Moroni showed the plates to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris (see "The Testimony of the Three Witnesses," Book of Mormon). Joseph showed the plates to Christian Whitmer, Hiram Page, Jacob Whitmer, Joseph Smith Sr., Peter Whitmer Jr., Hyrum Smith, John Whitmer, and Samuel H. Smith (see "The Testimony of Eight Witnesses," Book of Mormon).
The work of translation proceeded haltingly through 1828. Joseph's wife, Emma, and others served as scribes until the spring of 1829, when Oliver Cowdery took over, recording the bulk of the 275,000-word text from Joseph's dictation, concluding near the end of June 1829, a period of about 60–90 days.
According to Mormon 9:32–34, the record was written in "Reformed Egyptian." The writer, Moroni, further explained that if the "plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew: but the Hebrew hath been altered by us, also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold ye would have had no imperfection in our record, but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also, that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof" (Times and Seasons, May 15, 1843, 194).