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Pop Quiz: Spelling

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 10, 2011

Official Announcement

Our attention having been called to the different forms of spelling the proper name Melchizedek (as, for example: Melchisedek, Melchizedec, Melchisedec, etc.), at our request Dr. James E. Talmage made a critical investigation of the subject with a view to learning the biblical and philological consensus of authority and opinion concerning it. In harmony with Elder Talmage’s report and expressing our own views, the Council of the Presidency and Apostles has decided that the proper noun, and the adjective as applied to the High Priesthood, should be spelled MELCHIZEDEK, in all publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it appears in the Old Testament and Book of Mormon.

JOSEPH F. SMITH,
ANTHON H. LUND,
CHARLES W. PENROSE,
First Presidency.

(June 1915)



10 Comments »

  1. Now if we could just get consistent pronunciation… My father-in-law pointed out after the session in which my wife was endowed, that he detected at least three different pronunciations (swapping out short-e and short-i sounds, mostly). :-)

    Comment by Paul — August 10, 2011 @ 10:00 am

  2. This is great. I love all the formality and officialness of this “Official Announcement.” And then it gets even better with the First Presidency using the term “philological.” Whoah. They mean business!

    Comment by David Y. — August 10, 2011 @ 10:04 am

  3. Now there’s some Spelling Police with authoritative credentials.

    Comment by Mommie Dearest — August 10, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  4. I’ll be Elder Talmage loaned them the word “philological” just so they would seem to the average member to actually understand his writings and talks….

    Comment by Rameumptom — August 10, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  5. “be” should be “bet.” No wonder they didn’t ask my advice….

    Comment by Rameumptom — August 10, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  6. Wasn’t there an official announcement in more recent years on the correct pronunciation of “Ensign?”

    Comment by Grant — August 10, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  7. It’s a shame they didn’t get that worked out before they wrote it with a “c” in gilded letters in the Salt Lake solemn assembly room.

    Regarding the Ensign, they used to give the pronunciation in the masthead in every issue. But I just checked the current issue, and I guess they don’t do that anymore. I have no idea when they stopped. Perhaps with the last redesign 5-6 years ago.

    Comment by Left Field — August 10, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  8. Left Field, they probably gave up telling people what the correct pronunciation was because nobody listened. They just go on doing their own thing.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — August 10, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  9. I believe the pronunciation note was dropped from the Ensign as a regular feature following the December 2002 issue. The January 2011 issue, which celebrated the magazine’s 40th birthday, contained this small note: “How do you pronounce Ensign? The correct pronunciation is N’sine, not N’sun.”

    Comment by Justin — August 11, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  10. My grandfather was fond of saying, “If Melchizedek was such a great high priest, the least you can do is pronounce his name correctly!”

    Comment by Matt — August 11, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

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