The Deseret alphabet was devised as an alternative to the Latin alphabet for writing the English language. It was developed during the 1850s at the University of Deseret, now the University of Utah, and was promoted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon or LDS Church, under Church President Brigham Young (1801-1877).
The name Deseret is taken from a word in the Book of Mormon and means "honeybee". It reflects the Mormon use of the beehive as a symbol of co-operative industry.
Brigham Young's secretary, George D. Watt, was among the designers of the Deseret alphabet and is thought to have used the Pitman English Phonotypic Alphabet of 1847 as the model.
The Mormon Church commissioned two typefaces and published four books using the Deseret alphabet. The Church-owned Deseret News also published passages of scripture using the alphabet on occasion. In addition, some historical records, diaries, and other materials were hand-written using this script, and it had limited use on coins and signs. There is also one tombstone in Cedar City, Utah, written in the Deseret alphabet. However, the alphabet failed to gain wide acceptance and was not actively promoted after 1869.
Today, the Deseret alphabet remains of interest primarily to historians and hobbyists.
We have a red and white cow. She is a quiet cow, and does not kick when we milk her. She has a brown calf. With a white face. My father gave the calf to me. The cow gives us milk. We churn the milk and make butter.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Deseret
Deseret Alphabet Translator
Page last modified: 15.03.23
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