This is mostly a rant about the silly verbiage in our faith, and how it gets abused so badly, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Things like: “I took out my own endowment”. The endowment ceremony in the temple is not fast food. You don’t take it out. The endowment is a gift. Just like a wedding endowment. It’s something you receive, not something you take out and eat when you get home. Instead, it should be: “I have received my endowment”.
There’s other things like “In the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, amen” when bearing testimony. Are you bearing testimony to God the Father, or to us? If the latter, then it should just be “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen”. Of course, you “bear testimony”, not “bear your testimony”. “I bear testimony that …”, not “I bear my testimony that …”.
One that I don’t think many pay attention to is child blessings where the name is given. There is many faces to this. First, you start off by addressing your Heavenly Father, stating your intention to name and bless the child. Then, after doing so, the prayer should become a blessing. This means that when blessing the child, talk to the child as if they were actually listening to what you were saying. Don’t talk to God. You’re not blessing him. So, it starts as a prayer, then quickly becomes any other blessing. Second, GIVE the child a name. Don’t tell Heavenly Father what they will be known by on this earth and upon the records of the church. Actually take the time to GIVE the child a name. Something like “We take this child in our arms to give him/her a name and a blessing. And the name I give him/her is Adam Smith. Adam, at this time, we give you a blessing”. Even though the naming of a child is not an ordinance, it should be treated like one when speaking. The blessing is an actual gift, so give the child the name, then give the child a blessing.
However, the worst of verbiages in our religion is knowing that a physical object is true. We use it without thinking about it. “I know the Book of Mormon is true”. This probably doesn’t sound out of place to you, because you’ve heard it a thousand times. Yet, have you thought about it? Would you say “I know my computer is true”? Or, “I know this desk is true”? Of course not. That’s silly. Yet, we say it with straight faces with “heavenly nouns”. Well, it’s really strange, and people outside of our faith probably look at us with odd looks when we say “I know that the prophet is true”.
Probably what should be said is “I know the Book of Mormon teaches truth”, or “I know that the prophet will not lead us astray”, or “I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches fullness of the everlasting gospel”. See the difference? To say a noun is true, such as a physical object or person, means that the noun exists in physical space. Of course the Book of Mormon is true- it’s in your hand. Of course my desk is true- I’m typing on it. To say that a noun is false, is to say that it does not exist. Even then, it’s still very strange verbiage.
Of course, as members, we all know what you mean. You mean to say that the Book of Mormon contains truth. You mean to say that the LDS Church teaches truth. But, it’s strange to say that a physical object is true. Computers only do what they’re told; they are completely deterministic. So, one could say that computers always speak the truth. They certainly don’t lie or give you false information. They only give you what they were told to work on. So, you could say “I know computers are true”, but that’s strange.
I’m probably beating a dead horse, but it would be nice if we could clean up some of our verbiage. Maybe I’m being nit-picky or a bit silly. Maybe I should just put up with it, and let it go. We all talk silly in all walks of life. But then, I know that the English language is true.