Mormon Dictionary ST
Mormonspeak (Mormon dictionary)
Learning to talk like (and understand) a Mormon
Sabbath: The Day of the Lord set aside for worship and rest from the week’s labors. Mormons observe Sunday as the Sabbath in the United States. In other countries, Sabbath is observed on the same day as the tradition in that culture — Saturday in Israel, Friday in Egypt, and Sunday in Europe.
Sacrament: The ordinance in which bread and water are administered in memorial of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Other churches call this the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. Mormons believe that just about anything can be used in this ordinance since it the symbolism and not the actual object used that is important. Mormons typically use bread and water.
Scriptures: The written words of prophets and apostles as inspired by the Holy Ghost. Mormons believe that God continues to reveal scripture. See Standard Works.
Sealing: The ordinance of binding a man and woman together for eternity through marriage. See Eternal Marriage. This ordinance is only performed in temples through the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Through this ordinance families can be together forever.
Second Coming: The return of Jesus Christ at the beginning of the millennium to rule and reign on the earth.
Seminary: A program of the Mormon Church which provides weekday religious education to high school age youth. Most Mormons take early-morning seminary, but in places with high percentages of Mormons, high school age Mormons can choose to take release-time seminary during the school day, but they receive no credit for that class.
Seventy, the: An office in the priesthood whose responsibility is to go before the apostles and organize and lead the Church through missionary work and by presiding as presidents of the various areas of the Church.
Single Adults: A term referring to unmarried Mormons of any age. See also Young Single Adults
Singles’ Ward: A ward specifically for unmarried Mormons frequently associated with a university or college, but also in any place where there is a sufficient number of young single adults within a stake to warrant it.
Sister: 1) A term used to address female members of the Church. 2) A title used in referring to full-time, female missionaries.
Sons of Perdition: A term for those who have committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. (See Outer Darkness).
Soul: The spirit and body of a person combined.
Spirit Prison: That portion of the Spirit World where the wicked and those who did not have an opportunity to hear about the gospel await the resurrection and are taught by righteous spirits from paradise.
Stake: An organizational division of the Mormon Church containing several wards and presided over by a stake president and a high council besides having stake officers presiding over the Relief Society and other auxiliaries.
Stake Center: The church building which serves both as a meeting house for local congregations and as headquarters for the stake containing offices and rooms for the stake president and the high council. In some areas only stake centers have baptismal fonts.
Stake President: The presiding officer of a stake. He and his counselors oversee all the operations of the stake and counsel with the local leadership. They also interview members for temple recommends in addition to the bishop.
Standard Works: The four works of scriptures considered canonical by the Mormon Church which contain the authoritative standard for doctrine and practice. The standard works are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Stewardship: Responsibility. Since all things belong to God, a person’s possessions, talents, positions in the Church, and even family responsibilities constitute a stewardship from God for which each person will be judged based on how they fulfilled their responsibilities.
Sunday Dress: Also known as best dress; Mormons believe that a person should dress his or her best for Sunday worship, though no one should ever be turned away because of inability to obtain a suit or a fancy dress. This also changes depending on the cultural context. Typically in America and Europe, men were suits or slacks with a button-up shirt and tie and women wear dresses or skirts.
Sunday School: A Sunday meeting consisting of classes for adults and youth which teach the basics of the Gospel and give members a chance to come together and discuss the gospel.
Sustain: to give one’s consent or support to another person in the Church. All positions in the Church are presented for a sustaining vote in sacrament meeting. Members manifest their sustaining vote by raising the right arm up to form a right angle. This symbolizes that a person recognizes the calling as coming from God. See common consent.
Tabernacle: 1) The old Tabernacle at Temple Square used for General Conferences before the building of the Conference Center. It is still the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 2) The Church used to build regional tabernacles for special meetings and many still exist in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Arizona. These are no longer built; instead the Church uses stake centers or rents auditoriums for these larger conferences.
Talks: Sermons given by members of the Church in Sacrament meetings. The Bishopric assigns the topic and invites members to give talks. They typically last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the speaker.
Teacher: 1) Any person who teaches lessons in Sunday School or Priesthood and Relief Society meetings. 2) An office of the Aaronic Priesthood. Young Men can be ordained to the office of teacher at age 14 and join the teachers’ quorum presided over by a president and counselors drawn from the members and supervised by an adult leader. Teachers have the responsibility to prepare the sacrament, usher in church services, put away the sacrament, and accompany Melchizedek Priesthood holders as Home Teachers.
Telestial Kingdom: The lowest of the three degrees of glory. Those who inherit this kingdom are those who rejected Jesus Christ and His gospel and wasted their lives through sin and selfishness. They will have to suffer in Hell for their own sins and will not be redeemed until the end of the Millennium. However, the Lord has described the glory of the Telestial Kingdom as surpassing all understanding, which is a manifestation of His great love for all of His children.
Temple Recommend: To enter a temple, a person must be a baptized member of the Mormon Church and striving to be worthy, which means that they are living the basic commandments of the gospel, attending Church, and supportive of their leaders. Those who meet these basic requirements can obtain a temple recommend from their bishop.
Temple Square: The area surrounding the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. It includes the Salt Lake Temple, visitor’s center, the Tabernacle, and a reflection pool. Nearby are the Church museum, Church family history library, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (which includes a theater), Church offices for the various General Authorities and the Conference Center.
Temple Trip: Wards and other groups (such a Young Single Adults) of members often make Temple trips together to worship and inspire unity. In areas remote from temples these are less frequent and sometimes a major event in the ward and the lives of the members.
Temple Work: A general term referring to all the ordinances performed in temples including the Endowment, Baptisms for the Dead, and Sealings. It refers almost exclusively to vicarious ordinances done on behalf of the deceased.
Terrestrial Kingdom: The second kingdom of the Degrees of Glory after the Celestial Kingdom. Those who inherit this glory are those who were good and honorable, but not valiant in their faith and discipleship, or did not accept Jesus Christ in this life when they had the opportunity, but did accept him posthumously. The symbol of this glory is the moon and it surpasses the glory of the Telestial kingdom, whose glory surpasses all understanding.
Three Degrees of Glory: See Degrees of Glory.
Three Witnesses: Three men, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris, were permitted to see the Gold Plates and the Urim and Thummim as well as an angel. Their testimony is affixed to the beginning of every Book of Mormon. All three later left the Mormon Church, though they never denied this testimony and two, Cowdery and Harris, eventually rejoined the Church.
Tithing: Mormons pay ten percent of their income to the Church. Since there is no paid clergy, this money is used to maintain buildings, print manuals and scriptures, and sustain other Church operations.
Trek West, the: The epic trek of the Mormon pioneers from Nauvoo, Illinois to Utah when they were expelled following the murder of Joseph Smith. Mormons remember the sacrifices and commitment of these pioneers through songs and reenactments.
Triple Combination: A publication of Mormon scriptures containing the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. (See Quad).