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.
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
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?