This question was in the comments for this post:
I do have a question, though, about swearing in LDS fiction. Maybe it’s because I now live in Australia where many members use the “milder” swear words, or maybe it’s that I’ve seen some of those words in a few books I bought from or seen sold in Deseret. But I’m curious as what words (if any) would pass the LDS censor?
I’m about 85% finished with my first novel and am hoping to market it to the LDS market as well, so I’d love to figure this one out.
I can’t really answer that because there is no “LDS censor”—at least, no single individual or committee or even guidelines. It will vary from publisher to publisher, and some publishers have different standards depending on the type or genre of book, or the imprint the book is published under.
I can live with the words used in the Bible (d—, h—) used judiciously and sparingly. If you have a few of those in your novel, and the publisher doesn’t approve, they’ll strike them out. (As I did with one of the stories in Stolen Christmas—it wasn’t really a swear word, but use of the name of deity in a way I felt would offend our target reader.)
My advice is do your research and read through what your publisher of choice is currently putting out. Are there any swear words in their latest releases? If so, feel free to use those words in your book. If not, clean it up. Or follow the adage, “when in doubt, leave it out.”
Personally and professionally, I like the suggestion of having your character “curse under his breath” or even something like, “she threw a string of curse words at me that would have made a sailor blush” or whatever. You get the idea.
(And to whichever Anon out there who wants me to be perfect. . . I know my example of the blushing sailor is cliché and I should come up with something really clever and unique but, y’know, I’m in a hurry and I do this for free and I’m behind on a deadline. Sorry.)