History of the Church

Timing the Translation of the Book of Mormon: “Days [and Hours] Never to Be Forgotten”
June 12, 2019
History of the Church
Timing the Translation of the Book of Mormon: “Days [and Hours] Never to Be Forgotten”
Author John W. Welch

This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by John W. Welch. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history. Today, we’re featuring an article about the Book of Mormon’s translation, which was finished at the end of June, 1829. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

We know many details about the timing of the translation of the Book of Mormon. We have firm evidence that Oliver Cowdery began working as Joseph Smith’s scribe on April 7, 1829, and that Joseph began dictating to Oliver at about Mosiah chapter 2. First in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and then at the home of Peter Whitmer in Fayette, New York, the translation progressed quickly and was finished by June 30, 1829. By pinpointing anchor dates along the way (May 15, the visit from John the Baptist; May 31, the title page was translated; June 11, the copyright was secured) we can estimate where Joseph was in the translation and how the unfolding text of the Book of Mormon led Joseph to seek more knowledge and receive further revelation. Understanding the pace of and events surrounding the translation of the Book of Mormon increases our appreciation for this inspired text.