Rebecca Kennedy joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last year. She is not a member of our ward, but she was first introduced to the Church by two members of our ward, Jim and Kristina. Sister Kennedy recently came to one of our Sunday School classes and told the story of her conversation. She made a number of most interesting observations, but I will mention but two: First, the importance of online resources in learning about the Church, and second, the strange language that Mormons speak.
Since her baptism, Sister Kennedy, who is a college graduate and a teacher, has kept a list of “Mormon words” that were new to her. That list is below. She tells me that this version of the list could easily be expanded, and, in addition to this alien vocabulary, there are the unique stories and cultural references that are unique to Latter-day Saints. For example, Sister Kennedy tells of one teacher who said, “Well, we all know the story of the Martin Handcart Company, so I will not go into detail." Sister Kennedy had never heard of this thing, the Martin Handcart Company, and - I don't know - perhaps she wondered what the company sold.
In any case, we ought to watch our tongues when speaking with the other inhabitants of the planet, because words such as the following may be entirely foreign to them:
Isn't that a good list! I might add that a couple of those words (premortal and telestial) are foreign even to my spell-check program.
Thanks to Rebecca Kennedy for keeping her ears open during her sojourn among the Mormons. With more scholarship like this, we may soon find that Mormons will be able to be understood by vastly greater numbers of people.