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Things We Say Wrong in the Church

Things We Say Wrong in the Church

As humans it’s easy to get into the trap of saying things the wrong way. Sometimes we even do this in the Church. Here are a few examples.

It doesn’t make it easier

I’ll often hear people talk about trials of life and how the gospel can help navigate these difficulties.

At some point in the conversation, you’ll occasionally hear them say, “The gospel doesn’t make things easier…”

But here’s the thing, that’s exactly what the gospel DOES do.

The gospel makes things so much easier by giving us perspective, hope, and a way to overcome our sadness and struggle.

Think of the example of losing a family member. The knowledge that we will see them again absolutely does make it easier to endure, because those who don’t believe in life after death feel that they have lost their family member forever. 

One alternative way to say what I think people are trying to get across is this, “The gospel doesn’t mean life will be easy, but it does make things easier and more manageable.”

“Patri-article” Blessing

Have you received your patri-article blessing? I bet not. How do I know? There is no such thing. 

One of Latter-day Saints favorite mistakes is saying “patri-article” instead of “patriarchal.”

If you fit in this box, just remember: you receive your blessing from a patriarch.

Next time you hear someone say patri-article blessing, extend them some grace. If you have a good enough relationship with them, feel free to let them know how it really is pronounced. I’ve had a few youth thank me for helping them know the correct way to say it.

We all feel the Spirit differently

Often when we talk about how individuals feel the Holy Ghost, we say that everyone feels the Holy Ghost / Spirit differently. 

If you think about it, that would mean there are 8 billion ways to feel the Holy Ghost. That’s not true, and it makes things more confusing if we think that there are that many ways to feel the Spirit.

In Galatians 5, the Bible teaches:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

“To learn the Spirit of God, we must learn to listen with our hearts. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “The Spirit is a still, small voice—a voice that is felt rather than heard. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought put into your heart.”4

President Packer also taught: “Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings. Such words as quiet, still, peaceable, Comforter abound in the scriptures: ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ (Ps. 46:10; italics added.) And the promise, ‘You shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom.’ (D&C 36:2; italics added).” – Learning to Hear and Understand the Spirit

One way we can communicate what people are trying to express is that not every person feels the Spirit exactly like everyone else. For example, spiritual music really speaks to my heart and inspires me, but doesn’t necessarily have the same impact on my wife. Similarly, the scriptures really motivate me and get me excited, but for others they struggle with understanding scriptures and it might not have the same effect.

A good practice is to talk with close family and friends and ask them how the Spirit speaks to them. You might see a lot of similarities to the way the Spirit speaks to you, and if there are some differences, it will be a learning experience for you to see how others feel connected to God. 

President Nielsen / Neltson

This might be a regional thing, but where I live I don’t frequently hear our prophet referred to as President Nelson. It is usually pronounced President Neltson or President Nielsen.

How About You?

How about you? Are there things you have noticed that we say in the Church that aren’t exactly correct? I would love to hear you have noticed. Please leave a comment below. Here are a few of the comments from you are readers that we have received so far.

Mark said: I substituted as a teacher for the 15-16 year Sunday School class this last week. I asked them this question: who here is Christian. One boy would not raise his hand. He explained that we’ve been instructed by the prophet to not refer to ourselves as Christian. I instantly knew what his confusion was. He had switched the instruction of not calling ourselves Mormon with not calling ourselves Christian. So, I’m not as concerned about the mispronunciation of words as I am the misunderstanding of Christian doctrine by our members, especially the youth.

Kathy shared a few good ones: “Take out my endowments” instead of “receive my endowment” is an old incorrect phrase that doesn’t want to go away! Also, ending public prayers and talks with “inthnamjescrisamen.” What?? I am not sure how to spell that one, but it is my biggest pet peeve. Let’s use the name of the Savior with respect and reverence!

Rebecca shared: Book of Mormon vs Books of Mormon and Brotheren vs Brethren

Debby commented: From a talk given by President Nelson: “It is doctrinally incomplete to speak of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice by shortcut phrases, such as “the Atonement” or “the enabling power of the Atonement” or “applying the Atonement” or “being strengthened by the Atonement.” These expressions present a real risk of misdirecting faith by treating the event as if it had living existence and capabilities independent of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.” It is often better to use phrases such as “drawing on the power of Jesus Christ” or “the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

Jason said: Pre Existence vs pre-mortal existence… there is no “pre-existence!

Houasse

Wednesday 10th of July 2024

j'entends souvent l'expression " je suis né dans l'église " au lieu de dire " je suis né(e) dans l'Alliance. Les non-membres peuvent penser que nos sœurs accouchent dans l'église

Ralph Welliver

Friday 28th of June 2024

We often hear the brother who is conducting a Sacrament meeting thank the Priesthood for passing the Sacrament so reverently...

President M. Russell Ballard taught: “In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood.

Ben Arkell

Tuesday 2nd of July 2024

Great comment. We actually use an app that helps us with our Sacrament meeting agendas. You can plug in names for prayers, talks, etc... and then it has a script.

One of the things it would say is that the "brethren of the priesthood would administer the Sacrament"

I contacted the app programmer and asked him to update the language and he did. :)

Kristina

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

I appreciate Debby's comment about the use of "The Atonement" without reference to the Savior. That stood out to me when President Nelson said it but I haven't heard it talked about since.

I've never heard Nielsen for Nelson -- ouch! But "Neltson" just sounds to me like a regional pronunciation variant (like adding a glottal stop) rather than an actual error.

Debby

Friday 21st of June 2024

From a talk given by President Nelson: "It is doctrinally incomplete to speak of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice by shortcut phrases, such as “the Atonement” or “the enabling power of the Atonement” or “applying the Atonement” or “being strengthened by the Atonement.” These expressions present a real risk of misdirecting faith by treating the event as if it had living existence and capabilities independent of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ." It is often better to use phrases such as "drawing on the power of Jesus Christ" or "the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ."

Also, the auxiliary of the church is called Young Women, not Young Women's.

And Ensign is pronounced "en sign" , not "en sun".

Jason

Friday 21st of June 2024

Pre Existence vs pre-mortal existence… there is no “pre-existence!

High Council Man vs. High Councilor - one is an elected official in local government, the other is the member of the High Council in the stake.