Apostle – Both anciently and in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the restored Church today, an Apostle is a special witness of Jesus Christ in all the world to testify of his divinity and of his resurrection from the dead.
Articles of Faith – In the spring of 1842, John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, asked Joseph Smith to provide him with a sketch of ‘the rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the Latter-Day Saints’ [“Church History,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 706]. Joseph’s response included thirteen statements outlining Latter-day Saint beliefs, which have come to be known as the Articles of Faith.
The fourth Article of Faith states that the first ordinances of the gospel are baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Companion – missionaries are always paired with another missionary wherever they go. It’s possible that every few weeks I could get a new companion at transfers. D&C 61:35: “And let them journey together, or two by two, as seemeth them good…be not separated until they return to their homes, and this for a wise purpose in me.”
Fasting – fasting means to go without food and drink and, while fasting, we concentrate on spiritual matters, sometimes picking one issue in particular. Jesus showed the importance of fasting by His own example (see Luke 4:1–4).
General Conference – a weekend long conference held the first weekend of April and October with broadcasts from Salt Lake City of the general authorities and prophets of the LDS church speaking to members all over the world.
Investigator – a person to whom the missionaries are teaching the gospel.
LDS – an abbreviation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
MTC (Missionary Training Center) – the place I will spend 12 weeks learning and training before I go to Korea. It is located in Provo, Utah, adjacent to the Brigham Young University Campus. I hear the food is terrible and the desserts are great. Problems.
Mission Districts and Zones – Districts are small groups of missionaries (6-10) who have weekly meetings to improve missionary work. Zones are made up of a few mission districts. Both are for mission structure and reporting but also for activities on Preparation Day or P-Day (the day off missionaries use each week to write letters, do laundry, etc).
Within the zone are Zone Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders who help coordinate and train the other missionaries in the zone. They also meet in the Missionary Leadership Council with the mission president and other zone leaders and sister trainer leaders from the mission to address mission-wide issues.
Relief Society – The Relief Society is the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world. Relief Society was established in 1842 for women 18 years of age and older. Its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need.
Sacrament Meeting – Sunday Meetings consist of a three-hour “block,” split into three segments. The longest, Sacrament Meeting, is our primary family worship service and is held in our chapels and lasts approximately 70 minutes. During this meeting, we sing hymns, we partake of the sacrament (communion) and, typically, we have two or three speakers.
Stake President – a stake (like a tent stake) is a geographical area made up of several wards and branches, and it is presided over by a stake president and his two counselors. These men are called to look out for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the members under them.
- Bible – Old and New Testaments (Bible Dictionary)
- Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ
- Doctrine and Covenants – A book of modern revelation given to Joseph Smith and other latter-day prophets
- Pearl of Great Price – additional writings by Moses and Abraham as well as the record of Joseph Smith’s first vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
Seminary – a program for High School students who meet daily, usually before school, to study the Gospel and the scriptures.
Transfers – every six weeks the mission shuffles around, so I might be assigned to a new area, get a new companion, or continue about my business as usual. It is also used as a way of tracking or documenting time. “My third transfer” would mean my third six-week period in Korea.
Ward – a congregation of LDS members determined by where they live. Sometimes smaller congregations are called branches. A ward is presided over by a bishop and his two counselors; the bishopric. These men are called to look out for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the members under them. See Titus 1:7-9. See also Stake President above.
Word of Wisdom – a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1833 that advises against the use of certain substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, and recommends certain nutritional guidelines. Those who follow this revelation and obey the commandments are promised that they “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge.”