Importance of One Word

November 20, 2007

The Salt Lake Tribune has an article about how even one word can send a big message. Apparently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is changing a word in its official introduction to The Book of Mormon. The older version reads:

After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.
The new version will read:
After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.
So instead of being the "principal" ancestors the Lamanites are now being said to just be "among" the ancestors. This change is occurring after DNA testing revealed that the older account is not accurate. The newer version, thus, allows LDS leaders to continue to support their theology without running completely against science. One little word change was all that was needed to help solve this tension.

I really am not that interested in which word the LDS leaders use to promote their doctrine. But I do find it interesting how much one word can change the message, which should be a reminder to each of us to consider the implications of the words we use and those that others use.

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