The Prophetess of Endor : Reception of 1 Samuel 28 in Nineteenth Century Mormon History
Journal of the Bible and its Reception
This article documents one strain of Mormon thought concerning the Woman of Endor narrative in 1 Samuel 28, in which the woman was interpreted as a prophetess enabled to raise the dead through her spiritual gifts. Church leaders eventually condemned this narrative because of its similarities with Spiritualist exegesis and American Christianity’s use of the narrative to condemn Spiritualism as necromancy. Through establishing an orthodox reading of the passage, leaders strengthened the boundaries separating the two faiths – boundaries that many Spiritualists had argued were at best blurry and overlapping.