History and Story Behind the Book of Mormon Part 3

About the Church of Latter-Day Saints holy Book of Mormon, history of the famous religious work.



Sample Quote:"... they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold...Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy" (2 Nephi 2:23--25).

Its Publishing History: The first translation was completed in June, 1829, and the first printing of 5,000 copies, at a cost of $3,000, was completed by Egbert B. Grandin in the spring of 1830.

The book was first divided into chapters and verses with references by Orson Pratt in 1879 in Liverpool, England. It was arranged in double-column pages, as it now appears, with chapter headings, chronological dates, revised footnotes, pronouncing vocabulary, and index in 1920, by which time there was worldwide distribution. For instance, the first foreign publication, in England, was in 1841, and by the 1870s it had been translated into many European languages. It was translated into but not printed in still others, including Hindi and Urdu languages. The book is out of print in the Desert Alphabet, Welsh, Hawaiian, Turkish, Czech, and Armenian, but is available in English, Danish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Maori, Dutch, Samoan, Tahitian, Japanese, Portuguese, Tongan, Norwegian, Finnish, Rarotongan, Chinese, Korean, as well as braille.

Since 1830 some 18 million copies have been printed by the Church, while still other copies have been printed by the Reorganized Church. In 1976 approximately 1 million copies were made available in the 21 languages that currently offer the Book of Mormon to about 40% of the world's population.

Unusual Facts: As unusual as the appearance of the gold plates is their subsequent disappearance; they are said to have been returned to the angel Moroni, who took them to heaven.

A month before completion of the translation, Smith and his scribe Cowdery, while praying for understanding of some passages about baptism, received a visitation from John the Baptist, who conferred the Aaronic priesthood upon them and ordered them to baptize each other. Adult baptism and entry into the priesthood by all males is now a prominent feature of Mormonism.

The scriptures made reference to America as "a choice land and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage and from captivity and from all other nations under the heavens, if they will but serve the God of the land." An interesting prophecy of the power and wealth of contemporary America, down to the footnote on U.S. money: "In God We Trust."

The entire Book of Mormon relates to the promise of Christ in John 10:16 that he would minister to his "other sheep."

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