farewell
See mission farewell.
 
fast
To go without food for a specific purpose. In L.D.S. circles, this means skipping usually one or two meals in an act of discipline designed to tame the bodily appetites and bring a person more in tune with spiritual things.

Fasting is normally coupled with prayer, and very often people fast when they are in need of a special sort of help from God, as a way to make their prayers more effective. It may also facilitate the sort of kinesthetic hallucinations which many people interpret as spiritual visitations.

See also fast-and-testimony meeting, fast offering, Fast Sunday.
 
fast-and-testimony meeting
A testimony meeting held on Fast Sundays in place of the normal sacrament meeting, where the time normally given over to sermons is devoted to allowing volunteers from the congregation to bear their testimonies.

Suffering hungry through a fast-and-testimony meeting is one of the most agonizing ordeals that Mormons are required to undergo.
 
fast offering
In L.D.S. culture, a necessary accompaniment to fasting in which the faster donates to the Church an amount of money equal to or greater than the cost of the skipped meals. The money is earmarked directly for assistance to the poor (not a bad idea, actually). Think of it as "guilt money."

On Fast Sundays, deacons are sent from house to house to troll for fast offerings from inactive members.
 
Fast Sunday
In the L.D.S. Church, the one Sunday set aside per month when all members who are physcially able to fast are expected to do so.

See also fast-and-testimony meeting, fast offering.
 
fetch
A word used by Mormon missionaries the world over as an all-purpose substitute for "fuck."

Synonymous with "flip."
 
field
See mission field.
 
fireside
An evening Church service in which a touchie-feelie speaker addresses a group of Latter-day Saints on a gospel-related topic. The earliest firesides were held in people's homes -- thus the name -- and while some still are, the term has broadened to include any evening address, whether it be in a family room or in a chapel or via satellite from Salt Lake City.
 
first counselor
In the Mormon ecclesiastical hierarchy, the first of usually two assistants called to aid a bishop, a stake president, etc., in the administration of his assigned jurisdiction, i.e., ward, stake, and so forth.

See also bishopric, First Presidency, stake presidency.
 
First Presidency, the
The supreme governing body of the L.D.S. Church, consisting of a president (or prophet) and an unspecified number of counselors, usually two.

The prophet's counselors are drawn from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which must then acquire new apostles to fill out its ranks.

When the prophet dies, the First Presidency is instantly dissolved and the counselors return to the Quorum of the Twelve, which then swells to fourteen or so in number. A new prophet is then selected from amongst the apostles -- traditionally the senior apostle, hence the usual advanced age and infirmity of prophets in recent decades. The new prophet selects counselors and the whole cycle repeats, often after only a few months.

See also first counselor.
 
First Quorum of the Seventy, the
A governing body of the L.D.S. Church subordinate only to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Quorum is composed entirely of ordained seventies, though there is, surprisingly enough, no established numerical size for this group.

A Second Quorum of the Seventy also exists, though I'm not quite sure why.
 
First Vision, the
The occasion in 1820 when fourteen-year-old Joseph Smith, having retired to the woods (in a locale now known as the Sacred Grove) to pray about which church he should join, was purportedly visited by God the Eternal Father and his son Jesus Christ.

These two distinct personages told young Joseph that no church currently on the earth was true, but that he would one day be instrumental in restoring the true Church of Jesus Christ to the world.

To rewrite the story of Joseph Smith's First Vision, please see the feature "No Man Knows My Pancreas."
 
flip
A word used by Mormon missionaries the world over as an all-purpose substitute for "fuck."

Synonymous with "fetch."
 
free agency
The L.D.S. belief in every person's absolute right to choose his or her own beliefs and actions.

Unfortunately, many Mormons tend to believe that free agency applies only to themselves and not to anyone else.
 

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