During the last few years, I’ve noticed that less often is “the plan of salvation” used in General Conference, and more often we hear “the plan of happiness.”
Anyone know why?
Pres. Boyd K. Packer says (in a 1993 CES address) that these terms mean the same thing. He also lists another 12 terms that also share the same meaning.
There’s nothing unusual about seeing many terms for the same concept. Just look at some of the compilations of terms that refer to Christ. What is interesting is the increasing preference for this term in addition to “plan of salvation.”
I searched the Church’s database of Conference Addresses, and found just a handful of uses of “plan of happiness” before 1980, and most of those were quotations of Alma 42, the only place where the term is used in scripture. In contrast, since 2000, it occurs just as often as “plan of salvation.”
I suppose “plan of happiness” sounds a bit, well, happier than “plan of salvation.” But it still sounds a little unusual every time I hear it, in contrast to what I’m used to from my youth. The use of “plan of happiness” has also grown gradually enough, that I suppose its likely just the preference of some general authorities rather than a decision to move to this terminology.
I know this isn’t earth shattering, but I’ve lately become somewhat interested in language use, and I’m very curious about changes like this one.
So, what do you think? What’s behind this change?