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date: 25 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Folklore consists of vernacular cultural expression such as oral narratives, customs, traditions, beliefs, and material culture passed on in face-to-face settings within specific cultural groups. Far from being marginal, folklore often reveals a people’s most sacred and significant values, fears, and concerns as they actually exist. Mormons have a well-developed folkloric culture long noticed by folklore scholars. This chapter examines some of the more distinctive types of Mormon folklore and looks at the role they play in establishing and maintaining Latter-day Saint identity. Examples include prebirth experiences (PBEs) of angelic visitations, rumors of famous people joining the church, individuals’ revelatory promptings, jokes about church policy, and early Mormon folk magic.

Keywords: folklore, folk magic, Mormon folklore, rumor, oral narrative, jokes, prompting, belief, vernacular

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