PEC, BYD, Is the Church becoming an alphabetocracy?

By: Craig - May 15, 2006

After a hiatus of not being well connected, I was recently called to serve in a bishopric. I was amazed. After all, it had been less than 5 years since my last stint, but boy had things changed. I was familiar with PEC (priesthood executive committee), but there were new phenomena designated by letters with which I was not so familiar.

So, what is BYD? Come to find out it is the current name for youth firesides (bishop’s youth discussion). When did the name change and why? Manhattan, Kansas is right next to an army base. Perhaps it is the insidious hand of milspeak encroaching into our lexicon. The basic question is: I know that the church has evolved its own particular dialogue replete with terms that the rest of the world has a hard time wrapping their minds around. Why make it even harder by dropping the words all together?

I mean try to write Mormonisms:

I would like to bear my testimony. Is it bear as in the furry with claws? Or bare as in expose nakedness–not a good picture? Why not just say, “I would like to BMT?”


  1. LOL. I’ve never heard of BYD. Must be a regional thing.

    Comment by J. Stapley — 5/15/2006 @ 5:33 pm

  2. We used to have BYC – Bishop’s Youth Committee- meetings. Good times!

    Comment by Elisabeth — 5/15/2006 @ 8:29 pm

  3. The following are all in common use in my ward:


    Once, the bishop’s Sunday evening discussion with the youth was typo’ed on the calendar as bishop’s STD.

    Comment by Mark IV — 5/15/2006 @ 11:28 pm

  4. An old poem that I still think is funny:

    by Joel Hardy
    I read the BofM,
    I study the D&C,
    I peruse the KJV,
    back it up with JST.
    My son’s at BYU,
    at the MTC,
    They used to call it LTM
    when I was young like he.
    I collected for SME,
    while in the BSA.
    My wife who’s in RS,
    teaches YM/YW in MIA.
    Today in BYC,
    We planned for EFY.
    I stayed a little later,
    and had a HT PPI.
    I listened to some MoTab,
    I found at the DI.
    then I washed my Gs,
    after FHE we had pie.
    Now if you’ve understood,
    this alphabetic mess.
    Chances are quite good,
    that you are LDS.

    Comment by Gina — 5/15/2006 @ 11:36 pm

  5. yeah, first thought when I read the subject was “becoming?”

    As a youth in either arkansas youth firesides with the Bishop were BYDs. They weren’t the only youth firesides, but they were a somewhat regular event. They were always preceeded by BYC meetings.

    Comment by Mike A. — 5/16/2006 @ 4:09 am

  6. I was our ward’s Young Men president up until two summers ago, and we did not use the acronym BYD; everyone just called it a fireside.

    Comment by Kim Siever — 5/16/2006 @ 6:57 am

  7. … and we still use MIA/Mutual although it changed to YM/YW 30+ years ago.

    Comment by manaen — 5/16/2006 @ 10:37 am

  8. Don’t forget SMP, the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program.

    Comment by Ana — 5/17/2006 @ 1:52 pm

  9. Whats an SME?

    Comment by Craig — 5/17/2006 @ 2:19 pm

  10. In our ward, firesides are known by ‘Sunday Evening Discussion’ as refereced in #3. Everyone I know refers to it as an STD. I don’t mind them changing the name, provided the new name provides plenty of comic relief, as in: ‘the bishop is hosting an STD tonight, we hope all will be there to partake…”

    Comment by Jared E. — 5/22/2006 @ 3:14 am

  11. Craig, sorry, I just saw your question in # 9.

    SME stands for Sustaining Membership Enrollment. It’s the annual fund drive for the BSA, so we can charter the troop and cub scout pack for another year. I think it is a scout term, not a church term.

    Comment by Mark IV — 5/22/2006 @ 10:26 am

  12. We used BYC and BYD in the late eighties in Virginia.

    My Branch President recently asked me to come in for a PPI, I wondered if I should remind him that I was a woman?

    Although abbreviations can be annoying and alienating to those who don’t know them, the only one I really mind is when people refer to the Doctrine and Covenants as the D&C–truely, a medical procedure that does not need to be discussed at church.

    Comment by a spectator — 5/29/2006 @ 8:56 pm

  13. I recently attended a PEC meeting after being “out of the inner circle” for 18 yrs. I was surprised to see the YW, Primary Pres. and RS Presient at the meeting. I thought it was a Priesthood Exec. Comm meeting???

    Comment by frustrated male — 7/1/2006 @ 8:57 pm

  14. Increasing use of acronyms is a problem for a church that wants to recruit new members. Each chapel has the words “vistors welcome” somewhere near the door. Most visitors haven’t a clue what’s going on because even the language is unfamiliar. While all these things may be familiar to those in the club, it alienates those who aren’t.

    A word to frustrated male, if your attitude is that women don’t belong in the PEC meetings it is scary that you are back in the “inner circle”.

    Comment by sideline — 7/13/2006 @ 11:45 pm

  15. For that matter, sideline, every church has its own culture, language and quirks. I remember the first time I attended Catholic mass and fealt completely in the dark.

    Comment by J. Stapley — 7/14/2006 @ 9:24 am

  16. I don’t know if you were raised lds or not, J. Stapley. I was raised protestant and had visited several different Christian churches before joining the ranks of the lds. During my 10+ years as a member I brought several friends and family members as visitors.

    I can tell you from my own experience and theirs that the culture, language, and quirks of other Christian sects are more similar to each other and easier to relate to and understand than to the lds culture, language, and quirks.

    This is not to say anything is *wrong* with that of the lds. It is only to say that it is a greater alienating factor. This is intensified by the reality that the lds are a tight knit community. This is not lost on a visitor who comes in and it looks like everyone knows everyone else. This is not the case in most other churches, save tiny ones out in the country. There is very much a difference in visiting an lds chapel versus visiting other churches. While is can be appealing, it is also alienating and something members would do well to be cognizant of.

    Comment by sideline — 7/14/2006 @ 8:59 pm

  17. For #13 That’s to bad those women had to attend PEC maybe next time they will be smart enough to remind the bisopbric of the title -(or maybe they don’t know the lingo, so introduce them to it) or were you all attending ward council and you thought it was PEC?

    I think we should just remember that when you do see a visitor (member or non-member) It is our responsibility to make them feel comfortable when entering the house of the Lord. —

    Comment by kbm — 8/21/2006 @ 6:07 pm

  18. Hmm… my bishop held BYDs in his home, way back in the 1980s – and called them that. *shrug*

    Our BYC was also always called “YAC (pronounced like yak) and BYC” – which stood for Youth Activities Committee and Bishop’s Youth Counsel. It would be all of the class/quorum presidencies, and was usually a planning meeting for upcoming youth activities.

    I just learned what PEC is this morning (LOL!). My husband is in the Bishopric, and admittedly, I haven’t paid much attention to what all of his meetings are called, but I did become curious about that one this morning and ask.

    Comment by Jenn — 6/29/2008 @ 3:15 pm

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