Extras : Glossary of Terms (A - D)

Aaronic Priesthood
The lesser of the two divisions of the Mormon priesthood, sometimes called the “preparatory” priesthood.
age of accountability
Eight years old; in Mormon theology, the age at which a child is held to be capable of distinguishing right from wrong. Baptism is not permitted, and is in fact considered unnecessary, before this age.
anti-Mormon; anti
Opposed to the doctrines, practice, or culture of Mormonism; one who opposes Mormonism, often through an active attempt to persuade members that their religion is false.
Assistant to the president.
A former member who has willfully denied and abandoned Mormonism.
A companionship’s assigned proselytizing territory.
arm’s length
The nearest a missionary is permitted to approach members of the opposite sex.
assistant to the president; a.p.
One of two missionaries assigned to administrative tasks at the mission office.
The ordinance by which a child of at least eight years of age or a new convert to Mormonism is washed clean from sin, by total immersion in water.
baptismal interview
The private interview conducted by a bishop (in the case of a child of eight) or district leader (in the case of a prospective convert) to determine whether or not a candidate for baptism is ready and worthy to receive that ordinance.
A missionary who lives to Bible-bash.
bear one’s testimony
To express a testimony verbally.
best two years of one’s life
A platitude widely mouthed about mission service.
To attempt to prove, competitively and contentiously, the correctness of one’s beliefs by recourse to Biblical citations.
Derogatory term for a sister missionary.
blue planner
A cumbersome weekly scheduling form issued to missionaries.
Book of Mormon, the
A book of scripture, sacred to Mormons, purported to be an abridgment of the writings of ancient prophets, translated by Joseph Smith.
born in the covenant; b.i.c.
The status of a child born to parents sealed for eternity in the temple; such children are considered to be automatically sealed to their parents. (Children born before their parents are sealed must be explicitly sealed to the parents in order to be considered part of the eternal family.)
A lazy, rule-breaking missionary.
Caught breaking rules; demoted in rank.
calling and election made sure
Guaranteed a place in the highest level of heaven; sometimes said of elders whom the mission president seems to be grooming for the role of assistant.
Celestial Kingdom
Highest of the three levels of the Mormon afterlife, achievable only by those who have received and accepted such ordinances as baptism and sealing, either in person or by proxy.
Celestial smile
The scoop neck of the men’s garment, visible through a white dress shirt.
A companion of equal rank.
companion; comp
A missionary’s assigned partner.
A pair of missionaries.
The ordinance immediately following baptism, in which, by the laying on of hands, a child or new convert is officially admitted to membership in the Mormon Church and is given the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
cool family
A member family who frequently invite the local missionaries over to hang out.
creative addition
Inflation of weekly numbers for reporting purposes.
A sister one trained.
Dear John
A breakup letter from a missionary’s significant other.
To be released from one’s mission and go home.
diligent; diligent-head
A missionary who works tirelessly, often joylessly.
dinner appointment; d.a.
A meal invitation from a member family.
A missionary lesson.
discussions, the
The complete set of six missionary lessons, which must be taught to an investigator before baptism.
An administrative unit of a mission, usually consisting of two to four companionships.
district leader; d.l.
The missionary who supervises a district.
double-digit midget
A missionary with less than one hundred days remaining until release.
A baptism; to baptize.
dust one’s feet; shake the dust off one’s feet
To perform the priesthood ritual that seals condemnation upon a house, neighborhood, or city which has rejected the duly consecrated messengers of God.

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About the Book

What happens when an ambivalent young Mormon missionary is pushed to the limit in a challenge to prove his faith? Hint: the outcome is explosive. The Accidental Terrorist is the long-awaited memoir from Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author William Shunn, based on his popular podcast. Available now from Sinister Regard!