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Monday, August 8, 2011

Glossary of Mormon Terms - Or What the Heck Does That Mean?? N-Z

Nauvoo:  Nauvoo, Illinois (mentioned in Robyn’s tweets).  In 1839, LDS members were forced to flee Missouri due to the 1838 Mormon War and the Missouri Executive Order 44 proclamation.  They regrouped in Quincy, Illinois, whose non-Mormon citizens aided the LDS refugees as they were shocked by the harsh treatment the LDS members had received in Missouri.  LDS leaders learned that land was for sale in nearby Commerce, and settled there.  They renamed the town Nauvoo, which is derived from the traditional Hebrew language with an anglicized spelling. The word comes from Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains...”  By 1844 Nauvoo's population rivaled the size of Chicago at the time.

Numbered Men: Some fundamentalist groups use this term to refer to male members who believe they are numbered among the “144,000” mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

One-Man Rule: This expression refers to a leadership model adopted by the FLDS community in Short Creek. Some fundamentalists interpret Doctrine and Covenants 132:7 to mean that only one person on earth can hold the “keys” of the priesthood (i.i. the Prophet) . They believe this leader has direct contact with God and that his au­thority extends into the next life. Thus, a person’s very welfare in eternity depends on his or her relationship with that leader and absolute support of him.

On-the-Street: This slang term is used in relation to those who are expelled from the FLDS community.

Ordinance: A prescribed ceremony related to the reception of a blessing, covenant or ordination - for example, baptism, confirmation, and marriage are all ordinances. An ordinance must be performed by one who has been ordained to the priesthood and authorized to perform the ordinance.
Other mother: Children in polygamous families often use this term to refer to their biological mother's "sister-wives."

Patriarch: A title of priesthood authority applied to a man as the spiritual head of his family. It can also apply to a man who practices plural marriage ( “Patriarchal Law of Plural Marriage”). This role is sometimes seen to give an unchallenged right to rule the family without regard to the feelings or well-being of wives or children.

Patriarchal Law (or Patriarchal Marriage): Fundamentalist often use these terms as synonyms for celestial plural marriage.

Pearl of Great Price: Book of scripture translated and written by the Prophet Joseph Smith, including additional records of Abraham and Moses.   It contains selections from the Book of Moses", "The Book of Abraham", "Joseph Smith—Matthew", "Joseph Smith—History" and "The Articles of Faith". 

Plyg (or Polyg): A highly offensive and demeaning term for those who practice polygamy.

Poofers: A slang term for girls who suddenly disappear from their community to enter an arranged marriage. The girls are either kept hidden or moved to another state or country. This is most often used by the FLDS.

Pre-existence (pre-mortal existence) – In LDS doctrine, humans are first begotten as spirit children in heaven, living in Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother’s presence, and then born naturally on earth.  The preexistence spirits come down and inhabit babies at the time of birth and their memories of the preexistence are lost at the time.

Priesthood - The power of God; the authority given to men to act in God's name; the men of the Church in general.   Duly conferred priesthood power is called “authority”. Women cannot be priesthood holders
Aaronic Priesthood - The lesser priesthood which includes the offices of deacon, teacher, priest and bishop; conferred on faithful male members beginning at age 12. Responsibilities of Aaronic priesthood include preparing and offering the sacrament (communion) to Church members during Sunday worship services, visiting and teaching members in their homes, collecting contributions for the poor, and baptizing.
Melchizedek Priesthood
The higher of the two priesthoods; includes offices of elder, high priest, patriarch, seventy and apostle; conferred upon faithful males age 18 and older. Members of this priesthood serve in Church administrative assignments, hold the power of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, may anoint and heal the sick, etc

The Principle of Plural Marriage: Most commonly referred to as the Principle.  See Mister Sister’s August 7 post..
Prophet: The title for the man who can speak with and receive direction from God for all members of the community. The FLDS call the leader of their church “the prophet”. However, the term is not generally used in other groups or among indepen­dent fundamentalists who have no designated leaders.

Reassignment: The FLDS are said to interpret Doctrine and Covenants 132:44 to mean that wives and children do not belong to the husband, but to the priesthood. If the husband falls out of favor with priesthood leaders or his wives, his family may be reassigned to another man.

Relief Society – LDS church's women's organization.  Every Latter-day Saint woman age 18 or older is automatically a member of the Relief Society.

Red: Some FLDS members believe Jesus Christ will return to the earth wearing red robes and that He is the only one who should wear red. They also believe that Satan wears red to imitate Christ, and members may be offended by people wearing red or even offering red clothing.

Release: Some Fundamentalist Mormons use this term to refer to the cancellation of a sealing or plural marriage (divorce). Only priesthood leaders can “release” a spouse from a marriage.

Repent From Afar: Former FLDS members say that, when members are “cor­rected” or “handled”, they must leave their homes and family and move away in order to repent.

Restorationism:  The doctrine that the true Christian church died out in the early 2nd century until it was restored by Joseph Smith with the establishment of the LDS Church.  Restoration is the re-establishment of the ancient gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith in the latter days.

Saints: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, i.e. Mormons.

Sealing: An ordinance performed in the temple uniting a husband and wife, or children and their parents, eternally.  Required to get to the Celestial Kingdom.

Second Ward or 2nd Warder: A derogatory term for families who left Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona in the 1980’s to start their own community in Centennial Park.  Members of the Centennial Park community do not like this term because it suggests an association between the two groups. Members of the FLDS church in Hildale/Colorado City are also called “First-Warders.”

Sons of Helaman: A group of young men in the FLDS community who purport­edly dress in uniform, perform marches and act as watchdogs within the community. At times, they have been instructed by FLDS leaders to enter houses without knocking and report if members own or use computers, television sets, novels or other materi­als banned by church authority. The term, Sons of Helaman, is taken from a group of warriors in the Book of Mormon.

Sons of Perdition:.  “those who had a sure and perfect knowledge of the truth, then voluntarily turned from it”.  Will not take part in the Glory of God in the afterlife and will be cast into outer darkness.  Usually refers to high ranking LDS leaders who leave the church.

Stake: A geographical ecclesiastical subdivision of the Church, composed of several wards and sometimes branches. Similar to a diocese in the Roman Catholic Church.

Tabernacle: A building used for assemblies

TempleA sacred building, the "house of the Lord," in which Latter-day Saints perform sacred ordinances
Temple recommend:   a certificate issued to LDS Church members, allowing them to enter the temple and participate in ordinances. In order to obtain a recommend, the candidate must meet with the Bishop and Stake President  in private meetings to determine  worthiness by answering specific questions pertaining to his or her faithfulness.  A temple recommend is issued for a specific period of time.

Testimony: A personal confession of faith .  "I know the Church is true" is the key assertion in the standard LDS testimony .

Tithing: The donation of one-tenth of one's income to the Church.   The amount one pays is determined in a personal annual tithing settlement meeting with the bishop

Uncle: "Uncle" may refer to a biological uncle, the FLDS prophet or a title of respect or endearment to an elder in the family or community. Some fundamentalist children  call their own father "uncle" as a way of protecting the father's identity.

"Word of Wisdom": A health code given by Joseph Smith which the church interprets as requiring abstinence from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, coffee, black tea, and recreational drugs.  See Pretty in Pink’s excellent post from July 27th on the WoW.

United Order / Law of Consecration: The Law of Consecration teaches that everything (time, talents, property and possessions)  is to be used/consecrated to build up the kingdom of God.  The United Order is a social and economic system used to implement this Law.  It is a form of communalism practiced by some Mormon fundamentalistsParticipants deed (consecrate) all their property to the United Order, which in turn deeds back an "inheritance" (or "stewardship") that allows members to control the property.   At the end of each year, any excess that the family produces from their stewardship is voluntarily given back to the Order. The Order in each community is operated by the local Bishop.   The AUB is said to practice this. 



  1. Interesting thank you. So via proxy baptism of the dead and sealing, polygamy still exists with main stream mormon's and they removed the practice but still believe in it in their afterlife?

  2. Guys, don't you think this will be great to refer back to?

  3. So, who is wearing red today?

  4. Elect of Israel (also “the elect”): Some fundamentalists believe they are literal descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel and are called to do God’s work in the last days. Thus, they are God’s chosen people or “elect”.

    Sorry, running back and forth doing laundry!

    Now, I'd like to see the genealogy saying so.
    Even the British Royalty can only trace back so far; before that, people only had one name. I think god didn't want you to be able to trace all the way back to prevent this type of stuff.

  5. Re this "elect stuff":
    I think this was what Robyn alluded to when she pointed out that her family could trace its roots back to settling Nauvoo. I think she was saying, "I am a better/purer Mormon than most."

    Certainly many BIC (Born in the Covenant) or born Mormons behave as if they were superior to converts. So it isn't much of a stretch to think that this would extend to those who can trace their lineage back to the original LDS settlers.

    As for direct descendents of the tribes of Israel, I believe this is somewhere in the BoM or D&C and has been scientifically disproven, but continues to be believed.

  6. I'll pick this one to "pick on" -
    "Pre-existence (pre-mortal existence) – In LDS doctrine, humans are first begotten as spirit children in heaven, living in Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother’s presence, and then born naturally on earth. The preexistence spirits come down and inhabit babies at the time of birth and their memories of the preexistence are lost at the time."
    Well, that's just plain WRONG.
    Creepy, weird, ugh!
    And I am with ya, Terrasola, they DO think they are better than every one else. Luckily, as a christian, I feel NO better than everyone else, only god judges that.

  7. Interesting comments. Wow!

    Do we know why they were against the color red?

    That baffled me. The article I read offered no explanation. The color red is the least of their worries!

    This will come in handy!

  8. But God made the red rose? It does have thorns....
    Red Tomato?

  9. Warren Jeffs said that red was banned because it was reserved for Jesus, who would be wearing red robes at the Second Coming.

  10. I like this list. Keep them coming, it will help me when I get lost.

  11. I think you missed one, and I'm not joking!!!!!
    under S...
    Urban Dictionary - 1 In Mormonism, when a man inserts his penis into a woman's vagina (or a man's asshole), but doesn't move it around.
    Josh and CJ were spraying each other with ginger ale after the big victory. soon, it became apparent that Josh was attracted to CJ. After taking him out to the straight-edge bowling extravaganza and treating him to pizza, Josh convinced CJ to come home with him to let it soak.

    I shit you not!!! I knew a Mormon girl who talked about it!!!LOLLOL

  12. Keep it up T, these are great, I keep coming back to look at them. You might even Star the one's that pertain to the Brown's, so people will know.

  13. OK, so here are some acronyms:
    TBMs - True Believing Mormons
    BIC - Born in the Covenant (Mormon from birth)
    CTR - choose the right (Mormon version of WWJD)
    JSV - Joseph Smith Version (of the Bible)
    MST - Mormon Standard Time (a cultural tendency towards tardiness)

  14. Just wanted to point out that this is a mixed list of terms from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, blended with terms used by a completely different church called the Fundamentalist Mormons. They are not the same church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) do not believe in or practice plural marriage. Thanks for clarifying some generally confusing terms, I feel it was necessary to clarify that these are two separate organizations as I feel an average reader that could easily assume that they are the same.