Mormon Glossary: CD



Mormon Temple MarriageCalling:  Unpaid church position. The Mormons have a lay church, and members are invited to serve in the positions required to operate the church.  Callings are issued by the person or body having stewardship over that aspect of service.  A bishopric calls a new Sunday School teacher; the Prophet and Apostles call new Seventies, for example.

Calling and Election:  The sure promise of exaltation.

Cannery: A place where church members can purchase food in large quantities and use professional equipment to can it. Mormons are encouraged to store a year’s supply of food for use during unemployment or other emergencies.  Church canneries can food for the church welfare system.  The food is provided through church storehouses.  Cannery food is also distributed through the Church’s humanitarian aid programs.

Celestial kingdom: The place where God resides. It is the highest level of Heaven, and is where we can live with Him if we accept Jesus as our Savior, are baptized, and keep His commandments. When we’ve demonstrated our love and faith, our sins can be forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ.  The Celestial Kingdom is populated by “just men and women made perfect” through the atonement.

Celestial marriage: Marriage for both this life and for eternity. These marriages can be performed only in the temples of God by a person in authority. When we honor our marriage vows and live God’s teachings, we can continue our marriage into eternity, and also retain our children in an eternal family unit.

Celibacy: The practice of celibacy is regarded by the Church as opposed to the laws of God.  As it states in Hebrews 13:4, marriage is honorable for all.  Paul’s counsel in 1 Corinthians 7 has been misunderstood to support celibacy as the most honorable state.

CES: Abbreviation for Church Educational System. This program oversees high-level religion classes for teenagers and college students, held on weekdays near their campuses. The system also offers special seminars, called firesides, and other educational opportunities for LDS youth.

Charity: The pure love of Christ. It often refers to serving others as representatives of the Savior.  Charity is the most desirable of the spiritual gifts.  Without it, people cannot qualify for exaltation.

Chastity:  Faithful Mormons practice the Lord’s law of chastity, which means that sexual conduct is only proper within the bonds of matrimony, and that matrimony is a legal contract between a man and a woman.

Child of God:  Mormonism teaches that we were created spiritually before we were created physically, and that God is the father of our spirits.  Therefore, we are all children of God, and spiritual brothers and sisters to each other.

Christ: Messiah, Anointed One, Savior, and Redeemer.  Jesus is the Christ.

Christian:  A follower of and believer in Jesus Christ; one who seeks to emulate the Savior’s charity and goodness.  Mormons are Christians.

Christmas: The yearly celebration of Christ’s birth. Latter-day Saints celebrate Christmas in accordance to cultural traditions, emphasizing the message of the Good News of the Savior’s birth.

Church of the First-Born:  Joint heirs with Christ in the eternities.

Church Organization:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized after the structure of Christ’s ancient church, with prophets, apostles, seventies, etc.

Church Welfare Plan:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a system to care for the poor and needy, funded by the “fast offerings” of the membership.  The plan focuses on providing for the poor while helping them to find work or develop the skills to find work.

Comforter:  The Holy Ghost.

Commandments:  Latter-day Saints follow the Ten Commandments, Christ’s commandments, and commandments received from God through modern revelation. Commandments are blessings and living them brings true happiness.

Common Consent:  1) An eternal and universal law in which all the elements and living things in the universe uphold the Lord through their common consent, support and obedience. 2) The administration of the Church is done by common consent.  Church officers are selected through revelation, and the members give their consent to support the officers.

Condescension of God:  Christ, though the creator of heaven and earth, condescended to be born of a mortal mother and submit to the trials of mortality.

Confer: The priesthood is conferred upon, or given to a person by one in authority.

Conference: A special gathering of church members. General Conference is held semi-annually for the entire church through personal attendance or through a broadcast. Other conferences are held at local levels.  At these conferences, members are instructed by their leaders.

Conference Center: Located adjacent to Temple Square, it is where General Conference is held for members of the world-wide church semi-annually. Other meetings requiring a large meeting space are also held there. It was built from 1997 to 2000.

Confirmation: Soon after a person is baptized, he is confirmed a member of the church. Members of the priesthood place their hands on his head and one offers the confirmation prayer, which also confers on him the gift of the Holy Ghost as a permanent companion, if the receiver remains worthy.

Consecrated Oil:  Olive oil that has been consecrated, dedicated, and set apart by those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood for the anointing and healing of the sick.

Consecration: Because God has given us everything we own, we promise to use it for His purposes. This includes money, time, and talents.

Constitution of the United States:  Latter-day Saints believe the U.S. Constitution is a divinely inspired document, written by men who were raised up by the Lord to this purpose.

Convert:  Mormons may be baptized at the age of eight. Anyone baptized at age nine or older is a convert.

Covenant:  A two-way promise between man and God. God sets the terms of the covenant, and if we keep our part of it, He will keep His. Formal covenants are made at baptism and in the temple.

Council: Groups of church members meeting formally to plan and manage church affairs. A ward council consists of the leaders of each organization in a congregation. They meet regularly to organize the affairs of the congregation.

Council in Heaven:  In the pre-mortal realm a great council was held in which all who would ever live on this earth were present.  At the council we gave our common consent to sustain Jesus Christ in his calling as Savior of the world and to the Lord’s Plan of Salvation.

Creation: The Pearl of Great Price teaches that the Lord has created worlds without number and that many of them are populated.  All things were created through Jesus Christ, the Word of God.

Cross:  Mormons don’t have any symbols in locations where they could become the focal point of worship, so therefore, there is no crucifix at the front of any chapel.  However, Mormons believe that Christ died on the cross for us.

CTR: “Choose the Right.” Children receive from the Primary (an auxiliary for children ages eighteen months to twelve years of age) a ring with the letters CTR placed in a shield when they are four years old. They wear it on their right hand to help them remember to make wise choices. Many adults also wear these rings. In Primary, children ages four to eight are known as CTRs.

CTR Ring: A ring given to children at age four, worn on the right hand, to remind them to make wise choices in their lives. It is worn by many adults as well.

Cultural Hall: A multipurpose room found in most LDS chapels. It has a basketball court and sometimes a stage. Used for parties, activities, performances, and sporting activities.


D&C: An abbreviation for Doctrine and Covenants. This book contains revelations given to the Church in modern times. Most are from the days of Joseph Smith, but more recent revelations are also included.

Dancing:  Mormons dance!  Some are on TV.  The Lord even commanded the Saints through Brigham Young to sing and dance at night during the long trek west.  This may have been good health advice, as travelers eastward said it was impossible to tell that the Saints had been trudging along for miles.  Dancing introduced muscle confusion to their exercise routine and revitalized their bodies.

Deacon: The first office of the Aaronic Priesthood, held by boys ages twelve and thirteen, or older boys new to the priesthood. Deacons pass the sacrament of bread and water (similar to communion) to the congregation.

Death:  Death has been overcome by the atonement of Jesus Christ, since all will be resurrected.  Latter-day Saints have the assurance that after death they will be reunited with their loved ones, thus removing the sting of loss and grief for their departed friends and family members.

Debt: Modern prophets have consistently and fervently counseled the members of the Church to get out of debt and remain debt-free, not only because debt is bondage and interest never sleeps, but to guard against the ravages of a failing economy, personal emergencies, disasters, and other difficulties.

Dedication of Graves:  The dedication of a grave is an ordinance of the Church performed by someone holding the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Degrees of glory: After death, people are assigned a level of Heaven consistent with their faith and commitment to living the gospel during their lifetime. The three degrees of glory are the Celestial Kingdom, which is where God lives, the Terrestial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom. The atonement allows all people to be saved and to live forever, but obedience is rewarded by varying degrees of glory.  All but the Sons of Perdition will inherit a kingdom of glory, and the lowest kingdom of glory is glorious beyond description.

Deseret: Translated as “honeybee,” it refers to the industrious and cooperative nature of the early Mormons. Today, it is often used in the name of church-owned businesses, such as Deseret Book and Deseret Industries.

Deseret Industries:  D.I. is part of the church welfare system.  Deseret Industries recycles used goods for sale and for distribution to the needy worldwide, while offering English lessons and job training to people in need of all faiths.

Devil: Mormonism teaches that the devil is real.  He is a bodiless spirit, having been cast out of heaven for rebellion.  He was Lucifer in the pre-mortal life, and he is Satan as he tempts men to do evil on the earth.  He will have no influence during the Millennium.  At the final judgment, he will become a son of perdition and be cast into “outer darkness.”

Discussion: Prior to becoming a Mormon, those wishing to learn more about the Church meet with the missionaries for a series of discussions, in which they learn  doctrine and begin to pray to know if it’s correct. Mormons often refer to this as “taking the discussions.” At the conclusion of the series, the investigator is invited to be baptized and to receive membership if he is desirous to do so. After baptism, several more discussions are held, to help the new member learn more and settle in to his new religion.

Disfellowshipment: Transgressors who have committed a serious sin, but not serious enough to warrant excommunication, might be temporarily disfellowshipped.  The person retains his or her membership in the Church, but certain rights of membership are withdrawn until repentance is complete.

Dispensation:  Gospel dispensations are periods of time during which prophets receive revelation for those currently living.  Adam is the head of all dispensations.  The current dispensation is the last one before the Second Coming of Christ.

Distribution center: A place where official church materials may be purchased, either in person, by mail, or online.

mormonDistrict: An administrative unit in areas where there are few Mormons. In more concentrated areas, a stake serves to organize a number of congregations, known as wards. Stakes are similar to a Catholic Dioceses. In areas with a small Mormon population, the smaller congregations are known as branches. The district contains a number of these branches.

Divorce:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints honors the desire of married couples to divorce, and even grants temple divorces, or an annulment of the eternal marriage contract.  However, the Church does what it can to strengthen  families and prevent divorces.

Doctrine and Covenants:  One of the LDS books of scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern revelation, with a preface written by the Savior.

Duty to God: A religious award given to Mormon Boy Scouts who complete goals through various religious activities.

1 Comment

  1. Roger Tolman

    I noticed in a recent film about Emma Smith that everyone was wearing their wedding bands on the right hand. Was that a practice in those days and if so when or why did it change?


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