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Monday, April 21, 2014

Saintspeak 21: The Letters Q & R

by Seattle Jon:

Another installment from Saintspeakthe mormon humor dictionary from Orson Scott Card. Previous installments can be found here. Reproduced with permission from Signature Books.

Quorum A group of men or boys who compete to see who can go the longest without volunteering to do anything.

Radical Before the presidency of Heber J. Grant, what all Mormons were perceived by nonmembers to be. After all, they practiced polygamy, despised capitalism, insisted on equal rights for women under the law, and believed that the government had no right to interfere with people's private sexual practices.

Reactivate To make life so miserable for an inactive Mormon that to escape your constant visits and unbearable cheerfulness, he begins to come to church again.

Rebellious Spirit What tempts some Mormons to think before doing what they're told.

Reliefsocietese The dialect of sweetness. The language is spoken in its most refined form by persons who are, have been, or want to be in a Relief Society presidency, but it is also spoken by parents of children who are misbehaving in church, any speaker who is talking to Mormon teenagers, and anyone who doesn't like you but has to work with you anyway. It can only be spoken while smiling, and only positive things can be said. Thus the English sentence, "You really botched the assignment," would be translated into Reliefsocietese as, "You're just such a choice individual, and I'm so very prOUd of you for doing the best you could. And I just know that next time you'll do even better," and the English sentence, "Will you please be quiet so we can get back to the lesson?" is rendered in Reliefsocietese as, "We're all so very grateful for your special ideas, and we'll just for sure plan a special day really soon when we'll have a chance to hear all about them." While it takes years of practice to become fluent in this dialect you can fake it right from the start by imitating the expression of rapture found in Renaissance madonna paintings and saying special, choice, just, or so very at least once in every sentence.

Reorganized Church The only non-kinky offshoot of Mormonism, the Reorganized Church maintains a relationship of uneasy coexistence with Salt Lake City, which means that it is all right to be seen talking with a Reorganite as long as you don't do it too often.

Rumors The most popular source of spiritual refreshment in the Church. Rumors come in several basic categories: 1. Political endorsements. Particularly popular among Republicans, these usually take the form of harmless stories in which a prophet slyly lets it be known that he hopes the Saints vote for a particular conservative candidate. In its nastier form, these are rumors that a candidate, usually a Democrat, is not a good Mormon. These rumors are still believed despite the fact that several recent victims of such attacks in Utah politics have promptly been called to be mission presidents or to serve as advisers to the Brethren on various questions. 2. Prophecies are being fulfilled. These include rumors that the Church has bought a temple site in Jerusalem; that a particular apostle has been promised he will be president of the Church at the Second Coming; that one or both of the Two Prophets have been identified in their patriarchal blessings; that a major earthquake on the Wasatch Fault in Utah will soon herald the beginning of the end; that missionaries are secretly establishing branches of the Church in Russia and China; and that recently, while they were officially on business somewhere else, all the General Authorities secretly flew to Jackson County, Missouri, to meet with the Savior and Adam in preparation for building the New Jerusalem. 3. Silencing. The rumor that some General Authority or BYU religion professor has been commanded not to publish or speak publicly because he has been teaching false doctrine or letting out important secrets. 4. Closet liberals. In this rumor, some apostle has confidentially told someone (who obviously did not deserve the confidence) that he secretly approves of Dialogue, Mormons for ERA, Sterling M. McMurrin, or some other generally frowned-on publication, group, or individual. Among Fundamentalists and ultraconservative Mormons, of course, it is the other side of the coin; rumor usually has it that "closet Fundamentalist" apostles are secretly practicing or calling others to practice plural marriage, blood atonement, or the United Order. 5. In and out. Especially popular in the Church Office Building are rumors that this General Authority or that one is on the rise or definitely slipping in power and influence among the Brethren. Whenever an apostle or member of the First Presidency dies, within hours there are ghoulish groups speculating on who will probably fill the vacant spot. As a general rule, the source of most rumors that turn out to be false is wishful thinking.

Run and not be weary, walk and not faint The first part is what children under five can do from dawn to dusk. The second is what their mother prays for the strength to do for just one more hour.

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Seattle Jon is a family man, little league coach, urban farmer and businessman living in Seattle. He currently gets up early with the markets to trade bonds for a living. In his spare time he enjoys movies, thrifting and is an avid reader. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Japan Fukuoka mission field. He has one wife, four kids and three chickens.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif Image credit: Signature Books (used with permission).

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