church given by revelation in 1838. Apparently, God finally found a name He liked.
Church, Signs of the True: Sound and unchangeable doctrine, such as the eternal truth that there are two–I mean, three members of the Godhead. Continuing revelation, especially when it is needed to contradict an earlier revelation. Moral absolutes, unless God gives you “special revelation” (hat tip to Nancy Rigdon). The same organization as the primitive church, which Jesus organized as “a corporation sole … under and pursuant to Section 18-7-5 R.S.U. 1933.”
Circumcision: The ritual removal of the male foreskin as a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. Supplanted in the modern church by the wearing of white shirts and ties, cap sleeves, and CTR rings.
Clothing: Obsession with one’s clothing is derided in the New Testament and Book of Mormon and is emphasized in the modern church.
College: A place where cherished beliefs and traditions are ridiculed by the learned.
Combinations: Shadowy organizations bound together by secret oaths and handshakes; completely unrelated to temple worship.
Commandments: All policies and procedures of the LDS church, including those items given”not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom,” except those involving eating mostly grains and vegetables and limiting consumption of meat.
Common Consent: The privilege of raising your hand to sustain the leadership of the church. Such consent is completely voluntary, though any vote in the negative may result in a visit with church security and/or a disciplinary council.
Confession: Admitting to God that you have sinned, a necessary step for repentance and forgiveness. In more serious cases, this involves talking to your bishop, and he’s going to want to hear all the details.
Confirmation: The reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands after one is baptized. Just remember that one lustful thought can drive the Holy Ghost away forever.
Conscience: The Light of Christ, which is given to all humans to help them discern right from wrong. The greatest test of this life is to conquer the conscience and submit to complete obedience to whatever God asks through His prophets, especially if you’re a teenaged girl in a locked office with Joseph Smith.
Consecration: Willingness to give all that you have for the building up of the kingdom of God. In earlier days, this meant renouncing private property and holding all things in common, but this sounded too much like communism, so the church adopted laissez-faire capitalism as its standard.
Constitution: A divinely inspired document given to humans to usher in the last dispensation. The Constitution is to be held in strict reverence, except for the embarrassing parts about slavery and so forth.
Contention: Any unhappy, unholy, or non-faith-promoting thoughts, which are of the devil. Such thoughts may include doubt, reason, and conscience.
Conversion: What happens when someone joins the LDS church, whether they know it or not.
Coriantumr: The sole survivor of the Jaredites, a people of whom there is no trace. He lived long enough to warn the Nephites, another people of whom there is no trace.
Corn: A major crop of the Americas that was unknown to the Nephites and Jaredites.
Council in Heaven: The time in the premortal life when God presented His plan of happiness to His children, which was that we would be sent to earth to see if we would follow God’s commandments, but only after we were made to forget everything we knew about God and His commandments. This plan sounded great to Jesus, who volunteered to be our Savior, and two-thirds of the hosts of heaven. The other third figured it was a losing proposition and went with Satan’s plan, which involved coercion and force, two elements that are completely absent in the modern church.
Council of the Twelve: A group of high-level bureaucrats who hold meetings dressed in Masonic robes weekly and travel the world as “special witnesses of Jesus Christ” (disclaimer: this does not imply any witness, special or otherwise, and cannot be construed as a binding legal statement). Twice a year they gather in Salt Lake City and give talks about little factories and exploding printing presses. Above all else, they must not be criticized, even if the criticism is true. According to an insider, they are not “dodos.”
Counsel: See Commandments.
Courage: The strength to follow instructions without question.
Cowdery, Oliver: Acted as scribe when Joseph Smith didn’t use the plates to translate the Book of Mormon. Told the absolute truth when he said that an angel showed him the plates, but lied viciously when he said Joseph Smith had an affair with Fanny Alger. Accused by Joseph Smith of counterfeiting, theft, and associating “with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints out of their property,” Oliver is revered as a faithful witness to the restoration of the gospel.
Creation: The process by which Jesus formed and organized the earth and the universe, assisted by Adam. Modern apologists declare with boldness that prophets, seers, and revelators have been consistently wrong about the processes and timeline of the creation.
Cross: A morbid reminder of Jesus’ death that no true Christian should be associated with.
Crucifixion: The anticlimactic end of the Atonement of Christ.
Cumorah: 1) The hill where the Book of Mormon plates were buried in upstate New York. 2) The hill where the Book of Mormon plates were buried in Central America.
CTR Ring: Until one wears garments, this is the outward reminder of one’s covenants with God. Available in many styles and precious metals at your local Deseret Book.
Cumom: See Curelom.
Curelom: See Cumom.
Curse: Dark skin.
| Damnation: Getting to the Final Judgment and realizing you're still not a Mormon.
Dance: A church-organized meeting where teenage boys group together and occasionally glance at the group of girls on the other side of the church gym.
Deacon: An office of the Aaronic Priesthood usually conferred on boys at the age of 12. This priesthood office gives boys the authority to pass the bread and water of the sacrament, go on overnight campouts, and get a copy of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Primary classes are replaced by male-only meetings where such important topics are discussed as treating women properly, not marrying anyone of a different race, and not touching your "little factory."
Death, Physical: The end of mortal life, which is caused by the separation of the body and spirit, not biological processes. Death should not be a sad event, as it means that the deceased is in the spirit world mingling with friends and family. Sometimes death results because God needs more missionaries in the spirit world, so much so that He's willing to cause violent, painful deaths and the loss of infants.
Death, Spiritual: Spiritual separation from God, which is a consequence of the Fall of Adam. After physical death, we are reunited with God, and if we do not measure up, we are expelled from His presence, becoming spiritually dead again.
Dedication: A prayer said over a newly constructed place of worship, such as a temple or a law firm.
Deseret: The original name of Utah, derived from the Book of Mormon word for "honeybee." This in no way implies a hive mentality or the existence of drones in the LDS church.
Deseret Alphabet: A phonetic alphabet created under the direction of Brigham Young to help immigrants learn English. Clearly, this was an inspired project, as it is now the official language of the Republic of Molossia.
Deseret Book: Ostensibly a company that produces and sells LDS-related items and is headed by Sheri Dew. LDS General Authorities have over the years supplemented their income by compiling already-published talks into inspirational books (according to one source, some of the Brethren refer to DB as "the cash cow" or "how I bought my cabin"). It is rumored that there is a high rate of cancer and other illnesses among DB employees, which may be related to the high levels of saccharine produced.
Deseret News: Once one of two major newspapers in Utah, which is now focused on LDS Church-related positive "news," stringer reports from KSL reporters and elected mayors, and advertisements for Deseret Book.
Devil: A rebellious son of God who is so opposed to God's plan that he spends all of his time implementing it. Also referred to as Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Michael Ballam.
Dialogue: A publication created to show that alternative voices have a place in the LDS church: in a fringe magazine that no one reads.
Disciple: A follower, preferably one who does not question or use Google.
Disciplinary Council: A "court of love" in which the penitent sinner is questioned by the bishopric or the high council about his or her sins, such as supporting abortion rights or being a homosexual, feminist, or (so-called) intellectual. This council then confers to determine if you are worthy to remain in the church and, if so, at what level you can participate.
Discipline: The result of a disciplinary council, which can range from probation (not taking the sacrament or going to the temple) or disfellowshipping (prohibition from participating in church functions), to excommunication (removal of the person's name from the records of the church, loss of saving ordinances, and denial of the companionship of the Holy Ghost). Excommunications are far less common than they used to be, as the church has discovered that excommunicants generally do not return to the church.
Dispensation: A period of time during which God reveals His will to His prophets. The current dispensation is the last one before the Second Coming of Christ and is referred to as the "dispensation of the fullness of times." This means that the church will never go astray, and what the prophet says is God's revealed will, even he says it in an offhand remark in a 60 Minutes interview.
Divination: "Any superstitious method of trying to discover the course of future events. Such practices have been found among all nations and in every age; they are frequently condemned in scripture" (Bible Dictionary). (Note: Divination does not refer to peepstones or divining rods, which are acceptable in the sight of God because they do not involve superstition.)
Divorce: A legal proceeding that dissolves a marriage when necessary. The LDS church does not interfere with members' rights to divorce. However, to emphasize the serious nature of such actions, the church requires a long process of petitioning the First Presidency for a cancellation of a temple sealing. Until such a time, divorced spouses are still married eternally in the sight of God.
DNA: A substance by which ancestry and paternity can be determined. Cannot be applied to Nephite/Lamanite populations or the alleged children of Joseph Smith.
Doctrine: What the church is teaching today. Pronouncements and revelations from prior prophets are superseded by materials approved by the Correlation Committee, who are the only representatives of Christ on earth authorized to declare doctrine.
Doctrine and Covenants: A compilation of revelations from Joseph Smith that have been extensively rewritten and sanitized for public consumption. Once published with the Lectures on Faith, which were doctrinal expositions by church leaders that have been deemed to conflict with current doctrine.
Dusting Off One's Feet: An act that symbolizes that the dustee has been left to his or her fate by the dusters. Most often occurs when missionaries discuss the LDS church with people who have access to the Internet.
| Earth: One of many worlds that God has created. The earth was formed during "a creative period [that] was of relatively short duration" and has a "temporal existence" of a mere 7,000 years. This earth is special because it is the one to which Jesus came in mortality; this had to be so because people on earth were the only ones wicked enough to kill their Savior.
Easter:A Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. For Mormons, this is generally marked by Easter candy, ham and funeral potatoes, and possibly some Christ-centered talks in sacrament meeting.
Eden: The place in what is now Missouri where Adam and Eve dwelt in innocence until Eve "chose wisely in accordance with the heavenly law of love for others" to disobey God's commandment and thus bring mortality into the world. But it's OK because God didn't really want them to obey.
Education Week: An annual event at BYU where church members pay money to hear motivational and faith-promoting talks from moonlighting seminary and institute teachers whose books are available for purchase. (Disclaimer: BYU does not guarantee that any education will be provided during said week.)
Egypt: Land of Pharaohs, Pyramids, and incredible insights into astronomy, such as how the sun borrows its light from Kolob, and ancient languages, such as the meaning of the Chaldean word "Rahleenos."
Egyptian: A hieroglyphic script used in ancient Egypt that was fortunately translated brilliantly by Joseph Smith before he had heard of the Rosetta Stone.
Egyptus: A black woman who was the wife of Ham and the founder of Egypt. Had she not survived on the ark, we would never have known black people were cursed.
Elder: A term of respect for older, wiser believers whose experience and wisdom are to be respected. Also the title given to inexperienced teenagers before they go on their missions. Often mistaken as the first name of every missionary.
Elect: "The elect are those who love God with all their hearts and live lives that are pleasing to him. Those who live such lives of discipleship will one day be selected by the Lord to be among his chosen children." (Note: Does not apply to those who haven't received the ordinances of the LDS temple. Sorry, Mother Teresa.)
Elias: The Greek form of Elijah used in the New Testament. Joseph Smith taught that Elias was not Elijah but a different prophet who "apparently lived in the days of Abraham." This teaching has nothing to do with Joseph's ignorance of Greek. He later explained that Elias was not a name but a descriptive title meaning "forerunner" or "restorer." This teaching has nothing to do with Joseph having recently studied Greek.
Elijah: The Hebrew form of Elias. Elijah is not a title but refers to a specific Old Testament prophet who appeared in the Kirtland temple and restored the power to seal men and (multiple) women together eternally, though slightly too late to cover for Joseph Smith's relationship with Fanny Alger.
Elohim: The given name of God, meaning "God." Elohim lived a mortal life on another planet and then was exalted. He now resides on a planet near Kolob with his wives, with whom he begat us spiritually. He was the literal Father of Jesus; Mary's conception was, according to some prophets and apostles, performed by natural means, such as possibly through artificial insemination.
End of the World: A joyous day that all believers look forward to with great anticipation, when sinners will be destroyed and the earth burned by intense fire.
Endless: One of God's names. Not to be confused with eternal or unchanging.
Endowment: A ceremony in the LDS temple in which patrons make covenants and learn signs and tokens that are in no way related to the same signs and tokens used in Freemasonry. This ceremony is sacred, not secret, and is accompanied by an obligation of secrecy. As Jeffrey Holland explained, "We do not have penalties in the temple. ... We used to." These penalties are also in no way related to Freemasonry or the aforementioned obligation of secrecy.
Endure: To keep the commandments with exactness until the end of one's mortal life. After one has expended his or her own best efforts, Jesus grants his grace so that they might be saved, but not a minute before.
Enmity: A word meaning "antagonism." Satan, for example, uses his enmity to "take the treasure of the earth, and with gold and silver ... buy up armies and navies, Popes and priests, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!" (Note: The part about Popes and priests has been discontinued; please forget it ever happened.)
Enoch: A prophet so righteous that he and his entire city were taken up into heaven without tasting of death. This does not suggest, however, that he was as righteous as Joseph Smith.
Enos: A Book of Mormon prophet known for spending all day in prayer and for quoting Paul almost 500 years before Paul was born.
Ensign: An official magazine of the LDS church, containing counsel from leaders and sanitized accounts of "faithful history" and cheerful testimony of how happy Mormons are. Often contain such nuggets of wisdom as the call to pay tithing, even if it means you have no money for your family's food. Known for an artistic aesthetic and layout slightly better than those of Watchtower publications.
Envy: What the world feels toward us.
Esaias: The Greek form of Isaiah. Joseph Smith also taught that Esaias was a prophet who lived in the time of Abraham (DandC 84:13). This teaching has nothing to do with Joseph Smith's ignorance of Greek at the time. See also Elias.
Eternal Life: Living together as (polygamous) families in the celestial kingdom, where we will be busy creating worlds and procreating to populate those worlds with our spirit children. This teaching should not be shared with news media.
Evil Speaking of the Lord's Anointed: A grievous sin involving any criticism of church leaders, even if such criticism is true.
Exaltation: The highest degree of the celestial kingdom. Available to black people since 1978. See also Celestial Kingdom.
Excommunication: A punishment involving being cut off from the LDS church. Effective only for those people who care.
Ezekiel: Old Testament prophet who, unbeknownst to most Christians, clearly prophesied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
| Fact: A less-useful truth.
Faith: The belief that if you sacrifice family time to give service, attend your meetings, and go to the temple often, you'll be rewarded with an eternal family in the next life.
Fall of Adam: Adam and Eve's admirable decision to disobey a commandment, which was part of God's plan all along. This disobedience brought mortality and sin into the world so that we might have joy.
Family: The basic unit of the church. Our Father in Heaven has in His wisdom established families consisting of fathers, mothers, and children. The purpose of the family is to support the LDS church.
Family History: The practice of gathering the names of ancestors, celebrities, and Holocaust victims for proxy temple ordinances.
Fasting: Going without food and water for a specified period of time so that you'll be more focused on spiritual things than on how hungry and thirsty you are.
Fast Offering: Money collected for the poor that is set apart from funds used to build shopping malls, hotels, and game reserves.
Fast and Testimony Meeting: The first Sunday of the month, members fast for at least two meals and then gather to hear children recite things their parents whisper in their ear and learn about the keys Sister Jacobs found after praying.
Father in Heaven: The father of all human spirits. He is not a spirit but an exalted man with a body of flesh and bones. He has revealed Himself to humans only when introducing Jesus or in animated Monty Python segments.
Father, Mortal: The priesthood holder who leads the family and presides, under the direction of his wife.
Feel: "To sense the promptings of the Spirit. See also Holy Ghost." (Note: This is a direct quote from the Guide to the Scripture. I am not making this up.)
Fellowshipping: The practice of befriending less-active ward members and bringing them baked goods until you find out they aren't interested in the church.
First Principles of the Gospel: Obedience. Also faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and judging your worldly neighbors.
First Presidency: The presiding quorum of the LDS church consisting of the president of the church and his two counselors. They are to lead the church, conduct general conference, and clarify doctrines, such as establishing that black people are cursed because of things they did in the premortal life.
First Vision: 1) The visit of Moroni to Joseph Smith in 1823. 2) A later account of a spiritual experience Joseph Smith had when he was either confused about which church was right or had already decided they were wrong. In answer to prayer, Joseph was visited by a) God b), God and Jesus, or c) God and Jesus and numberless hosts of angels. As a result of the vision, Joseph was so severely persecuted that no one, not even his closest family members, could remember it.
Flood: 1) According to the scriptures, prophets, and apostles, a deluge that covered the entire earth, symbolizing its baptism, or 2) according to apologists, a local event that has been exaggerated by scriptures, prophets, and apostles.
Foreordination: The belief that we were chosen before birth to perform certain roles and tasks, such as buying forged documents and building shopping centers.
Forgiveness: The remission of sins through the Atonement. Conditioned on keeping all of the commandments, as reverting to a sin cancels previous forgiveness. Requires strenuous effort until one has become perfect; only then can one be sure that he or she is forgiven.
Fornication: A grievous sin, involving sexual intercourse with someone who is not your lawful spouse. Fornicators require a disciplinary council and may be excommunicated. (Note: Does not apply if your name is Joseph Smith.)
Free Agency: Freedom to choose how to live your life, though you'll be punished if you make the wrong choices.
Fullness of the Gospel. The whole of the gospel, contained in the Book of Mormon (see DandC 20:9). God has graciously given us more fullness in modern revelation.
| Gadianton Robbers: “In the Book of Mormon, a band of robbers founded by a wicked Nephite named Gadianton. Their organization was based on secrecy and satanic oaths.” (Note: Secrecy and oaths are good things if they’re not satanic.)
Garden of Eden: The dwelling place of our first parents, Adam and Eve, before the Fall. Located near Adam-ondi-Ahman and the plains of Olaha Shinehah, which, as everyone knows, are in Missouri.
Garden of Gethsemane: The location where Jesus suffered for our sins. However, we don’t wear a garden around our necks to honor the atonement because it would be too heavy.
Garment of the Holy Priesthood: Also known as "garments" or "g's." As part of the temple endowment, which is completely unrelated to Freemasonry, Mormons are given the garment (actually two-piece underwear sets: t-shirt and shorts) to wear at all times. The garment has stitched into it certain marks that are in no way related to the Masonic symbols of the compass and square. The garment is said to be "a shield and a protection" to the wearer, though, contrary to belief, most Mormons do not believe the garment has magical powers, although J. Willard Marriott would disagree. The garment is also available in a one-piece version, but most people don't wear it because it frequently causes a "celestial wedgie."
Gathering of Israel: The gathering of Jews and Mormons to the various locations around the world where they live.
Gay: An adjective meaning “happy.” Maybe be used with “so-called” to refer to those who choose to be homosexuals.
General Authorities: A group of men who are called to serve the church around the world full-time. As explained by general authority J. Golden Kimball, callings are extended by “inspiration, revelation, and relation.” Often such leaders are called because they have proven their spiritual excellence by their success in business or law.
Gentiles: Non-Mormons, except Jews.
Gift of the Holy Ghost: The right of all church members to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, which is conferred by the laying on of hands. Rarely exercised.
Gifts of the Spirit: “Special spiritual blessings given by the Lord to worthy individuals for their own benefit and for them to use in blessing others.” Examples include prophesy, speaking in tongues, using a divining rod, and finding buried treasure by looking at a stone in a hat.
God, Godhead: 1) In 1835, consists of two members: God the Father, a “personage of spirit”; and Jesus Christ, a “a personage of tabernacle” (Doctrine and Covenants 1835, p. 53). 2) By 1843, consists of three members: God the Father and Jesus, both having bodies of “flesh and bones as tangible as man’s,” but the Holy Ghost is “a personage of Spirit” (DandC 130:22).
Godhood: The ultimate goal and destiny of all humans. God is exalted man and woman sealed together for eternity; there is complete equality in this relationship, no matter how many wives the exalted man may have. (Note: not to be discussed among non-Mormons, particularly in television interviews.)
Gold Plates: An record chronicling approximately 1,000 years of ancient Americans, their prophesies, and the visit of Jesus to them. The plates were so important that they were preserved for 1,400 years so that Joseph Smith could not use them in translating the Book of Mormon.
Google: A source of vile falsehoods about the LDS church. Avoid at all costs.
Gospel: “Good news.” This is the plan of salvation, wherein Jesus suffered and died for our sins so that we could be saved by obeying commandments and ordinances and anything else that is required of us.
Grace: An enabling power from God that is available to humans only “after they have expended their own best efforts” and “cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient.” See also “Good News”
Guilt: Godly sorrow for sins and misdeeds. An excellent motivator, guilt has blessed the lives of millions of Latter-day Saints throughout the world.
| Jackson County, Missouri: Home of the Kansas City Royals, Harry S. Truman, Democratic boss Tom Pendergast, and our first parents Adam and Eve.
Jacob, Son of Lehi: The firstborn of Lehi in the wilderness. Noted for quoting at length previously unknown prophet Zenos' "allegory of the olive tree," which is interesting mostly because neither Jacob nor his audience would have ever seen an olive tree.
James: Apostle of Christ most often quoted to support the LDS beliefs that God's grace must be earned through works. Appared in 1829 with Peter and John to restore the Melchizedek Priesthood. Also, a minor character in a certain film, though apparently his lines were cut to just "we will go down" and "I am James."
Jared: The brother of the brother of Jared.
Jaredites: Descendants of Jared and his brother who traveled across the ocean in barges and lived for some 1,600 years in the Americas without leaving a trace.
Jehovah: 1) Before Nauvoo, one of the names of God. 2) After Nauvoo, the name of the premortal Jesus.
Jerusalem: Holy city in Palestine, location of Solomon's temple, scene of Jesus' crucifixion, dedicated for the gathering of the Jews in 1841.
Jerusalem, Land of: Birthplace of Jesus.
Jerusalem, New: Where the non-Jewish members of the House of Israel will be gathered before Jesus' Second Coming. See Independence, Missouri.
Jesus: Savior of the World, and Son of God, being fully God and fully man. In modern times, it has been revealed that Jesus was a powerfully built European who looked vaguely like Barry Gibb.
Jews: The "other" chosen people. Unbeknownst to them, their history, rituals, culture, and religion are remarkably similar to those of Mormonism.
John the Baptist: Prophet who paved the way for Jesus. Beheaded by Herod, John appeared on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and restored the Aaronic Priesthood by ordaining Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Rumors that he took a boat downstream and had a wild weekend with some coeds at SUNY-Binghamton are unfounded.
John the Beloved: Apostle of Jesus, believed to be the author of the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation. Although John's tomb is located in Selcuk, near Ephesus, he had the last laugh by surviving to the present day as a "translated being." Since then, seen only in 1829 helping to restore the priesthood and in a cameo appearance in the temple film.
John, Revelation of: Also known as the Apocalypse, a highly symbolic prophecy of the future that was largely undecipherable until Joseph Smith produceda "key" that made everything clear (see DandC 77).
Joining the Church: According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, converts share three common experiences: "First, [they] meet with missionaries for a series of brief lessons on basic LDS beliefs and religious practices. Second, all prospective converts must demonstrate in a prebaptism interview ... that they are making an informed decision of their own free will and that they willingly fulfill the baptismal requirements. Third, every convert must receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation as performed by authorized representatives of the Church and be accepted as a member of the local ward or branch by the common consent of the members." (Note: These are optional as circumstances dictate.)
Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible: A remarkable restoration of ancient truths, which Joseph Smith accomplished by adding words in place of the italicized words in the King James Bible.
Joseph Smith--History: After previous efforts at writing a personal history were thwarted by mobs, lawsuits, imprisonment, and getting the story straight, Joseph Smith wrote of his experiences with the divine. Highlights include the First Vision (this time uncluttered by angels), the visit of Moroni, and persecution so intense that no one remembered it.
Joseph Smith--Matthew: The rendering of Matthew 24 in the Joseph Smith Translation so readers would know exactly what Jesus meant without having to wade through parables and prophecies.
Joseph of Egypt: Sold by his brothers into captivity, he became a great prophet, such that he was able to prophesy of Moses, Aaron, and Joseph Smith, mentioning them by name (though he apparently got a little off track when he said that "they that seek to destroy [Joseph Smith] shall be confounded").
Journal of Discourses: A record of all sermons from church leaders published between 1852 and 1886. Although authorized by Brigham Young and published in conjunction with the church-owned Deseret News, these sermons are not to be taken as official or authoritative statements of church doctrines or contemporary teachings. Some talks contain "deadly heresies," including those given by prophets and declared as doctrine and revelation.
Journals: Prophets have long counseled that church members keep a journal recording their daily activities. President Spencer W. Kimball taught that a personal journal should not delve "into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying. ... Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story." Therefore, journals should be uplifting but never negative, which isn't a problem because that is how most LDS lives are lived.
Joy: A state of lasting happiness that comes from total obedience.
Judgment: The Savior taught that we should not judge others; modern revelation has clarified that we should, however, assess others' worthiness based on their clothing, facial hair, and number of earrings, among other things.
Judgment Day: After death, all human beings will be judged by Jesus Christ, who is both judge and advocate. He will judge us "according to works, desires, and intent of the heart" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism) and by the records we keep. For this reason, it is important to leave the negative out of your journal.
Justice and Mercy: Two attributes of deity that must be satisfied. In short, it would not be just of God to be merciful and forgive us unconditionally; in order to satisfy justice, the Savior, who was sinless, must suffer in our place. And of course it is absolutely just to punish someone who has done nothing wrong.
| Idaho: Utah with more militias.
Illinois: A gathering place, where church members would have a "permanent inheritance" that would last some six years.
Immorality: Sexual contact outside the bounds of marriage. (Note: Should not be applied to nonsexual behavior or conditions, such as poverty, suffering, or dishonesty. Once again, does not apply to Joseph Smith.)
Independence, Missouri: The "center place" where the New Jerusalem would be built and the Savior would return. Near the Garden of Eden. A temple was to be built in Joseph Smith's generation in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ, but persecution by evil non-Mormons thwarted the work of the Lord, and the gathering place was moved north and east. At some point, faithful Mormons expect to be called to abandon their homes and their worldly goods and gather to the New Jerusalem.
Indian Placement Program: An organized effort begun in 1947 to take Native Americans from the reservations and place them with white Mormon families, in the hope that they would assimilate into the broader American and Mormon society. Early efforts were quite successful, as apostle Spencer Kimball reported in 1960 that "children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation," with one girl reportedly "several shades lighter than her parents." Despite promising signs that Native Americans were "changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness," the program had mixed results and was discontinued entirely in 1996.
Individuality: The God-given freedom to dress, act, and think like everyone else.
Infant Baptism: A wicked practice of apostate Christianity. Infants do not have the experience and understanding to make life-changing decisions; only at age eight are they able to make an informed and independent decision.
Inspiration: Ideas or promptings given to the spiritually mature to fullfill God's plan. Examples include the inspired purchase of early church documents from Mark Hofmann and the handcart program.
Institutes of Religion: Weekday instruction for college students to counteract the independent thought and knowledge they are subjected to in their secular classes.
Intellectualism: One of the three great threats to the LDS church. Usually preceded with "so-called."
Intelligence: Described as the glory of God, "in other words, light and truth" (DandC 93:36). As Boyd K. Packer taught, intelligence is to be gained by "facing the right way" in obeying church leaders and avoiding truths that "are not very useful."
Intelligences: The state of spirits before their spirit birth. Although no church leader knows what intelligences are, they have existed forever and are coeternal with God.
International Genealogical Index (IGI): A database recording genealogical data and information about which ordinances have been provided to the deceased. The LDS church makes no guarantee of accuracy, though members can rest assured that the angels are sorting it all out in the spirit world.
Interviews: One-on-one meetings conducted between a leader and member to determine the member's worthiness, record tithing status, and delve into the details of the member's sex life. Such interviews are usually held from the time the member is twelve years old, when they are mature enough to talk about sexuality with an adult behind closed doors.
Isaiah: A book of the Old Testament that was written before and after the Babylonian exile. The post-exile text (commonly referred to as "Deutero-Isaiah") was miraculously pre-recorded by the wicked Laban so the Nephites might have a record of events that happened after they left Jerusalem.
Israel: 1) Members of the LDS church. 2) Descendants of ancient Israelites, chiefly Native Americans and Jews. 3) A secular, Socialist nation set up by inspiration from God.
| Hands, Laying on of: Performing priesthood ordinances by placing the hands on someone's head. Also, what happened when Joseph Smith locked the office door.
Happiness: See Obedience.
Harris, Martin: A sober, upstanding citizen whose testimony is powerful evidence of the existence of the golden plates. Also known for having a conversation with Jesus, who appeared in the form of a deer.
Hate: Saying and doing hurtful things toward a person or group, such as when Lawrence O'Donnell talks about Mormonism. Does not apply when Mormons talk about gays.
Healing: A gift of the spirit provided to priesthood leaders to make the sick and injured whole. When the person is healed, it is because of the person's faith; if the person is not healed, it is either a lack of faith or that it wasn't God's will that they be healed. Does not apply to amputees.
Heaven: Any of the three kingdoms of God. Can also refer to Sundays when all meetings have been canceled.
Hebrew: Any of a group descended from an ancient Semitic people, including Jews and Native Americans.
Hell: The state of being cut off from the presence of God. Not a place of literal fire and brimstone, though some have suggested that it consists of an eternal sacrament meeting with music by Janice Kapp Perry.
Helpmeet: A misunderstanding of "help meet" which means an appropriate partner in marriage; in other words, the woman must be subservient to her husband.
High Council: A group of high priests who periodically visit wards and branches to make sure there are appropriate levels of boredom.
High Priest: Where elders go to die.
Holy Ghost: Either the influence of God the Father's spirit-body (1835) or a personage of spirit separate from God the Father (1843).
Homosexuality: A delusion people have about who they are, caused by Satan.
Horse: 1) A tapir or some other nocturnal, water-dwelling, soft-footed creature that could conceivably have been large enough to pull chariots, or 2) miniature ceremonial animal effigies carried on the king's wheel-less sledge (see Chariot). Not an anachronism in the Book of Mormon.
Hosanna Shout; A part of the temple dedication when an elderly apostle stands in front of the congregation and leads them in a quiet, mumbled, and dignified "shout" of Hosanna.
Humility: Recognizing your limitations and faults. Should not be used in apologetics.
Husband: Leader of the home, as permitted by the wife.
Hyde, Orson: Apostle who dedicated the land of Palestine for the gathering of Israel while Joseph Smith was having sex with Orson's wife back in Nauvoo.
Hymns: Music sung in church to invite the proper spirit and to wake people up (this is called the "rest hymn").
| KSL: The church’s flagship radio and television stations in Salt Lake City. An NBC affiliate, KSL broadcasts such programs as Dateline NBC and To Catch a Predator, both “true crime” programs focusing on brutal murders and sex crimes. The station has drawn a firm moral line in refusing to air Saturday Night Live.
Keys of the Priesthood: The right of priesthood authorities to exercise power in the name of God. Jesus holds all the keys, Joseph Smith received the keys for the restoration of the gospel, the First Presidency holds the keys of the Kingdom, and the ward building maintenance chairman holds the keys to the chapel for Saturday cleaning.
Kimball, Heber C.: One of the original twelve apostles of this dispensation and counselor to Brigham Young in the First Presidency. Ensured his family’s exaltation by giving his 14-year-old daughter, Helen, to Joseph Smith as a plural wife. Heber embraced plural marriage, eventually marrying 43 women and fathering 65 children. Kimball is also noted for his alleged statement, “I think no more of taking [another] wife than I do of buying a cow.”
Kimball, Sarah Granger: Early Mormon suffragist and Relief Society leader. She publicly taught that “the Father and Mother God” were equal in their divinity, a position that might have led to her excommunication had she been alive a century later.
Kimball, Spencer W.: Twelfth president of the LDS church, and grandson of Heber C. Kimball. A small man physically, he served faithfully and energetically as an apostle and later as church president, despite many serious health problems, including a heart attack, cerebral hemorrhage, and throat cancer, the last of which left him with a distinctive weak, gravelly voice. Under Kimball’s direction, the church’s missionary program experienced massive growth and more aggressive teaching and baptizing. His 1969 book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, brought comfort to the souls of millions who learned that masturbation was a serious sin and would lead to homosexuality, a “crime against nature.” His personal mottos were “lengthen your stride,” and “do it!” (Note that the latter is not license to do what one wants, especially if it leads to homosexuality.) Kimball was also known for his lifelong service to the Lamanites (Native Americans); his success was unsurpassed in helping them develop Mormon middle class values andlighter skin.
Kinderhook Plates: A hoax perpetrated in 1843 in which six brass plates were fabricated and presented to Joseph Smith as being an ancient record discovered buried in the ground. However, Joseph Smith translated a “portion” the plates and said that they contained ” the history of the person with whom they were found and he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.” Furthermore, contemporary witnesses produced a map they said Joseph Smith had drawn showing the Kinderhook discovery site as one of Moroni’s stops on the way to Cumorah. These facts show that Joseph was not at all fooled by the hoax.
King: All males who have been through the temple ordinances have the potential to become “Kings and Priests unto the Most High God, to rule and reign in the House of Israel forever.” Joseph Smith reached that potential when he was ordained King and Priest sometime after March 11, 1843, showing his Christlike humility and lack of pretense or ego.
King Follett Discourse: Joseph Smith’s last address to a general conference of the church, this discourse is so named because it occurred shortly after the funeral of church member King Follett. Although the discourse remains uncanonized, Joseph Smith teaches some important beliefs that have since become doctrine. Among the topics explicated are that the spirit or “mind of man” is eternal, that God is Himself an exalted man who lived a mortal life on a planet like ours, and that humans have the potential of becoming Gods in the same sense that God is a God. All of these teachings have been embraced by later prophets, culminating in the memorable statement of Gordon B. Hinckley: “I don’t know that we teach it.”
King James Version of the Bible: The official sanctioned Bible used in the LDS church because it is the most correctly translated Bible and its Jacobean English is the style aped in the Book of Mormon and modern revelations.
Kingdom of God in Heaven: The place where God resides in everlasting burnings. It is a celestial kingdom organized under divine government for all exalted beings. Located near Kolob, the governing star/planet. Contrary to some speculation, one cannot reach this kingdom by traveling to the second star on the right and on till morning.
Kingdom of God on Earth: “The kingdom of God on earth exists wherever the priesthood of God is (TPJS, pp. 271-74). At present it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism). After the death of the apostles, the kingdom of God was removed from the earth, as none had the priesthood except for John the Beloved and the Three Nephites. The situation required a restoration of priesthood from resurrected beings and from John the Beloved, though the Three Nephites were apparently occupied in plowing someone’s field or hitchhiking through Utah.
Kirtland Bank: In 1836, Joseph Smith declared that the “audible voice of God, instructed him to establish a banking-anti banking institutions, who like Aaron’s rod shall swallow all other banks (the Bank of Monroe excepted,) and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins.” When the Ohio legislature refused to grant a bank charter, Smith organized the “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company” in January 1837. Within a month, society notes became backed by land values instead of cash or coin, as the notes had declined precipitously in value. Fearing that businessmen might try to redeem the notes and ruin the bank, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon resigned as officers of the bank, which failed in November. Warned by the Spirit, Joseph Smith fled creditors and lawsuits and moved to Missouri. Local members demonstrated their faith by paying some $35,000 toward Joseph’s debts.
Kirtland Temple: The first LDS temple dedicated in the latter days, built in Kirtland, Ohio, at great sacrifice by church members. After a long fast, those attending the dedication “partook … freely” of bread and wine, and thereafter reported glorious visions and spiritual manifestations. Buzzkill David Whitmer reports having seen “no visitation,” saying that the dedication was “a grand fizzle.” After the dedication, the temple was used for sacred ordinances, such as washing of the feet and anointing, preparatory for the higher ordinances of the endowment and sealing, which would come later in Nauvoo. Joseph Smith anticipated the restoration of the sealing power, so he took Fanny Alger as a plural wife, the sealing and consummation apparently performed in the Smith family’s barn, where wife Emma discovered them.
Kirtland, Ohio: The first major gathering place of the LDS church. A Campbellite congregation in Kirtland had been converted to Mormonism by Parley P. Pratt, one of its members, who had traveled to New York and was introduced to the Book of Mormon. Impoverished Mormons from Colesville, New York, traveled to Kirtland to gather and escape persecution of their neighbors. Demand for their labor and resources in building the temple impoverished the Saints further, until a period of prosperity was brought by the founding of the Kirtland Bank.
Knowledge: The ability to choose right from wrong, as Satan teaches us in the temple. Also refers to the understanding of information as given by the spirit or by secular means. Not to be confused with “so-called science,” which as Thomas Monson declared, is a destroyer of faith; such “agnostic, doubting thoughts” must be forbidden “to destroy the house of [our] faith.”
Kokaubeam: A transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning “all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven”; this word commonly appeared in Egyptian funerary texts. Or not. Not to be confused with a cocoa-flavored breakfast cereal.
Kolob: A star (or planet) “nearest unto the throne of God.” Entirely unrelated to Thomas Dick’s discussion of the hierarchy of planets and stars, culminating in the throne of God (see The Philosophy of a Future State pp. 241-247), which Joseph Smith had been reading at the time he translated the Book of Abraham.
| LDS: A highly addictive and very expensive drug that causes users to believe that happiness is found in obedience to someone else.
LDS Family Services: A department of the LDS church that provides counseling services to church members, along with other services such as adoption. For a fee, LDS counselors visit with church members to counsel them and provide discussions of BYU sports and gossip.
LDS Foundation: A department of the LDS church that calls church members asking them to will their money and property to the church when they die. Surviving family members will be comforted by the knowledge that their loved one has consecrated all that he or she had to build the kingdom of God.
LDS Student Association: An umbrella organization that sponsors activities for college-age church members, as well as a fraternity and sorority (these terms are used loosely).
Lamanites: Descendants of Lehi and Ishmael, two Israelite men who came with their families across the ocean to the Americas. The text of the Book of Mormon initially names as Lamanites the descendants of Laman and Lemuel, two sons of Lehi whose posterity was cursed “with a skin of blackness.” At various times, the term Lamanite refers to the wicked and unbelieving descendants of Lehi. Joseph Smith reported being told by an angel that “the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham.” In 2006, the Correlation committee corrected the angel’s false information by stating that Lamanites were “among” the ancestors of Native Americans.
Last Days: The days leading up to 1891, when Joseph Smith said the Savior would return and “wind up the scene.”
Law: Rules and guidelines enforced in society to govern behavior. For church members, God’s law is higher than human law, but we assured that “he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land” (DandC 58:21). (Note: Does not apply to plural marriage, banking, or destroying a printing press).
Law of Adoption: All humans must belong to the House of Israel spiritually before they can dwell in God’s presence. Literal descendants of Israel, such as Jews and pure Ephraimite Joseph Smith, belong to the House genealogically but must become spiritually Israel. Gentiles who convert to the LDS church are adopted into the House of Israel.
Law of Chastity: Church members vow in the temple to keep the Law of Chastity, which is that husbands and wives are not to have “sexual relations” (previous to 1990, it was “sexual intercourse”) “except with [their spouse] to whom [they] are legally and lawfully wedded.” (Note: Does not apply to Joseph Smith.) Sexual relations include necking, petting, heavy petting, and intercourse. For gay church members, sexual relations also include holding hands, hugging, kissing, or having a friend of the same gender.
Law of Consecration: In the temple, church members covenant to obey the Law of Consecration, “that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.” Although many Mormons believe the Law of Consecration has not been in force since the abandonment of the United Order, bishops, Primary teachers, and chapel cleaners know that it has.
Law of the Gospel: Church members covenant in the temple to observe and keep the Law of the Gospel, which is never explained but is contained in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Along with this law, a “charge” is given “to avoid all lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain, and every other unholy and impure practice.” Essentially, this law covers anything and everything not included in the other laws and covenants; this helps keep church members on their toes.
Law of Moses: The lesser law given to Moses at Mount Sinai, including the ten commandments and specific rules and ordinances, such as blood sacrifice. This was a temporal law suited to a people who were not ready to live the higher law, which would be brought by Jesus Christ. The New Testament informs us that Jesus’ coming and sacrifice fulfilled the Law of Moses; since that time, the Law of Moses has been abrogated and does not apply to Christian life, except when it condemns gays.
Law of Obedience: In the temple, church members covenant to obey God’s law. Before 1990, if you were female you covenanted that “you will each observe and keep the law of your husband and abide by his counsel in righteousness.” The change has led to no appreciable difference in the submission of men to their wives’ counsel.
Law of Sacrifice: In the temple, church members covenant to “acrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the kingdom of God.” From the days of Adam servants of God sacrificed the firstfruits of the field and the firstlings of the flock, until the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, “which ended sacrifice by the shedding of blood.” (Note: The practice has been ended until it is practiced again before the Second Coming of Jesus.)
Lawsuits: Legal attempts to obtain justice in non-criminal matters. Lawsuits were a great blessing in early church life, as avoiding litigation compelled Joseph Smith to seek and obtain newer and more suitable gathering places for the Saints.
Leadership Training: All church members are well trained to perform their callings, usually by receiving a manual and attending a few meetings a year. Priesthood leadership training meetings are often broadcast from Salt Lake, where general authorities give inspired counsel. There is no truth to the rumor that these broadcasts are intended to be punishment for slothful servants.
Lectures on Faith: A series of seven lectures on the doctrine and theology of the LDS church originally given in the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. The lectures were included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as being representative of “our belief, and … the faith and principles of this society as a body” and accepted as canon by unanimous vote of a general assembly of the church in August, 1835. Accordingly, the lectures were deleted from the canon in 1921 because “they were never presented to nor accepted by the Church as being otherwise than theological lectures or lessons” and definitely not because the lectures conflicted with current doctrines.
Lee, Harold B: Eleventh president of the church, Lee is notable for setting up the church’s welfare program and for blocking an attempt to rescind the church’s “Negro” doctrines and policies in 1969. As Delbert Stapley noted, such an attempt to contravene the will of the Lord would have resulted in Lee’s premature demise; Lee served a term just short of eighteen months and died at age 74.
Lehi: An Israelite man who brought his family to the Americas some 600 years before Christ. Although Lehi inexplicably doesn’t mention them, there were at the time millions of Native Americans inhabiting the land, and Lehi and his family were quickly assimilated such that no trace of them remains.
Lehi, Book of: A record of Lehi, abridged by the prophet Mormon and translated by Joseph Smith using seer stones. Unfortunately, the wicked scribe and honest Book of Mormon witness Martin Harris allowed his even more wicked wife to see the manuscript, which disappeared. Miraculously, God had been prepared for this event, and when Joseph Smith was unable to retranslate the book, he was given a different version written by Nephi, thus thwarting the efforts of evil and conspiring men to alter the manuscript.
Levitical Priesthood: The priesthood held by Levites not descended from Aaron, making the Levitical priesthood the “lesser part of the Aaronic Priesthood.” Since no priesthood holders are known to be descendants of Aaron, this is a meaningless distinction, but nevertheless one important for the restoration of all things.
Liahona: A compass, or director given to Lehi to guide him in his journeys through the wilderness and to the promised land. Described as a brass ball with two spindles, the Liahona pointed the way the family should go and also provided written messages, such as “Lehi U there? Nephi S tied ^ agn, bt dats OK coz he lyks it. totL perv.” Plastic liahonas are available at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City; for the more discriminating prophet, metal liahonas with working compasses are avaiable for much more.
Liberty Jail: For five months in late 1838 and early 1839, Joseph Smith and some of his colleagues were imprisoned in a miserable jail cellar on charges of treason stemming from the Mormon attack on a unit of the Missouri state militia in what became known as the Battle of Crooked River. In a long letter to the Saints in March 1839, Smith discussed the injustice of his imprisonment and his expectation that he would be exonerated. Portions of this letter were later canonized as revelations (DandC 121, 122, and 123). Today, a partially reconstructed Liberty Jail stands as one of Mormonism holiest of sacred spaces.
Libraries and Archives: The church has long followed the revealed instruction to keep records (DandC 21:1) of God’s dealings with His church in the latter days. The main repository of these records is the Church Historical Library in Salt Lake City. In the spirit of openness and accountability, church archives have long been open to the public, except for information that might be embarrassing to the church or that might contain truths that are not very useful. Rumors that the First Presidency maintains a private vault are just that: rumors.
Lifestyle: A choice involving how you approach life. Church members are free to choose an acceptable lifestyle, preferably one that looks like a Leave It To Beaver episode. It is important to remember that heterosexual desire is, like gender, ordained of God and provided naturally to all humans. Homosexual attraction is a lifestyle choice for those who choose the easy way out and invite ostracism, scorn, and bullying.
Light and Darkness: All light comes from God, and darkness comes from the devil. Light from our sun is borrowed ” from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese or the Moon, the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions.” Sadly, modern science has not advanced as far as this revealed truth. Mentions of white and dark skin in the scriptures are purely metaphorical, as prophets such as Brigham Young and Spencer Kimball have taught since the early days of the church.
Light of Christ: The conscience, or knowledge of right and wrong, given to all humans. According to some Mormon apologists and prophets, the great test of this life is to overcome the Light of Christ and obey one’s church leaders, even if they tell you to do something that is wrong.
Light-Mindedness: Trivializing the sacred, such as telling Jesus jokes or waving off a question about man’s potential godhood with “I don’t know that we teach it.” This concise dictionary is an excellent example of light-mindedness.
Literature: Members of the church have a rich tradition of artistic and literary achievement, from the homespun poetry of Eliza Snow and Orson Whitney to the usefully true novels of Gerald Lund and the inspired musicals My Turn on Earth and Saturday’s Warrior. President Boyd K. Packer has called for a renaissance in LDS literature, which seems to have been answered in the teen-vampire novels of Stephenie Meyer and the homophobic rantings of Orson Scott Card.
Lord: A confusing term in the scriptures that may refer to God the Father or to Jesus Christ. Thankfully, Joseph Smith has clarified that “less ambiguous term[s]” are Ahman for God the Father and Son Ahman for Jesus Christ. Use of these terms should eliminate any confusion, though they may provoke bemused chuckling among non-Mormons.
Lord’s Prayer: A prayer given by Jesus as an example of how to pray; apostate Christianity has unfortunately turned the prayer into a vain repetition of the kind that Jesus condemned. True Christianity does not involve rote prayers or ordinances, except for the sacrament, baptism, blessings, ordinations, or temple ceremonies.
Lost Scripture: Prophetic and inspired writing that has been lost but, if discovered, would completely support LDS beliefs and practices.
Lottery: A state-sponsored exercise inspired of God. When jackpots are high enough, large numbers of Utah Latter-day Saints drop what they are doing and congregate in long lines in Southern Idaho and Northwestern Arizona as a practice run for their eventual exodus to Jackson County, Missouri.
Love: The foundation of true religion. Jesus taught that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Love is kind and long-suffering, humble, “seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (Moro. 7:45; cf. 1 Cor. 13:4-7). Above all, true love is conditional. For example, God’s love is conditional on our doing what we are told. The belief that God’s love is infinite and unconditional is a “false ideology … used by anti-Christs to woo people with deception” (see Russell Nelson, Ensign, February 2003).
Love Bombing: An outburst of friendly visits from ward members who hardly know you, random deliveries of baked goods or crafts, and letters, emails, and visits from church leaders. Love bombing usually begins when someone hasn’t been to church in a few weeks and ends the second they show up in sacrament meeting.
Lucifer: A name meaning “light-bearer” that by the third century AD was given to Satan because of a mistranslation of a passage in Isaiah. This mistranslation appears to have been inspired of God, as modern revelation indicates that Satan was known as Lucifer as far back as the Garden of Eden.
Lying for the Lord: Also known as “theocratic ethics,” this doctrine taught by Joseph Smith explains that prophets and apostles are not bound by earthly laws or ethics but by a higher law. Among the ethical behaviors that were not to be respected was honesty, exemplified by Joseph Smith denying his plural marriages both publicly and to his wife, Emma. Recent prophets and apostles have been diligent in following this commandment, such as when Gordon Hinckley and Hugh Pinnock denied knowing Mark Hofmann, or when Dallin Oaks denied Boyd Packer’s involvement in the excommunication of Paul Toscano.
Lyman, Amy Brown: Founder of what later became LDS Family Services. Served as Relief Society General President from 1940 until 1945, when she asked to be released because of her marriage problems.
Lyman, Richard: Ordained an apostle in 1918. In 1903. after the birth of their second child in 1903, Lyman’s wife, Amy, “informed Richard that their relationship from that point on would be celibate, living in amiable harmony.” During the 1920s, he was tasked with helping Anna Jacobsen, who had been excommunicated for unauthorized polygamy, to return to the church. A strong bond grew between the two, and Lyman suggested that, when one of them died, the survivor should be sealed to the other in a postmortal polygamous union. On November 11, 1943, apostles Harold Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith accompanied Salt Lake City police officers to Jacobsen’s apartment. Breaking down the door, they discovered Lyman in bed with Jacobsen. Lyman is the last apostle to be excommunicated to this date.
| Magazines: 1) Wholesome and uplifting sources of God’s truth, as published by the church. 2) A tool of Satan used to corrupt the minds and hearts of young men and women.
Magic: Sorcery or sleight of hand tricks that are wholly unrelated to spiritual gifts, such as the use of divining rods and peepstones.
Magnifying One’s Calling: A conscious decision, approved of the Lord, to put your church responsibilities ahead of your family.
Man’s Search for Happiness: A film masterpiece originally produced for the 1964 World’s Fair that, as the Encyclopedia of Mormonism notes, “is less than fifteen minutes long, yet explores every man’s search for meaning in life: the whence, the why, and the whither.” Not to be confused with Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” which is kind of a downer.
Manifesto: 1) The 1890 statement by the church that plural marriages would no longer be authorized or performed. 2) The 1904 statement by the church that this time they really meant it.
Mankind: The children of Adam and Eve, our literal first parents, unless you believe in Evolution, which is a devilish and false teaching that is wholly incompatible with the gospel, but the church has no position on it, so … oh, never mind.
Manuscript, Lost 116 Pages: First transcript of Book of Mormon translations, covering the Book of Lehi. Lost by Martin Harris and said to have been burned by his wife, the pages were not retranslated because of the wicked designs of conspiring men and not because Joseph couldn’t remember what he’d dictated.
Marriage: 1) The union of one man and one woman as ordained of God. 2) The union of one man and multiple women, as ordained of God. 3) The union of more than one woman with Joseph Smith and her “other” husband.
Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith: see Carthage Jail.
Mary, Mother of Jesus: Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, Mary became pregnant with Jesus, who was the Son of God. (Note: Brigham Young and Bruce McConkie explained that “overshadowed by the Holy Spirit” refers to having had sex with God.)
Masochism: Sitting through all ten hours of general conference.
Masonry: A secret society with origins among medieval builders’ guilds in Europe. Its tokens, signs, penalties, oaths, and symbols (such as the compass and square) are completely unrelated to the tokens, signs, penalties, and symbols (such as the compass and square) of the LDS endowment.
Masturbation: A grievous sin condemned by “prophets anciently and today [that] induces feelings of guilt and shame, … is detrimental to spirituality, [and] indicates slavery to the flesh. … No young man should be called on a mission who is not free from this practice. What is more, it too often leads to grievous sin, even to that sin against nature, homosexuality” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness). Statistics bear this out. Recent studies have shown that over 99% of men masturbate, so it is a fact that 99% of gay men have masturbated. Boyd K. Packer has clearly defined masturbation in no uncertain terms, explaining that our sex drive is like a “little factory” that produces a “lifegiving substance.” Tampering with the factory speeds up the process of creating the lifegiving substance. “You must leave that factory alone long enough for it to slow down.” Although masturbation is a regular topic of priesthood interviews of Aaronic Priesthood-age boys, missionaries, and even married males, the onlypeople obsessed with this sin are apostates, probably because they tampered with their little factories.
Matter: Uncreated materials used by God to create the universe. Refined matter is known as “spirit.” What the difference is between matter and refined matter is anyone’s guess.
McKay, David O.: Ninth president of the LDS church. A career educator, McKay became known throughout the world as the principle script advisor for Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” and as a friend and confidante of Lyndon Johnson, who reportedly said, “Damn, McKay, that’s one hell of a good gig you got there.”
Meat: A food to be eaten sparingly and in times of famine. Just kidding.
Meetinghouse: A building dedicated to religious observances, such as sacrament meetings, basketball games, and pinewood derbies.
Meetings, Major Church: Gatherings of church members for their edification and instruction. Larger church meetings, such as general conference, are televised so that members can sleep in the comfort of their own homes.
Melchizedek Priesthood: The authority to preside in the church and administer the higher ordinances of the church. The priesthood is organized just as it was in Jesus’ time. Consequently, the church was governed by high priest councils until 1834, and then in 1835 the First Presidency was organized and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was added. The addition of the office of Seventy completed the organization of the priesthood, though God took the next 150 years to tweak the organization, organizing, dropping, redefining, and reassigning the Seventies until He got it perfect sometime in the 1990s.
Membership Records: Meticulously kept records of every ordinance, church disclipinary action, and deaths for a particular member. (Note: “Member” refers to anyone who has ever been born to a church member or was baptized so they could play baseball, including unreported dead. Knowledge of one’s membership is not required.)
Men, Roles of: Men are to emulate the Savior and preside in their homes. as well as officiating in the ordinances of the priesthood. True masculinity is exemplified through white shirts and ties and lack of facial hair.
Mental Health: The restored gospel has great effects on the mental health of church members. Any evidence of positive mental-health benefits can be directly tied to the church, whereas anything negative, such as depression and suicide, is completely unrelated.
Mercy: A godly quality that cannot be given freely unless someone gets punished.
Mercy Killing: Ending stake conference ten minutes early.
Messenger and Advocate: An official publication of the church between 1834 and 1837 intended to proclaim church doctrine. (Note: The Messenge and Advocatet is no longer considered official or doctrinal.)
Michael: The name of Adam in his premortal life, Michael helped Jehovah create the earth. A native of Missouri, Michael will be making a special appearance with Jesus, followed by a six-week booking at the Osmond theater in Branson.
Millenarianism: The belief that the Second Coming of Christ and the Millennium are imminent, these being the last days, at least until an apostle tells us it won’t be happening anytime soon. Thanks, President Packer!
Millennium: The last 1000 years of the earth’s 7000-year temporal existence, the Millennium can be seen as the Sabbath coming after the long week of mortal earth. Satan will be bound, and the righteous will come forth in the first resurrection before the start of the Millennium. Just like a normal Sabbath, the Millennium will be a busy time of getting kids ready for church and attending meetings, lots of meetings. This will also be the time to correct all the mistakes in the church’s genealogy records.
Minorities: Broadly refers to anyone who isn’t a white American. According to the Book of Mormon, God invites “all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God” (2 Ne. 26:33). Because all are alike, church members are counseled to “marry those who are of the same racial background” (Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3).
Miracle: A beneficial event brought about by divine intervention, such as finding lost keys or surviving a handcart expedition despite the poor judgment and planning of leaders. Miracles occur because of the faith of the recipient, unless the miracle isn’t granted, in which case it is God’s will.
Miracle of Forgiveness: A 1969 book by then-apostle Spencer W. Kimball outlining various sins and the imperative to “triumph” over them all. The book explains that when Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light, he meant that forgiveness comes only after strenuous effort and a lot of pain and suffering. The book focuses in part on sexual sins, whether petting, the more-grievous heavy petting, and the gateway to homosexuality, masturbation.
Missions: A commitment to spend 18 months to 2 years full-time preaching the gospel, developing welfare projects, serving as tour guides at church historical sites, or operating game-hunting reserves for wealthy clients.
Mission President: A man who is chosen to preside over missionaries in a geographical area. Typically mission presidents are high priests who have shown their faithfulness through church service and success in their business or professional life.
Missionary Training Centers: Church-operated centers in various locations around the world in which missionaries are taught to preach the gospel using the “commitment pattern,” avoid difficult questions by answering the questions their investigators should have asked, and repent of any unresolved sin they might be carrying, lest they not have the spirit.
| Missouri: See Garden of Eden.
Missouri Conflict: In the 1830s, members of the LDS church began settling in Missouri, which Joseph Smith had designated to be the site where the New Jerusalem would be built in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. Without warning and completely unprovoked, the Missourians began killing, raping, and pillaging their way through peaceful Mormon communities. Despite attempts by some anti-Mormons to explain that the conflict was complex, with blame on both sides, it is clear that the Missourians simply decided to follow Satan and try to destroy God’s true church.
Modesty: Generally, modest dress is that covers the parts of the body covered by temple garments. The sight of naked shoulders and midriffs is enough to drive otherwise stalwart priesthood holders to tamper with their little factories, endangering their souls and possibly driving them toward homosexuality,
Mormon: A derogatory nickname for church members deriving from their belief in the Book of Mormon. The church prefers that press reports refer to “members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” except when the church wants to use the term, such as in the “I Am a Mormon” ad campaign.
Mormon Battalion: As church members traveled west toward Utah, the US government asked them for volunteers to travel to California to fight in the Mexican-American War. The battalion was a great blessing to the church, providing needed money and allowing women and children to make their way across the plains alone.
Mormon Handicraft: A division of Deseret Book where you can buy kitschy Mormon crap that you can’t get at Deseret Book.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir: An American institution, the choir continues to make itself relevant by butchering “Negro spirituals” and bad pop songs. A long-running television program highlights the few token “minority” members of the choir.
Mormonism: A broad term referring to any branch of restorationist religion that considers Joseph Smith a prophet and values his writings as scripture. Does not refer to apostate polygamist sects, who are in no way associated with Mormonism, especially not to the LDS church.
Mormons, Image of: 1) The view among church members that Mormons are a respected, influential group looked up to as an example of all that is good in the world. 2) The view among non-LDS that Mormons are a small, insular group who believe in some strange things, such as sacred underwear and the obvious appeal of Mitt Romney. (Note: this assumes that non-LDS know anything about Mormons, which is not a given.)
Moroni: The last writer of the Book of Mormon who retrieved his father’s plates from the hill Cumorah (in Central America) and then wandered for many years before burying the plates in the hill Cumorah (in New York). Moroni–or maybe it was Nephi–returned as a resurrected being to Joseph Smith and showed him where the plates were buried. Little-known fact: Moroni, not being sure which hill he left the plates in, appeared to fourteen-year-oldJose Saavedra in Quezaltenango, telling him he had been chosen to translate the Book of Mormon into Spanish and restore God’s true church. Informed of his error when he “returned and reported,” a sheepish Moroni returned to Jose, saying, “I should have known. I was looking for a white guy!”
Moroni, Captain: A man inspired of God to lead the Nephites against the wicked king-men. He rent his clothing and hoisted the “title of liberty” encouraging the people to follow him in fighting wickedness. He was so inspired that he initially took up arms against the chief judge, whom he accused of being a slacker.
Moses: A chosen prophet who led his people out of bondage in Egypt, though a few masochists stayed behind because they liked it. Modern revelation tells us that the ancient prophet Joseph knew of Moses by name; and being the sole author of the five books of Moses, Moses was sure to include this prophecy of himself.
Mosiah: Son of King Benjamin, he decried monarchy and set up a system of judges. Concerned about a group who had gone to the land of Nephi, Mosiah sent an expedition, which discovered the people of Zeniff. Remarkably, the record of the people of Zeniff is essentially the story of the Nephites and Lamanites in condensed form. This Book of Mormon redux is foreshadowed in the record of the Jaredites.
Mosiah, Sons of: Wicked sons of King Mosiah, these young men went from city to city, preaching against the true church of Christ, much as the Apostle Paul did as recorded in the New Testament. Also like Paul, they were visited by a heavenly being and converted to the truth, after which they traveled preaching the word in a Paulesque manner. (Note: This story bears only superficial resemblance to the story of the Apostle Paul. If anything, Paul was a knockoff of the sons of Mosiah.)
Mother in Heaven: In the nineteenth century, revered as equal to “Father God.” In the twentieth century, Mother in Heaven became so revered that any mention of her beyond “O My Father” could result in one’s excommunication.
Motherhood: The ultimate destiny of all women, motherhood is a great gift provided as a relief from the responsibilities of leading the family and holding the priesthood.
Mountain Meadows Massacre: An unfortunate tragedy that is so poorly understood that no one is to be blamed, and no one will take responsibility, especially not the LDS church. The tragedy may be understood as an event where church members interacted with an emigrant wagon train from Arkansas; mysteriously, 120 people died violent deaths, and children under the age of 8 who survived were charitably brought into Mormon homes. As President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, “No one can explain what happened in these meadows. …. We may speculate, but we do not know. We do not understand it. We cannot comprehend it. We can only say that the past is long since gone.” Given the complete lack of information about how this confusing event unfolded, the LDS church cannot apologize for something it isn’t sure it’s responsible for. “We don’t use the word ‘apology,’” a church spokesman said. “We used ‘profound regret.’”
Murder: To take the life of an innocent or defenseless person. (Note: Does not apply if an angel orders you to kill, unless of course your name is Lafferty.)
Music: If restricted to Correlation-approved hymns, music can be an uplifting part of worshiping God. (Not to be confused with popular music, which is designed to arouse the senses and get people to tamper with their little factories to speed up the production of lifegiving substance.)
Mysteries of God: Doctrines revealed through endlessly repeating the same rote ordinances in the temple.
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