basketball
The official leisure activity of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The Church sponsors its own basketball league, in which members of separate wards compete against each other for the honors of men. A more violent, profane, and contentious atmosphere can be found nowhere else this side of professional ice hockey.

See also cultural hall.
 
bear
In Mormon parlance, a verb invariably used with the word "testimony" to refer to the process of relating one's personal conviction of the truthfulness of certain religious precepts; e.g., "I'd now like to bear my testimony to you, Sister Silverstone, that I know the principle of plural marriage to be ordained of God."

This curious usage of the word is probably derived from the phrase "to bear witness."

Also, the sort of large, hibernating, carnivorous mammal that the devil does not have claws like.

See also fast-and-testimony meeting, testimony meeting.
 
Benson, Ezra Taft
Thirteeth president of the L.D.S. Church. Died 1994. Preceded in office by Spencer W. Kimball, succeeded by Howard W. Hunter. The big thrust of Benson's tenure as president was the Book of Mormon as the "keystone of our religion."

Served as Secretary of Agriculture under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was rabidly Republican. Many Democratic Mormons threatened to leave the Church if Benson ever became president. To borrow a bit of phrasing from Bruce R. McConkie, he did, and they did.
 
"best two years of my life, the"
A phrase frequently employed by returned missionaries to describe their mission experience. Synonymous with "boy, I'm glad it's over" or "I have to look as spiritual as that Johnson boy or I'll never make it with Gretchen Adams."

Sometimes self-consciously appended with "so far."
 
bishop
In the L.D.S. ecclesiastical hierarchy, the presiding officer, spiritual leader, and judge of a ward.

Named for the chess piece that can't take a step forward without also taking a step to the side.

See also bishopric.
 
bishopric
In the L.D.S. ecclesiastical hierarchy, the presiding body of a ward, consisting of a bishop and his two counselors.

See also first counselor.
 
blessing
In L.D.S. parlance, this term can be used generically to refer to most any prayer, particularly prayers before meals, meetings, activities, etc.

The term is often used specifically, however, to refer to an ordinance of the priesthood whereby hands are laid on a supplicant's head and a pronouncement of health, comfort, counsel, or christening is made. Though the syntactical structure of the blessing is similar to that of a regular prayer, the words are directed to the recipient rather than to God, often with instructions such as "be healed" or "live worthily" or "remember that your Father in Heaven is mindful of you."

The giver of a blessing of this sort must be a worthy priesthood holder, and he is directed to keep his mind open and not speak his own thoughts or wishes, but rather to listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost in knowing what instructions and/or promises to pass along to the recipient.

When giving a blessing, the spokesman may be assisted by one or more other priesthood holders, who stand shoulder to shoulder and also place hands on the recipient's head. It is useful for the recipient to have strong neck muscles.

The efficacy of a blessing is supposedly predicated on some arcane combination of the faith and righteousness of the givers and the receiver -- which makes for a handy straw man in cases where the blessing fails to come true. This can, of course, damage the recipient's self-worth, but hey -- it's a Church for the strong.
 
blind obedience
A very bad thing.
 
b.o.m.
Book of Mormon.
 
Book of Mormon, the
A collection of writings ascribed to various prophets who lived in undetermined regions of the American continents between 600 B.C. and A.D. 421. Another testament of Jesus Christ, and the keystone of the L.D.S. faith.

The Book of Mormon tells the story of the prophet Lehi, who fled Jerusalem with his family after having been warned in a dream of the city's impending destruction by the Babylonians. They built a ship and sailed to America, where his son Nephi, also a prophet, began to keep a record of their proceedings on engraved metal plates. Subsequent prophets and kings continued this practice.

Nearly a thousand years later, a prophet named Mormon abridged the records kept by his predecessors onto engraved plates of gold. These he gave into the keeping of his son Moroni -- you guessed it, another prophet -- who added a few chapters and then buried the record in a hill in what would later become the state of New York.

In the early 1800s, a resurrected Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr., and led him to the site where the record was buried. Young Smith, aided by the Urim and Thummim, translated the engravings from the Reformed Egyptian into an English reminiscent of King James and soon thereafter published the work as the Book of Mormon -- so named in honor of its prime abridger.

And I've got a bridge down the street I'd like to sell you.
 
bucket
Calgary Canada Mission slang for a lazy missionary who habitually breaks the rules. Derivation uncertain.

See also kicker.
 
buckfart
A snowism roughly equivalent to such words as "joker," "clown," "scumbag," and "stoopnagle."
 

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