Translating the Book of Mormon
Gospel Art Picture Kit
D&C 20:8–11; Joseph Smith—History 1:34–35, 71 footnote
The Book of Mormon … [proves] to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old. D&C 20:8, 11
Three years after Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ, the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph and told him there was a record written on gold plates that gave an account of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Joseph was to translate this record using two stones fastened to a breastplate, the Urim and Thummim. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:34–35.) Moroni taught Joseph about the work he was called to do for four more years and then delivered the plates and the interpreters to him in 1827.
Oliver Cowdery served as a scribe to the Prophet Joseph as he translated the Book of Mormon. In describing his experience, Oliver wrote: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, ‘interpreters,’ the history or record called ‘The Book of Mormon’ ” (Joseph Smith—History 1:71 footnote).
When the Prophet Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the angel Moroni, he studied the strange language written on them. With Heavenly Father’s help, Joseph translated the writing on the gold plates into words he could understand. Oliver Cowdery helped Joseph by being his scribe. As Joseph read out loud from the plates, Oliver wrote down the words. When the translation into English was completed, the book was printed. It is called the Book of Mormon.
Artist, Del Parson
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