Tuesday, July 28, 2015

9 Confusing Words

9 Easily Confused Mormon Terms and What They Actually Mean

            Whether you’ve grown up as a member of the Church or were more recently introduced to it, there are plenty of words and phrases unique to Mormon culture that you hear used all the time. But have you ever heard or seen one of these used incorrectly? Add to our list in the comments below!

Councilor and Counselor

            Did the high councilor speak in sacrament meeting today or did you meet with the second counselor in the Bishopric? While this one can be confusing whether you’re a member of the Church or not, remembering which form of this word to use can get especially tricky for Latter-day Saints, who use both words on a regular basis.   
What’s the difference?
            A councilor is a member of a group that administrates. In the Church, high councilors are members of the stake council and help coordinate and direct the activities of wards within their stake.
            A counselor is someone who gives advice. There are counselors in the Bishopric, Relief Society, and many other organizations in the Church. Their job is to help give advice, input, and support to the leaders of those organizations.


            With all those consonants jammed together, no wonder this one gets tricky to spell, let alone say! As much as we like showing respect for our country, it's not a patriotical blessing. If you struggle with saying this word as much as I do, try breaking it into four smaller words, MadGab-style: Pay-tree-are-call.
How do we use it?
            This word is most commonly used in the Church as part of the phrase “patriarchal blessing.” Since a patriarch is a father or founder, a patriarchal blessing from our ultimate Father and Founder—Heavenly Father.

Terrestrial, not Terrestial

            Considering that this one is usually surrounded by Celestial and Telestial, it’s easy to forget that the Terrestrial kingdom has an extra “r” thrown in.
How do we use it?
            The terrestrial kingdom’s glory is compared to the light of the moon. D&C 76 tells us that those who will inherit this degree of glory will be honorable, but will not have been “valiant in the testimony of Jesus.”

Proselyting or Proselytizing?

            Though the Church has used both of these words throughout the years, proselytizing has become the more common and accurate word to use.
How do we use it?
            Most Latter-day Saints will be familiar with this word in connection to missionary work. Serving a proselytizing mission or proselytizing while on a mission simply means to go out and find people to teach about the gospel.


            This one’s difficult to pronounce, but is frequently used in connection to the higher priesthood.
How do we use it?
            The Aaronic Priesthood is considered the first step in the priesthood and has certain responsibilities. The Melchizedek is the next and has additional responsibilities. The Melchizedek Priesthood authority is actually the “Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son.” However, to avoid too frequent repetition of the Lord's name, it began being called after Melchizedek, because he was such a great high priest.

Stake or Steak?

            The stakes could be high when you invite a friend not from church to your stake barbecue and there isn’t any steak!
How do we use it?
            This is a common term in the Church and refers to a group of wards—usually around 3-5 thousand members. The term originally came from D&C, which describes large gatherings of saints as “stakes of Zion.” These “stakes” are meant to stay firmly planted in the ground and help support the “tent” of Zion.

MTC, not Empty Sea

            Where is the Empty Sea anyway? Is it near the Dead Sea? Or the Red Sea? While this one might be a more common mix-up for neighbors and friends outside the Church, even children or youth in the Church might be confused about why the missionaries had to report to the Empty Sea!
How do we use it?
            This is a funny mistake that sometimes happens when we talk about missionaries going to the MTC—short for “Missionary Training Center”—to learn how to be a missionary before entering the field.

Deseret, dessert, or desert?

            These three words are more tricky to remember how to spell than to say. But they can still be confusing when pioneers who didn't desert the faith are eating dessert in their desert home of Deseret! 
How do we use it?
            Deseret is a term that is originally found in the Book of Mormon, meaning “honeybee.” The saints originally proposed “State of Deseret” for the name of their territory, and the University of Utah was originally the University of Deseret. Though this name is used much less frequently today, it is still recognizably a part of one of the largest LDS bookstores, Deseret Book.

Kirtland vs. Kirkland

            This mix-up is pretty uniquely Mormon, thanks to our history in Kirtland, Ohio.
How do we use it?
            Shortly after the Church was formed, the Saints gathered in a settlement in northern Ohio called Kirtland. Here they built a temple and remained until 1838, until persecution forced them to move on to Missouri. Just remember: Kirtland is the temple. Kirkland is the brand your mom buys at Costco.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

If Book of Mormon Is True, It's All True!

Read this book at least 15 minutes every day with your family.

You will learn about Jesus Christ and His love for ALL!

It's true!

I have read it cover-to-cover several times and it has blessed me and fortified me each day for over 40 years.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Pioneer Day!

10 Little-Known Facts about the Pioneer Trek West

            Today, we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrate our pioneer heritage. Stories will be told and heroes will be remembered--the bravery of the Saints at Winter Quarters, the sacrifice of the selfless young men on the banks of the Sweetwater, and the deep relief of Brother Brigham's famous declaration, "This is the right place. Drive on."
            But not every detail of the pioneers' trek west is widely known. So with some help from The Mormon Book of Lists, we're providing you with this collection of little-known facts about the early Saints in hopes that you'll take some time to remember, celebrate, and thank God for the courageous men and women who came before us.

1. During John Taylor's mission to England, generous Saints in the area contributed over $2,000 in gold to help the pioneers in their journey. Brother Taylor brought that money to the Saints when he joined them in Winter Quarters.

2. The pioneers would measure the miles of their journey by tying a rag to a wagon wheel and assigning somebody to count the revolutions. But on April 19, 1847, William Clayton suggested a form of odometer that the Saints would use for the duration of their travels.

3. Pioneer companies communicated with those following by writing on posts and placing them prominently in the trail. Other methods included placing letters in improvised boxes or writing on sun-bleached buffalo skulls.

4. At Fort Laramie the Saints learned that an old nemesis was only slightly ahead of them on the trail: Lilburn W. Boggs, the governor of Missouri who had issued the infamous Extermination Order. Some 150 miles later the Saints caught up with Boggs and his fellow Missourians. In exchange for much-needed flour, meal, and bacon, the Saints ferried the Missourians across the Platte River.

5. The first two Latter-day Saints to enter the Salt Lake Valley were Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow. Using one horse between them, they rode down into the valley on July 21, 1847.

. Orson Pratt made the initial survey of Salt Lake City. Beginning at the southeast corner of the Temple Block, he marked the city out into blocks of ten acres each.

7. The new colony suffered its first death on August 11, 1847, when 3-year-old Milton Therlkill drowned in City Creek. Four days later his parents were comforted with the birth of a daughter, the second child born in the valley. (The first was born August 9.)

8. To protect themselves from Indians, in August 1847 the pioneers began to build a stockade three blocks south and three west of the Temple Block. The fort’s east wall was built of logs, with the other three walls being built of adobe. The Saints built their first homes within the walls of the fort.

9. Brigham Young named the new city “the Great Salt Lake City, of the Great Basin of North America.” Heber C. Kimball named the river running to the west of the settlement “the Western Jordan.”

10. President Brigham Young and the Apostles stayed in the valley for only one month before beginning the return trek to Winter Quarters on August 26.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Seek Truth

          God’s children are encouraged to “seek learning, … by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118). Following this pattern helps individuals qualify for the help of the Holy Ghost in the learning process. Today, the Internet and other sources provide an abundance of information—some true, some false, and some misleading—about the Church’s doctrine, history, and position on social issues, making it especially important for us to rely on the Holy Ghost to help us discern truth from error. Learning to identify and use appropriate sources of information is part of this process.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hearken Unto the Voice of the Lord...the First Time!

Rembrandt's sketch of Old Testament story
of Balaam, his talking donkey & the destroying angel
Numbers 22-23, 31
Balaam and the Talking Donkey

Adapted from Scripture Stories (PBIC0358) (Num. 22–23, Num. 31)

          When the children of Israel neared the promised land, the Lord commanded them to conquer several kingdoms. As a result, the people living in the promised land greatly feared the Israelites, especially the Moabites. Balak, the Moabite king, knew that a man named Balaam was a prophet, and the king hoped that Balaam might use his power to curse the Israelites.
            Balak sent his elders and princes to Balaam with gifts and treasures to pay for the cursing of Israel. The gifts were enticing, and Balaam wanted them, but he knew that he must pray for Heavenly Father’s guidance.
            In answer to Balaam’s prayer the Lord said, “Thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.”
            The next morning Balaam refused to curse Israel and sent the Moabites away. But King Balak would not give up. He sent more princes to Balaam. This time he promised Balaam more than just riches: “Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
            “For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me.”
            But Balaam refused again, saying, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I [could] not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.”
            However, Balaam did invite the Moabites to stay with him that night. Excited by the promise of riches and power, Balaam secretly hoped the Lord would change His mind and permit him to go to Balak.
            After much pleading with the Lord, Balaam was told that if the Moabites asked him again to go to Moab, he was to go. But even then he was to do only as the Lord directed him. Balaam was so anxious to go that he arose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and set out with the princes of Moab.
            The Lord was angry with Balaam for his disobedience. He sent an angel with a sword to stand before Balaam in the road. The donkey saw the angel and stopped, but Balaam could not see him and did not understand why the donkey had stopped. Balaam hit the donkey and urged it on. The donkey went only a short distance and saw the angel standing in the road between two walls. Because there was no room to turn aside, the donkey turned into the wall and Balaam’s foot was crushed. Still unable to see the angel himself, Balaam angrily hit the donkey again. Farther down the road the angel again appeared before them at a narrow part of the path. The donkey could not turn in any direction, so it fell to the ground. Balaam was very angry indeed and hit the donkey with his staff.
            Then the Lord caused the donkey to speak: “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”
            Balaam angrily answered, “Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.”
            The donkey responded, “Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?”
            “Nay,” Balaam replied.
            Then the Lord allowed Balaam to see the angel in the road. Balaam finally understood his donkey’s behavior. Ashamed, he bowed his head and fell to the ground. The angel rebuked him, explained that the donkey had saved his life, and counseled him to obey God’s words. Balaam admitted, “I have sinned.”
            The angel told him: “Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee … thou shalt speak.” Balaam went on to Moab, where Balak continued to coax and promise him great wealth and power if he would curse Israel, but Balaam refused. However, because Balaam wanted the approval of the Moabites, he told them other ways they could harm the Israelites. Some time later Balaam was killed by the Israelites.