Furthermore, just as with “Christian,” it’s not unreasonable for words to have multiple, overlapping definitions. Actually, it happens all the time. Welcome to linguistics. When I personally talk about “Mormons,” I’m usually just referring to the mainstream LDS church. But Someone else could reasonably use the term in another context to include the RLDS, FLDS, Strnagites, and Rigdonites. There’s not some rule laid down by the gods of linguistics that says words can only have one “correct” meaning. And nobody authoritatively owns words, really. I mean they can claim to own words, and other people might even respect that claim, but practically speaking it’s preposterous.
Words are given definitions by their usage. It might actually be a better poll to ask people what definitions for “Mormon” they use, and allow for multiple selections.]]>
1. Those who are sick and afflicted.
2. Those who can’t be with us today.
Mormons who do not include other splinter groups in their definition of “Mormon” are committing the same “sin” of exclusionary self-definition that orthodox Christians commit.]]>