Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Mormon Alphabet: Play the Game, Win a Book

A Mormon Alphabet: Play the Game, Win a Book

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 03, 2012

“A is for Apple, B is for Ball …”

Alphabet books have a long history. They prepare children for reading and have sometimes simultaneously inculcated moral values: Think of the New England Primer with its “A – In Adam’s fall we sinned all; B – Thy life to mend this book attend.” It isn’t surprising that there are Mormon alphabet books, drawing on the names of Mormon historical figures, scriptural characters, gospel vocabulary, and similar sources to represent the letters.

I’m looking right now at such an alphabet book, published long enough ago that I can post the text on Friday morning. Before then, though, let’s play a game.

What terms would you assign to each of the letters if you were composing a Mormon alphabet book? Would “A” stand for Abinadi, or Adam-ondi-Ahman, or the Atonement, or Apostles, or something else?

Post your ideas in the comments. For each answer that matches the alphabet to be posted Friday, December 7, you’ll win one point. Don’t hesitate to post early – if someone later posts a suggestion that you like better, you can edit your own list with another comment. Lists have to be posted publicly as comments, not sent by private email. No points will be awarded for “X”  (I posted a Facebook status recently that would give an unfair advantage to friends where “X” is concerned; I’ve Googled — my historic alphabet isn’t locatable through anything that was in that Facebook status).

Contest closes Thursday, December 6, at 5 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time). If there’s a tie, the person who submitted a list first (even if he or she later edited it) will be declared the winner, so there’s a real advantage to posting early. Winner will be announced in Friday morning’s post, along with the text of the old alphabet book.

Winner wins a copy of the soon-to-be-available Women of Faith in the Latter Days, Vol. 2, edited by Richard E. Turley and Brittany A. Chapman.

(And remember, this is all for fun. My decision of winner is final. If any entry matches the old alphabet too much more closely than other entries, suggesting that a player has somehow found the same old alphabet, I will consider disqualifying that entry. I have nightmares that because I’m offering something of value, some poor soul might dispute the decision. Anyone who challenges my designation of winner forfeits any possibility of winning the prize.)



  1. Oh, the contest is closed??? Too bad! I wanted to see if substituting “Kanarraville” and “Paragonah” would increase my chances of winning.

    Seriously, though, I enjoyed reading all the entries. What a fun contest!

    Comment by Amy T — December 6, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  2. @51. I’d love to see the pictures that illustrate THAT alphabet book!

    Here’s the Utah Gazeteer Alphabet Book AKA “Why Utahns invent the weirdest names”

    A – Antimony
    B – Blanding
    C – Circleville
    D – Deseret
    E – Eureka
    F – Farr West
    G – Grantsville
    H – Helper
    I – Ironton
    J – Juab
    K – Kanarraville
    L – Leeds
    M – Mantua
    N – Nephi
    O – Orderville
    P – Paragonah
    Q – oQuirr
    R – randolph
    S – Santaquin
    T – Tooele
    U – Uinta
    V – Vernal
    W – Wellsville
    Y – the Y (what?? It should count!)
    Z – Zion

    Comment by The Other Clark — December 6, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

  3. Your Q makes me groan, your Y makes me laugh, and you actually get one point, and one point only, in the contest! (And I give you that point despite the contest having closed because you did make me laugh!)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 6, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

  4. Oh, that’s good, Clark. Talking about place names always reminds me of the Stephen Vincent Benét poem, American Names:

    I have fallen in love with American names,
    The sharp names that never get fat,
    The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims,
    The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat,
    Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat….

    I will remember Carquinez Straits,
    Little French Lick and Lundy’s Lane,
    The Yankee ships and the Yankee dates
    And the bullet-towns of Calamity Jane.
    I will remember Skunktown Plain. …

    I shall not rest quiet in Montparnasse.
    I shall not lie easy at Winchelsea.
    You may bury my body in Sussex grass,
    You may bury my tongue at Champmédy.
    I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.
    Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.

    Comment by Amy T — December 6, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  5. From my kids:
    Cast (like casting a net)

    That’s as far as we got.

    Comment by ErinAnn — December 7, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  6. Contrasting the terms that kids contribute to an alphabet directed at other kids, with what adults suggest, is really kinda interesting. It would be fun to see a whole list from them, even if it took a couple of weeks to complete.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 7, 2012 @ 9:36 am

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