Concise Dictionary of Mormonism: J

Jackson County, Missouri: Home of the Kansas City Royals, Harry S. Truman, Democratic boss Tom Pendergast, and our first parents Adam and Eve.

Jacob, Son of Lehi: The firstborn of Lehi in the wilderness. Noted for quoting at length previously unknown prophet Zenos’ “allegory of the olive tree,” which is interesting mostly because neither Jacob nor his audience would have ever seen an olive tree.

James: Apostle of Christ most often quoted to support the LDS beliefs that God’s grace must be earned through works. Appared in 1829 with Peter and John to restore the Melchizedek Priesthood. Also, a minor character in a certain film, though apparently his lines were cut to just “we will go down” and “I am James.”

Jared: The brother of the brother of Jared.

Jaredites: Descendants of Jared and his brother who traveled across the ocean in barges and lived for some 1,600 years in the Americas without leaving a trace.

Jehovah: 1) Before Nauvoo, one of the names of God. 2) After Nauvoo, the name of the premortal Jesus.

Jerusalem: Holy city in Palestine, location of Solomon’s temple, scene of Jesus’ crucifixion, dedicated for the gathering of the Jews in 1841.

Jerusalem, Land of: Birthplace of Jesus.

Jerusalem, New: Where the non-Jewish members of the House of Israel will be gathered before Jesus’ Second Coming. See Independence, Missouri.

Jesus: Savior of the World, and Son of God, being fully God and fully man. In modern times, it has been revealed that Jesus was a powerfully built European who looked vaguely like Barry Gibb.

Jews: The “other” chosen people. Unbeknownst to them, their history, rituals, culture, and religion are remarkably similar to those of Mormonism.

John the Baptist: Prophet who paved the way for Jesus. Beheaded by Herod, John appeared on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and restored the Aaronic Priesthood by ordaining Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Rumors that he took a boat downstream and had a wild weekend with some coeds at SUNY-Binghamton are unfounded.

John the Beloved: Apostle of Jesus, believed to be the author of the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation. Although John’s tomb is located in Selcuk, near Ephesus, he had the last laugh by surviving to the present day as a “translated being.” Since then, seen only in 1829 helping to restore the priesthood and in a cameo appearance in the temple film.

John, Revelation of: Also known as the Apocalypse, a highly symbolic prophecy of the future that was largely undecipherable until Joseph Smith produceda “key” that made everything clear (see D&C 77).

Joining the Church: According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, converts share three common experiences: “First, [they] meet with missionaries for a series of brief lessons on basic LDS beliefs and religious practices. Second, all prospective converts must demonstrate in a prebaptism interview … that they are making an informed decision of their own free will and that they willingly fulfill the baptismal requirements. Third, every convert must receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation as performed by authorized representatives of the Church and be accepted as a member of the local ward or branch by the common consent of the members.” (Note: These are optional as circumstances dictate.)

Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible: A remarkable restoration of ancient truths, which Joseph Smith accomplished by adding words in place of the italicized words in the King James Bible.

Joseph Smith–History: After previous efforts at writing a personal history were thwarted by mobs, lawsuits, imprisonment, and getting the story straight, Joseph Smith wrote of his experiences with the divine. Highlights include the First Vision (this time uncluttered by angels), the visit of Moroni, and persecution so intense that no one remembered it.

Joseph Smith–Matthew: The rendering of Matthew 24 in the Joseph Smith Translation so readers would know exactly what Jesus meant without having to wade through parables and prophecies.

Joseph of Egypt: Sold by his brothers into captivity, he became a great prophet, such that he was able to prophesy of Moses, Aaron, and Joseph Smith, mentioning them by name (though he apparently got a little off track when he said that “they that seek to destroy [Joseph Smith] shall be confounded”).

Journal of Discourses: A record of all sermons from church leaders published between 1852 and 1886. Although authorized by Brigham Young and published in conjunction with the church-owned Deseret News, these sermons are not to be taken as official or authoritative statements of church doctrines or contemporary teachings. Some talks contain “deadly heresies,” including those given by prophets and declared as doctrine and revelation.

Journals: Prophets have long counseled that church members keep a journal recording their daily activities. President Spencer W. Kimball taught that a personal journal should not delve “into the ugly phases of the life he is portraying. … Even a long life full of inspiring experiences can be brought to the dust by one ugly story.” Therefore, journals should be uplifting but never negative, which isn’t a problem because that is how most LDS lives are lived.

Joy: A state of lasting happiness that comes from total obedience.

Judgment: The Savior taught that we should not judge others; modern revelation has clarified that we should, however, assess others’ worthiness based on their clothing, facial hair, and number of earrings, among other things.

Judgment Day: After death, all human beings will be judged by Jesus Christ, who is both judge and advocate. He will judge us “according to works, desires, and intent of the heart” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism) and by the records we keep. For this reason, it is important to leave the negative out of your journal.

Justice and Mercy: Two attributes of deity that must be satisfied. In short, it would not be just of God to be merciful and forgive us unconditionally; in order to satisfy justice, the Savior, who was sinless, must suffer in our place. And of course it is absolutely just to punish someone who has done nothing wrong.


3 Responses to Concise Dictionary of Mormonism: J

  1. Odell says:

    John the Baptist, according to Oliver Cowdery, he looked a lot like Sidney Rigdon.

  2. David Clark says:


    You need to split up your entry for James.

    The book of James in the New Testament is usually attributed to James, the brother of Jesus (yes, that Jesus). He later went on to become leader of the church in Jerusalem, and in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions is seen as the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

    The book itself never claims this, but this is the traditional ascription. It almost certainly can’t be the James of “Peter, James, and John” because his martyrdom is recorded very early in the Book of Acts. This would have happened before the presumed authorship of the Book of James.

    The James of “Peter, James, and John” fame is the one associated with the priesthood restoration.

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

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