clbent04

Redundant Phrases in the Church

Recommended Posts

Something that drives me nuts are the redundant phrases mindlessly repeated by some members of the Church.  To say something without really thinking about what you're saying just because you're looking for filler words to finish a talk or a prayer.  Not saying I haven't been guilty of this myself when I was a kid.  But I'm not making this up.  This is a problem in the Church for members of all ages.

How often do we hear people praying to God asking for our safe return home.  How many car accidents are we getting into these days where every single prayer has to be lined with the phrase "please bless us that we may safely make it home"?  Car accidents among Mormons would appear to be an epidemic to an outside observer.

Or how many testimony meetings have we been to where we hear the phrase "I know this Church is true"?  Members will often recite this without substantiating the reason as to why they believe the Church is true.  This is sadly an often missed opportunity to share how we personally discovered the truths of the gospel.

I'm pleading to fellow members to avoid speaking in these redundant patterns, and to please just put a little more thought into what you say.  Speaking from the heart is so much more meaningful and enjoyable to listen to.   

 

 

Edited by clbent04

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Something that drives me nuts are the redundant phrases mindlessly repeated by members of the Church.  To say something without really thinking about what you're saying just because you're looking for filler words to finish a talk or a prayer.  Not saying I haven't been guilty of this myself when I was a kid.  But I'm not making this up.  This is a problem in the Church for members of all ages.

How often do we hear people praying to God asking for our safe return home.  How many car accidents are we getting into these days where every single prayer has to be lined with the phrase "please bless us that we may safely make it home"?  Car accidents among Mormons would appear to be an epidemic to an outside observer.

Or how many testimony meetings have we been to where we hear the phrase "I know this Church is true"?  Members will often recite this without substantiating the reason as to why they believe the Church is true.  This is sadly an often missed opportunity to share how we personally discovered the truths of the gospel.

I'm pleading to fellow members to avoid speaking in these redundant patterns, and to please just put a little more thought into what you say.  Speaking from the heart is so much more meaningful and enjoyable to listen to.   

 

 

To be fair, we can speak these "redundant" phrases and still have meaning. I thank God for my food before every meal, when I pray for a safe drive home; I mean it. Repition is good... vain repetition is bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Fether said:

To be fair, we can speak these "redundant" phrases and still have meaning. I thank God for my food before every meal, when I pray for a safe drive home; I mean it. Repition is good... vain repetition is bad.

There's only so many ways to bless our food, and we are instructed to do so, so that one is exempted from my list. And yes, it's a good desire to return safely home, but why even mention it if it's not a problem? Don't we have enough real problems to address one that is actively happening? The occasional mention of returning home safely is fine, but in the Church it is not occasional. Anyone who regular attends Church would have to admit this phrase is so abused it does qualify as a vain repetition, maybe not for you personally since you're admittedly not vainly repeating it, but generally speaking yes it is vainly used

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Members will often recite this without substantiating the reason as to why they believe the Church is true.  This is sadly an often missed opportunity to share how we personally discovered the truths of the gospel.

Actually, it's not.  Testimony meeting is the place to testify of the truth.  (period)  It is not the place to tell the story of how you learned the truth, or of how it was most-recently demonstrated in your life.  It is not for travelmonies, thankimonies, storimonies, preachimonies, etc.  It is for people to get up and say: "I testify that X is true".  Unfortunately, that rarely happens.  When it does, it's usually powerful.

4 hours ago, clbent04 said:

why even mention it if it's not a problem?

So it doesn't become a problem?  As a means to acknowledge God's power to bless us, and our need for His blessing?

Not that people don't do what you're saying, but I'm not prepared to condemn someone who isn't the greatest public pray-er in the world.  I expect it's much harder than we imagine for many people to do this, and so, to overcome whatever fear they have, the fall back on safe things for the group to pray for.  Get a prayer in your heart and you don't need to worry about the words others are using.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zil said:

Actually, it's not.  Testimony meeting is the place to testify of the truth.  (period)  It is not the place to tell the story of how you learned the truth, or of how it was most-recently demonstrated in your life.  It is not for travelmonies, thankimonies, storimonies, preachimonies, etc.  It is for people to get up and say: "I testify that X is true".  Unfortunately, that rarely happens.  When it does, it's usually powerful.

I mostly hear the phrase "I know this Church is true" after someone has just given a life story completely unrelated to the gospel as an attempt to finish up their "testimony".  It seems to be their way of wrapping it up with a bow. 

Hearing someone say "I testify that X is true" can be powerful. I am fine with someone speaking with conviction about what they know to be true without backing it up with how they came to that knowledge.  But when someone speaks the phrase "I know this Church is true" loosely, that's what drives me crazy. I'd rather hear how the knowledge of the gospel came to you, and how God touched your heart personally, rather than to hear "my coworker was gossiping about me and I ended up being the bigger person and I know this Church is true and in the name of Jesus Christ, amen".

6 hours ago, clbent04 said:

why even mention it if it's not a problem?

 

1 hour ago, zil said:

So it doesn't become a problem?  As a means to acknowledge God's power to bless us, and our need for His  blessing?

@zil Under your logic here, maybe we should pray for all unlikely, undesirious events not to happen so they will continue not to happen? Doesn't make sense to me

Edited by clbent04

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, clbent04 said:

There's only so many ways to bless our food, and we are instructed to do so, so that one is exempted from my list. And yes, it's a good desire to return safely home, but why even mention it if it's not a problem? Don't we have enough real problems to address one that is actively happening? The occasional mention of returning home safely is fine, but in the Church it is not occasional. Anyone who regular attends Church would have to admit this phrase is so abused it does qualify as a vain repetition, maybe not for you personally since you're admittedly not vainly repeating it, but generally speaking yes it is vainly used

Just a side note: no where that I have found does it ask us to "bless the food". It asks us to give thanks for it though.

what are we blessing the food with!! X)

Edited by Fether

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

I mostly hear the phrase "I know this Church is true" after someone has just given a life story completely unrelated to the gospel as an attempt to finish up their "testimony".  It seems to be their way of wrapping it up with a bow. 

Hearing someone say "I testify that X is true" can be powerful if everything they've said leading up to that statement is on point with sharing the gospel.

I am fine with someone speaking with conviction about what they know to be true without backing it up with how they came to that knowledge.  But when someone speaks the phrase "I know this Church is true" loosely, that's what drives me crazy. I'd rather hear how the knowledge of the gospel came to you, and how God touched your heart personally, rather than to hear "my coworker was gossiping about me and I ended up being the bigger person and I know this Church is true and in the name of Jesus Christ, amen".

Do you truly know that it's a mindless phrase- that they truly don't mean it?  Even if their logical process of when to say it displays poor public speaking skills?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Do you truly know that it's a mindless phrase- that they truly don't mean it?  Even if their logical process of when to say it displays poor public speaking skills?

Not a mindless phrase for everyone. Yes, there are many scenarios of how this phrase is used 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Not a mindless phrase for everyone. Yes, there are many scenarios of how this phrase is used 

Having a phrase used repeatedly isn't what make it vain repetition, because realistically there are only so many ways to say things.  What makes saying something vain reputation is doing it over and over again mindlessly.  And that's not something you or I can judge from the outside.   We can only monitor it in ourselves.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Having a phrase used repeatedly isn't what make it vain repetition, because realistically there are only so many ways to say things.  What makes saying something vain reputation is doing it over and over again mindlessly.  And that's not something you or I can judge from the outside.   We can only monitor it in ourselves.  

Actually we can. It's called the power of discernment 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, clbent04 said:

Actually we can. It's called the power of discernment 

And are you that person's judge to sentence them for it?  Or are we called to love and help each person, regardless of where they are in growing in faith?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

And are you that person's judge to sentence them for it?  Or are we called to love and help each person, regardless of where they are in growing in faith?  

No, I'm not their judge, but I do have the power of discernment, two separate things

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do make some good points in this post. It is true that vain repitition in prayer is a rampant problem in the church. But a God will not inspire us on such things just to satisfy our curiosity. It isn't under our stewardship. 

@clbent04

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, clbent04 said:

How often do we hear people praying to God asking for our safe return home.  How many car accidents are we getting into these days where every single prayer has to be lined with the phrase "please bless us that we may safely make it home"?  Car accidents among Mormons would appear to be an epidemic to an outside observer.

Speaking from the heart is so much more meaningful and enjoyable to listen to.   

I'll echo fether's words and add the following.

A psychiatrist was asked about a family member who had so many phobias that it made Bob (What About Bob) seem normal. "Why on Earth does she have so many phobias?  Why is she so scared of everything?"

The answer:. If you think about it, the ral question we should ask is why we aren't so afraid.  There are real dangers in this world that are really scary.  But we just choose to ignore them. So she's the normal one.  We're the ones in denial.

That should give us pause when we wonder about asking that we drive safely. It is the evil spirit that teaches a man to NOT pray.  We're taught in scriptures to pray over our crops and our herds. We're told to pray over everything. And yes, there are only so many ways we can pray for them.  So why aren't those on your "exempt" list?

That said, I again echo fether's when he warned against vain repetition. But it is a sign of pride when we take it upon ourselves to judge others and when they're being sincere or not.  When it comes to prayer and testimony, I'd try to be less judgemental as much as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, clbent04 said:

No, I'm not their judge, but I do have the power of discernment, two separate things

Your discernment is supposition.  You don't know what is in the hearts and minds of others.  I may pray you have a safe travel home every single time I see you because I truly wish it for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1 hour ago, Fether said:

You do make some good points in this post. It is true that vain repitition in prayer is a rampant problem in the church. But a God will not inspire us on such things just to satisfy our curiosity. It isn't under our stewardship. 

@clbent04

@Fether  I understand the point you're saying about the power of discernment being limited to the purview of one's stewardship. Maybe I'm using the wrong term here.

Maybe it's not the power of discernment, but rather a spiritual gift some people have allowing them to know when others are sincere. Who are we to say what spiritual gifts are limited to, or what one person has bestowed upon them verses another. Some may see spirits, some may be able to interpret languages they have never studied before, point being that there are many spiritual gifts out there. 

Regardless of how I know some people don't sincerely say the statement "I know this Church is true", thanks for acknowledging that vain repetitions do happen in the Church. I'm not saying we have to judge every time we think we might hear a vain repetition in the Church, I'm just trying say we should all be a little more mindful of what we say

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Your discernment is supposition.  You don't know what is in the hearts and minds of others.  I may pray you have a safe travel home every single time I see you because I truly wish it for you.

@Grunt I would respond to you with the same response I just wrote @Fether

5 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

 

@Fether  I understand the point you're saying about the power of discernment being limited to the purview of one's stewardship. Maybe I'm using the wrong term here.

Maybe it's not the power of discernment, but rather a spiritual gift some people have allowing them to know when others are sincere. Who are we to say what spiritual gifts are limited to, or what one person has bestowed upon them verses another. Some may see spirits, some may be able to interpret languages they have never studied before, point being that there are many spiritual gifts out there. 

Regardless of how I know some people don't sincerely say the statement "I know this Church is true", thanks for acknowledging that vain repetitions do happen in the Church. I'm not saying we have to judge every time we think we might hear a vain repetition in the Church, I'm just trying say we should all be a little more mindful of what we say

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

 

@Fether  I understand the point you're saying about the power of discernment being limited to the purview of one's stewardship. Maybe I'm using the wrong term here.

Maybe it's not the power of discernment, but rather a spiritual gift some people have allowing them to know when others are sincere. Who are we to say what spiritual gifts are limited to, or what one person has bestowed upon them verses another. Some may see spirits, some may be able to interpret languages they have never studied before, point being that there are many spiritual gifts out there. 

Regardless of how I know some people don't sincerely say the statement "I know this Church is true", thanks for acknowledging that vain repetitions do happen in the Church. I'm not saying we have to judge every time we think we might hear a vain repetition in the Church, I'm just trying say we should all be a little more mindful of what we say

 

Just for clarification, you have a spiritual gift that allows you to accurately judge another's sincerity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Who are we to say what spiritual gifts are limited to

Because scripture tells us, we can say.

"We must be obedient and faithful to be given our gifts.We then should use these gifts to do the work of the Lord. They are not given to satisfy our curiosity or to prove anything to us because we lack faith. Of spiritual gifts, the Lord said, “They are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do” (D&C 46:9)" -Gospel Principles Lesson 22

God would not give a spiritual gift to one if he is using it to complain about others

Recognizing in someone's prayer that they may be using vain repetition would be beneficial for us as a reminder that we should not be vain and repetitious.

But seeing that you made quite a spirited post on this subject suggests to me that you have extended beyond the stewardship of yourself and are making a statement to us that others are sinning in doing so. This is wrong and not of God.

The opening phrase "Something that drives me nuts are the redundant phrases mindlessly repeated by some members of the Church" gives this away, that you are extending judgment to the person. And knowing that Satan can mimic spiritual gifts, it makes me think that he is doing so with you.

 

Edited by Fether

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

We're told to pray over everything. And yes, there are only so many ways we can pray for them.  So why aren't those on your "exempt" list?

Praying over everything gives us a little more flexibility in what we say than specifically being instructed to be thankful for our food. Maybe I should have some more items on my "exempt" list for what else is specifically mentioned, haven't given a lot of thought to what the list would look like, but that's not the point of this post. I'm mainly saying we should remind ourselves that the words we speak in prayer and over the pulpit should be said with meaning, namely avoiding vain repetitions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And again, recognizing that one MAY be praying vainly is beneficial to us in that it reminds us to not do so. But we can't make that assumption and hold on to that assumption, but rather provide the benefit of the doubt that they are being sincere (even how unlikely it is),

When I see another sin, I try to give them as much benefit of the doubt as I can. It makes me happier and keeps me from condemnation.

Now I'm not perfect, I get pretty angry at people who have road rage (Ironic I know). I also get pretty frustrated when I feel like someone is being unjust or is refusing to repent (again... ironic I know).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

I'm mainly saying we should remind ourselves that the words we speak in prayer and over the pulpit should be said with meaning, namely avoiding vain repetitions

And my comment remains. How do you know they really are vain?  Certainly there are a few fairly obvious situations. But for the most part, we ought to be less judgmental when talking about those habits of others that might bother us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, clbent04 said:

I'm pleading to fellow members to avoid speaking in these redundant patterns, and to please just put a little more thought into what you say. 

That's very nice of you to plead to us, and no matter how right you might be,  you are reaching .000000001% of the active LDS population via this forum. No matter how successful your pleas are, don't expect them (your pleas) to accomplish much. 

Edited by MormonGator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

And my comment remains. How do you know they really are vain?  Certainly there are a few fairly obvious situations. But for the most part, we ought to be less judgmental when talking about those habits of others that might bother us.

Point taken. I am being judgemental and could try easing up on not letting this pet peeve get to me so much.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now