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Race and the Making of the Mormon People$
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Max Perry Mueller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636160

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636160.001.0001

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Marketing the Book of Mormon to Noah’s Three Sons

Marketing the Book of Mormon to Noah’s Three Sons

(p.60) 2 Marketing the Book of Mormon to Noah’s Three Sons
Race and the Making of the Mormon People

Max Perry Mueller

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter traces the different ways the Book of Mormon was marketed to “red,” “white,” and “black” Americans during the first three years after the church was founded in 1830. Because Native Americans (“Lamanites”) were seen as the Book of Mormon’s true heirs and the prophesied leaders of New Jerusalem, and because most American Indians did not belong to America’s English-language based print culture, Joseph Smith sent Mormonism’s first official mission to Delaware Indians on the frontier, west of Missouri where the Mormons hoped to build their New Jerusalem. Because most were literate in English, early Mormons attempted to reach white “Gentile” Americans of European descent through newspapers and other media produced and published through their own printing operations. Though the Book of Mormon’s past or future does not include people of African descent, early Mormons did allow, and even encouraged, some free black Americans to join the church.

Keywords:   Jackson County, Missouri, Book of Mormon, Gentiles, Lamanites, Parley P. Pratt, Delawares, Chief Anderson (Kikthawenund), Evening and the Morning Star, Black Pete, covenantal contract

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