Correlation FAIL -part the second
May 18, 2011 9 Comments
So we get to have conference talk hash in adult priesthood/relief society meetings once a month. We get the opportunity to hear from different members of the group on these Sundays, by design I think, so that new folks get a chance to be heard, and mostly this is positive. But Zig Ziglar’s doppelganger left his side and came to visit us a few weeks back.
As a result, we got harangued about using the word “try” in reference to our attempts at gospel living. I was going to point out that Yoda had said it best, but I thought it might be too diverting.
“The scriptures never tell us to ‘try’ living the Godly life, they tell us to do it.”
In spite of the quotes, that’s a bit of a summary. One member who felt it his duty to dispute this “obvious” Gospel Gaffe pointed out a few examples, but got a semantic shout down for his trouble. The teacher’s long-winded insistence on the point meant we basically missed the points of President Eyring’s address under discussion.
It made me wonder, not for the first time, how important is our use of words? I think the lesson giver had a point, and so did his foil. But how do we deal with terminology in the Church? Not very well I think. A good example is the phrase, “keys of the priesthood.” Subject to the Nauvoo/Utah transition (I’ve blathered on about this here recently) it’s meaning was focused so sharply for (no doubt important) bureaucratic expediency, that the historical context was all but wiped from institutional memory.
 President Uchtdorf’s recent moderation of President Ezra Taft Benson’s “Pride” address was welcome but I suspect involved considerable soul searching. Language can be institutionally holy, even if it’s wrong. Stability is often more important than history.