10 More Common Words That Mean Something Different to Mormons




I remember being in a professional development course and how the instructor emphasized not using too much jargon with the families we worked with because it could be intimidating and give the families a sense of isolation.  Similarly, there is much jargon that is well known to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but that is not understood by everyone.  It is important to be aware of the words we use and how others might interpret them.  Due to popularity of the original list (found here), I have created a new list of 10 more words.


1. Branch
What it means to everyone else: A limb of a tree.
What it means to a Mormon: A geographically organized congregation of the Church where there are fewer members.
What it means to everyone else: A vocation, profession, or trade.
What it means to a Mormon: A voluntary position or assignment in which members have been asked to serve.
3. Ensign
What it means to everyone else: A sign, token, or emblem.
What it means to a Mormon: A monthly magazine produced by the Church that is filled with articles and ideas that strengthen and uplift families and members.
march-2009-ensign
4. Laurel
What it means to everyone else: A small European Evergreen tree.
What it means to a Mormon: The name given to the group of 16 and 17 year old young women in the church. For centuries the laurel wreath has been a crown woven from the leaves of the laurel tree. It is given to someone who finishes a significant achievement as a symbol of honor and accomplishment. Laurels today are finishing their preparation to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple.
What it means to everyone else: A verb meaning to mention favorably.
What it means to a Mormon: A noun referring to a temple recommend in which youth and adults, ages 12 and older, need in order to enter into a temple. Temples are holy places of worship where individuals come to learn and make covenants with God.  Because of the sacredness and responsibility of covenant making, an individual must have fully prepared themselves beforehand.
6. Sealed
What it means to everyone else: To fasten or close tightly.
What it means to a Mormon: A temple ordinance in which husband and wife, or children and their parents, are sealed to one another for eternity. A sealing performed in the temple continues forever if the husband and wife are faithful to the covenants they make.
What it means to everyone else: A special school providing education in theology or religious history.
What it means to a Mormon: A four-year religious education program for youth, usually in grades 9-12. Students and teachers meet each weekday during the school year, often in the early morning hours before the start of regular school, to study the scriptures including: the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants.
What it means to everyone else: Evidence in support of a fact or statement.
What it means to a Mormon: A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior's true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel.
9. Triple
What it means to everyone else: Something threefold.
What it means to a Mormon: Part of the phrase “triple combination” meaning a set of scriptures comprising of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
10. Ward
What it means to everyone else: A division or floor of a hospital for a particular group of patients.
What it means to a Mormon: Large local congregations that are organized geographically.
Jefra Rees is the wife of a loving husband and the mother of a young son with sensory processing challenges. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development and also has a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, both from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked with children and families in a variety of settings, but her greatest work is that which is done in her own home.

6 comments

  1. The only ones I see that are different are Branch, Laurel and Ward. Other than those, the meaning of words is the same (although in the Church context these are magnified, hahaha)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ward also refers to a geographical area of a city, often for voting purposes--which was the original way it was used in the Church. Nauvoo was divided into four wards to facilitate assignments on the temple building project and such. Our current meaning was an outgrowth of that original usage.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jefra from Sis. Lopez in Seminole, nice to see you are doing great. Melissa and Aiden say hello!

    ReplyDelete