Glossary

Terms, shorthand, jargon, and other abbreviations defined.

BoM: Book of Mormon

covenant: a two-way promise with God, entered into by individuals and couples (marriage). The covenant maker promises to obey specific commandments and do specific things while God makes promises in return. Covenants are made and signified by ordinances (see below).

D&C: Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accept as scripture, on par with the Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon.

Endowment: an ordinance (sacred ceremony) performed in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples that is necessary for salvation. It includes making a set of covenants with God and receiving the promise of blessings in return.

Family Home Evening (FHE): every family (and individual) in the Church is asked to set aside one night a week to have a Gospel lesson. A typical FHE includes singing, prayers, a lesson, and sometimes an activity. The goal of FHE is to make the home the locus of Gospel learning and to strengthen families.

KJV: King James Version (translation) of the Bible.

natural man: the fallen and mortal part of our selves that stands in opposition to God; opposition because it is mortal and God is immortal, but also because the natural or fallen person is subject to temptation and frequently conflicts with godly characteristics and behaviors. (See Mosiah 3:19, BoM.)

ordinance: a ceremony or ritual performed by someone with authority from God that is  tied to a specific covenant (promise with God). The Gospel of Jesus Christ describes the ordinances necessary for salvation and God’s church provides the required ordinances as well as access to God’s authority and power. Individuals must participate in saving ordinances to receive eternal life.

PoG: Pearl of Great Price

Restoration: following Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the deaths of His apostles, the priesthood was taken from the earth and Christ’s church no longer existed as He had established it. In 1820 Joseph Smith Jr. saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in person. They called him as a prophet and initiated the Restoration of Christ’s church. In 1830 Joseph Smith Jr. officially organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, named by Jesus Christ Himself. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints follows the same organization as Christ’s ancient church, operates under the same priesthood, and provides the same ordinances necessary for salvation. The Church today is led by President Russell M. Nelson, the seventeenth prophet in an unbroken line of priesthood leadership.

set apart: when a person receives a calling (assignment) in the Church a member of the Bishopric or Branch Presidency gives them a special Priesthood blessing that officially designates their assignment, gives them the keys and skills necessary to complete their assignment, and also sometimes communicates counsel or other blessings from God to help the individual in his or her new assignment. It is safe to say that beyond the specifically LDS meaning we can also read into the phrase it’s literally meaning; when a person is set apart in his or her calling s/he is “set apart” or “designated” or “taken out of” their previous life mode or self-construct or normal routine to look at life and his or her congregation/community in a new way, as a servant of God with a new assignment for serving His children.

transfer: a measurement of six weeks used in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint missions. Every six weeks missionaries are moved to new geographic areas of service or told to remain in their current area. Colleague assignments are also changed on this schedule.

the world: this generalizing term captures for Latter-day Saints the collective attitudes, media, people, and more that are considered contrary to or even antagonistic toward God, Church doctrine, morality, restored truth, Jesus Christ. “The world” conceptually aligns with the Church of Jesus Christ idea of carnality or the natural man. Most Latter-day Saints think of the oft repeated injunction to “be in the world but not of the world,” paraphrased from John 17 (NT). Latter-day Saints accept that they live in this world, as created for testing and spiritual growth, but believe that they should not succumb to worldly desires, temptations, praises, and honors.