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Rain

The label "TBM"

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I was reading in a thread the other day some discussion about TBM and whether it was a good term or not. That was off topic and I have yet to finish that thread so I don't know if that continued. 

Today I just read another thread with someone using the label. So I decided to start a thread.

I remember the first time I came across the labels of "liahona" and "iron rod" mormons. I remember thinking that most would label me iron rod because of my visable actions, but the liahona part fit me as well. A liahona described to me what we are taught in the church to be - someone who really thinks through things and goes to the Lord for revelation. A Joseph Smith. The iron rod people just held to the rod, giving the impression that only the liahonas were the only ones who thought through things.

What I found was that a lot of those who don't hold on to traditional or orthodox views or actions loved the labels and those who lived traditionally did not like they were thought of as someone who didn't "think". I was one of the later. 

You don't hear so much of liahona and iron rod mormons anymore, but True Believing Mormon or TBM seems to have come from the iron rod label.

I did a quick google search trying to find definitions and came up surprisingly short, but I don't have calm's great google skills. 

I did some what find, however, my feelings about TBM by Blair Hodges in a Tribune article, 'A TBM is "generally understood to be something of a gullible fool who lacks the interest or ability to think critically," Hodges writes, "and thus does not see the obvious fact that Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst."' SL Trib article

I don't  see often "Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst" when I see it used, but almost always I see  "lacks the interest or ability to think critically" implied.

Maybe this will help some understand why some of us don't like the TBM label?

 

 

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I think if we had one of those Google word-occurrence-chart thingies, TBM would have shown up in the mid-'80s, grown in the '90's, peaked in the early 2000's, and has been steadily declining since then.  Kind of like people calling each other "basket case" or "swell".

I'm thinking these days, the average user of the term TBM, hasn't read Owen and Mosser's work on how antimormons need to step up their game and stop acting like ignorant buffoons.  

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Rain said:

I was reading in a thread the other day some discussion about TBM and whether it was a good term or not. That was off topic and I have yet to finish that thread so I don't know if that continued. 

Today I just read another thread with someone using the label. So I decided to start a thread.

I remember the first time I came across the labels of "liahona" and "iron rod" mormons. I remember thinking that most would label me iron rod because of my visable actions, but the liahona part fit me as well. A liahona described to me what we are taught in the church to be - someone who really thinks through things and goes to the Lord for revelation. A Joseph Smith. The iron rod people just held to the rod, giving the impression that only the liahonas were the only ones who thought through things.

What I found was that a lot of those who don't hold on to traditional or orthodox views or actions loved the labels and those who lived traditionally did not like they were thought of as someone who didn't "think". I was one of the later. 

You don't hear so much of liahona and iron rod mormons anymore, but True Believing Mormon or TBM seems to have come from the iron rod label.

I did a quick google search trying to find definitions and came up surprisingly short, but I don't have calm's great google skills. 

I did some what find, however, my feelings about TBM by Blair Hodges in a Tribune article, 'A TBM is "generally understood to be something of a gullible fool who lacks the interest or ability to think critically," Hodges writes, "and thus does not see the obvious fact that Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst."' SL Trib article

I don't  see often "Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst" when I see it used, but almost always I see  "lacks the interest or ability to think critically" implied.

Maybe this will help some understand why some of us don't like the TBM label?

 

 

 

I generally don't use the term/acronym TBM because I don't really like trying to label church members into different groups.  I'm not saying that "TBM" has never crossed my lips/keyboard but it's rare.  However...

I haven't thought of it in the negative way that Blair Hodges defines it above.  I always considered it a positive statement:  a true believing (I'd probably insert "orthodox") Mormon... which I don't look at as a bad thing -- quite the opposite.

The previous thread you mentioned was an eye opener to me as I didn't realize people considered it derogatory.  So even though I don't use it, I am doubly recommitted to not using it now.

 

ETA:  I think it's totally fair for people to not want to be labeled as TBM and to indicate that they think it is a derogatory term.  But I also think one should consider that some people using "TBM" may be meaning it in a positive way.

 

Edited by rockpond
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It's frustrating when you can't use labels in discussion, because everyone is offended over everything. I sometimes use TBM, but I don't mean it in any way the way Blair stated there. I'm careful about using the word Apologists, because people either are offended by it or assume you're trying to be offensive by using it. I'm not. I promise. I even call myself an Apologist. Labels are useful. If you're not sure someone is intentionally trying to offend you, just assume they're not. If you react in a way that shows you weren't offended, and they really wanted to offend you, they'll probably figure out how to do it with more clarity and specificity. 

 

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It was actually me that used the term you are referring to.  I had no idea it was a dergatory term.  But then I thought TBM stood for True Blue Mormon and referred to the famous quote by Joseph F. Smith when confronted by a hostile group of men replied to the question "are you a Mormon with this answere.

“Yes siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.”

When someone told me it was offensive, I quickly apologized.  That wasn't my intent.  I meant it as meaning a very faithful member.

Then I am reading the thread Secularization Hits the Mormons.  These people used TBM to identify both themselves and family members.

FearlessFixxer

Cinepro

The Nehor

Garden Girl

HappyJackWagon

SouthernMo

None of them got challenged on using the term.

As for me, I will no longer use the term.  Even if one person is offended, there are other words I can use. For me it was just being lazy and not typing out faithful member.  

 

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I use the term because the truth is, there are many different types of members of the church and for discourse sometimes it helps to clarify. 

Another term I use is faithful, or zealous, or rigid, depending on the person. Because I know folks who are each of those . 

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Posted (edited)

I've called myself TBM more than once on this board. Though to be fair, part of that was to point out that TBM's run the gambit since most people who do view it in the "iron rod mormon" sort of way would likely not be picturing me in their assumptions. I think whatever the way of describing it, there are those who kind of have a picture and definition that they have around those who are very faithful and active in the church. I've found that that picture often comes from a very specific type of active member and often their own experiences when they have been more active and believing than they currently are. Sometimes (not always or all obviously) people can assume that one way of person for the whole body of believers. Plus people really love labels and definitions to simplify constructs. Fortunately, people are not constructs. 

 

With luv,

BD 

Edited by BlueDreams
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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

It's frustrating when you can't use labels in discussion, because everyone is offended over everything. I sometimes use TBM, but I don't mean it in any way the way Blair stated there. I'm careful about using the word Apologists, because people either are offended by it or assume you're trying to be offensive by using it. I'm not. I promise. I even call myself an Apologist. Labels are useful. If you're not sure someone is intentionally trying to offend you, just assume they're not. If you react in a way that shows you weren't offended, and they really wanted to offend you, they'll probably figure out how to do it with more clarity and specificity. 

 

This reminded me of the end of the article I linked. 

I really wish there was a quote button on mobile.

'The best way to blow apart such labels, he argues, is by being complex believers who don't fit the categories.Trouble is, some complain that such multifaceted believers are, well, "tough to define."Just ask Huntsman.'

----

Labels can be useful, but they can also be very inaccurate because they are used for too many people who do not fit a definition. My biggest problem with labels is how often they are placed inaccurately.

Maybe it's just me. So often I have to answer questions "other" because questions about me just don't give me the multiple choice options that fit me. That is often what a label is to me - a multiple choice option people use to describe someone. 

And just to be clear, "TBM" doesn't "offend" me.  I was sharing why some would find it offensive because several here didn't know. 

Edited by Rain
Took out part of the quote because it wasn't the part I meant to be quoting.
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14 minutes ago, california boy said:

It was actually me that used the term you are referring to.  I had no idea it was a dergatory term.  But then I thought TBM stood for True Blue Mormon and referred to the famous quote by Joseph F. Smith when confronted by a hostile group of men replied to the question "are you a Mormon with this answere.

“Yes siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.”

When someone told me it was offensive, I quickly apologized.  That wasn't my intent.  I meant it as meaning a very faithful member.

Then I am reading the thread Secularization Hits the Mormons.  These people used TBM to identify both themselves and family members.

FearlessFixxer

Cinepro

The Nehor

Garden Girl

HappyJackWagon

SouthernMo

None of them got challenged on using the term.

As for me, I will no longer use the term.  Even if one person is offended, there are other words I can use. For me it was just being lazy and not typing out faithful member.  

 

Yeah, I've used it and will probably continue to use it. It's so fast and easy to type and in my mind has none of the negative connotations Blaire Hodges ascribes to it. I've heard varying degrees of TBM being used, sometimes negative, but most of the time as just a short-hand description of a person's level of dedication to the church. So when I describe my past-self or my upbringing or family members as TBM I'm certainly not calling myself or family members a fool. But I think it easily illustrates that I checked all the boxes and was a fully committed believer.

So I'm not going to get hung up on what Blaire Hodges thinks it means, or others on this board. I'll use it because it's easy. There's no need to be offended. I don't find it to be an offensive term at all.

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17 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I use the term because the truth is, there are many different types of members of the church and for discourse sometimes it helps to clarify. 

Another term I use is faithful, or zealous, or rigid, depending on the person. Because I know folks who are each of those . 

I think this shows why some will have a problem with TBM and some don't.  I have seen some use TBM for those who are faithful and some for those who are rigid. 

If you are a faithful person who often hears it used by the rigid definition then if you hear it on a discussion where it might be applied to you then you would probably assume the rigid definition is being used, human nature being what it is. Or plug in faithful to what I said for the opposite effect.

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8 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yeah, I've used it and will probably continue to use it. It's so fast and easy to type and in my mind has none of the negative connotations Blaire Hodges ascribes to it. I've heard varying degrees of TBM being used, sometimes negative, but most of the time as just a short-hand description of a person's level of dedication to the church. So when I describe my past-self or my upbringing or family members as TBM I'm certainly not calling myself or family members a fool. But I think it easily illustrates that I checked all the boxes and was a fully committed believer.

So I'm not going to get hung up on what Blaire Hodges thinks it means, or others on this board. I'll use it because it's easy. There's no need to be offended. I don't find it to be an offensive term at all.

I get why you would continue to use it. I hope you understand though why it might come across to someone else negatively if they don't understand or know your use of it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I think if we had one of those Google word-occurrence-chart thingies, TBM would have shown up in the mid-'80s, grown in the '90's, peaked in the early 2000's, and has been steadily declining since then.  Kind of like people calling each other "basket case" or "swell".

Here is the Google Ngram for TBM: link

Some of the various meanings (none related to Mormonism) Tired Business Man, Tunnel Boring Machine, Three Blind Mice, and Thick-billed Murres (a type of bird).

Most of the rest tended to be abbreviations for terms used in biology / chemistry (e.g., Trophoblastic Basement Membranes, Tingible Body Macrophages, Tribenzylidene-methane).

As for internet usage, you're probably about right timeline wise. Seemed to be a fairly common term in the late-90s / early 2000s but doesn't seem to be as popular right now.

 

Edited by Amulek
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19 minutes ago, Rain said:

I get why you would continue to use it. I hope you understand though why it might come across to someone else negatively if they don't understand or know your use of it.

I get it.

True. Believing. Mormon or  True. Blue. Mormon:  Those are positive descriptors. So if someone is getting offended it's most likely because of baggage they're bringing to the discussion where they choose to believe a positive descriptor is really a negative. Do some people use it with sarcasm? Sure, but I guess it is incumbent on the reader to figure out the context of what and how it's being said. If people get offended, it's not my intent, but also not my responsibility. If TBM was a negative descriptor  (like if TBM stood for   Turd Bucket Mormon) then I'd understand more, and change my usage. But as it stands, it's a positive. What orthodox, believing, committed Mormon wouldn't want to be described as True Believing or True Blue?

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

I was reading in a thread the other day some discussion about TBM and whether it was a good term or not. That was off topic and I have yet to finish that thread so I don't know if that continued. 

Today I just read another thread with someone using the label. So I decided to start a thread.

I remember the first time I came across the labels of "liahona" and "iron rod" mormons. I remember thinking that most would label me iron rod because of my visable actions, but the liahona part fit me as well. A liahona described to me what we are taught in the church to be - someone who really thinks through things and goes to the Lord for revelation. A Joseph Smith. The iron rod people just held to the rod, giving the impression that only the liahonas were the only ones who thought through things.

What I found was that a lot of those who don't hold on to traditional or orthodox views or actions loved the labels and those who lived traditionally did not like they were thought of as someone who didn't "think". I was one of the later. 

You don't hear so much of liahona and iron rod mormons anymore, but True Believing Mormon or TBM seems to have come from the iron rod label.

I did a quick google search trying to find definitions and came up surprisingly short, but I don't have calm's great google skills. 

I did some what find, however, my feelings about TBM by Blair Hodges in a Tribune article, 'A TBM is "generally understood to be something of a gullible fool who lacks the interest or ability to think critically," Hodges writes, "and thus does not see the obvious fact that Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst."' SL Trib article

I don't  see often "Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst" when I see it used, but almost always I see  "lacks the interest or ability to think critically" implied.

Maybe this will help some understand why some of us don't like the TBM label?

 

 

TBM's can be either Iron rod or Liahona members. Whichever they are, they are members who try to live the doctrines of the church and are not likely to give up on it or allow anything to cause a disbelief in the Church.

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

I was reading in a thread the other day some discussion about TBM and whether it was a good term or not. That was off topic and I have yet to finish that thread so I don't know if that continued. 

Today I just read another thread with someone using the label. So I decided to start a thread.

I remember the first time I came across the labels of "liahona" and "iron rod" mormons. I remember thinking that most would label me iron rod because of my visable actions, but the liahona part fit me as well. A liahona described to me what we are taught in the church to be - someone who really thinks through things and goes to the Lord for revelation. A Joseph Smith. The iron rod people just held to the rod, giving the impression that only the liahonas were the only ones who thought through things.

What I found was that a lot of those who don't hold on to traditional or orthodox views or actions loved the labels and those who lived traditionally did not like they were thought of as someone who didn't "think". I was one of the later. 

You don't hear so much of liahona and iron rod mormons anymore, but True Believing Mormon or TBM seems to have come from the iron rod label.

I did a quick google search trying to find definitions and came up surprisingly short, but I don't have calm's great google skills. 

I did some what find, however, my feelings about TBM by Blair Hodges in a Tribune article, 'A TBM is "generally understood to be something of a gullible fool who lacks the interest or ability to think critically," Hodges writes, "and thus does not see the obvious fact that Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst."' SL Trib article

I don't  see often "Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst" when I see it used, but almost always I see  "lacks the interest or ability to think critically" implied.

Maybe this will help some understand why some of us don't like the TBM label?

 

 

I see the term used often. And I often see it being used in a derogatory manner, or as a character insult, or as well poisoning.

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

I was reading in a thread the other day some discussion about TBM and whether it was a good term or not. That was off topic and I have yet to finish that thread so I don't know if that continued. 

Today I just read another thread with someone using the label. So I decided to start a thread.

I remember the first time I came across the labels of "liahona" and "iron rod" mormons. I remember thinking that most would label me iron rod because of my visable actions, but the liahona part fit me as well. A liahona described to me what we are taught in the church to be - someone who really thinks through things and goes to the Lord for revelation. A Joseph Smith. The iron rod people just held to the rod, giving the impression that only the liahonas were the only ones who thought through things.

What I found was that a lot of those who don't hold on to traditional or orthodox views or actions loved the labels and those who lived traditionally did not like they were thought of as someone who didn't "think". I was one of the later. 

You don't hear so much of liahona and iron rod mormons anymore, but True Believing Mormon or TBM seems to have come from the iron rod label.

I did a quick google search trying to find definitions and came up surprisingly short, but I don't have calm's great google skills. 

I did some what find, however, my feelings about TBM by Blair Hodges in a Tribune article, 'A TBM is "generally understood to be something of a gullible fool who lacks the interest or ability to think critically," Hodges writes, "and thus does not see the obvious fact that Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst."' SL Trib article

I don't  see often "Mormonism is ridiculous at best and downright evil at worst" when I see it used, but almost always I see  "lacks the interest or ability to think critically" implied.

Maybe this will help some understand why some of us don't like the TBM label?

 

 

It ain't the label so much; it's the sneer that accompanies it.

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2 minutes ago, USU78 said:

It ain't the label so much; it's the sneer that accompanies it.

Your'e a TBM !!

TBM.jpg.23f1c15db97cc92fc4261013b40e5de6.jpg

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This is a worthwhile thread, but one that will not have a definitive solution.

We are caught between the need for language to communicate ideas, and the reality that we all interpret language differently - but with some commonality.

I think @USU78 hit it on the head. I don’t think TBM is offensive or wrong on the surface, but we can all use it that way if we want to.  The word “baby” has very different connotations depending on context.

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Posted (edited)

I’ve never much cared for it. Ostensibly there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve always enjoyed the story associated with it (yessiree, dyed in the wool, etc.). 

But apart from it being a cliché, which makes it annoying by nature, I suppose it is the implied contempt that always puts me off whenever I see this term used and why I would never use it myself. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’ve never much cared for it. Ostensibly there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve always enjoyed the story associated with it (yessiree, dyed in the wool, etc.). 

But apart from it being a cliché, which makes it annoying by nature, I suppose it is the implied contempt that always puts me off whenever I see this term used and why I would never use it myself. 

I hope you'll use the same logic and discretion regarding your use of the term "SSA".

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I think if we had one of those Google word-occurrence-chart thingies, TBM would have shown up in the mid-'80s, grown in the '90's, peaked in the early 2000's, and has been steadily declining since then.  Kind of like people calling each other "basket case" or "swell".

I'm thinking these days, the average user of the term TBM, hasn't read Owen and Mosser's work on how antimormons need to step up their game and stop acting like ignorant buffoons.  

Maybe I’m misperceiving, but I don’t see it used by the evangelical anti-Mormons (the Owen and Mosser types) so much as the apostates and cafeteria Mormons,  as in “I used to be a benighted and naive TBM, but now I’m smarter and more enlightened.” 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I hope you'll use the same logic and discretion regarding your use of the term "SSA".

Same-sex attraction is a clinical term, not a cliche. And unlike “TBM,” which implies contempt, it is neutral. 

In any event, I’ve never raised a stink when somebody has used “TBM,” and until this moment, have never even expressed an opinion about it. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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TBM: The Book of Mormon.

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5 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Same-sex attraction is a clinical term, not a cliche. And unlike “TBM,” which implies contempt, it is neutral. 

In any event, I’ve never raised a stink when somebody has used “TBM,” and until this moment, have never even expressed an opinion about it. 

Homosexuality is the clinical term.

And there have been a number of witnesses here stating that they did not understand it to imply any contempt whatsoever.

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