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BBC Releases Short Video on “Mysterious Mormon Alphabet”

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Proposed by Brigham Young in 1850, the Deseret alphabet was a phonetic alphabet designed to make the English language simpler and “unite the Saints and create a Zion society by making it easier for them to overcome differences in language.”

In a video released this week, the BBC features amateur cryptologist and Latter-day Saint M. Scott Reynolds who has helped to keep the language alive.

“[Brigham Young] wanted to make it easier for new immigrants that came to Salt Lake City from foreign countries to be able to learn English. And there was a worldwide effort in Europe and the in the Americas to reform English and that was the environment that Brigham Young was in,” Reynolds said.

The Deseret alphabet contains 38 characters that represent all sounds in English. According to Reynolds’ website dedicated to the alphabet, “Despite being heavily published by the Deseret News and promoted by President Brigham Young, the Deseret Alphabet never gained wide acceptance. Soon after Brigham Young’s death in 1877, resources and funding of the project came to an end.”

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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