Episode 77: Mormon Expressions

91 comments on “Episode 77: Mormon Expressions”

  1. Richard of Norway Reply

    Glenn, I totally picked up the sac prayer from your measure beats about 10 seconds in. That was awesome.

    Loved the Harry Potter stuff at the end! I wonder how the play went. Did you make a good sorting hat John? Remember: You have to sing an introduction song about all four houses before getting started with the sorting.

    • Richard of Norway Reply

      …I guess it was more like 5 seconds in. The beat where they would say “..to bless and sanctify this..” is where I picked up what it was. That was pretty impressive stuff. You’re a clever dude. 🙂

      I gotta say the mandatory initial in the name always gets me too. I hate that no matter who they are, once they become a GA they suddenly HAVE TO use an initial with their name. My mission pres became GA and suddenly added a T as his middle initial. Or began using it at least, he probably had the middle name before but never used it. But if he didn’t have one I’m sure he would have added one, just to fit in.

  2. Richard of Norway Reply

    Glenn, I totally picked up the sac prayer from your measure beats about 10 seconds in. That was awesome.

    Loved the Harry Potter stuff at the end! I wonder how the play went. Did you make a good sorting hat John? Remember: You have to sing an introduction song about all four houses before getting started with the sorting.

    • Richard of Norway Reply

      …I guess it was more like 5 seconds in. The beat where they would say “..to bless and sanctify this..” is where I picked up what it was. That was pretty impressive stuff. You’re a clever dude. 🙂

      I gotta say the mandatory initial in the name always gets me too. I hate that no matter who they are, once they become a GA they suddenly HAVE TO use an initial with their name. My mission pres became GA and suddenly added a T as his middle initial. Or began using it at least, he probably had the middle name before but never used it. But if he didn’t have one I’m sure he would have added one, just to fit in.

  3. DuzTruthMatter Reply

    Great podcast guys.

    If the GA’s didn’t use the initials, we wouldn’t know if we were listening to L. Tom Perry or Tom Perry on these podcasts. I prefer the latter, btw.

    Just a whole nother batch of Moisms:

    “We are so (eternally, forever) grateful …”

    “We ask thee to bless us that we may travel safely (home, to church, to the beach, …)”, then drive 90mph to get there.

    “We have been spiritually fed by the talks we have heard today”. (When we weren’t dozing off or preparing our Sunday School lessons)

    “We are grateful for the sacrifice of OUR ELDER BROTHER”

    I like the idea of bringing on new people, but it didn’t work out as well as planned this week.

  4. DuzTruthMatter Reply

    Great podcast guys.

    If the GA’s didn’t use the initials, we wouldn’t know if we were listening to L. Tom Perry or Tom Perry on these podcasts. I prefer the latter, btw.

    Just a whole nother batch of Moisms:

    “We are so (eternally, forever) grateful …”

    “We ask thee to bless us that we may travel safely (home, to church, to the beach, …)”, then drive 90mph to get there.

    “We have been spiritually fed by the talks we have heard today”. (When we weren’t dozing off or preparing our Sunday School lessons)

    “We are grateful for the sacrifice of OUR ELDER BROTHER”

    I like the idea of bringing on new people, but it didn’t work out as well as planned this week.

  5. Randy S Reply

    Tom,

    You crack me up. Just because you are a genuinely sincere person you balk at the fact that Mormon public prayers are a performance? Are you kidding me? The average Mormon, I guarantee, is thinking more about how their prayer sounds to the audience than they are about how it glorifies their god. And the pinnacle of all prayer performances in the church are general conference prayers. Why do you think these guys pontificate with the most flowery language for like 5 minutes in these prayers if they are not a performance?

    • Tom Perry Reply

      Randy,

      I did get defensive about Glenn calling public prayers a performance because I’ve never viewed my own public prayers as a “performance”. But you can notice that during the discussion I actually begin to accept the view that most public prayers do come across more like a sermon to the audience rather than something directed just to God.

      So yes, I was a bit defensive in the beginning, but I do agree with you and the others that most Mormon public prayers do end up being more of a performance rather than a just a prayer.

      • Randy S Reply

        Your initial reaction does betray your personality of being a sincere person though. I could not honestly say that I was as sincere. I tried to give prayers that would touch the audience and I feel really embarrassed by it now. Now my prayers go to the Flying Spaghetti Monster so that’s all history now.

        I did listen to the podcast a second time and you definitely softened on your position.

        • Glenn Reply

          I think it really boils down to what is meant by “performance.” We talk about “performing” ordinances and that doesn’t seem strange or insincere or grandiose, right?

      • Andy A Reply

        I agree with the performance thing. And I feel that if ever anyone says to another person “That was a lovely prayer.” THEY obviously felt it was a performance as well.

  6. Randy S Reply

    Tom,

    You crack me up. Just because you are a genuinely sincere person you balk at the fact that Mormon public prayers are a performance? Are you kidding me? The average Mormon, I guarantee, is thinking more about how their prayer sounds to the audience than they are about how it glorifies their god. And the pinnacle of all prayer performances in the church are general conference prayers. Why do you think these guys pontificate with the most flowery language for like 5 minutes in these prayers if they are not a performance?

    • Tom Perry Reply

      Randy,

      I did get defensive about Glenn calling public prayers a performance because I’ve never viewed my own public prayers as a “performance”. But you can notice that during the discussion I actually begin to accept the view that most public prayers do come across more like a sermon to the audience rather than something directed just to God.

      So yes, I was a bit defensive in the beginning, but I do agree with you and the others that most Mormon public prayers do end up being more of a performance rather than a just a prayer.

      • Randy S Reply

        Your initial reaction does betray your personality of being a sincere person though. I could not honestly say that I was as sincere. I tried to give prayers that would touch the audience and I feel really embarrassed by it now. Now my prayers go to the Flying Spaghetti Monster so that’s all history now.

        I did listen to the podcast a second time and you definitely softened on your position.

        • Glenn Reply

          I think it really boils down to what is meant by “performance.” We talk about “performing” ordinances and that doesn’t seem strange or insincere or grandiose, right?

      • Andy A Reply

        I agree with the performance thing. And I feel that if ever anyone says to another person “That was a lovely prayer.” THEY obviously felt it was a performance as well.

  7. Duke of Earl Grey Reply

    “We say these things in the name of Jesus Christ…”

    From my own experience, I’ve said that mainly because “In the name of Jesus Christ” by itself is a sentence fragment, and I don’t like using sentence fragments in formal speech.

  8. Duke of Earl Grey Reply

    “We say these things in the name of Jesus Christ…”

    From my own experience, I’ve said that mainly because “In the name of Jesus Christ” by itself is a sentence fragment, and I don’t like using sentence fragments in formal speech.

  9. Swearing Elder Reply

    I come before you to humbly declare that I enjoyed this fine episode. I think it shall stand as a testament to future generations, even unto the fourth or fifth generation.

    A related topic you should tackle are Mormon names. I can put you in touch with a linguistics professor at the U who has done research on that topic if you want. In the meantime, I was googling a KUER broadcast on this topic I remember hearing way back when; I couldn’t find it, but did stumble on this:
    http://wesclark.com/ubn/herald.html

    I say these things…yeah, even so…Amen.

  10. Swearing Elder Reply

    I come before you to humbly declare that I enjoyed this fine episode. I think it shall stand as a testament to future generations, even unto the fourth or fifth generation.

    A related topic you should tackle are Mormon names. I can put you in touch with a linguistics professor at the U who has done research on that topic if you want. In the meantime, I was googling a KUER broadcast on this topic I remember hearing way back when; I couldn’t find it, but did stumble on this:
    http://wesclark.com/ubn/herald.html

    I say these things…yeah, even so…Amen.

  11. Megan Reply

    “Keep us from harm or accident”
    “In the world, but not OF the world”
    “Bless and sanctify”

    Oh, and the over-use of words like truly:

    I am so truly grateful; we were so truly blessed. So. Truly.

    Is it just Mormons that use “yea” in talks? As in “yea, even until I understood what the Lord was telling me…”

    Or the 2 second testimony given by every four year old in the chapel (preface with heavy breathing into the mike for three minutes:

    IwannaBearMyTestimony – sniff – IknowThisChurchizzTrue – sniff – IknowThatJosephSmithWazzaProphetaGod – sniff, wipe nose with hand, clean off on church trousers/dress – IlovemyMummyanDaddy[insert siblings as required] – heavy breathing – InnaNammahJeezussChriseAYYYmen.

  12. Megan Reply

    “Keep us from harm or accident”
    “In the world, but not OF the world”
    “Bless and sanctify”

    Oh, and the over-use of words like truly:

    I am so truly grateful; we were so truly blessed. So. Truly.

    Is it just Mormons that use “yea” in talks? As in “yea, even until I understood what the Lord was telling me…”

    Or the 2 second testimony given by every four year old in the chapel (preface with heavy breathing into the mike for three minutes:

    IwannaBearMyTestimony – sniff – IknowThisChurchizzTrue – sniff – IknowThatJosephSmithWazzaProphetaGod – sniff, wipe nose with hand, clean off on church trousers/dress – IlovemyMummyanDaddy[insert siblings as required] – heavy breathing – InnaNammahJeezussChriseAYYYmen.

  13. Wes Cauthers Reply

    I TOTALLY agree that Mormon prayer is more often than not a rote performance due to the specific criteria layed out by the church that must be adhered to. Spontaneity or anything other than the prescribed methods is not encouraged and would definitely be looked down upon like what happened with Glenn’s dad. What a drag….as if it’s not already enough to control every other aspect of members’ lives.

    • Swearing Elder Reply

      From Boyd “K” Packer:

      “There is something else: We are drifting from the use of reverential words in our prayers. Familiar terms such as you and yours are replacing thee and thine in prayer. Teach the children and gently inform new members that we use reverential terms when addressing our Heavenly Father in prayer.” (“Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, November 1991)

      Yeah, why exactly is using Jacobean English somehow more reverent?

      Oh, and one more thing from that article. He totally frowns down upon Mormon Expression and other ventures of this type:

      “Recently the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles issued a statement alerting members of the Church to the dangers of participating in circles which concentrate on doctrine and ordinances and measure them by the intellect alone. If doctrines and behavior are measured by the intellect alone, the essential spiritual ingredient is missing, and we will be misled.”

      • Gunnar R. Reply

        Swearing Elder said:

        “Yeah, why exactly is using Jacobean English somehow more reverent?”

        I agree that this is one of the silliest notions held by the Church. As has been pointed out before, the only reason that the King James Tranlation used Jacobean English is that that was the language in current use at the time the translation was made.

        Another misconception promulgated by Church authorities is that the use of “thee”, “thou”, “thy”, and the verb conjugations associated with their use are more formal or “honorific” than the “you” forms now exclusively used in normal, modern English. This is just the opposite of the truth. Anyone who has served foreign language missions where they had to learn European languages such as the Germanic or Romantic languages knows that the English “thee” and “thou” forms translate into the familiar forms that are exlusively used in less formal situations while addressing family members and other close associates. In King James’ time, for any commoners to use “thee” and “thou” when addressing those of the royal or noble classes would be taken as grossly insulting and disrespectful, and would very likely get them arrested and even imprisoned!

        I know that in my own native language, Norwegian, and also in Danish (and also in Spanish, as those who have served Spanish-speaking missions will attest), it is invariably the familiar forms of the second-person pronouns that are used in addressing God in prayer — not the formal forms. I know little of Oriental languages, but I suppose they may differ by using the most honorific forms when addressing diety.

        Mormon scholars and linguists who teach these languages at Church-owned schools surely must be aware of all this, but I suppose this comes under the category of “intellectual knowledge that can only confuse.”

  14. Wes Cauthers Reply

    I TOTALLY agree that Mormon prayer is more often than not a rote performance due to the specific criteria layed out by the church that must be adhered to. Spontaneity or anything other than the prescribed methods is not encouraged and would definitely be looked down upon like what happened with Glenn’s dad. What a drag….as if it’s not already enough to control every other aspect of members’ lives.

    • Swearing Elder Reply

      From Boyd “K” Packer:

      “There is something else: We are drifting from the use of reverential words in our prayers. Familiar terms such as you and yours are replacing thee and thine in prayer. Teach the children and gently inform new members that we use reverential terms when addressing our Heavenly Father in prayer.” (“Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, November 1991)

      Yeah, why exactly is using Jacobean English somehow more reverent?

      Oh, and one more thing from that article. He totally frowns down upon Mormon Expression and other ventures of this type:

      “Recently the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles issued a statement alerting members of the Church to the dangers of participating in circles which concentrate on doctrine and ordinances and measure them by the intellect alone. If doctrines and behavior are measured by the intellect alone, the essential spiritual ingredient is missing, and we will be misled.”

      • Gunnar R. Reply

        Swearing Elder said:

        “Yeah, why exactly is using Jacobean English somehow more reverent?”

        I agree that this is one of the silliest notions held by the Church. As has been pointed out before, the only reason that the King James Tranlation used Jacobean English is that that was the language in current use at the time the translation was made.

        Another misconception promulgated by Church authorities is that the use of “thee”, “thou”, “thy”, and the verb conjugations associated with their use are more formal or “honorific” than the “you” forms now exclusively used in normal, modern English. This is just the opposite of the truth. Anyone who has served foreign language missions where they had to learn European languages such as the Germanic or Romantic languages knows that the English “thee” and “thou” forms translate into the familiar forms that are exlusively used in less formal situations while addressing family members and other close associates. In King James’ time, for any commoners to use “thee” and “thou” when addressing those of the royal or noble classes would be taken as grossly insulting and disrespectful, and would very likely get them arrested and even imprisoned!

        I know that in my own native language, Norwegian, and also in Danish (and also in Spanish, as those who have served Spanish-speaking missions will attest), it is invariably the familiar forms of the second-person pronouns that are used in addressing God in prayer — not the formal forms. I know little of Oriental languages, but I suppose they may differ by using the most honorific forms when addressing diety.

        Mormon scholars and linguists who teach these languages at Church-owned schools surely must be aware of all this, but I suppose this comes under the category of “intellectual knowledge that can only confuse.”

  15. Jordan Reply

    There was a lady doing the Weather and Traffic report on the radio, about a year ago, and when she was done, she automatically ended with, “I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Poor lady… it had to have humbled her.

    I tried to find out if someone had put it on youtube so that you all could of heard, but was unable to find it. Darn. I mean, o heck.

  16. Jordan Reply

    There was a lady doing the Weather and Traffic report on the radio, about a year ago, and when she was done, she automatically ended with, “I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Poor lady… it had to have humbled her.

    I tried to find out if someone had put it on youtube so that you all could of heard, but was unable to find it. Darn. I mean, o heck.

  17. loren Reply

    Crack up.

    I actually asked about the middle initial thing in Sunday School earlier this year, which was followed by a few moments of stunned silence from the teacher, you would have thought I’d brought up polyandry or something.

  18. loren Reply

    Crack up.

    I actually asked about the middle initial thing in Sunday School earlier this year, which was followed by a few moments of stunned silence from the teacher, you would have thought I’d brought up polyandry or something.

  19. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Congratulations John etc. I have listened a few times and continue to be impressed with how you all have included so many ideas. Also it is helpful to hear what is ‘peculiar’ to mormonism and what is common in a broader context. Sometimes I can’t see the forest because of the trees.

  20. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Congratulations John etc. I have listened a few times and continue to be impressed with how you all have included so many ideas. Also it is helpful to hear what is ‘peculiar’ to mormonism and what is common in a broader context. Sometimes I can’t see the forest because of the trees.

  21. badseed Reply

    Great podcast. Damn. Mormonism is pretty funny stuff.

    And yes there are some Mormonisms that you didn’t get to. I know time was limited.

    Here are my additions:

    “We’d like to welcome you……..” rather than “welcome to.”

    Saying “reverent” to mean ‘quiet’ rather than the larger idea of reverence for things sacred.

    “By way of announcement”— I think someone may have hit this is in the podcast.

    “Is there anything we can do for you?” as said by Home Teachers.

    The term “moral” being used exclusively in relation to sexuality rather than the normal broader use of moral or morality. ie. Morally clean = no sex

    “ponder and pray”

    I found Glenn’s cadence exercise with the Sacrament prayer fascinating. I recognized it almost immediately and I haven’t attended more than 2-3 times a year for the past 4 years. That stuff is so burned into my brain it will never leave.

    Funny podcast. Thanks.

  22. badseed Reply

    Great podcast. Damn. Mormonism is pretty funny stuff.

    And yes there are some Mormonisms that you didn’t get to. I know time was limited.

    Here are my additions:

    “We’d like to welcome you……..” rather than “welcome to.”

    Saying “reverent” to mean ‘quiet’ rather than the larger idea of reverence for things sacred.

    “By way of announcement”— I think someone may have hit this is in the podcast.

    “Is there anything we can do for you?” as said by Home Teachers.

    The term “moral” being used exclusively in relation to sexuality rather than the normal broader use of moral or morality. ie. Morally clean = no sex

    “ponder and pray”

    I found Glenn’s cadence exercise with the Sacrament prayer fascinating. I recognized it almost immediately and I haven’t attended more than 2-3 times a year for the past 4 years. That stuff is so burned into my brain it will never leave.

    Funny podcast. Thanks.

  23. Anastacia Reply

    I am not Mormon, nor have I ever been, thus I am not entrenched with the culture… I do however have an intense (many a friend has called it unhealthy and obsessive) fascination with the LDS faith, culture and church. I loved this podcast, so entertaining and so nice to hear that I’m not completely alone in thinking the things Mormons say sound a bit odd or contrived. And I agree, what is with the middle initial!?

    I was saddened however that you did not include my favorite expression. Aside from the Rolling Stones’ song, I have never heard this phrase uttered by a non-LDS person; “Salt of the earth,” used when describing someone else, though only when describing a fellow Mormon of course.

    Thank for the great podcast!

  24. Anastacia Reply

    I am not Mormon, nor have I ever been, thus I am not entrenched with the culture… I do however have an intense (many a friend has called it unhealthy and obsessive) fascination with the LDS faith, culture and church. I loved this podcast, so entertaining and so nice to hear that I’m not completely alone in thinking the things Mormons say sound a bit odd or contrived. And I agree, what is with the middle initial!?

    I was saddened however that you did not include my favorite expression. Aside from the Rolling Stones’ song, I have never heard this phrase uttered by a non-LDS person; “Salt of the earth,” used when describing someone else, though only when describing a fellow Mormon of course.

    Thank for the great podcast!

  25. Patrick Reply

    My wife’s grandparents just wrote her a note.

    “Know that you are of much worth to us.”

    I think that means either “I love you” or “we could trade you for a good horse.”

    • Dan M. Reply

      This comment reminds me of Johnny Lingo for some reason. “Mahana, you ugly,” “10-cow wife,” etc. How about all those Mormon films, eh?

  26. Patrick Reply

    My wife’s grandparents just wrote her a note.

    “Know that you are of much worth to us.”

    I think that means either “I love you” or “we could trade you for a good horse.”

    • Dan M. Reply

      This comment reminds me of Johnny Lingo for some reason. “Mahana, you ugly,” “10-cow wife,” etc. How about all those Mormon films, eh?

  27. Duke of Earl Grey Reply

    I think you missed one of the biggest ones: “opportunity”. As in “I’m thankful for the opportunity to post this blog reply today.” Everything in Mormonism is an opportunity, even the “opportunity” to just be there in church.

  28. Duke of Earl Grey Reply

    I think you missed one of the biggest ones: “opportunity”. As in “I’m thankful for the opportunity to post this blog reply today.” Everything in Mormonism is an opportunity, even the “opportunity” to just be there in church.

  29. Anon Reply

    The notion of ‘sacred language’ came to mind while I was listening to this podcast. I am wondering if the LDS religion has such, which possibly relates to this quote:

    “As I shall demonstrate, sacred language emerges from a continuous process whereby secular words are transformed into sacred ones, and in time, sacred words are returned, if you will, to the domain of the common people. The relationship between sacred and secular language is not unique to Lakota, and perhaps it is a universal feature of languages.”

    — Sacred Language, The Nature of Supernatural Discourse in Lakota by William K. Powers

  30. Anon Reply

    The notion of ‘sacred language’ came to mind while I was listening to this podcast. I am wondering if the LDS religion has such, which possibly relates to this quote:

    “As I shall demonstrate, sacred language emerges from a continuous process whereby secular words are transformed into sacred ones, and in time, sacred words are returned, if you will, to the domain of the common people. The relationship between sacred and secular language is not unique to Lakota, and perhaps it is a universal feature of languages.”

    — Sacred Language, The Nature of Supernatural Discourse in Lakota by William K. Powers

  31. Andy A Reply

    John, thanks for casually throwing in the allusion to “I never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it.” I’ve always wondered, did Jesus ever say those words? But then for that matter, did he ever say any of the words we quote him as saying?

    OH! And you all forgot to mention the canned 8 and under testimony.. “I like to bear (or bury) my testimony… I know this church is true… I know Thomas S Monson is a true prohpet…” and then it usually varies from there, something about being thankful for parents, which isn’t a testimony, and so on.

  32. Andy A Reply

    John, thanks for casually throwing in the allusion to “I never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it.” I’ve always wondered, did Jesus ever say those words? But then for that matter, did he ever say any of the words we quote him as saying?

    OH! And you all forgot to mention the canned 8 and under testimony.. “I like to bear (or bury) my testimony… I know this church is true… I know Thomas S Monson is a true prohpet…” and then it usually varies from there, something about being thankful for parents, which isn’t a testimony, and so on.

  33. OzPoof Reply

    I don’t know if it’s just an Australian/ New Zealand LDS phrase but a lot of prayers ask Heavenly Father to be “with” groups or named individuals so that “no harm or accident may befall them”.

    As a kid I heard this all the time and had no clue what anyone was saying. I heard “nohar moraxa dent may befall them” and I had no idea what the word “befall” meant.

    Some of these phrases start to resemble the Latin used by Catholics. No one really cares about the meaning behind them as they become ritualised and perfunctory.

    Another great podcast. I could have listened for another couple of hours.

  34. OzPoof Reply

    I don’t know if it’s just an Australian/ New Zealand LDS phrase but a lot of prayers ask Heavenly Father to be “with” groups or named individuals so that “no harm or accident may befall them”.

    As a kid I heard this all the time and had no clue what anyone was saying. I heard “nohar moraxa dent may befall them” and I had no idea what the word “befall” meant.

    Some of these phrases start to resemble the Latin used by Catholics. No one really cares about the meaning behind them as they become ritualised and perfunctory.

    Another great podcast. I could have listened for another couple of hours.

  35. Carpet Crawler Reply

    My good brothers, This was a very special and enlightening podcast which I plan on using in my daily life. Bless your hearts and all your other vital organs. It would have only been better if somehow we all could have been there together to rub shoulders with one another.

    Keep moving the work forward in this the last dispensation of the fullness of times.

  36. Carpet Crawler Reply

    My good brothers, This was a very special and enlightening podcast which I plan on using in my daily life. Bless your hearts and all your other vital organs. It would have only been better if somehow we all could have been there together to rub shoulders with one another.

    Keep moving the work forward in this the last dispensation of the fullness of times.

  37. Gunnar R. Reply

    Certainly one of the most ritualized phrases is “in the name of THY SON, Jesus Christ, amen.” Obviously, in many cases, they are neither thinking about what they are saying nor to whom they are talking. I have known quite a few who automatically end their talks and testimonies that way as well as their prayers. I tried to gently mention to one friend that ended a talk that way that since Jesus Christ is not our son, that it really was not appropriate to include the phrase “thy son” in that way while addressing the congregation as in a talk or bearing a testimony. Instead of acknowledging his error or being embarrassed by it, he tried to rationalize that even while giving a talk or bearing testimony, he was actually addressing God, rather than the congregation.

    One thing I did not hear mentioned in the podcast was the ritualized use of “brethren” instead of “brothers” or “brother”, sometimes even when speaking about an individual priesthood holder–apparently oblivious to the fact that “brethren” is only an alternate plural form of the word “brother” that can never be used correctly to refer to a single individual.

  38. Gunnar R. Reply

    Certainly one of the most ritualized phrases is “in the name of THY SON, Jesus Christ, amen.” Obviously, in many cases, they are neither thinking about what they are saying nor to whom they are talking. I have known quite a few who automatically end their talks and testimonies that way as well as their prayers. I tried to gently mention to one friend that ended a talk that way that since Jesus Christ is not our son, that it really was not appropriate to include the phrase “thy son” in that way while addressing the congregation as in a talk or bearing a testimony. Instead of acknowledging his error or being embarrassed by it, he tried to rationalize that even while giving a talk or bearing testimony, he was actually addressing God, rather than the congregation.

    One thing I did not hear mentioned in the podcast was the ritualized use of “brethren” instead of “brothers” or “brother”, sometimes even when speaking about an individual priesthood holder–apparently oblivious to the fact that “brethren” is only an alternate plural form of the word “brother” that can never be used correctly to refer to a single individual.

  39. JackUK Reply

    The one that drives me crazy is the phrase ‘in our lives’…how many general conference talks, LDS books etc have that phrase in their titles? ‘The gospel in our lives’, increasing the influence of the Spirit in our lives’ ‘fill in the blank in our lives’it goes on forever and I just want to shout back ‘whatever it is where else would it be but in in our lives’??? Damn, there I said it myself…sorry guys let that be a warning of the influence of inappropriate language in our lives..

  40. JackUK Reply

    The one that drives me crazy is the phrase ‘in our lives’…how many general conference talks, LDS books etc have that phrase in their titles? ‘The gospel in our lives’, increasing the influence of the Spirit in our lives’ ‘fill in the blank in our lives’it goes on forever and I just want to shout back ‘whatever it is where else would it be but in in our lives’??? Damn, there I said it myself…sorry guys let that be a warning of the influence of inappropriate language in our lives..

  41. Happy Lost Sheep Reply

    Here are the ones that drive me nuts:

    “Brethren”
    “Burning in my bosom” / “heartfelt”
    “tender mercies”
    “has a sweet spirit”
    “promptings / whisperings of the spirit” / “touched by the spirit”
    “bear witness”
    “mothers in Israel / Zion”
    “eternal companion” “helpmate”
    “thee, thy, thou”
    “Sacred not secret”
    “patriarch of the home”
    “the keys of x”
    “temporal”
    “solemn assembly”

  42. Happy Lost Sheep Reply

    Here are the ones that drive me nuts:

    “Brethren”
    “Burning in my bosom” / “heartfelt”
    “tender mercies”
    “has a sweet spirit”
    “promptings / whisperings of the spirit” / “touched by the spirit”
    “bear witness”
    “mothers in Israel / Zion”
    “eternal companion” “helpmate”
    “thee, thy, thou”
    “Sacred not secret”
    “patriarch of the home”
    “the keys of x”
    “temporal”
    “solemn assembly”

  43. Liz Draper Steele Reply

    Hilarious discussion! I laughed through the whole thing. A very witty panel. I guessed the sacrament prayer immediately. Something in the tone. Thanks for this site. I’m glad I found you.

  44. Liz Draper Steele Reply

    Hilarious discussion! I laughed through the whole thing. A very witty panel. I guessed the sacrament prayer immediately. Something in the tone. Thanks for this site. I’m glad I found you.

  45. scottro Reply

    Great episode, I was cracking up listening. The panel did a great job of covering a lot of the big ones, but if I had to nitpick anything it would be TESTIMONY. You kept using that word in the podcast, and talking about funny things people say during a testimony, but never actually talked about how odd that usage of the term is, including “bear my testimony.”

    I think this could be a whole episode on its own because testimonies become objectified, as if they were tangible, we need to protect them, they are fragile, they grow like a seed, we need to nourish them, we show them off (bear) to other people. It is meaningless, but it makes mormons feel like they actually have something, “I gained my testimony when” it is like you have a degree or something. So much ground to cover.

  46. scottro Reply

    Great episode, I was cracking up listening. The panel did a great job of covering a lot of the big ones, but if I had to nitpick anything it would be TESTIMONY. You kept using that word in the podcast, and talking about funny things people say during a testimony, but never actually talked about how odd that usage of the term is, including “bear my testimony.”

    I think this could be a whole episode on its own because testimonies become objectified, as if they were tangible, we need to protect them, they are fragile, they grow like a seed, we need to nourish them, we show them off (bear) to other people. It is meaningless, but it makes mormons feel like they actually have something, “I gained my testimony when” it is like you have a degree or something. So much ground to cover.

  47. lump Reply

    Okay, here’s one that might not be used so much today, but historically was used a lot: “Bless the sick and the afflicted and the poor and the needy” or is it “bless the poor and the needy and the sick and the afflicted”. Can’t remember 🙂

    Another phrase that I have heard the little kids use in their testimonies in E. Utah. It goes like this: “I love my family (mom/dad) and they love me”

    Not sure where that one came from, but I hear it a lot out here.

  48. lump Reply

    Okay, here’s one that might not be used so much today, but historically was used a lot: “Bless the sick and the afflicted and the poor and the needy” or is it “bless the poor and the needy and the sick and the afflicted”. Can’t remember 🙂

    Another phrase that I have heard the little kids use in their testimonies in E. Utah. It goes like this: “I love my family (mom/dad) and they love me”

    Not sure where that one came from, but I hear it a lot out here.

  49. CAM Reply

    Loved the podcast. I’ve always had an interest in language so this was right up my alley. I loved the discussion of “humble.” I remember one time my childlike, ditzy aunt said in a testimony meeting that one of her children made her so “humbly, humbly, proud.”

    I think some of the funny, stilted pharasiology is because people are trying so hard to sound formal (special?) and English doesn’t have a good way to do this.

    Is praying a performance? In my family it is. When my parents prayed in church or if someone came over for dinner, prayers got longer, more formal, more, well gosh darn sincere than when we were at home.

  50. CAM Reply

    Loved the podcast. I’ve always had an interest in language so this was right up my alley. I loved the discussion of “humble.” I remember one time my childlike, ditzy aunt said in a testimony meeting that one of her children made her so “humbly, humbly, proud.”

    I think some of the funny, stilted pharasiology is because people are trying so hard to sound formal (special?) and English doesn’t have a good way to do this.

    Is praying a performance? In my family it is. When my parents prayed in church or if someone came over for dinner, prayers got longer, more formal, more, well gosh darn sincere than when we were at home.

  51. CAM Reply

    Oh I forgot to mention that when mormons give talks, especially conference talks, they are so full of adjectives and adverbs that it can become difficult to follow the meaning. For example, “I saw some men and women” becomes “I greatfully observed some stalwart bothers and steadfast sisters.” This makes my nevermo husband run screaming from the room.

  52. CAM Reply

    Oh I forgot to mention that when mormons give talks, especially conference talks, they are so full of adjectives and adverbs that it can become difficult to follow the meaning. For example, “I saw some men and women” becomes “I greatfully observed some stalwart bothers and steadfast sisters.” This makes my nevermo husband run screaming from the room.

  53. Maggie Reply

    “We’d like to thank…” Heard every week, I swear, from the pulpit.
    To me, I was always waiting for…”We’d like to thank Bro. So & So, BUT we’re not going to.” Couldn’t it just be…We thank Bro So & so?

    Fun podcast!

  54. Maggie Reply

    “We’d like to thank…” Heard every week, I swear, from the pulpit.
    To me, I was always waiting for…”We’d like to thank Bro. So & So, BUT we’re not going to.” Couldn’t it just be…We thank Bro So & so?

    Fun podcast!

  55. Anonymous Reply

    Oh yes!  It all seems so clear now!  Thank you for your insight!

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