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Mormonism

  • By: Jeff Lohr
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the fastest growing religious groups in the world, has a long and rich cultural tradition of deaf inclusion. The Church records deaf members as early as 1835. Deaf Mormons thrive as general members of the Church and maintain a distinct empowering community. The Church is both restorative and missionary. The impulse to serve the deaf is motivated by the belief that all people will hear the Gospel in their own language. Missionaries evangelize in native languages, and the Church considers sign a distinct language.

The Church was first officially organized by founder Joseph Smith (1805–1844) in western New York in 1830 as the “Church of Christ.” Members of the Church believe themselves to be members of ...

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