Mormon Dictionary AB
Mormonspeak (Mormon dictionary)
Learning to talk like (and understand) a Mormon
Aaronic Priesthood: one of two branches of the Priesthood in Mormonism. It is sometimes called the lesser Priesthood. It holds authority over physical ordinances like baptism and the Sacrament. It includes three offices: Deacon, Teacher, and Priest.
Active: In reference to members of the Mormon Church, active means that the person is faithful in attending Church services and meetings and in fulfilling his or her assignments.
Age of Accountability: The age at which a person becomes accountable for their actions and can be baptized into the Mormon Church. In Mormonism this age is eight. Mormons believe that little children are saved by Jesus Christ and that only a person capable of sinning needs to be baptized.
Agency: Mormonism teaches that agency, sometimes erroneously called free will, is a fundamental trait of mankind. Agency is the right and power to choose between good and evil, but we must nevertheless face the consequences of our choices. It was the subject of the War in Heaven.
Apostle: An office in the Melchizedek Priesthood, an apostle is called to be a special witness of Christ and His resurrection to the whole world and to preside over the whole Church under the direction of the First Presidency. An Apostle is also referred to as an Elder. There are twelve apostles in the Mormon Church.
Apostasy, the: Mormon doctrine teaches that internal rebellions and dissensions within the early Christian Church led to an apostasy, or falling away, from Christ’s original Church. This is referred to as the Great Apostasy. Mormons also believe that personal apostasy is possible and refers to rebellion against the Church.
Articles of Faith: In 1842, Joseph Smith wrote a letter explaining the doctrines and history of the Mormon Church to a newspaperman in Chicago. It ended with 13 simple declarations of the basic beliefs of Mormonism. These are called the Articles of Faith and are contained within the Pearl of Great Price.
Atonement: The supreme sacrifice made by Jesus Christ that allows mankind to be resurrected and to be forgiven of their sins and purified so that they can return to live with God. Mormonism teaches that the atonement encompasses Christ’s suffering from the night in the Garden of Gethsemane to His death on the cross, to its culmination with His glorious resurrection.
Auxiliaries: Those organizations of the Mormon Church such as Primary, Sunday School, and so on that are not essential for providing the ordinances of the Church, but rather assist by strengthening and teaching the membership.
Baptism by Fire: This term refers to the reception of the Holy Ghost at confirmation. Also, another experience that testifies to the suffering of the Savior. Also, receiving one’s “calling and election,” which means receiving the promise of exaltation from God through the Holy Ghost.
Baptism by Immersion: Mormons practice baptism by total immersion under the water for the remission of sins. This is a priesthood ordinance. Christ Himself was baptized by immersion.
Baptism for the Dead: Baptism performed on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have a chance to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in life and receive baptism. It must be performed in Temples through the power of the Priesthood.
Bearing a Testimony: In Mormonism, bearing, or sharing, a testimony means relating what you know or believe to be true or what God has done for you in your life. Mormons set aside one Sunday a month for testimony meetings.
Beehive: 1) The beehive symbol was used by early Mormon pioneers to represent industry and cooperation. 2) The name is also used for girls ages 12 and 13 in the Young Women’s program.
Bishop: The leader of a Mormon congregation (see Ward); a bishop presides in meetings, assigns callings to other members, collects tithing and offerings and distributes welfare funds. He is assisted by two counselors and must hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. A Bishop also presides over the Priests’ Quorum. Although the job of bishop is comparable to that of a Rabbi or Priest, he is unpaid and still pursues a vocation outside of the Church.
Blessing: Refers either to any blessing from God such as health, salvation, etc., or to a pronouncement of promises, spiritual guidance, and blessings given by the power of the priesthood to people seeking comfort or guidance such as comfort in times of stress or ill health. This latter is known as “blessing the sick.” See also Patriarchal Blessing.
Brother: Title used to refer to male members of the Mormon Church.
Brethren: An old-fashioned plural of brother often used to refer to the General Authorities of the Church.