All of the following terms and definitions are only meant to explain how I’m using the words on this website. They are not necessarily good enough definitions to be used anywhere else.
AUB – a fundamental Mormon sect also known as the Allred group. AUB stands for Apostolic United Brethren. Most of the reality TV show families (Foster, Brown, Alldredge, Briney, and Williams) are members or former members of the AUB. People in the AUB dress in modern clothes, are not allowed to get married while underage, and often send their kids to public school.
compersion – feeling joy when a loved one loves someone else, as discussed in this post.
fundamentalist, a.k.a. Mormon fundamentalist – a Mormon who believes in and practices an earlier form of Mormonism, 1800s-style (often believing in polygamy). Some are members of the FLDS Church, but most are not.
fundie – a member of the FLDS Church, which is the one that used to be decent but now it’s messed up and headed by Warren Jeffs (the guy serving a life sentence in prison, not for polygamy, but for child sexual assault). The women wear long blue and green dresses and their hair braided and high in the front.
General Authorities – the highest-ranking members of the LDS Church. They get paid a salary, decide on official doctrine, have their photos printed in the LDS Church’s magazine, speak in General Conference, etc.
General Conference – the twice-a-year meetings held by the LDS Church where announcements are made, General Authorities are sustained, doctrine is preached, etc. A conference held in high esteem by people who are LDS.
LDS – an acronym that stands for Latter-day Saint. A person is LDS if they are the particular type of Mormon who is a member of the mainstream LDS Church. I grew up LDS.
LDS Church – shortened name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is by far the largest Mormon sect. If you’re a member, you probably refer to it as “the Church”; if you’re Mormon but not a member of it, you might call it “the mainstream Church”; and if you’re not Mormon at all you might imprecisely use the phrase “the Mormon Church”. The LDS Church used to practice polygamy but about a hundred years ago they not only stopped forcing it down people’s throats (I’m not a fan of institutionalized polygamy), but starting excommunicating people for continuing to practice it. Nowadays people can get excommunicated from the LDS Church for simply believing in polygamy. The history of all of this is complex, and which version of the story you get definitely depends on who you ask.
maunt (also spelled mont) – a child’s “other mother,” i.e., their mother’s sisterwife (a term coined by me that I’m not trying to popularize 🙂 )
mission – an unpaid religious mission for the LDS Church. An LDS mission lasts 24 months for men and 18 months for women. In the LDS culture, all good men serve a mission. It’s common for an LDS woman to refuse to date a man who didn’t go on a mission. (The men who do serve missions get a special title: “Returned Missionary” or “RM”.) Missionaries get sent to a Church-assigned location somewhere in the world, work long hours preaching the gospel, have very little contact with their families, and generally do a fair bit of maturing in the process. The idea is that they’re supposed to pay their own way, and many LDS boys have bank accounts set up to facilitate their saving up for their mission. Before launching into their full-fledged mission, they spend a few weeks or months at a Missionary Training Center (or MTC) getting prepared for their mission, which for many missionaries included learning a foreign language.
Mormon – a person who believes in the Book of Mormon, whether a member of the LDS Church, a member of a different Mormon sect, or an independent Mormon. Elsewhere, “Mormon” is often synonymous with “LDS,” but I don’t believe the LDS Church has a monopoly on the term Mormon, so on this blog “Mormon” has a better, broader definition. If you’re interested in the different flavors of Mormons, see this website.
plural marriage – the type of marriage in which a man has more than one wife. Synonymous with polygamy and polygyny.
plyglet – a child of polygamous parents.
polyandry – the form of marriage in which a woman has more than one husband.
polygamy – elsewhere, this might be a general term meaning either a man being married to more than one woman or a woman being married to more than one man, but on this blog I only mean a man having multiple wives. Also known as plural marriage or polygyny. If I want to talk about a woman having multiple husbands, I’ll use the term polyandry.
polygyny – marriage in which a man having more than one wife. Synonymous with plural marriage and polygamy.
TBM – an acronym standing for True Blue Mormon. This refers to a member of the LDS Church with a testimony that sounds something like, “I know the Church is true and that the current president is a prophet.” This definitely used to be me. Man, I used to be such a good Mormon.