28 December 2007

Signs of the True Church

When I was on my mission, there was a particular tract available to missionaries called "17 Points of the True Church". It has a really interesting story behind it as well.

However, I think that there are some much more compelling signs than those listed in those points.

1. The Book of Revelations

If you are a Latter-Day Saint, then say out loud the title of the last book in the New Testament. Unless you have already been asked this question before, you probably said "Revelations". Now, open the New Testament, and you will find that it is called "Revelation" with no "s" on the end. I have never heard a non-Mormon call it "Revelations", but I have heard many (including my Sunday School teacher last Sunday) repeatedly call it the book of "Revelations". I even received a book as a gift before my mission (2000-2002) that exhibited this problem. It was supposed to be a scripture quick reference, but everywhere it referenced a verse in the Book of Revelation, it listed it as Revelations. Oy, it got past the editor and everything!

Anyway, I have come to understand that this simply must be a sign of the true church, which is why so many Latter-Day Saints call it "Revelations" while the rest of the world calls it "Revelation".

2. The 3 Cs that lead to disaffection

A while back, I was part of a lesson where "the 3 Cs", as coined by the professor, were discussed. He said that these three Cs were the greatest causes of disaffection with the Church. He asked us to guess them, and someone said "Criticism". (Note that criticism plays an important role in our society, just not criticism out of our stewardship, which is what we referred to in the lesson.) Someone else said "contempt".

After a number of tries, we couldn't seem to guess the third "c" that the instructor was hinting at. He offered the following hint: It's something that the Relief Society does. Someone called out, "Centerpiece!"

Everyone laughed because the Relief Society centerpiece is one of the great inside jokes in the LDS culture. In one LDS flick, the RM, the idea is played on very heavily with the mother in the family always trying to find the perfect centerpiece for her next Relief Society lesson.

Centerpieces, then, are definitely one of the signs of the True Church.

3. Flip, Fetch, and Freak!

We've been commanded to not take the Lord's name in vain, but, in addition, to not use vulgar or offensive language. This means that lots of Latter-Day Saints, in order to obey the letter of the law, will just modify the word a bit. :) I had a mission companion who actually took great pleasure in using a character from the Book of Mormon, Shiz, as his "replacement word". Others that make a Latter-Day Saint stand out more than a CTR ring are "flip, fetch, and freak". Signs of the True Church.

4. Green Jello

A famous LDS joke:

Q: What do you get when you play Mormon Tabernacle Choir music backwards?

A: Green Jello recipes

I rest my case.


Aren't those infinitely more compelling?!