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Question

 

Gramps,

In 1876, Orson Pratt added a footnote that was later removed by the Church in 1909. I believe the footnote was in 2nd Nephi, chapter 3, verse 24. In the very beginning of the verse we read of “One mighty,” who Orson Pratt implies by a footnote that it will be an Indian prophet. Was this changed simply because Orson Pratt was wrong?

Dave

 

Answer

 

Dave,

There is very scant but intriguing evidence that early Church members did believe a prophet would arise from among the Native Americans. Very early in the Church’s history, one journalist observed that Oliver Cowdery was embarking on a “mission to the Indians (or Lamanites, as they term them) in the ‘far west,’ where they say a Prophet is to be raised up, in whom the tribes will believe.” (Source: Juvenile Instructor » Early Mormon Lamanism, Forgotten Apocalyptic Visions, and the Indian Prophet).

The current LDS edition of the Book of Mormon is copiously cross-referenced, but it takes a minimalist approach with regard to footnotes that define or explicitly clarify particular passages. The fact that the Church no longer emphasizes the idea of a future Native American prophet doesn’t mean the notion is wrong; it just means that the actual evidence supporting the notion is inconclusive.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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