Concise Dictionary of Mormonism: D

Damnation: Getting to the Final Judgment and realizing you’re still not a Mormon.

Dance: A church-organized meeting where teenage boys group together and occasionally glance at the group of girls on the other side of the church gym.

Danites: An organization of Mormons during the Missouri period that was not involved in violence or criminal activity, was not secret, and was not sanctioned or known of by Joseph Smith.

Deacon: An office of the Aaronic Priesthood usually conferred on boys at the age of 12. This priesthood office gives boys the authority to pass the bread and water of the sacrament, go on overnight campouts, and get a copy of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Primary classes are replaced by male-only meetings where such important topics are discussed as treating women properly, not marrying anyone of a different race, and not touching your “little factory.”

Death, Physical: The end of mortal life, which is caused by the separation of the body and spirit, not biological processes. Death should not be a sad event, as it means that the deceased is in the spirit world mingling with friends and family. Sometimes death results because God needs more missionaries in the spirit world, so much so that He’s willing to cause violent, painful deaths and the loss of infants.

Death, Spiritual: Spiritual separation from God, which is a consequence of the Fall of Adam. After physical death, we are reunited with God, and if we do not measure up, we are expelled from His presence, becoming spiritually dead again.

Dedication: A prayer said over a newly constructed place of worship, such as a temple or a law firm.

Depression: Feelings of worthlessness and guilt that are in no way related to LDS teachings about worthiness and guilt.

Deseret: The original name of Utah, derived from the Book of Mormon word for “honeybee.” This in no way implies a hive mentality or the existence of drones in the LDS church.

Deseret Alphabet: A phonetic alphabet created under the direction of Brigham Young to help immigrants learn English. Clearly, this was an inspired project, as it is now the official language of the Republic of Molossia.

Deseret Book: Ostensibly a company that produces and sells LDS-related items and is headed by Sheri Dew. LDS General Authorities have over the years supplemented their income by compiling already-published talks into inspirational books (according to one source, some of the Brethren refer to DB as “the cash cow” or “how I bought my cabin”). It is rumored that there is a high rate of cancer and other illnesses among DB employees, which may be related to the high levels of saccharine produced.

Deseret News: Once one of two major newspapers in Utah, which is now focused on LDS Church-related positive “news,” stringer reports from KSL reporters and elected mayors, and advertisements for Deseret Book.

Devil: A rebellious son of God who is so opposed to God’s plan that he spends all of his time implementing it. Also referred to as Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Michael Ballam.

Dialogue: A publication created to show that alternative voices have a place in the LDS church: in a fringe magazine that no one reads.

Disciple: A follower, preferably one who does not question or use Google.

Disciplinary Council: A “court of love” in which the penitent sinner is questioned by the bishopric or the high council about his or her sins, such as supporting abortion rights or being a homosexual, feminist, or (so-called) intellectual. This council then confers to determine if you are worthy to remain in the church and, if so, at what level you can participate.

Discipline: The result of a disciplinary council, which can range from probation (not taking the sacrament or going to the temple) or disfellowshipping (prohibition from participating in church functions), to excommunication (removal of the person’s name from the records of the church, loss of saving ordinances, and denial of the companionship of the Holy Ghost). Excommunications are far less common than they used to be, as the church has discovered that excommunicants generally do not return to the church.

Dispensation: A period of time during which God reveals His will to His prophets. The current dispensation is the last one before the Second Coming of Christ and is referred to as the “dispensation of the fullness  of times.” This means that the church will never go astray, and what the prophet says is God’s revealed will, even he says it in an offhand remark in a 60 Minutes interview.

Divination: “Any superstitious method of trying to discover the course of future events. Such practices have been found among all nations and in every age; they are frequently condemned in scripture” (Bible Dictionary). (Note: Divination does not refer to peepstones or divining rods, which are acceptable in the sight of God because they do not involve superstition.)

Divorce: A legal proceeding that dissolves a marriage when necessary. The LDS church does not interfere with members’ rights to divorce. However, to emphasize the serious nature of such actions, the church requires a long process of petitioning the First Presidency for a cancellation of a temple sealing. Until such a time, divorced spouses are still married eternally in the sight of God.

DNA: A substance by which ancestry and paternity can be determined. Cannot be applied to Nephite/Lamanite populations or the alleged children of Joseph Smith.

Doctrine: What the church is teaching today. Pronouncements and revelations from prior prophets are superseded by materials approved by the Correlation Committee, who are the only representatives of Christ on earth authorized to declare doctrine.

Doctrine and Covenants: A compilation of revelations from Joseph Smith that have been extensively rewritten and sanitized for public consumption. Once published with the Lectures on Faith, which were doctrinal expositions by church leaders that have been deemed to conflict with current doctrine.

Dusting Off One’s Feet: An act that symbolizes that the dustee has been left to his or her fate by the dusters. Most often occurs when missionaries discuss the LDS church with people who have access to the Internet.

2 Responses to Concise Dictionary of Mormonism: D

  1. pollypinks says:

    Deseret Book: An organization morphed into something political. I went to purchase a music CD for m 90 yr. old dad this year, and the onslaught of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin made me want to soil myself.

  2. […] B C D E F G H I J K L M (part 1) M (part 2) N […]

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