Deseret Alphabet

Indices : Writing Systems : Alphabets : Deseret Alphabet

In the mid 1800s, Brigham Young, the Mormon (LDS) prophet, saw a need to reform the English language with all its marvelous inconsistencies; therefore, he commissioned the development of a new alphabet. When it was finished, and even before it was finished (because it went through several revisions), they called it the Deseret Alphabet. It is a phonetic, non-Roman alphabet, and its development was strongly influenced by the work of Isaac Pitman on his phonotypy. The LDS Church used the new alphabet to publish scores of newspaper articles, three children’s readers, the Book of Mormon, and a few other items. Manuscripts were also prepared for the Bible, the Doctrine & Covenants (including the Lectures on Faith), the Pearl of Great Price, and other books. Unfortunately, none of these were ever put into print.

For various reasons this experiment in orthographic reform began to lose steam towards the end of the prophet’s life, and all official church funding for the project ceased with the death of Brigham Young in 1877. Interest in the new alphabet faded, and today it is nearly lost from all memory.

Times New Deseret
Deseret Alphabet

Additional Articles:
Joshua Erickson’s Deseret Alphabet Pages