Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hallowed be Thy Logic

As most of us know, The New Era is a magazine written for the youth of the church. What is not generally known is that somewhere in Bountiful, they actually have a small committee of Deacons writing it. This is evident in the logic presented in a recent New Era article about prayer. The article tries to justify why we use "thee, thou, thy" instead of "you, yours", but doesn't do a very good job of it. In fact, it does a positively awful job of it, almost embarrasingly bad. They say, and I quote:

The Savior used thee, thou, thy, and thine instead of you, your, and yours when He prayed. We should do the same.

Now, see if you can locate all the logical fallacies in that explanation. Let me help:

1. Jesus always used thee, thou, thy,- not just in prayers, but that doesn't matter in the slightest because
2. the KJV was translated into Elizabethan English, back in a time when that way of speaking was the norm.

The article continues by referencing a talk given by Dallin Oaks on prayer which they apparently did not read, and he gives a very eloquent (and logically sound) explanation of why we use that language in prayer:

In our day the words thee, thou, thy, and thine are suitable for the language of prayer, not because of how they were used anciently, but because they are currently obsolete in common English discourse. Being unused in everyday communications, they are now available as a distinctive form of address in English, appropriate to symbolize respect, closeness, and reverence for the one being addressed.

I think that committee of Deacons should really consider hiring an Elder or even a High Priest to help them organize their thoughts and come up with logical reasons for why we do things in the church the way we do. Otherwise, the youth are going to realize they're being talked down to and stop reading the New Era. Oh wait....

(This has been ranted about on a mormon-themed blog elsewhere, but as I don't know how many of us actually read any of those, I wanted to point it out too...)