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The translators of the Book of Mormon

Published: Tuesday, July 7 2015 1:51 a.m. MDT

Historic title pages and covers of the Book of Mormon in Portuguese, upper left, Mandarin Chinese, upper right, German, lower left, and Japanese, lower right. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Historic title pages and covers of the Book of Mormon in Portuguese, upper left, Mandarin Chinese, upper right, German, lower left, and Japanese, lower right. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 181st anniversary of the publication of the Book of Mormon and the milestone of distributing its 150-millionth copy last March.

Since the Prophet Joseph Smith originally translated the sacred volume from the gold plates into English and published the first edition in 1830, the Book of Mormon has been translated into 82 full foreign languages (25 partial) and been named one of the 20 books that changed America. In 1988, President Ezra Taft Benson charged members with "flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon."

Today the LDS Church employs a Translation Services Department and translation of church documents and materials is carried out by committees of worthy, qualified members. Members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve review new translations of the Book of Mormon.

Before a translation department was organized, numerous stalwart Latter-day Saints contributed to the work of translating the Book of Mormon in the early days of the LDS Church. Many faced unique challenges only overcome with pure determination, faith and divine intervention. Some of their names are prominent while others are only known to their descendants. The contributions have blessed countless lives and helped to build the kingdom.

Historic title pages of the Book of Mormon in German and Spanish.    The cover of the Book of Mormon is written in Mandarin Chinese. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Historic title pages of the Book of Mormon in German and Spanish. The cover of the Book of Mormon is written in Mandarin Chinese. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

This week Mormon Times features the history of several of the translations and translators of the Book of Mormon.

Online now: French

Tagalog

Danish

Pacific Island languages

German

Korean

Spanish

Portuguese

Japanese

Historical copies of the Book of Mormon in Portugese, left, and Mandarin Chinese, right.  (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Historical copies of the Book of Mormon in Portugese, left, and Mandarin Chinese, right. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Italian

Chinese

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