The Blessing of Language

Saturday, September 14

9-14By Andrew Bolton, Council of Twelve Apostles

There are many lives waiting to hear the redeeming words of the gospel, or to be lifted from hopelessness by the hands of loving servants. But they will be lost to you without the generous response of disciples who share from their own bounty that others may know the joys of the kingdom…The call to respond is urgent…look also beyond your walls to the far-flung places where the church must go. Each disciple needs a spiritual home. You are called to build that home and care for it, but also to share equally in the outreaching ministries of the church. In that way the gospel may be sent to other souls also yearning for a spiritual resting place.

—Doctrine and Covenants 162:7

Those in nations that speak English have many church resources (books, lessons, study guides, etc.). However, for those who speak a different tongue, such as the Asian languages, few church resources exist. To meet this serious need, the church is making a significant investment in translations.

In October 2010 Steven L. Shields, from International Headquarters, worked with a team in Andra Pradesh, India, to review a translation of The Priesthood Manual from English into the Telugu language. The project was an important milestone in the church’s continuing effort to provide printed resources to the Asia Mission Field.

The team referenced key church words and phrases, then discussed what the best word or phrase to translate the fullest meaning in Telugu would be. For example, evangelist does not easily translate into Telugu, so the team in India decided to translate the priesthood office as blessing giver.

Your contributions to world mission tithes help make mission real by providing printed texts of church resources in many languages. Thank you for responding generously to this need.

Prayer for Peace
God of all nations, peoples, tongues, and tribes, let us not take our language for granted. May we speak to the people of far-flung places with a mutual spirit of understanding, communicating Christ’s message of peace for all.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring Unity in Diversity
Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. Can you imagine a circle wide enough to include the world? See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.

Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include because they are far away? Confess the dividing walls between you and people of other languages. Ask God to heal communication barriers that keep you and others from sharing in Christ’s peace.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will reflect on a word or phrase that is important to me, and learn to speak it in another language. Namaste.

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