I am in my mid-30s. I have been an LDS missionary, a graduate of LDS seminary and later of Brigham Young University. I am active and participatory in Church, including Sunday School. I seek learning out of the best books, as the Lord advised in revelation.
So what to make of the fact that, until 20 minutes ago, I did not know the definition of "ontological?" I had to lean on my dictionary.
It's probably a basic word for a "traditional" Christian. Refers to being. As in the Trinitarian "ontological" unity of God. God is one in being.
I still don't understand how this concept is understood. What is the traditional Christian concept of "being"?
We are told as Latter-day Saints that the early Christian Church stumbled when it stepped off the rock of revelation and attempted to engage its intellectual tormentors in their own philosophical language. Thus words like "homeostasis," "essence," and the aforementioned "ontological" came into play, to try to make primitive Christianity agree with the Hellenic notions of a passionless, bodiless Prime Mover.
The Church does not want to make that mistake again. So the learning bloc on Sunday is kept as simple as possible, bereft of such terms. Every official Church gathering that I know of, keeps to those same rules.
But shouldn't the average Latter-day Saint at least be able to understand the terminology of his or her modern colleagues in Christianity? At least be able to say, "Here's the LDS response to the doctrine of one divine essence"?
We need to learn the words and how to respond to them. That is my opinion. We may find that we agree with other Christians more than we thought in some areas, and they might be able to realize that as well. We will find other areas in which we still sharply disagree. But at least we will be able to understand each other.