One of the things I’ve written about before is the problem of common, broad terminology, that allows us to speak, without expressing what we mean (if we even know ourselves). For example, what does “true” mean in an LDS context, e.g. “the church is true” or “the scriptures are true”? It can be a problem. See my old post here, for example.
I’ve encountered two professors in the last year who make students think by requiring them to avoid certain words. In one non-BYU course on comparative religion, the students were barred for the first month from saying “religion”; in another (at BYU), students were barred from saying “atonement.” This means the students have to slow down and think about what they actually mean, since they can’t use those words. (Imagine if we struck the words “nourish and strengthen” from food blessings.)
If I were a Bishop (and I thank the heavens I am not), I might try having a sacrament meeting wherein all testimonies had to be expressed without using the words “atonement,” “true,” “church,” “gospel,” “testimony,” or “know.” I think it would be really interesting and edifying. And yes, it’s a bit like the game Taboo, but the purpose here would be to induce more thought, sincerity, and clarity into our Fast and
Testimony Offering Personal Witness Meeting.
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