The Prophet Elias Puzzle
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 1-17, Fall 2006
17 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2007
Mormon founder Joseph Smith revealed an Elias separate from the Old Testament prophet Elijah. This bifurcation has occasioned both ridicule and energetic apologetics. In this paper I demonstrate that Smith split Elias from Elijah in order to separate the traditional role of Elijah as harbinger of the Millennium from the patron angel of his new temple rites and theologies. What has long appeared a translator's gaffe opens an important window into early Mormon death culture.
Keywords: Mormonism, Death, Elijah, early American Republic, Religious Culture
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