The 10 Most Annoying Things that Mormons Love to Say

This month will mark my ninth year as a member of the LDS Church, and I love the Mormon people. They are generous without restraint, zealous without apology, and a good time without regard for who is watching.

But some of the things they say are just stupid.

I like to write carefully thought out entries, fair and analytical.  I don’t ever want to isolate a reader or come across as judgmental or narrow-minded, but I just have to say something.

Mormons have this way of taking normal, harmless words and using them in awful ways.  Then, since Mormons all love each other so much, these usages become perpetuated into cultural habits that are sure to rear their ugly heads in any gathering of saints, from the testimony meeting to the first date.

I am not arguing over the appropriateness or accuracy of these phrases.  Instead, I am explaining why they get o my nerves, and why they should get on your nerves too.

1. “The Mission Field.”  This is one of the few phrases that I will actually “call out” when I hear it in person.  It’s usually used to denote someplace other than UT or perhaps areas of Idaho and Arizona with high LDS populations.  I guess that those are places that missionary work happens, unlike the Mormon Mega Centers where everyone is already good and converted.  But I hear statistics all the time about how wildly successful the missions along the Wasatch front are concerning convert baptisms (which I think is awesome, by the way).  So missionary work happening can’t really be the determiner of what is the “mission field” and what isn’t.  When I hear this phrase, I always feel condescended to- like Utah is the place where people have the gospel, and the rest of the world is where people are trying to find it.

Two Missionaries of .

This is a random picture of missionaries for SEO purposes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. “The Mission”.  This is one I can’t bring up to people’s faces, because I’m not really sure why it bothers me so much, but I hate it when people refer to their mission as “the mission”.  It just bugs.

3. “Mormon Standard Time.”  I love to be on time, especially when lots of people are involved and/or needing to be accounted for.  The fact that sometimes people are late is fine- the fact that we have adopted tardiness as “the mormon way” is not okay.

4. “Endowments.”  There’s only one endowment, thanks.

5. “Taking out my endowment.”  The endowment is abstract and

Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA....

Another SEO photo.  Thanks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

intangible, therefore, you can’t take it anywhere.

6. “Book of Revelations.”  It’s singular- Revelation.

7. “I know the church is true.”  *Sigh*  What does this even mean?  I mean, I know what you are meaning to say, but still, what does it mean?  Yes, the church is an actual entity, it exists, it is real.  The Church is an organization with systems, procedures, buildings, assets. Kind of like Walmart.  Walmart also has these things.  But would you ever say “I know Walmart is true”?  Nope, because the phrase is meaningless.

8. “With every fiber of my being.” & “Beyond a shadow of a doubt.”  Blah blah blah.  Somebody please think of a new elusive, obtuse term to express the hard to explain experience of having a testimony.  These two are going out of style real quick.

9. “In the name of thy son, Jesus Christ.”  This is only bothersome when it comes at the end of a dialogue that is not directed at the Father.  I understand why it might be confusing for the very young, but it seems like once you’ve reached he ripe old age of 6, you should understand that Jesus is Heavenly Father’s son, and that “thy” means “your”, so that you only say “thy son” when talking to God.  Now, I guess this is an easy slip-up to make, but I hear it happen so frequently with people my own age and older, that I think it is worth taking the time to clear up.

10.  Any Term for Garments Other than “Garments.” “Whites”, “Moronis”, “Gs”, “Baseball Uniform”, “My Religion”, and, my all time favorite, “Jesus Jammies”, are all terms that might make you feel less awkward about your awesome but extremely abnormal underwear, but I think they’re disrespectful and just uncalled for.

So, sorry if I just tore down your well-rehearsed testimony, but this is my call to all Mormons to be a little bit more mindful of the things we mean and the things we say.  Our words are very very powerful- for good, for bad, or for getting on this girl’s nerves.

So what Mormon lingo do you find most irritating?  

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12 thoughts on “The 10 Most Annoying Things that Mormons Love to Say

  1. Petey says:

    I think “the mission field” is a remnant from the time when full-time missionaries didn’t serve in areas with dense LDS populations. Instead, missionary work in these areas was done by stake missionaries.

    I agree that the phrase is a little ridiculous, but it at least makes sense in that context.

  2. Steve says:

    I love this, I have the same reaction to the ones you mentioned. We are LDS and just moved to Utah from the midwest, and the “mission field” is downright offensive. Well meaning, I’m sure, but there are sublties of inequality that are unhealthy. I’m sorry its not 1960 anymore brothers and sisters, but the usage should be for the place or time served as a full time missionary. Also, I cringe at the practice of little children using words like “bear testimony”, or all the kids starting their testimony with “I know the church is true”. Can’t we teach our kids better? Is it a testimony if it is a rehearsed vain repetition? Also whispering in children’s ears their “testimony” makes me squirm.
    In my house, to avoid vain repetitions, “Thank you for this day” is outlawed in prayer, UNLESS you are going to finish the phrase with “because…..” Oh, and one more, it is not “para-die-si-cal” glory. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradisiacal

    Oh, and lets not say “the preexistence”-We didn’t exist before we existed- but we did have a pre-mortal existence. Better stop now….

  3. Jared says:

    Hi Panda,
    Just stumbled upon your blog. Pretty good stuff. Regarding “the Mission”. I will tell you that some time back I quit referring to the mission as “My” mission because I felt like I wanted to make sure that I worded statements about the mission in such a way that it reflected the fact that I was serving God and not myself. It felt inappropriate to say my mission as I felt like it was God’s mission.

    By the way, here’s a phrase that kind of comes off as a vain repetition. “Our dear most kind and gracious Heavenly….” I mean that’s six adjectives before the noun. Are people really thinking about what they’re saying as they pray, or are they just repeating a phrase they’ve repeated since they were children?

    I hope that doesn’t come off as critical. That’s not my intent. If you have really though about those words and they have meaning for you every time you say them, then by all means, say them, but if they’re just a repeated phrase, maybe it’s time to simply your address of our Heavenly Father.

  4. Josh says:

    Number 7, yo. That’s one that started to rub me the wrong way ever since I heard this (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/converted-to-his-gospel-through-his-church?lang=eng) talk by Elder Hallstrom in the April 2012 General Conference. Don’t get me wrong, the Church is a Divinely Inspired and led organization, but it is just that: an organization. An engine, if you will, to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ (which IS true) to all the world and administer the saving ordinances thereof. If God really wanted to, he could set up an organization that looked quite different to do so and accomplish the same thing (He didn’t, but he could).

    Make sure that we are converted to the true principles of the gospel, and we should by all means, avail ourselves of the resources of the church that the Savior set up through His prophet, Joseph Smith in these last days. But let us not look at the church as inviolate. Those that have, have lost their testimonies in the past, as it is still a church of continuing revelation and subject to adapt as the Savior sees fit to inspire His chosen prophets and apostles.

  5. Jeff Thayne says:

    “I know the Church is true.”

    I’ve learned to interpret this in a different sense. Archers will sometimes talk about arrows as “true.” An arrow is true when it is straight and therefore won’t veer off target. Also, I can be “true” to my beliefs. We don’t normally talk about people being “true,” but we can talk about them being true to their beliefs, true to their commitments, etc. We can talk about gold being true — *true* gold is the real thing, rather than iron pyrite (fool’s gold).

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true in all of these senses. It is straight and reliable (like an arrow), it is true to its claims and commitments (as in faithful), and it is the real thing (rather than a pretense or a mimicry). It is the *true* Church of Christ.

    It’s helped me be less annoyed in testimony meetings.

  6. Regarding #10, I actually think it’s “garment” and not “garments,” since it was originally one piece and, therefore, singular. I think the most correct term is “temple garment.” Great post! I agree!

  7. Thank you so much for number 10! I could never put into words to explain to one of my companions why saying “G’s” instead of “garments” rubbed me the wrong way so badly. She said she just used a nickname so she wouldn’t overuse the word “garments,” which I told her was not a good enough excuse. I had another companion who called them “covenants” once. I thought that one was interesting.

    And everyone, not just members, get the whole Book of Revelation(s) thing wrong. It’s a good indicator of someone who has actually studied it or not.

  8. Olivia says:

    I want to add the word contrite. But the “Mormon” pronunciation– CON-trite. I don’t know who is responsible for this mispronunciation but I’ll never forgive them. Say it with me people, con-TRITE.

  9. Dr B says:

    It drives me nuts when our fellow momons hear something a general authority says and then use the lines it in every day life from that point forward. One of personal favorites is, ‘Date Night’. Who says this other than mormons? Its stupid. You are taking your wife out for dinner or a movie, or both, but stop with the teenage transfer of making it sound so cute by using the term ‘date night’. And what’s worse is when they use everything they do together as ‘Date X’…..i.e, date walk, date shopping, etc.

  10. Elder Wrong says:

    I bet you are fun at parties! Good thing Mormons have you to be their word police!

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