You've heard all these words. I'm sure there are more. Please, add to the list.
Look, my point today isn't to make fun. We've all used these words at one point or another, maybe more often than we realize. It's ingrained in our culture. It's in our scriptures, our magazines, hymns, etc. If we are as active as we're called to be, these words will become part of our vocabulary.
I just have to ask: do they have to?
What good does it do us to pray or be grateful for "moisture" instead of just plain ol' rain? Why do we "ponder" and not just "think" or "consider"?
What is the point of these words? I tend to think the use of them disconnects us from the outside world, and while we're not to be "of" the world we are in it, and if we want to bring others closer to Christ, we should speak like people today speak. Sure, every religion has its own little vocabulary (my protestant friends use "worship" and "witness" a lot), but I don't think they add much. It's just weird.
Just because the scriptures speak in thees and thous doesn't mean we have to. I know we're asked to in prayer, but that's not my point. How rote are our talks and lessons? I promise these things will go over better if you speak like you would normally. When "testifying" to non-member friends, drop the Mormon-speak. The Spirit is not derived from the use of "ponder" or any other like words. I promise.
I don't know about the lot of you, but I wince when someone tells me about the "tender" mercies of the Lord, or the "sweet" spirit. It bothers me because this is not how people speak. I hate it even in General Conference. The use of the words are distracting from the message and sometimes downright annoying.
I used to think about the Jehovah's Witnesses who would come to my door, their plastic tense smiles greeting me and laugh because, eeek, right? But we have our own little eerie quirks, our own uber-clean-cut-toothy-smile appearance and our own way of speaking that is foreign to the outside world and there is just no reason for it. Speaking like we're from the 19th Century or like we're of King James' people doesn't make us more worthy or spiritual. It doesn't necessarily bring us closer to God.
I have used these words from time to time, but the more I recognized how much they distance myself from others the more I wanted to run away from them. Experience has shown me that when we speak like regular people (ie: "rain" instead of "moisture"), others will relate with us much easier. Even in Sacrament meeting.
It's a rule of writing, really. Don't use big words to sound smart, and don't use old time words to sound spiritual.
It doesn't work.
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