Disputatio:Ecclesia Iesu Christi Diebus Ultimis Sanctorum

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...yeah, I dunno about the title, but hopefully it's at least better than the previous. They're mentioned in a brief Latin document at the Vatican website but they just have the untranslated "communitas «The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints», vulgo dicta «Mormons»". —Myces Tiberinus 00:54 oct 13, 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone know if the Book of Mormon has been translated into Latin? Please post here if you have information about this.

It has not been translated into Latin -- at least, not officially by the LDS church. I also highly doubt that it will ever be, since translations aren't an academic exercise but an attempt to reach as many people as possible in their native language, and I think it's fair to say that anyone who speaks Latin is highly likely to speak another language into which the book has already been translated as well as or better than Latin. -- pne 16:24, 19 Octobris 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's true that the LDS Church itself is probably never going to translate the Book of Mormon into Latin (unless they wanted to troll the Vatican, which would be epic), but for what it's worth, I've begun work on translating some of it:
Ego, Nephi, e patribus bonis natus, igitur aliquantum omniam scientiam patris mei doctus sum; multisque miseriis diebus meis vistis, tam a Domine valde fautus omnibus diebus; ita, scientiam magnam bonitatis mysteriarumque Dominis habens, igitur scripturam diebus meis actorum facio. —1 Nephi 1:1
Adamus cedit ut homines exsistant; ac homines exsistent ut gaudeant. —2 Nephi 2:25
Obviously I'm not a prophet of God, nor do I have an Urim and Thummim handy with me to ensure the translation is accurate...but hey, not too bad, right? ;-) --Antodav 12:30, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

POV[fontem recensere]

As I've pointed out earlier, this article has POV problems. Articles about other religions don't single out the allegedly false beliefs of those religions—and this article doesn't even give an indication of who says they're false beliefs !  For the record : this notion seems to have crept into the text in the "Emendatio ex 18:20, 29 Octobris 2006" by anonymous user IacobusAmor 19:45, 4 Februarii 2007 (UTC)

As I pointed out above, this article has POV problems, in particular with the completely unsourced section headed "Capita fidei Mormonicae quae a nonnullis non Mormonis falsa habentur." Articles on other religions don't have sections like that. Eighteen months have elapsed, and nobody seems to care. Oh well. IacobusAmor 12:03, 18 Augusti 2008 (UTC)
Definitely someone with an anti-Mormon agenda made some contributions to this article. I removed at least one claim about Mormon beliefs that was totally inaccurate. This article needs sources to have any real legitimacy...but honestly, the best thing to do would be to just emulate the English version of this article, which is pretty fair and accurate. Or, this entire section about Mormon beliefs could be replaced with a rough translation of the Articles of Faith. --Antodav 02:36, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
If you can do this, Antodav, you're very welcome to get to work. Meanwhile you are right to remove unsourced controversial statements, and if the article gets thinned down to a stub in the process, at least that's a good basis for starting something better. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:24, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Well, as you can see, I went ahead and translated the Articles of Faith into Latin, to the best of my ability. I'm still not sure about a couple of things in there (omnibus hominibus bonum agendo seems like a very bad translation of "in doing good to all men", for starters), but it's the best that I can do, and it took me all night. So...--Antodav 11:53, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

Image[fontem recensere]

Libri Mormoni aut Liber Mormoni? --Jeneme 11:22, 18 Augusti 2008 (UTC)

Titulus primus fuit The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi by Joseph Smith, Junior, author and proprietor: ergo Liber Mormoni. IacobusAmor 12:03, 18 Augusti 2008 (UTC)
Or Liber Mormonis, perhaps? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:20, 18 Augusti 2008 (UTC)
How is the translation of the title onto Latin, please? -- 11:23, 25 Octobris 2008 (UTC)
Can't give a confident answer. Iacobus's suggested title Liber Mormoni gets 7 google hits; my suggestion Liber Mormonis gets two. That's a poor statistical sample, but you might as well go with Liber Mormoni. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:30, 25 Octobris 2008 (UTC)
The Spanish version of the Book of Mormon is called "El Libro de los Mormones", which means "The Book of the Mormons", referring to Mormons as a group of religious group, rather than an individual person named Mormon. However, the actual title of the Book of Mormon, in the language in which it was originally published, English, is meant to refer to the prophet Mormon, not to "Mormons" as a group of religious followers (a term which was originally pejorative but which Mormons eventually embraced, though many prefer the term "Latter-Day Saint"). Therefore, to be consistent with the meaning of the original title, the Latin version of the book's title should use the singular genitive form of whatever the Latin name for Mormon is (Mormonis, most likely), rather than the plural genitive form (Mormonum or Mormonorum). --Antodav 02:29, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
I agree, the Spanish translation is not a good model. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:44, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

Credimus + dative vs. Credimus + in + accusative[fontem recensere]

OK, so my translation of the Articles of Faith has been changed now so that Credimus in the first Article of Faith uses the preposition in and then the accusative form of the name of each member of the Godhead, as opposed to the dative form with no preposition, which is how I originally wrote it. I'd like to clear this up once and for all: which form is correct? The Nicene Creed does use in + accusative, but according to English Wikipedia that is the result of a slightly too literal translation into Latin from ancient Greek. My understanding is that the standard classical usage of credere takes the dative when one is trying to convey the meaning of "believe in [something/one]". Considering that the Articles of Faith were originally written in English (not to mention the fact that Mormons don't believe in the Nicean Creed), it seems like the dative was more appropriate in this situation. But I'd like to know what some other people think first before changing it back.--Antodav 13:08, 17 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

You're apparently right, and the dative is classical; however, since Joseph Smith was imitating in English the style of Christian scriptures in their received standard form (the Authorized Edition of 1611), perhaps it would be more in keeping with his spirit to imitate in Latin the style of the received standard Latin texts of Christianity, of which Credo in unum Deum is at once a fixed requirement of faith and a signal phrase in literature. IacobusAmor 12:08, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
I suppose (without getting into any theological discussion about the "spirit" in which the Book of Mormon was translated) that is true, but the Articles of Faith are not a part of the Book of Mormon…they are written in plain, modern English and were originally a part of the History of the Church before being included in the Pearl of Great Price. I could understand rendering it that way if we were doing a translation of the scriptures themselves (the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, or the Books of Moses or Abraham), but it seems more appropriate, to me anyway, to render the Articles of Faith in more standard Latin script. At any rate, if we change that particular line, to be consistent it seems like we'd have to change the entire article (or at least that section), which would take what is technically a grammatical error, no matter how common and well-known, and compound it, in my view.--Antodav 14:04, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

Nomen[fontem recensere]

I take it we don't have any already-published Latin name for the church, so, whichever Latin name we choose, we should add the "Convertimus" formula: I've done that. If only someone had written in Latin about it already!

The full name is admittedly clumsy in English with its two "of-" noun phrases, but to me it's a bit worse to translate it using a sequence of three noun-phrases all in the genitive. Show me one other Latin name constructed in that way ... "In novissimis diebus" provided a bit of non-genitive relief (incidentally, "novissimus" is quite OK in the required sense, though "ultimus" is OK too).

I think, too, it's a cop-out (this is no doubt inherited from an earlier version of the page) to offer several Latin names if they are all invented. It's stretching a point (but, yes, it's exactly what we do in cases such as this) to allow ourselves to invent one name, but surely one's enough. So we should eventually fix on our best choice and un-bold the others. I guess they were translated literally from the lemma of the English page. I would say, to be encyclopedic, our lemma should give

  1. in bold, the best Latin name we can find or devise
  2. the usual names in the church's first language, English
  3. literal Latin translations of those names; but these literal Latin translations shouldn't pretend to be lemmas in bold, they should be in quotes after the English names.

I expect others will have views on this -- let's wait and see! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:57, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

I should add that I changed the "Iesus" in the lemma from a macron to an acute accent. My understanding is, where we apply an accent to Latin (and this is certainly an appropriate place to do it, to clarify the grammar) we prefer the accent because accents are a bit easier for some people to type. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:06, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Both diacritics are false, since the genitive of Iesus is Iesu. Vide Et ingressae non invenerunt corpus Domini Jesu (Luc. 24:3). The word in the lemma stood correctly as Iesu from 13 Octobris 2005 to 28 Augusti 2011. ¶ Dierum Ultimorum isn't quite right, since it means 'of the Last Days,' whereas English latter-day means 'of present times, recent', so perhaps Dierum Recentium or Dierum Recentiorum or Temporum Hodiernorum or even Hoc Tempore would be better here. Maybe's in Diebus Novissimis was trying to avoid the clunkiness of three genitives in a row: of X of Y of Z. ¶ Incidentally, some of the recent changes seem to be not so much improvements in Latinity as deviations from the English version. IacobusAmor 11:37, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
THe genetive of Iesus is indeed Iesu. (irregular u declension)-- 12:31, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
So it is (blush), and the diacritic isn't needed. Thanks to both. Iacobe, I think you and I agree that "in Novissimis Diebus" was better than what we have now, though not necessarily perfect. As to "deviations from the English version", however, I'm comfortable with those ... if they are OK on other grounds :) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:25, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Hence I have corrected Iesus twice to Iesu (as indeed it used to be) in the lemma: now evidently we must move the page again, but to what name? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:30, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
It isn't easy to track this information down on en:wiki, but in pursuing the phrase "Latter Days" I was eventually directed to en:End Time. This confirmed what I had already thought (but I and the links I followed could still be totally wrong, I guess!) that "Latter Day" refers to the last period before the Second Coming. Hence "Ultimi Dies" and "Novissimi Dies" are, I still think, good translations of the concept. (And I still prefer "novissimi" here.) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:48, 29 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
I acknowledge the "clunkiness" of the name in English, but I still think that the double genitive in Latin conveys the meaning of the church's name most effectively the way that I wrote it. Unfortunately there is not a single adjective that means "latter-day", and if there was, I would use it. But the belief that LDS church members hold that led to the name being what it is in English is that we are currently in the "last days"…and that the establishment Church represents the final dispensation given by Christ of priesthood authority and of the fullness of the Gospel prior to the Second Coming. It is a millenarian concept with direct ties to the concept of the End Times, which Mormons believe we are now in. Therefore, in that sense, the proper translation of "last" is ultimus, or to agree with the genitive plural of dies, ultimorum.
As a compromise I suppose you could say in Diebus Ultimis, which would render the literal meaning of the complete title in Latin "The Church of Jesus Christ of the Saints in the Last Days", which conveys the meaning well enough and agrees with translations of the name into other languages as much as it can considering that de is generally not used to indicate possession in Latin. But I think that "Novissimis Diebus" or something of that nature is wrong simply because it seems to indicate that the church is simply Christ's church in modern times, rather than the church in the end times. Note that I'm not trying to run roughshod over anyone else's religious beliefs here; I'm simply saying that we ought to translate the name in the manner that most closely reflects the doctrine of the church that is the subject of the article.--Antodav 14:32, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

Haec Antodav in disputationem meam scripsit:

Hello. What grammatical error is there in the title of the page that I moved it to? As far as I can tell there are no mistakes…Iesus is a 4th Declension noun, so the genitive is -ūs, and Christi agrees with that…the genitive of sancti is sanctorum, and the genitive of dies (plural), which is 5th Declension, is dierum. I'm aware that dies can sometimes be feminine but in this case I made it masculine because that seems to be how it is more commonly used…so the form of ultimus that would agree with it is ultimorum. Literally it says "The Church of Jesus Christ of the Saints of the Last Days". This agrees with the way that the church's name is rendered in other romance languages and properly conveys the meaning of "Latter-Day" within the context of the doctrine of the church. I admit I'm a few years removed from my formal study of Latin but I don't see where I went wrong here. Please enlighten me; I will continue this discussion on the talk page of the article itself.--Antodav 13:54, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

It was an easy mistake to make, hence at first, in following you, I made it as well. "Iesus" is not a 4th declension noun; it follows an irregular variant of the Greek 2nd declension. Note my blushes above: I was well aware of this really, but I forgot it. The Latin declension is nom. Iesūs, gen. Iesū.
As I have already said above, I regard "Ultimorum" and "Novissimorum" as equally correct in the required sense. If "Ultimorum" agrees with names in Romance languages, that is indeed a point in its favour.
But it is seriously bad style to have a string of three noun-phrases in the genitive. The English doesn't do any similar thing (it has two of s, not three), and we should try not to do it in Latin. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:10, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Ah. I was not aware that Iesus was a Greek name. I guess that makes sense, considering that the Gospels were written in Greek before they were in English. Well in that case then, yes, I suppose Iesu would be more appropriate…at any rate, you would know better than I. Serves me right for only studying classical Latin and never any of the ecclesiastical variants of it. :-P
Yeah, I can see how the style might be an issue to some. I'm willing to go along with the use of in + ablative in this case, but I really do think that diebus ultimis would convey the meaning of "latter-day" in this context better than diebus novissmis.--Antodav 14:32, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

So would Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctorum in Diebus Ultimis work for everyone? --Antodav 14:37, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)

It would work for me. I've looked at the interwikis, and you're right that "ultim-" is often used, whereas I see no reflex of "novissim-". To me that's a distinct point in favour of "ultimis". Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:42, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't 'in the last days' ordinarily be diebus ultimis—sans preposition (= ablative of time)? But as was said above, the neatest solution may still be an adjective for 'latter-day' (or a noun in the genitive). IacobusAmor 15:09, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Good point; in that case it would be Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctorum Diebus Ultimis…I like that even better, without any preposition at all.--Antodav 15:29, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Latin doesn't generally favour adverbial attributes. Therefore, "diebus ultimis" involves a syntactic Anglicism. If we're going to respect Latin syntax, the best expression would be Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctorum Dierum ultimorum. ¶ At present, the beginnig of the article is a bit messy, because too many alternative names are being suggested. I expect that the beginnig will be tidied up after we've reached the solution — something like this: "Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctorum Dierum Ultimorum (Anglice: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) sive Ecclesia Mormonum est . . ." Neander 16:20, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Well, that gives us back a string of three noun-phrases in the genitive. I'm not happy with that. They could be "saints of the last days" or "last saints of the days", and he might be "Jesus Christ of the last saints of the days". Admittedly the English name is awkward, and there may be no satisfying solution. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:29, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
True enough. What about Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctorum Diebus Ultimis viventium (or some other theologically possible participle)? Or would that be overtranslating? Neander 16:52, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
. . . or Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctis Dierum Ultimorum dicata (or some other theologically possible PPP)? Neander 17:00, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
My understanding is that "later day saints" refers to the present day Mormon persons, who according to the religion *are* saints on the same level as all the other ancient saints, i.e. a Mormon = latter day saint. So the church isn't dedicated to latter day saints but composed of latter day saints; and by latter day this means nowadays, after the great awakening, Smith's revelations: so the right term is the translation for "latter" (as opposed to "former" or "ancient" saints): posterior: Eccl.I.C.Sanctorum Posteriorum.(see relavent religious passages here: [1]-- 17:48, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with that. The highlighted sentence in your link talks about "the last days", and that brings us back to the discussion above: the "last days" (in reference to which these are Latter-Day Saints) are the final period before the Second Coming.
But I do agree that the church is not dedicated or devoted to these saints, so "dicata" wouldn't be right. Indeed, I don't know that the task I have set of avoiding three noun-phrases in the genitive can be successfully completed :) Thanks to all for trying! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:42, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
You are grossly mistaken, IMHO. the phrase "last days" that appears is not used to define or delineate the meaning of "latter day" in any way: after giving the name of the church in the previous sentence and hinting at the reason for the name ("...my faithful servants who are of the high council of my church in Zion..."), it then says " For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." meaning simply that *even in the last days*, the church will be called the LDS church.-- 09:40, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm too pessimistic. Isn't "sanctus" itself a participle? So is there not grammar (I mean, good grammar) in Ecclesia Iesu Christi Diebus Ultimis Sanctorum, meaning "Church of Jesus Christ of those who have been made saints in the last days"? [I see I have practically returned to the suggestion made by Iacobus some way above] Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 18:48, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Although the word order (not that it matters in Latin) is more reflective of English syntax than that normally used in Latin, nevertheless I do believe that that translation is the most theologically and grammatically accurate that can be made, and that those particular words are the best ones we could use in the title: Ecclesia Iesu Christi Diebus Ultimis Sanctorum is probably the best we're going to get, IMO. I think we should go ahead and move the article to that title; do I get a second?--Antodav 20:25, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Well, if sanctorum is interpreted as a past participle of sancire, Ecclesia Iesu Christi Diebus Ultimis Sanctorum would indeed be syntactically possible, and if this is really what the English name suggests, fine. ¶ As an afterthought on ambiguity: it's true that Ecclesia Iesu Christi Sanctorum Dierum Ultimorum would be ambiguous, but perhaps not untolerably so. Isn't the English name ambiguous as well: [The Church of Jesus Christ] [of Latter-Day Saints] vs [The Church] [of Jesus Christ [of Latter-Day Saints]]? One of the lessons from studies of man-machine interaction is that it's the human capacity for empathy that is able to disambiguate a great deal of those syntactic ambiguities linguistic messages tend to be beset with. Neander 21:10, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
I accept Neander's point, certainly. I would say this in response, though. The name of this church in English has had a long time to settle in and people understand it pretty well (and even then we non-experts may puzzle one another over the meaning of "Latter-Day" etc., see above). But we are putting up a Latin name that no reader will have ever seen before, and not all of them will be familiar with the church's full name in any language. So we owe it to them to be as unambiguous as we reasonably can. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 09:51, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
It could be seen as ambiguous in English, yes, but as a Mormon myself I can clear up the ambiguity by explaining that we believe that Jesus Christ is the head of this church, and that therefore the church is His. So that's what the use of the genitive for His name refers to there. The genitive of sancti indeed refers to the makeup of the church: we are all "Saints" (not that we believe that we are necessarily any more "saintly" than anyone else, but that's beside the point). And we believe we are living in the Last Days, so an ablative of time for dies ultimi would be appropriate as well. Thus, through the miracle of Latin, we can actually make the name less ambiguous than it is in its original language. :-)
Since we can agree that this name is grammatically sound, I'll go ahead and move it now. Great discussion, everyone.--Antodav 22:01, 30 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Despite your belief, I believe you are totally, if not also grossly, mistaken about the name. Why is it that in english and the book of Mormon, the church wasn't called the "C. of J. C. of Saints in the Last Days"?--*that* is the literal meaning of your latin title. Do you think the namer was being deliberately vague or misleading? In english, 'latter' definitely means something different than 'last'.-- 09:55, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Have you considered,, why so many existing translations of this name use a word such as "ultimo" to represent "latter"? Some of these translated names are in use by various foreign members of the Church. Would you argue that they are wrong?
I take the English compound noun "Latter-Day Saints" to be a neat equivalent of "saints of the last days". "Last-Day Saints" wouldn't quite work semantically: these are the last days, but this is not yet the last day. In English compound nouns the first element has normally to be singular, so "Last-Days Saints" would scarcely be grammatical. [I may have been wrong to say "compound noun", but if "latter-day" is parsed as an adjective the point I make remains valid: adjectives in English can't show a plural termination.] "Latter" and "Last" belong to the same paradigm; therefore "Latter" was fit for use here. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 10:15, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
I was not aware that Latter in english meant also Last in the way you describe, so I bow to your superior knowledge of this, nor that the romance translations in the other wikis were official or attested outside of wikipedia. Even if conceding the point, however: if what is to be translated is "saints of the last days" I would think the latin would be "sancti ultimorum dierum" not "sancti ultimis diebus" (saints *in* the last days).-- 11:17, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
By saying that '"Latter" and "Last" belong to the same paradigm' I meant, for example, that one says "the latter" of two but "the last" of three; they are comparative and superlative.
As to the use of the genitive, you'll admit that this has been gone through at considerable length above :) though of course no discussion on a wiki is ever closed. I don't speak as a Mormon, but I say again that the members of this church, by joining it, "have been made saints in the last days",* and the English compound noun may perfectly well be seen as saying exactly this; and so the Latin may say it too. I'll drop out of this now, with good wishes for success to all! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:25, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
  • [I agree, I did also say above "saints of the last days"; but these are in any case merely my interpretations of the English compound and therefore completely unimportant! By the nature of these compounds, the exact syntactic relation between the elements is not specified, and might here be represented by of or in or maybe some other preposition. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) ]
It might be useful to consider the two (and only two) definitions of latter-day in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, perhaps the most frequently used dictionary in the United States, home of the Mormon Church: "1 : of present or recent times[.] 2 of a later or subsequent time." Nothing about any end-times! As our Formosan friend implies, latter and last are distinct concepts. That doesn't mean, however, that latter isn't loosely used in the sense of 'final'. As native English-speakers must agree, latter days in common parlance both may be, and may not be, last days. IacobusAmor 11:42, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of what "latter-day" may mean in the dictionary, I assure you that the term was used in the manner that I'm describing by the early church leaders and when the name was first conceived in the late 1830s. We are "Saints in the Last Days", or "Saints of the Last Days", but in either case, the proper rendition of that in Latin would indeed be using ablative of time, because despite the English idiom the genitive cannot be properly used in this situation. The Saints do not BELONG to the last days; the last days do not OWN the saints. The Saints simply exist DURING the last days, and that usage must take the ablative, not the genitive.--Antodav 20:06, 31 Augusti 2011 (UTC)
It might help if I give an extract from the OED, which adds a sense not included by Merriam-Webster. They call it "archaic" but still provide a quote from a late 19th century religious text: Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 10:01, 1 Septembris 2011 (UTC)
latter ... 3. a. Pertaining to the end of life, of a period, a temporal sequence, the world; = last. Obs[olete] exc[ept] arch[aic] in latter days. 1513 Douglas Æneis ii. v. 93 We fey peple..Quham till this was the dulefull lettir day. -- Ibid. viii. ix. 94 At lattyr poynt [L. digressu supremo] quhen thai war to depart. -- 1530 Proper Dyaloge (Arb.) 129 Your fraudes, almoste at the latter cast. -- 1535 Coverdale Jer. xxiii. 20 In the latter dayes ye shall knowe his meanynge. -- a1547 Surrey Æneid ii. 414 The later day and fate of Troy is come. -- 1588 A. King Canisius’ Catech. I iiij, On ye letter day of december. -- Ibid. 15 In the letter day of iudgment. -- 1594 Marlowe & Nashe Dido ii. C 1 b, At whose latter gaspe Ioues marble statue gan to bend the brow. -- 1597 Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. lvi. §9 That life which shall make them glorious at the later day. -- 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. 35 She may make na disposition in her letter will, anent her husbands gudes and geir. -- a1649 Drummond of Hawthornden Hist. Jas. V, Wks. (1711) 114 The cardinal put in his hands some blank papers, of which they composed a latter-will. -- 1816 Jefferson Writ. (1830) IV. 296 All the latter years of aged men are overshadowed with its gloom. -- 1883 R. W. Dixon Mano i. iv. 11 This sign moreover doth St. John transmit, That in the latter days we shall be tricked By Satan’s legates.
I'll defer to your judgment about the religious belief, and Dalby's find is quite convincing about Latter also meaning Last. But your grammar point is totally false. An outline of the functions of the genetive is found here [2]; in latin is would be normal to use the genetive here rather than the ablative; the only relavent point made above is about the ambiguity between sanctus the noun meaning saint and sanctus the participle meaning "rendered sacred, confirmed, annointed, or ordained by some religious or public civil act", which in the context of an uberclassicist who didn't know sanctus also meant saint, would render the meaning EJCSanctorum dierum Ultimorum as "EJC of the ordained last days" instead of "EJC of the saints of the last days"; but then such an uberclassicist would insist that the meaning of the current title would have to be "EJC of the ordained in the last days" ~ "EJC of those who were ordained in the last days"-- 10:08, 1 Septembris 2011 (UTC)
Oh, dear, I'm being tempted back into this :( It is an interesting topic. I should be happy if a real grammarian intervenes, but meanwhile I'll just use terms that make sense to me. The "ambiguity " you discuss doesn't exist. If you look at Lewis & Short's dictionary you will find no entry for "sanctus" as a noun, just a cross-reference telling you that "sanctus" is the past participle passive of sancio. For all further details (and there are many) you must look under "sancio". This is because participles, like adjectives, can serve as nouns: it's a fact of Latin grammar. Their service as nouns is part of their normal function.
So, when "sanctus" or "sancta" (m. or f.) is serving as a noun, it does indeed mean "one who has been rendered sacred, confirmed, anointed, or ordained by some religious or public civil act". That's exactly what a saint is, and (if I understand correctly) that's what a member of the Mormon church is. The word remains a participle, and, as such, can have the normal syntactic relations of a participle. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 11:24, 1 Septembris 2011 (UTC)
The ambiguity I referred to is in whether sanctorum modifies dierum or modifies an understood "hominum".
With regard to the two meanings of saint, evidently originally there was overlap in meaning originally as you state, but the usual english language christian concept is not so closely related to participle: a saint is any exceptionally holy christian person (in which christ resides). See the wikipedia article on "saint" for the relavent discussion. In ecclesiastical latin, as opposed to classical which is what L&S treats, sanctus is a noun whose meaning is not directly derived from sancio, but from the biblical passages. On the other hand, the LDS saints are all those who are baptised (annointed), even if they are not exceptionally holy; so the participle concept does apply to them.-- 15:59, 1 Septembris 2011 (UTC)
Two points here, and then I'm pretty much done with this discussion (for my part at least):
Firstly, in order to be baptized in the LDS church, a person must first agree to keep certain (very difficult and demanding) covenants, adherence to which would, arguably, make a person "exceptionally holy" by the standards of most Christians (not to say that all Mormons live up to those standards by any means, although that's why we have the Atonement). Therefore, the classical definition of "saint" would arguably apply to a faithful Latter-Day Saint as well.
Secondly, "EJC of the ordained in the last days" is a fair enough way of rephrasing "EJC of the saints in the last days" or "EJC of Latter-Day Saints" in a manner consistent with the meaning of the term as used by the church, as we have already discussed. So, an uberclassicist, if he/she translated the phrase in that way, would get an accurate understanding of its meaning within the context of LDS church doctrine. Again, the current phrasing in my view works very well.--Antodav 02:24, 5 Septembris 2011 (UTC)