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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Defining Mormonism » Defining Mormonism

Defining Mormonism

Christian J - April 17, 2008

8 Comments »

  1. Running out of original ideas for your polls? ;-)

    Comment by Kim Siever — April 18, 2008 @ 4:51 am

  2. Just like all Canadians Kim, you’re on the cutting edge. We’re all just trying to keep up. :(

    Comment by cj douglass — April 18, 2008 @ 6:48 am

  3. I think this poll is a totally relevant question in light of “are Mormons Christians?”

    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.

    Comment by Tim — April 18, 2008 @ 9:22 am

  4. Anyone that believes Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is scripture can call themselves Mormon. Anyone putting restrictions on the word doesn’t have the right to get upset when someone says Mormons aren’t Christian.

    Comment by jjohnsen — April 18, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  5. You know, there are dictionaries for this kind of stuff.

    Comment by Eric Russell — April 18, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  6. That’s a rather limited selection. Why not consult the handy guide to different types of Mormons? ;)

    Comment by C. L. Hanson — April 18, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  7. You’ve have neglected two very important ‘sects’ of Mormonism:

    1. Those who are sick and afflicted.
    2. Those who can’t be with us today.

    Comment by sam — April 21, 2008 @ 9:19 am

  8. Anyone can write a dictionary though, Eric. What makes a dictionary definition authoritative, particularly for deeply context-embedded words like “Mormon” and “Christian”? The dictionary definition is likely to gloss over most nuances.

    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.

    Comment by Kullervo — April 21, 2008 @ 11:03 am

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