Mormonspeak (Mormon dictionary)
Learning to talk like (and understand) a Mormon
Gathering: Mormons believe that the purpose of missionary work is to gather people into the Church. In the early days of Mormonism, members physically gathered together into one location. As this is no longer possible, members “gather” in their respective wards and stakes.
Genealogy: Because of vicarious temple ordinances for deceased ancestors, Mormons believe it is important to gather and organize genealogical data. Because of this, the Mormon Church has the world’s largest collection of genealogical data and many Mormon chapels include genealogical research libraries.
General Authorities: A term referring to those priesthood leaders who preside over the entire Mormon Church. This includes the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the first and second quorums of the Seventy (though not the other quorums, which are called Area Authorities), and the presiding Bishopric. The general presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Men’s and Young Women’s programs, and the Primary and called general officers.
General Conference: A twice annual world-wide conference of the Mormon Church held in Salt Lake City, Utah, comprised of instruction from the General Authorities of the Church (see also conference). It includes four general sessions, one priesthood session, and sessions for the Relief Society and the Young Women’s program (though these last two are not held the same weekend). It also includes meetings of instruction for leaders of the Church who are flown to Salt Lake City.
Gift of the Holy Ghost: The right to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. While any person can have the Holy Ghost inspire them and testify to them, only those who have been baptized and confirmed by the proper priesthood authority have the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Godhead: Deity. It includes three, distinct personages: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bone, while the Holy Ghost has a body of spirit. The Godhead is united in glory, attributes, and purpose, but is comprised of three separate beings.
Gospel: Fundamentally the word Gospel refers to the “good news” of Christ’s atonement and resurrection which permits mankind to be saved through faith, repentance, baptism, and enduring to the end. Mormons, however, also use the word more expansively to refer to all the truths revealed in the scriptures.
Grace: Divine aid and assistance which is necessary for all mankind in order to be saved. Mormons believe that we must perform certain ordinances and live righteously, however these could never save anyone if it were not for the atonement of Jesus Christ, which overcomes the effects of sin and error and resurrects the body.
Hell: Mormon concepts of hell differ from other Christian churches. In Mormonism, hell can refer to Spirit Prison where those who rejected Jesus Christ will suffer for their own sins until they are at last redeemed by their own suffering at the end of the millennium and assigned to the Telestial Kingdom. Hell also refers to Outer Darkness where those who have committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost will dwell. No scripture says whether this hell has an end.
High Priest: An office of the Melchizedek Priesthood which is the highest governing authority in a stake. High priests’ quorums are organized on the stake level with each ward containing a High priests’ group. The Stake President is the presiding high priest and high priests fill most of the priesthood leadership roles such as bishop, stake president, and so on.
Holy Ghost: Also called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God and so on. The Holy Ghost is one member of the Godhead and has a spirit body. His role is to testify of Jesus Christ and of the truth, to comfort, instruct, inspire and warn.
Home teaching: The elders’ quorum and the high priests’ group assign their members to visit every member of the ward at least once a month and share gospel lessons and ensure that the family’s spiritual and physical needs are being met. See also visiting teachers.