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Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon$
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Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190221928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190221928.001.0001

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Orson Pratt’s Enduring Influence on The Book of Mormon

Orson Pratt’s Enduring Influence on The Book of Mormon

(p.83) 3 Orson Pratt’s Enduring Influence on The Book of Mormon
Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon

Paul Gutjahr

Oxford University Press

First published in 1830, over the next half-century The Book of Mormon appeared in some dozen new editions. Perhaps the most important edition of the nineteenth century appeared in 1879 and was edited by Orson Pratt. When this edition appeared, Pratt had served as a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a mission president in Britain, and was a member of Brigham Young’s “Vanguard Company” that crossed the Western plains to select a site for Mormon colonization. More important, he was one of early Mormonism’s premier educators and theologians. His edition bore all the marks of a lifetime of study, presenting the book in a highly systematized format and including footnotes that incorporated theological glosses on Mormon history, archaeology, and geology. This essay explores the origin of many of the textual changes found in the 1879 edition and the enduring influence of these changes.

Keywords:   Bible, The Book of Mormon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret alphabet, Journal of Discourses, Orson Pratt, Parley Pratt, publishing, Joseph Smith Jr., Brigham Young

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