Sunday, July 19, 2015

Messing with the Prophet

What did Martin Harris do as a joke to fool the prophet during the Book of Mormon translation?
a.                  Hid the manuscript and told the prophet he sent them to his wife
b.                  Hid the Gold Plates and told the prophet that the angel Moroni came back for them
c.                   Replaced the seer stone with another seer stone
d.                  Claimed that he was out of ink and couldn't write until he received more
Yesterday’s answer:
(D) Orson Pratt in 1845
Although the Literary Firm in Kirtland, Ohio, had planned to issue an almanac in the 1830s, the first one actually published by a Latter-day Saint was Orson Pratt’s Prophetic Almanac for 1845. It borrowed heavily from the standard American almanacs of the day, with a calendar and astronomical data along with the birth and death dates of secular leaders and prominent individuals. Elder Pratt also included some of his own doctrinal teachings, as well as those of his brother Parley and of Joseph Smith.
   Orson Pratt’s second effort, the Prophetic Almanac for 1846, was more distinctly Mormon with its exclusion of secular names and dates and the inclusion of dates of Latter-day Saint interest. In this issue he continued his missionary vent with doctrinal pieces and information. His intention was to publish the almanac annually, but these were the only two. He prepared one for 1849 at Winter Quarters, but there was no way to publish it.
   W. W. Phelps published the Deseret Almanac between 1851 and 1866 in Salt Lake City. From 1859 to 1864 it was called the Almanac. The 14 issues again borrowed from standard almanacs of the day, with the inclusion of religious and cultural articles uniquely pertaining to Latter-day Saints. He also included items of medical, agricultural, and social information.
David J. Whittaker, “Almanacs in the New England Heritage of Mormonism.” BYU Studies 4 (Fall 1989), 89-113; Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 19-20.


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