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Joseph (Smith) in Egypt: Babel, Hieroglyphs, and the Pure Language of Eden1

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2 The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Containing Revelations Given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet, with Some Additions by his Successors in the Presidency of the Church (Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 1981; hereafter Doctrine and Covenants) 21:1, a revelation given the day the church was founded in April 1830.

3 Though Smith termed Kirtland a mere “stake” of the Zion his followers were building in frontier Missouri, the town served as de facto headquarters of the movement from 1831 to 1837. Peterson H. Donl, in The Story of the Book of Abraham; Mummies, Manuscripts, and Mormonism (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1995), provides the details of the disinterment of the mummies by Italian adventurer Antonio Lebolo, working in Thebes, and their acquisition by Chandler, who dishonestly represented himself as Lebolo's nephew. The reference to “posthumous travelers” (from the Cleveland Daily Advertiser for 26 March 1835) is on p. 111. Simeon Andrews and Joseph Coe purchased the mummies with Smith, but he took complete possession of all the artifacts. The annual income of a family farm is estimated by Hill Marvin, et al. , “The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics,” BYU Studies 17:4 (Summer 1977): 396.

4 Cowdery Oliver, “Egyptian Mummies—Ancient Records,” The Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 2:3 (December 1835): 234, 237. Smith never published the story of Joseph. Westergren Bruce N., ed., From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1995), 167. Smith's widow confirmed a long-standing and well-documented tradition that the Chandler mummies were a pharaoh and his family in her bill of sale for the mummies, reprinted in Wade Glen, “The Facsimile Found: The Recovery of Joseph Smith's Papyrus Manuscripts,” Dialogue 2:4 (Winter 1967): 52.

5 See Times and Seasons 3:9 (1 March 1842): 704–706 and 3:10 (15 March 1842): 719–722; and Millennial Star 3:3 (July 1842): 34–36 and 3:4 (August 1842): 49–53.

6 After Smith's murder in 1844, official church historians, unable to retrieve the mummies or papyri from his estranged family, carefully transported the grammar documents to Salt Lake City in 1847, where they lapsed into obscurity: Todd Jay M., The Saga of the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1969), 281–84, 286, 326–31. Mormon scholar Sidney Sperry became aware of the KEP in LDS church archives in 1935, but little came of this awareness until 1966, when former Mormons published an unauthorized microfilm copy as Jerald and Tanner Sandra, Joseph Smith's Egyptian Alphabet & Grammar (Salt Lake City: Modern Microfilm Company, 1966). The Tanner microfilm was republished in 1981 as Marquardt H. Michael, comp. and ed., The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers (Sandy, Utah: bound photostat published by the author, 1981). The original documents are available as microfilms in LDS Church Archives (MS 1294 & 1295), though Brian Hauglid of Brigham Young University is currently preparing a critical edition with high-quality photographic reproductions for publication.

7 For one of the more vivid contemporary reports of antebellum political partisanship and sectarian controversy, see the horrified account of the prolific Trollope Frances, Domestic Manners of the Americans (London: Whittaker, Treacher, & Co.; New York reprint, 4th ed., 1832), esp. 37, 76, 101, 136, 206–207, 286.

8 Hill Marvin, Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1989).

9 Phelps William, “The Book of Mormon,” The Evening and the Morning Star 1:7 (December 1832): 59.

10 The KEPA, which contain handwritten paragraphs from the published Book of Abraham matched to glyphs of relevant thematic content, have been important to arguments about the provenance of the Book of Abraham but are of little direct relevance to the arguments of this essay.

11 A full list of the KEP documents is available in Gee John, “Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence of the Joseph Smith Papyri,” in The Disciple As Witness: Essays on Latter-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, eds. Ricks Stephen D., Parry Donald W., and Hedges Andrew H. (Provo: FARMS, 2000), 196. Several miscellaneous documents are designated KEPE 6–9; some of these minor documents are in the hand of Oliver Cowdery.

12 Tvedtnes John A., “The Critics of the Book of Abraham,” in Book of Abraham Symposium (Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Institute of Religion, 1971), 7374, proposes that “part” and “degree” refer to columns, lines, and fragments of the original papyri. While this may help locate a given glyph spatially, the meaning of “degree” is clearly more than such a trivial notation would suggest.

13 In describing what Smith did with language, hieroglyphic relics, and scripture, I have elected to use the word translation, the terminology he and his followers used, as more traditional terms like pseudo-translation would distract from the evocation of Smith's idea-world. I have elected not to use scare quotes for the same reason. On Phelps's creative involvement and estimation of his own linguistic abilities, see Brown Samuel, “The Translator and the Ghostwriter: Joseph Smith and William Phelps,” Journal of Mormon History 33:4 (Winter 2007), esp. 3132, 54–55, 57–58.

14 Faulring Scott, An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, Jr. (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1989), 35, 65–66. B. H. Roberts, ed., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932–1951), 2:235–236 supports Smith's involvement. Smith appears to have written KEPE 4, a brief document titled “Egyptian Alphabet First Degree” (hereafter EA), which bears significant similarities to GAEL.

15 In the apt phrase of Hicks Michael (“Joseph Smith, W. W. Phelps, and the Poetic Paraphrase of ‘The Vision,’Journal of Mormon History 20:2 [Fall 1994]: 68), “[Smith's] name on any document from his last years is not an answer but a question.”

16 The original major apologia is Nibley Hugh, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975) and “The Meaning of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers,” BYU Studies 11:4 (Summer 1971): 350–399. Gee (“Joseph Smith Papyri,” 175–217) provides a reasonable summary of current apologia. Edward Ashment, “Reducing Dissonance: The Book of Abraham as a Case Study,” in The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture, ed. Vogel Dan (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1990), 221236, is a reasonable review of criticism. One less polemic treatment of the KEP is Dan Vogel and Brent Metcalfe, “Joseph Smith's Scriptural Cosmology,” in The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture, 187–220, which discusses them as source documents for reconstructing Smith's views of planetary interactions, though the authors consider only superficially their religious significance. An analysis of the KEP from a religious hobbyist—Sampson Joe, Written by the Finger of God: A Testimony of Joseph Smith's Translations (Sandy, Utah: Wellspring, 1993)—takes the KEP too seriously for modern taste, although in some respects his treatment bears striking resemblance to the views of the KEP authors themselves.

17 Marquardt, Egyptian Papers, 4.

18 Priest Josiah, American Antiquities, and Discoveries in the West, 2nd ed., revised (Albany, N.Y.: Hoffman and White, 1833), 22; [Phelps William], “All Flesh,” The Evening and the Morning Star 2:13 (June 1833): 102.

19 Phelps William, “Writing Letters,” The Evening and the Morning Star 1:4 (September 1832): 25. The later misattributions are “History of Joseph Smith,” Times and Seasons 5:19 (15 October 1844): 672 and Smith Joseph, “Counsel Regarding Letter Writing,” Millennial Star 10:34 (5 March 1872): 145146. See also [Phelps William, et al. ], “The Elders Stationed in Zion to the Churches Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star 2:14 (July 1833): 111: “Our language, that is, the English tongue, fails to express our joy.”

20 Phelps William, “Civilized and Savage,” The Evening and the Morning Star 1:11 (April 1833): 88.

21 Clarke Adam, The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, 6 vols. (New York: T. Mason and G. Lane, 1837), 1:88; [Taylor John], “We do not agree,” Times and Seasons 4:7 (15 February 1843): 105.

22 Barlow Philip, “Joseph Smith's Revision of the Bible: Fraudulent, Pathologic, or Prophetic?Harvard Theological Review 83:1 (January 1990): 4564, and Flake Kathleen, “Translating Time: The Nature and Function of Joseph Smith's Narrative Canon,” Journal of Religion 87 (October 2007): 497527, are the two best interpretive treatments of Smith's New Translation of the Bible.

23 “Old Testament Manuscript 1,” in Faulring Scott H., Jackson Kent P. and Mathews Robert J., Joseph Smith's New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 120121 (Genesis 11). The Book of Mormon (Helaman 6:28) announced that Satan had directly orchestrated the plans to build the tower at Babel.

24 Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, comp. and ed. Dean Jessee, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2002), 287 (27 November 1832). Reprinted in Times and Seasons 5:19 (15 October 1844): 673.

25 Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 91; Zucker Louis, “Joseph Smith as a Student of Hebrew,” Dialogue 3:2 (Summer 1968): 4155.

26 Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 91 (22 December 1835).

27 Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 133 (17 February 1836, reprinted in Roberts, History of the Church, 2:396).

28 Young Brigham, “Recorder's Office,” Times and Seasons 3:9 (1 March 1842): 715, and Brigham Young and Willard Richards, “Proclamation to the Saints in Nauvoo,” The Wasp 1:37 (14 January 1843): 3.

29 Shipps Jan and Welch John, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin: 1831–1836 (Provo and Urbana: Brigham Young University Press and University of Illinois Press, 1994), 215, 219.

30 Brown, “Translator and Ghostwriter,” 55. See also “CX Psalm,” Times and Seasons 5:14 (1 August 1844): 600–601, and “Keys,” Times and Seasons 5:23 (15 December 1844): 748.

31 Caswall Henry, America and the American Church (London: J. G. & F. Rivington, 1839), 323. He and others made note of Mormon employment of the reasonably well-known Hebrew teacher Joshua Seixas.

32 2 Nephi 33:1, 11; Ether 12:23–24. See also 1 Nephi 19:6. Moroni's father Mormon confessed the limits of Nephite language itself in 3 Nephi 5:18. In the Bible revision (Moses 7:13), Enoch was similarly worried about a lack of verbal talent but was ultimately blessed that “all nations fear[ed] greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.”

33 Smith Joseph, “Church History,” Times and Seasons 3:9 (1 March 1842): 709. Cf. Omni 1:22.

34 Ether 1:5. The Jaredite encounter with the tower is sufficiently important that it was highlighted in both the copyright notice and the “Testimony of Three Witnesses” in the first edition of the Book of Mormon (Palmyra, N.Y.: E. B. Grandin, 1830).

35 Ether 1:34–39, 3:6–9. [Oliver Cowdery], “Rise of the Church, Letter VI,” Times and Seasons 2:11 (1 April 1841), 362, provides the name for Jared's brother, which had been used to name the port from which the Jaredites migrated to America (Ether 2:13) but was not explicitly tied to the prophet in the Book of Mormon proper. These Jaredites would serve as a trope for sacred records and textuality as their scripture passed from people to people, finally being assembled with the other plates to form the final Book of Mormon.

36 Ether 12:24.

37 1 Nephi 13:25, 14:23, 16:29. In Mosiah 24:4–7, a converted Lamanite king has the Nephite language taught throughout his country. As a testament to the power of Nephite Hebrew, his people almost immediately started to “wax great, and began to be a cunning and a wise people.”

38 1 Nephi 3:19; 4:14–16. Laban is identified as Nephi's kinsman in 1 Nephi 5:16, although the nature of the relationship is not specified in the text.

39 Mosiah 1:2–4.

40 Omni 1:17.

41 Moses 6:5–6, 45–46. Manuscript 1 for vv 5–6 has Moses “write with the finger of inspiration,” just as God would in vv 45–46, and in an echo of the encounter between Jesus and Moriancumer recorded in Ether 3. Manuscript 2 corrects it to the published “spirit of inspiration.” Faulring, et al., Joseph Smith's New Translation, 97, 100, 608.

42 GAEL, 7, 14. The full gloss in the latter degree is “Sharing the denomination of language and through what descent they came and are to continue by promise.” See also the glosses for the composite Zub Zool on GAEL, 6, 14, 18, 22, which strongly emphasize continuity across time.

43 Abraham 1:28–31.

44 These modern books of remembrance were modeled on the Biblical Book of Life. On the Book of Life in broader Anglo-American culture, see Taves Ann, Fits, Trances, & Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), 3032, 69–70, and Juster Susan, Doomsayers: Anglo-American Prophecy in the Age of Revolution (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), 163. On Smith's Book of the Law of the Lord, see Jessee Dean, comp. and ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith: Journal, 1832–1842 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 440441 (23 August 1842) and Brown Samuel, “The ‘Beautiful Death’ in the Smith Family,” BYU Studies 45:4 (2006): 135, 137–138. On the Patriarchal Blessing Book as a Book of Remembrance, see Marquardt H. Michael, comp. and ed., Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2007), esp. 12, 14–17, 39, 58, 71, 76, 87, 96, 99, 124, 162–163, 186–187.

45 Though there is no direct overlap, the seventeenth-century Anglo-European search for pure language freed from Babel's curse is remarkably similar to Smith's quest. See Knowlson James, Universal Language Schemes in England and France 1600–1800 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975), 912.

46 Campbell Alexander, “A Restoration of the Ancient Order of Things,” Christian Baptist (2nd ed. revised, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1835) 2:11 (6 June 1825), 159. On Ashdod, see Nehemiah 13:24.

47 Campbell Alexander, ed., The Sacred Writing of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, Commonly Styled The New Testament. Translated from the Original Greek, by George Campbell, James MacKnight, and Philip Doddridge, Doctors of the Church of Scotland. With Prefaces to the Historical and Epistolary Books; and an Appendix, Containing Critical Notes and Various Translations of Difficult Passages (Bethany, Va.: Alexander Campbell, 1826), with three further editions by 1835. This work became known popularly as “the Living Oracles,” though Campbell himself reserved that title for the original language texts: Thomas Cecil K., Alexander Campbell and his New Version (St. Louis: Bethany, 1958), esp. 31, 59, 62, 67, 69, 120, 129. Campbell's revisions were much more significant than those of Noah Webster, whose 1833 Common Version was a minor Victorian updating of the King James Version. Campbell's discussion of “living languages” is from his “General Preface: An Apology for a New Translation,” on pp. 3–10 of the 1835 fourth edition.

48 Campbell Alexander, Christian Baptism: With the Antecedents and Consequences (Bethany, Va.: Alexander Campbell, 1852), 20.

49 Norton Andrews, A Statement of Reasons for not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians (Cambridge: Brown, Shattuck, and Co., 1833), 114. The internationally famous deist Thomas Paine (1737–1809) also expressed considerable skepticism that truths about God could be communicated in any human language, an observation he intended as a harsh indictment of Christian scripture. See The Theological Works of Thomas Paine (Boston: Advocates of Common Sense, 1832), 38, 43–44. See also the discussion in Holifield E. Brooks, Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003), 167.

50 Norton, Statement of Reasons, 113. On Swedenborg's similar appraisal of this issue, see Schmidt Leigh Eric, Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000), 208.

51 See discussion in Holifield, Theology in America, 201–202.

52 Bushnell Horace, God in Christ: Three Discourses Delivered at New Haven, Cambridge, and Andover, with a Preliminary Dissertation on Language (Hartford, Conn.: Brown and Parsons, 1849), 4650.

53 Emerson Ralph Waldo, Nature. Addresses, and Lectures ([1836] Boston: James Munroe, 1849), 2728.

54 Schmidt, Hearing Things, 208.

55 Youngs Benjamin S., et al. , The Testimony of Christ's Second Appearing, 2nd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: E. and E. Hosford, 1810), 412, 605. See discussion in Holifield, Theology in America, 331.

56 Bushnell, God in Christ, 12–16, 40–46, 50. Bushnell responded to critics in his Christ in Theology (Hartford, Conn.: Brown and Parsons, 1851), persisting in his argument that language could only approximate religious truth. See also Campbell, Christian Baptism. See useful discussion of Campbellite millennialism in Hughes Richard and Allen Leonard, Illusions of Innocence: Protestant Primitivism, 1630–1875 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 108110. Clarke, Holy Bible, 1:87, took a longer-term view of Babel as a story about religious sectarianism.

57 Hughes and Allen, Illusions of Innocence, 109.

58 [Pratt Parley], “Manchester, May 10th, 1841,” Millennial Star 2:1 (1 May 1840): 9, reprinted in Times and Seasons 3:5 (1 January 1842): 646.

59 Snow Erastus, “On Priesthood,” Times and Seasons 2:19 (2 August 1841): 490.

60 Wood Gordon S., “Evangelical America and Early Mormonism,” New York History 61 (October 1980): 360386, describes religious turmoil; Tocqueville Alexis de, Democracy in America, trans. Reeve Henry, 4th ed., 2 vols. (New York: J. & H. G. Langley, 1841), esp. 2:105–106, provides a contemporary European view of the disorientation of antebellum American culture. Sellers's Charles The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815–1846 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) is a standard summary of economic dislocations for the period, though Howe's Daniel Walker What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007) includes a sustained response to Sellers.

61 GAEL, 23. The meaning of Lish is not entirely certain. Compounded with the particle from the name of God (Ah, as in Ahman), Lish represents a glorious or supreme being elsewhere in GAEL (3, 9, 17, 21), though the distinction from God's identity is not certain, since in one glyph (Phah ah), ah appears to be a comparative or superlative (GAEL, 9, 13, 17). If this is the case, Lish would refer to a divine being. Whether Lish represents divinity or glory more generically does not affect my interpretation of Lish Zi ho e oop Iota.

62 On folk magic, see Quinn Michael, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1987); Anderson Rodger I., Joseph Smith's New York Reputation Reexamined (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1990), and the several papers in BYU Studies 24:4 (Fall 1984) devoted to the topic. The general historical context is aptly summarized in Taylor Alan, “The Early Republic's Supernatural Economy,” American Quarterly 38:1 (Spring 1986): 634, and “Rediscovering the Context of Joseph Smith's Treasure Seeking,” Dialogue 19:4 (Winter 1986): 18–28. See also Butler Jon, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990), and Leventhal Herbert, In the Shadow of the Enlightenment: Occultism and Renaissance Science in Eighteenth-Century America (New York: New York University Press, 1976). On the language of the Book of Mormon, the text itself uses the name “reformed Egyptian” in Mormon 9:32. See also Smith Joseph, “Church History,” Times and Seasons 3:8 (15 February 1842): 707. Phelps used “short-hand” in a 15 January 1831 letter printed in Howe Eber D., History of Mormonism (Painesville, Ohio: by the author, 1840), 273.

63 2 Nephi 3:14–20. See expansion of this theme in Phelps William, “The Tribe of Joseph,” The Evening and the Morning Star 1:6 (November 1832): 41. Zaphnathpaaneah, “Parable of the Lame Boy and the Blind Horse,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1:9 (28 June 1843) is a letter defending Smith's real estate practices that is difficult to attribute to anyone but Smith or his ghostwriters. This name (from Genesis 41:45) saw invocation among Masons as well as mainline Christians in a variety of fanciful interpretations dating at least from Jerome, who believed it meant “savior of the world.” The Book of Mormon (Ether 13:6–8) uses the Joseph in Egypt story as a “type” to explain the founding of a New Jerusalem in America, invoking a parallel between Egypt and ancient America.

64 This document, apparently one Smith's financier showed to academic classicists in 1828, was transferred to David Whitmer with a manuscript of the Book of Mormon and ultimately came into possession of the then–Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is reproduced in Roberts Brigham H., A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1930), 1:106. The document had been made into placards by 1844 as a celebration of Smith's abilities as a translator of hieroglyphs: see Kimball Stanley B., “The Anthon Transcript: People, Primary Sources, and Problems,” BYU Studies 10:3 (Spring 1970): 325352.

65 On this point, his proud displays in the fall of 1835 of the papyri as “the ancient reccords in my possession” or “the records of antiquity,” several times a week for months, suggest the role these relics played: see Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 36, 39–40, 42, 65, 67, 69, 72, 75, 77–78, 90, 91, 99, 127–128, 132–133.

66 Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies,” 235; Phelps's letter of 19–20 July 1835 was reprinted in Orden Bruce A. Van, ed., “Writing to Zion: the William W. Phelps Kirtland Letters (1835–1836),” BYU Studies 33:3 (1993): 556.

67 Davis Moshe, “The Holy Land Idea in American Spiritual History,” in With Eyes Toward Zion: Scholars Colloquium on America-Holy Land Studies, ed. Davis Moshe (New York: Arno, 1977), 45, citing a proposed seal for the United States in Franklin's hand. Early Americans named their cities for Egyptian predecessors and compared their mightiest rivers to the Nile: Irwin John T., American Hieroglyphics: The Symbol of the Egyptian Hieroglyphics in the American Renaissance (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1980), 72. For broader context, see Day Jasmine, The Mummy's Curse: Mummymania in the English-Speaking World (London: Routledge, 2006), 3, and sources therein cited. Trafton Scott, Egypt Land: Race and Nineteenth-Century American Egyptomania (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2004), explores the complex paradoxes of America's situation of itself within ancient history.

68 Travel writing about Egypt enjoyed significant popularity in this period: Stephens John Lloyd, Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea, and the Holy Land (New York: Harper, 1837); Cooley James Ewing, The American in Egypt: With Rambles through Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1843), from which Mormons reprinted sections in “Egyptian Mummies,” The Wasp 1:21 (10 September 1842): 4. Reprints of circulating essays in Mormon newspapers reflect some of this curiosity about Egypt: “Egyptian Antiquities,” Times and Seasons 3:13 (2 May 1842): 774, reprinted in The Wasp 1:4 (7 May 1842): 3.

69 On Hermes and Masons, see Albanese Catherine, A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007), 38, 125, 134. Russell Michael, View of Ancient and Modern Egypt (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1831), 194195, provides a contemporary situation of Hermes in theories of ancient Egypt. Rollin's Charles (1661–1741) Ancient History ([1730–1738] New York: Robert Carter, 1844), an eighteenth-century reference Smith donated to the Nauvoo Library, also mentions Hermes in these terms (2nd ed., 1:65, 79, 119). On Egyptians in early America, see Wauchope Robert, Lost Tribes & Sunken Continents: Myth and Method in the Study of American Indians (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), 727; Trollope, Domestic Manners, 219; Priest, American Antiquities, 125; and the description of Thomas Ashe's travels in George Angelo I., Mummies, Catacombs, and Mammoth Cave (Louisville, Ky.: George Publishing, 1994). Mormons accepted these beliefs: [Smith Joseph], “A Catacomb of Mummies Found in Kentucky,” Times and Seasons 3:13 (2 May 1842): 781782.

70 French Stanley, “The Cemetery as Cultural Institution: The Establishment of Mount Auburn and the ‘Rural Cemetery’ Movement,” in Death in America, ed. Stannard David (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977), 83, citing Anon., Forest Hills Cemetery: Its Establishment, Progress, Scenery, Monuments, etc. (Roxbury, Mass.: John Backup, 1855), 79–80. Buck Charles, Theological Dictionary (Philadelphia: Edwin T. Scott, 1823), 194; Davies Douglas, The Mormon Culture of Salvation (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2000), 101102; Farrell James, Inventing the American Way of Death, 1830–1920 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980), 170; Wells Robert, Facing the “King of Terrors”: Death and Society in an American Community, 1750–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 121122. On the cultural power of death in the period, see Brown, “Beautiful Death,” and Gary Laderman, The Sacred Remains: American Attitudes Toward Death, 1799–1883 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1996).

71 Ah meh strah is translated on GAEL, 6.

72 Professional scholars generally understood the significance of Champollion's findings, as in the anonymous “Egyptian Antiquities,” North American Review 29 (October 1829): 361–388, esp. 370–371.

73 Sampson Reed is the most famous of the educated objectors to Champollion's solution: Irwin, American Hieroglyphics, 8–9. Kircher influenced Western thinking on hieroglyphics for centuries via his Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652). See Knowlson, Universal Language Schemes, 13.

74 Webster Noah, American Dictionary of the English Language (New York: S. Converse, 1828), s.v. “hieroglyphic.”

75 Phelps W. W., “Reflections for the Fourth of July, 1834,” The Evening and the Morning Star 2:22 (July 1834): 173. See also Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies,” 235, amplified in “Egyptian Antiquities,” The Wasp 1:4 (7 May 1842): 3, and Times and Seasons 3:13 (2 May 1842): 774.

76 The quest for sacred language demonstrates the difficulty in tying Smith directly to hermetic texts when the tenets of the secret quest were easily accessible in cultural commonplaces about the meaning of hieroglyphs. The failure to appreciate the broader dissemination of these sensibilities mars the standard treatment of Mormonism and hermeticism: Brooke John, The Refiner's Fire: the Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), esp. 28, 195–197, 212. The narrower treatment of Lance Owens, “Joseph Smith and Kabbalah: The Occult Connection,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27:3 (Fall 1994): 117–194 is similarly flawed.

77 Albanese, Republic of Mind and Spirit, 6, 13–6, 26–27, 141, 147, 164; Quinn, Magic World View, 151–152.

78 The European Jewish proselyte Alexander Neibaur is the best-known Latter-day Saint to have explicitly quoted Kabbalistic writings: “The Jews,” Times and Seasons 4:14 (1 June 1843): 220–222 and 4:15 (15 June 1843): 233–234. Owens's (“Occult Connection”) attempt to extend formal Kabbalism in early Mormonism moves well beyond the documentary evidence.

79 Kenney, ed., Woodruff Journal, 1:535, 19 October 1840. In a similar vein, Mormon convert William Rowley believed the Book of Abraham was an “argument … sufficient to convince any that are candid, that the God of heaven must be in our midst”: “Letter from William Rowley,” Times and Seasons 3:22 (15 September 1842): 925.

80 Hebrew, Chinese, and Mesoamerican languages were grouped with Egyptian as hieroglyphic by most observers: “Progress of Ethnology, continued,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1:32 (6 December 1843), and Russell, Ancient and Modern Egypt, 178, 185. Such beliefs about Chinese date at least to Francis Bacon: Knowlson, Universal Language Schemes, 16. Moses Stuart's Hebrew primer, one the Latter-day Saints used in their Kirtland Hebrew School, strongly emphasized the pictographic nature of the Hebrew alphabet: Grammar of the Hebrew Language (Andover: Flagg & Gould, 1831), 2.

81 EA, 1 and GAEL, 2.

82 GAEL, 5, 14.

83 GAEL, 31. Jah-ni-hah represented “one who was the second person in authority.” Cf. Abraham 3:24.

84 GAEL, 3, 5.

85 GAEL, 4, 9.

86 GAEL, 6. Though the evidence of a direct connection between Smith and the Swedish mystic is not certain, this close attention to the physical shape of glyphs recalls Swedenborg's attention to “the copious meanings hidden in ‘the very flexures and curvatures’ of the Hebrew letters”: Schmidt, Hearing Things, 208.

87 Abraham 1:14. The relationship between KEP, the facsimile interpretations, and the Book of Abraham is fluid and disputed. On the one hand critics argue that the KEP represent a stylized draft of the Book of Abraham. On the other hand, apologists argue that the KEP are entirely separate from Smith's Book of Abraham. Regardless of the status of direct textual relationships, all these documents reflect a single interpretive framework. The facsimiles are published in Times and Seasons 3:9 (1 March 1842): 703; 3:10 (15 March 1842): 722a; 3:14 (16 May 1842): 783–784. A variety of words present in the facsimiles are not found in the KEP (for example, Rahleenos, Shagreel, Olishem, Shulem, Olimlah), while others are found in both, if with sometimes varying meaning (for example, Oliblish, Enish-go-on-dosh, Kae-e-vanrash, Jah-oh-eh, Flo-eese).

88 Abraham 1:14; there is some uncertainty as to whether the first letter should be “K” or “R” in the KEPA manuscripts. I have elected to use the published variant.

89 On the circulation of the facsimiles in other papers, see Times and Seasons 3:14 (16 May 1842): 790. See also the proud reprint from the New York Herald in “The Mormons—A Leaf From Joe Smith,” Times and Seasons 3:13 (2 May 1842): 773–774. On disputes, see “A Scared Editor,” The Wasp 1:2 (23 April 1842): 3, in which Smith's younger brother William responded to allegations that the facsimiles proved Mormon intentions to perform human sacrifice by indicating that the vignette demonstrated their critics “laughing at the calamity they have brought upon their sool [souls].”

90 Irwin, American Hieroglyphics, 3–13, 28.

91 Emerson, Nature, 23. See discussion in Irwin, American Hieroglyphics, 12.

92 Holifield, Theology in America, 458–459; Conkin Paul K., The Uneasy Center: Reformed Christianity in Antebellum America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 236.

93 Emerson, Nature, 27.

94 Irwin, American Hieroglyphics, 12, citing Emerson's use of Oegger's Le Vrai Messie (Paris, 1829), to which many credit his inspiration for Nature.

95 Holifield, Theology in America, 458–459, quoting “Revelation,” an unpublished manuscript; Bushnell, God in Christ, 22–25. Durfee Harold, “Language and Religion: Horace Bushnell and Rowland G. Hazard,” American Quarterly 5:1 (Spring 1953): 5770, is a dated but useful presentation of these themes.

96 Russell, Ancient and Modern Egypt, 175–176; and Paul Robert, “Joseph Smith and the Manchester (New York) Library,” BYU Studies 22:3 (Summer 1982), 333356. Smith had left New York by the time the volume arrived at the local library. Its presence there indicates the penetration of the work into antebellum New York rather than a specific textual encounter.

97 Priest, American Antiquities, 121, reprinting a February 1832 letter of Rafinesque to Champollion regarding Palenque glyphs and the Lybian alphabet. Rafinesque was the popularizer of the strange and heavily pictographic Wallam-Olum (also known as Walam Olum), which he first published in his 1836 initial volume of The American Nations (Philadelphia: by the author), 121–161. See Boewe Charles, “A Note on Rafinesque, the Walam Olum, the Book of Mormon, and the Mayan Glyphs,” Numen 32:1 (July 1985): 101113. Though unfamiliar with Rafinesque, Mormons read Priest's works with gusto, one devoted Mormon attributing his conversion to reading American Antiquities (England Eugene, ed., “George Laub's Nauvoo Journal,” BYU Studies 18:2 [Winter 1978]: 155), while others used the book in public proselytizing work as proof of the validity of the Book of Mormon: Wandell Charles, “Dear Brethren,” Times and Seasons 2:22 (15 September 1841): 545, or Thompson Charles, “Evidences in Proof of the Book of Mormon,” Times and Seasons 3:5 (1 January 1842): 640644. On Priest's general popularity, see Sloan De Villo, “The Crimsoned Hills of Onondaga: Josiah Priest's hallucinatory epic,” Journal of Popular Culture 36:1 (August 2002): 86104.

98 Irwin, American Hieroglyphics, 49. The Linguistic Society of Paris and Saussure both made strong pronouncements against the quest for original language. The Germans Johann Christoph Adelung (1732–1806) and Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) made similar arguments, as Bushnell noted in God in Christ, 16. On earlier (sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries) pursuit of this Ur-language, see Knowlson, Universal Language Schemes, 13–15.

99 A Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century, 2 vols. (New York: T. and J. Swords, 1803), 2:122. Burnett was a famous philologist and philosopher. Miller cites Burnett's Of the Origin and Progress of Language (1773–1792). His Antient Metaphysics (1779–1799), 4:322–323, is more commonly cited in support of his belief that Egyptian is the primal language.

100 Swedenborg had also believed as much: Schmidt, Hearing Things, 209–211.

101 Though there is no direct connection, Elizabethan scholar John Dee's (1527–1609) language of Enoch warrants mention. Pursuing a more ambitious and mystical project, Dee proposed a language purer than that available to humanity: Harkness D. E., John Dee's Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

102 Joseph Smith also took great pride in his linguistic prowess: Brown, “Translator and Ghostwriter,” 37, 41–42, 62.

103 Kenney, ed., Woodruff Journal, 1: 107, 25 November 1836.

104 Kenney, ed., Woodruff Journal, 2: 155, 19 February 1842.

105 Caswall Henry, The City of the Mormons; or, Three Days at Nauvoo, in 1842 (London: J. G. & F. Rivington, 1842), 5, 19–21, 24, 28–29, 34–37, 43. Caswall's account of Smith's characterization of the Greek Psalter is a near-perfect description of the GAEL, suggesting the possibility that he saw the document or that Smith saw the Psalter as a parallel to his GAEL. The fact that Smith by then knew some Greek makes Caswall's argument somewhat suspect; Mormons angrily denied Caswall's account in their church organ. See Brown, “Translator and Ghostwriter,” 39–40. Clark John A., Gleanings by the Way (Philadelphia: W. J. & J. K. Simon, 1842), 292, also noted the importance of mystical translations to Latter-day Saint confidence about their religious authority.

106 Knowlson, Universal Language Schemes, 9–10.

107 He also believed that Adamic had persisted down to Noah and that the names for Noah's sons were “descriptive prospectively, of their several destinies in the earth”: Priest, American Antiquities, 14, 19.

108 Clarke, Holy Bible, 1:43.

109 Bushnell, God in Christ, 34.

110 See Copeland Lee, “Speaking in Tongues in the Restoration Churches,” Dialogue 24:1 (Spring 1991): 2023, for a brief summary of Mormon glossolalia. “History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 25:28 (11 July 1863): 439; “In Memoriam,” Contributor 3:5 (February 1882); and Partridge Edward, “Dear Friends and Neighbors,” Messenger and Advocate 1:4 (January 1835): 60. Smith and his followers also associated indigenous languages with glossolalia; though the details are beyond the scope of this paper, I explore in chapter 4 of my In Heaven as it Is on Earth the associations between Native peoples and Eden in early Mormon thought.

111 Howe E. D., Mormonism Unvailed (Painesville, Ohio: by the author, 1834), 133.

112 Schmidt, Hearing Things, 201–202. Though other enthusiasts did see glossolalia as speaking the language of angels, few were so explicitly Adamic in focus.

113 One Mormon saw glossolalia as a mystical way to reveal the secrets of the human heart, a way to confess sins that could not be said in English: “Extracts of Letters from a Mormonite,” The Unitarian 1:5 (1 May 1834): 252.

114 On Zomar, see GAEL, 23, and Ezra Booth (who renders it “Zomas”) in Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 199. Parley Pratt provides suggestive evidence that it was intended to mean “Zion” in his “One Hundred Years Hence. 1945,” Millennial Star 6:9 (15 October 1845): 141. On Gazelem, see Doctrine and Covenants 78:9 and Alma 37:23. Mark Ashurst-McGee, “A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet” (M.A. thesis, Utah State University, 2000), 273–276, reviews the primary documents regarding Gazelem, including the likelihood that Smith believed his Urim and Thummim were the Jaredite stones. See also Quinn, Magic World View, 147–148. It is not certain whether Gazelem referred to one single stone or, as seems more likely, a special type of stone. It certainly also referred to Joseph Smith.

115 Pratt Orson, “The Holy Spirit and the Godhead,” in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: F. D. Richards, et al., 1855–1886), 2:342 (18 February 1855).

116 Ether 3:21–28. Cf. Mosiah 28 and Alma 37:21–25. An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton, ed. George D. Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1995), 133 (15 June 1844).

117 On Smith's use of seer stones, see Wagoner Richard van and Walker Steven, “Joseph Smith: ‘The Gift of Seeing’,” Dialogue 15:2 (Summer 1982), 4968, and Ashurst-McGee, “A Pathway to Prophethood,” 334–335.

118 Ehat Andrew and Cook Lyndon. Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1980), 169, 2 April 1843; cf. Doctrine and Covenants 130:10–11.

119 See the various accounts of Brigham Young's 28 December 1845 sermon reprinted in Anderson Devery and Bergera Gary, eds., The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845–1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City: Signature, 2005), 204 (William Clayton's minutes, cf. Smith, ed., Intimate Chronicle, 238) and 211 (Seventies Record, Book B).

120 Ehat and Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, 358, William Clayton's report of the sermon.

121 Ehat and Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, 351, Thomas Bullock's report of the sermon.

122 Phelps William, “Sacred Poetry,” The Evening and the Morning Star 1:6 (November 1832): 45. Goldman Shalom, God's Sacred Tongue: Hebrew and the American Imagination (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), provides additional cultural context for American reverence for Hebrew. See also Knowlson, Universal Language Schemes, 12.

123 Buck, Theological Dictionary, 229. On the popularity of Buck's Dictionary, see Mathew Bowman and Samuel Brown, “The Reverend Buck's Theological Dictionary and the Struggle to Define American Evangelicalism, 1802–1851,” forthcoming in Journal of the Early Republic.

124 Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies,” 234 (cf. Roberts, History of the Church, 2:348).

125 The Book of Mormon set the stage for such a merger, as the Nephites wrote a language “which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians”: 1 Nephi 1:2.

126 Aleph (GAEL, 31) is the top half of the Hebrew letter and means “in the beginning with God, the son, or first born”; Ba eth (GAEL, 27) is somewhat stylized but recognizable as beth, while the glyph named Beth (GAEL, 23) is a hatched single line meaning “residence”; Gah mol (GAEL, 33) appears to be gimel laid on its side and refers to a “situation.”

127 On Ahmeos, see GAEL, 33 and EA, 1. For context, see Webster, American Dictionary, s.v. “A,” and Marquardt H. Michael, The Joseph Smith Revelations: Text & Commentary (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1999), 240 (Doctrine and Covenants 95:17).

128 On Hah-dees see GAEL, 31. Smith knew Hades was a biblical name for hell. Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 384–385, 444, and Kenney Scott, ed., Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Typescript, 9 vols. (Midvale, Utah: Signature, 1983–1985), 2:241. Whether this implied a response to Alexander Campbell's adamant substitution of “hades” for “hell” in his edition of the New Testament is not clear.

129 This document, in Phelps's hand, lists glyphs with the Arabic numeral nearest them in appearance. The numerals 3 and 6 are stylized, while 6 and 9 are horizontally inverted. Russell, Ancient and Modern Egypt, 202–203, proposes a similar numbering system. The numbers 5 and 1 are largely the same for Phelps and Russell, though other similarities are limited. What is important in the comparison is that both attempt to connect Egyptian characters and Arabic numerals. Mormon editor John Taylor later claimed that whereas words were variable, numbers never changed across languages: “We do not agree,” Times and Seasons 4:7 (15 February 1843): 105. Phelps would later make a similar claim in translating an apparent Spanish coin as if it were issued by a Book of Mormon king named Hagagadonihah: “An Old Nephite Coin,” Deseret News 10:41 (12 December 1860): 321.

130 Walton Michael, “Professor Seixas, the Hebrew Bible, and the Book of Abraham,” Sunstone 6 (March–April 1981): 4143. In addition, Smith's Abraham, like the Nephites, generally spoke Hebrew but wrote Egyptian.

131 Smith Joseph, “To the Editor,” Times and Seasons 4 (15 May 1843): 194. Curiously, mon does not appear to figure in the KEP, though Smith and Phelps were using the KEP for their political writings at the time. There is always the possibility, difficult to entirely reject, that this etymology is an act of satire in response to the absurd association of Mormon with a Greek word meaning “to frighten.” The bulk of the evidence suggests, though, that this cross-linguistic etymology was proposed in seriousness: Brown, “The Translator and the Ghostwriter,” 42–43.

132 Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies,” 236.

133 GAEL, 23. The glyph is a single vertical line, much the same as an unidentified character Phelps previously published from an Indian tracing in “Israel Will Be Gathered,” The Evening and the Morning Star 2:13 (June 1833): 101. The interpretation of a mirror image of the Hebrew letter as Hi (“same as Beth”) in GAEL, 2, may suggest that they saw this line as a wall of the Hebrew pictogram beth.

134 Smith first mentioned Adam-ondi-Ahman in March 1832. Doctrine and Covenants 78:15; Matthews Robert J., “Adam-ondi-Ahman,” BYU Studies 13:1 (Autumn 1972): 2735; and Gentry Leland, “Adam-ondi-Ahman: A Brief Historical Survey,” BYU Studies 13:4 (Summer 1973): 553576. See also Swartzell William, Mormonism Exposed, being a Journal of a Residence in Missouri from the 28th of May to the 20th of August, 1838 (Pekin, Ohio: by the author, 1840), 1112; cf. Doctrine and Covenants 117:8 and Reed Peck's untitled letter of 18 September 1839, generally known as the “Reed Peck Manuscript,” 19–20, copy in LDS Church Archives.

135 On the antebellum deathbed, see Brown, “Beautiful Death,” 125, 130–131. Adam's deathbed scene is found in Doctrine and Covenants 107:53–57, a revelation on priesthood received in Kirtland on 28 March 1835.

136 White Jean Bickmore, ed., Church, State, and Politics: the Diaries of John Henry Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1991), 606. See also Matthews, “Adam-ondi-Ahman,” 30–31, regarding the grave legend. Wittorf John H., “An Historical Investigation of the Ruined ‘Altars’ at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri,” Newsletter and Proceedings of the Society for Early Historic Archaeology 113 (15 April 1969): 18, presents and summarizes several late sources on the ruins. Regarding the outside observers and the confusion over the nature of the ruins on the adjacent hills, see Gentry, “Adam-ondi-Ahman,” 574–575, who favors the altar on Spring Hill and the foundations of a tower on Tower Hill.

137 The KEP (GAEL, 23) further merges the Garden with the Mormon settlement called Zion in the composite glyph Beth ka, which combines both places into one.

138 The impression of “virgin” forests incorrectly ignored evidence of the presence of Native peoples but remained nevertheless quite powerful among white residents and visitors: see Trollope, Domestic Manners, 47, as one example among many. For a literary critical view of the “adamic” controversies within postcolonialism, see Handley George, New World Poetics: Nature and the Adamic Imagination of Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, and Derek Walcott (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007).

139 Buck, Theological Dictionary, 425.

140 Miller, Retrospect, 1:165, 167, citing the work of French naturalist George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707–1788).

141 Buck, Theological Dictionary, 425.

142 Hughes and Allen, Illusions of Innocence, 14–21. Bozeman Theodore Dwight, To Live Ancient Lives: The Primitivist Dimension in Puritanism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), 238240, discusses the significance of Eden as trope in colonial America. On Mountain Cove, see Albanese, Republic of Mind and Spirit, 269. Hardinge Emma, Modern American Spiritualism: A Twenty Years' Record of the Communion Between Earth and the World of Spirits, 3rd ed. (New York: by the author, 1870), 208214, provides a nearly contemporary account.

143 GAEL, 3, 9, 30. This glyph appears to combine the root of king (Phah) with a particle suggesting primacy (eh). Compare Zub Zool and Zub Zool eh on GAEL, 6, and see the expanded definition of Phah eh on GAEL, 30.

144 Buerger David, “The Adam-God Doctrine,” Dialogue 15:1 (Spring 1982): 1458. On a plausible pathway from Smith's hieroglyphic primordialism to Young's later teaching, see Phelps's pseudonymous speculative fiction in Bird Joseph's Speckled, “Paracletes,” Times and Seasons 6:8 (1 May 1845): 891892, and “The Paracletes, Continued,” Times and Seasons 6:10 (1 June 1845): 917–918. See discussion in Brown Samuel, “William Phelps's ‘Paracletes’: An Early Witness to Joseph Smith's Divine Anthropology,” International Journal of Mormon Studies 2:1 (forthcoming, Spring 2009).

145 Webster's 1828 Dictionary may have supported this interpretation in a secondary definition of “degree” as “a certain distance or remove in the line of descent, determining the proximity of blood.”

146 Bushnell, God in Christ, 26–29.

147 GAEL, 1.

148 GAEL, 10.

149 GAEL, 3–4, 21.

150 Peterson, Book of Abraham, 192, 198, which cites the Quincy Whig for 17 October 1840. See also Haven Charlotte, “A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo,” Overland Monthly 16 (December 1890): 623624; Kidder Daniel P., Mormonism and the Mormons: A Historical View of the Rise and Progress of the Sect Self-styled Latter-day Saints (New York Lane & Sandford for the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1842), 120; and “A Glance at the Mormons,” The [New York] Sun 28 July 1840, reprinted at, accessed 9 December 2007.

151 GAEL, 18.

152 Space limits exploration of these themes in this essay, but two rites introduced in the 1840s, ritual adoption and baptism for the dead, both strongly emphasized connections to past generations: see Irving Gordon, “The Law of Adoption: One Phase of the Development of the Mormon Concept of Salvation, 1830–1900,” BYU Studies 14:3 (Spring 1974): 291314, and Bishop M. Guy, “‘What Has Happened to our Fathers?’: Baptism for the Dead at Nauvoo,” Dialogue 23:2 (Summer 1990): 8597.

153 Campbell, “Ancient Order of Things,” 159.

154 Hopkins, Treatise on the Millennium [1793] (Providence, R.I.: Brown and Danforth, 1824), 110114, with discussion in Juster, Doomsayers, 159.

155 Swedenborg, Concerning Heaven and its Wonders, and Concerning Hell (Boston: Otis Clapp, 1837), 135137 (nos. 234–239). This language, the one spoken by the angels of Mars, was carried through the Eustachian tubes to the mind rather than traversing the ear: Concerning the Earths in our Solar System ([1758] Boston: Otis Clapp, 1839), 58. In distinction from Smith, Swedenborg seems to have believed that this angelic language would not be written, though his views on written language are complex (Earths in our Solar System, 74–76, 86).

156 Clarke, Holy Bible, 4:758–759.

157 [Cowdery Oliver], “The Prophecy of Zephaniah,” The Evening and the Morning Star 2:18 (March 1834): 141142.

158 [Pratt Parley], “The Indians,” The Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 2:4 (January 1836): 245, announced that God “will turn to them [the Indians] a pure language.”

159 [Phelps William], “The Gathering,” The Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, 3:1 (October 1836): 400. This hymn is reprinted from The Evening and the Morning Star 2:20 (May 1834): 160.

160 GAEL, 7.

161 [Phelps William], “All Flesh,” The Evening and the Morning Star 2:13 (June 1833): 102.

162 GAEL, 31.

163 Doctrine and Covenants 107:53–57, and Marquardt, ed., Early Patriarchal Blessings, 4, 8.

164 On the Ancient of Days, see Faulring, American Prophet's Record, 353, “Millennium. No. V,” Evening and Morning Star 2:20 (May 1834): 154; Phelps William, “Letter No. 8,” Messenger and Advocate 1:9 (June 1835): 131. Oliver Olney claimed a visitation: Collier Fred C., ed., The Nauvoo High Council Minute Book (Hanna, Utah: Collier's, 2005), 47; Journal History (LDS Church History Library, Salt Lake City), entry for 10 February 1843; “Effects of Apostacy,” Times and Seasons 4:6 (1 February 1843): 89. So did Francis Gladden Bishop: Saunders Richard L., “The Fruit of the Branch: Francis Gladden Bishop and his Culture of Dissent,” in Launius and Thatcher, eds., Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 102119, and Collier, ed., Nauvoo High Council Minute Book, 46.

165 On twentieth-century interest in the Ancient of Days, see McConkie Bruce R., Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 2nd ed., 34, and Daniel Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan, 1992), s.v. “Adam” and “Adam-ondi-Ahman.”

166 Cowdery Warren, “Brother O. Cowdery,” The Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, 3:2 (November 1836): 411.

1 An early version of this essay was presented at the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City on August 9, 2007, and it derives from material for a book in preparation on early Mormon death culture and theology, tentatively titled In Heaven as it Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Conquest of Death. I thank Kate Holbrook, Matthew Bowman, Brett Rushforth, Jonathan Stapley, Brian Hauglid, and the journal's anonymous reviewers for their insightful criticism. I thank the LDS Church History Library in Salt Lake City for the images used in this essay.

Samuel Brown is a fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Utah.

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