Excerpts from Joseph Smith the Prophet
by Preston Nibley

Received plates: September 22,1827 at age 21

Began translation: Martin Harris as scribe. 12 April 1828

Seven months after receiving them. 116 pages lost

First recorded pages: July 28 1828. 10 months after receiving them

Began with various scribes and much interruption

Oliver Cowdery arrived: April 5, 1829. One and one-half years after receiving them. Began translation on April 7, 1829

Incidents during translation period:

Reception of the Aaronic Priesthood and baptism

Ordination to Melchizedek Priesthood

Reception of several revelations

Baptized Samuel and Hyrum

Did chores and received help from others who wanted to help with the work
• Moved to the Peter Whitmer home

Completed translation June 1829. 11 weeks from time started with Oliver as scribe, 7 to 9 pages per day. Approx. 60 days actual translation working time

• The plates viewed by three and then eight witnesses shortly after translation completed

• Finished translation by age 23

"Mrs. Smith, in her history, fails to mention the important item of the early education of her son Joseph, Jr. I have not been able to find a direct statement that he ever attended school. We do know, however, that here at Palmyra he did obtain the rudiment of an education. He learned to read and to write a good legible hand, although he did not pay much attention to spelling as is evidenced by some of his early letters, which are on file in the Church Historian's Office.

There is no evidence whatever, in those early years, that Joseph Smith Jr. would at a future date, challenge the world with his learning and

How Joseph Smith Translated the Book of Mormon

By Royal Skousen

The Prophet Joseph Smith said very little about the actual process of translating the Book of Mormon. However, a thorough study of the original text of the Book of Mormon (including a detailed examination of both the original and printer's manuscripts) and a careful review of statements made by those who witnessed Joseph Smith translating combine to provide valuable information about the translation process. Even details such as spelling correction and textual insertions provide definite clues about how Joseph translated.

This evidence does not support theories that Joseph Smith composed the next himself or that he took the text from some other source. Instead, it indicates that the Lord exercised what I refer to as "tight control" over the word-by-word translation of the Book of Mormon. In particular, the evidence suggests that Joseph Smith saw specific words written out in English and read them off to the scribe, and that the accuracy of the resulting text depended on the carefulness of Joseph and his scribe. Indeed, this evidence is most compatible with the account that Joseph himself gave that he translated the Book of Mormon "by the gift and power of God.”