The Deseret Alphabet was designed as an alternative to the Latin alphabet for writing the English language. It was developed during the 1850's by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the "Mormon" or LDS Church) under the guidance of Church President Brigham Young (1801-1877). Brigham Young's secretary, George D. Watt, was among the designers of the Deseret Alphabet.
The name Deseret is taken from a word in the Book of Mormon and means "honeybee". It reflects the LDS use of the beehive as a symbol of co-operative industry.
The LDS Church published four books using the Deseret Alphabet. In addition, the Church-owned Deseret News also published passages of scripture using the alphabet on occasion. 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.
The Republic of Molossia uses the Deseret Alphabet as an alternate English writing method. Note: Use of the Deseret Alphabet does not imply support of or adherence to LDS teachings and practices.
Latin Alphabet equivalent chart from the first Deseret Reader.
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