Sunday, December 27, 2015

Church History in Pictures: Translation of a Book

After Joseph Smith was visited by the Angel Moroni, he was told to go to a hill where he would find a record of an ancient American civilization. He at first worked the farm with his father without mentioning the vision, but related it to his father when exhibiting physical weakness.  Trusting in the vision, Joseph Smith Jr's father told him to find the place located on what would later be called the hill Cumorah.


Today the hill has a memorial to the Angel Moroni at the top. During the summer a Pageant is presented commemorating the Book of Mormon that was translated by the Power of God. It would be about four years before he was allowed to take the "golden plates" from the hiding spot. Every year he as commanded to go back and be taught more information before granted permission to take them.

During the wait, Joseph Smith Jr. often told his family about what he was told by the angel. One of his most enthusiastic supporters was his oldest brother Alvin who continued to build the family frame home. A devastating sickness and bad medical advise took his life long before the translation could commence.


Not long after, Joseph Smith Jr. fell in love with and married Emma Hale. Her father did not like him and the two eloped. They moved into the now finished Smith family home.


The time finally arrived Sept. 22, 1827 when the plates could be taken from the hill. He and Emma Smith rode up in a carriage to the foot of the hill and he retrieved them. They brought it back to the house where it was often hidden when others sought to steal the records, such as under the brick of the fireplace.




Joseph and Emma Smith moved in late 1827 to a home in Harmony Pennsylvania they purchased from her bother Jesse. The bulk of The Book of Mormon was translated at the new home.

Most accounts have Joseph Smith  Jr. sitting at a table with a scribe as they dictated what he received by revelation. He would use either the urum and thummum or a seer stone placed in a hat to cut off the light. The plates themselves were covered by a cloth or blanket.


when not translating the plates, they were contained in a wooden box.


Near the completion of the translation, Joseph Smith Jr. and scribe Martin Harris hired Ebert Grandin to publish The Book of Mormon for public purchase.





The book was up for sale March 26, 1830 with a small advertisement and little success. Regardless, it would be the start of a religion that would change the course of American history.


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