Petra M. Horn

Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)




Anne M. Butler


Research for this thesis drew on the network of Deaf Mormon wards/branches, newspapers, magazines, books, unpublished documents, personal collections, and oral interviews to illustrate the religious activities engaged in by deaf Latter-day Saints at the national and local levels during the mid and late twentieth century America. The study focused on the theological perspectives, church participation, and personal experiences of deaf Mormons with a special focus on the accommodations the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day ·Saints has for the deaf populace. This special attention was used to examine and demonstrate the influence and attractions the Mormon religion has for deaf people, who share similar cultural background and use the same language, distinct from the hearing world. Deaf Mormons' church experiences mirrored those of deaf non-Mormons. However, the Deaf culture itself surfaced as a distinct religious component for Mormons with hearing loss. Deaf Mormons both mesh with the general LDS religion and maintain their own separate sense of community. Data gathered through interviews was preserved in a videotape collection. These videotapes were then transcribed and analyzed for both patterns of information and individual points of view.