elder
Lowest office of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Young men are usually ordained elders at around the age of eighteen. This is a prerequisite to serving a mission and attending the temple.

Also, the proper form of address for a young male missionary; e.g., "Would you like to come see my etchings, Elder?"
 
elephant
According to the Book of Mormon, a "more especially useful" beast living, together with cureloms and cumoms, in ancient America.

Also, a large land mammal, no remains of which have ever been found in the Western Hemisphere.

See also horse, ass.
 
Empty Sea
A slang reference to the M.T.C.
 
endowment
A sacred ordinance conducted in the Temple in which worthy L.D.S. initiates are treated to an abbreviated history of the universe, are asked to make solemn covenants with God, and learn the secret passwords and handshakes that will get them past the sentinels at the gates of the Celestial Kingdom when at last they shuffle off this mortal coil.

Once upon a time, endowees swore a solemn oath that they would suffer their lives to be taken rather than reveal the secret "tokens" which they learned during this ceremony. Various "penalties," such as slitting one's own throat and disemboweling oneself, were also pantomimed as part of the endowment. However, these elements have been removed from the newly sanitized ritual, which was updated at the end of the Dark Ages in 1990. (Yes, that's right—1990. Not 1890.) A kinder, gentler endowment, as it were. An endowment for the Nineties.

The endowment ceremony borrows liberally from Masonic traditions—both Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were Masons—but some of these elements have been eradicated from the new endowment as well.

See also garments.
 
eternal investigator
An investigator who takes the discussions repeatedly, often for years, without ever joining the Church. Sometimes, though not always, this is because the investigator simply enjoys the company of missionaries.

Missionaries are counseled to limit the amount of time they spend with eternal investigators and to focus on more immediate prospects. (But eternal investigators are usually so much more interesting than the other kind!)
 

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