#BOMTC BIG BONUS: Estimated Dates for the Day-by-Day Translation of the Book of Mormon

 

Joseph Smith received the gold plates from Moroni on September 22, 1827. “I obtained them,” the Prophet testified, “and the Urim and Thummim with them, by the means of which I translated the plates; and thus came the Book of Mormon.”

Joseph Smith received the gold plates from Moroni on September 22, 1827. “I obtained them,” the Prophet testified, “and the Urim and Thummim with them, by the means of which I translated the plates; and thus came the Book of Mormon.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 57–68)

We have a real treat for you today!

Some people have wondered, “When Joseph Smith began translating the Book of Mormon following the loss of the first 116 translated pages, did he begin at 1 Nephi 1 or did he begin where he left off in the original translation process?”

As far as my research has found, Joseph Smith never actually mentioned where he began again, so we must use our historical and contextual clues to help us determine which option we think is correct.

From what I have studied on those two options, I have come to believe that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery picked up in the translation process near where Joseph left of following the 116 translated pages from the Book of Lehi on the large plates.

Although I have set up the #BOMTC reading schedule to begin at 1 Nephi 1 and end with Moroni 10, I sometimes I like to begin with Mosiah 1 (a supposed re-start point of the translation) and end with the Words of Mormon. Once you are familiar with the Book of Mormon, it is very interesting to begin your study at Mosiah 1 and consider all of the things mentioned in Mosiah to Moroni BUT that originate in 1 Nephi 1 to Omni–books that Joseph Smith would not have translated yet!

Our good friends at Book of Mormon Central sent me a nice little chart that helps us see a possible timeline of events during the translation process of April-June of 1829. Perhaps you would like to try the #BOMTC this time by using this schedule as something of a guide:

Estimated Dates for the Day-by-Day Translation of the Book of Mormon

  • 1828 Words of Mormon 1:13-18 (only part retained from the 116 pages)

April, 1829:

  • April 5, Oliver Cowdery arrives in Harmony, Pennsylvania
  • April 6, Joseph purchases his and Emma’s cabin from his father-in-law on the Hale property
  • April 7, Translation begins: Mosiah 1-3
  • April 8, Mosiah 4-7
  • April 9, Mosiah 8-11
  • April 10, Mosiah 12-16
  • April 11, Mosiah 17-20
  • April 12, Sunday, Mosiah 21-25
  • April 13, Mosiah 26-28
  • April 14, Mosiah 29-Alma 2
  • April 15, Alma 3-6
  • April 16, Alma 7-10
  • April 17, Alma 11-13
  • April 18, Alma 14-17
  • April 19, Sunday, Alma 18-19, about this time wrote a letter to David Whitmer
  • April 20, Alma 20-23
  • April 21, Alma 25-26
  • April 22, Alma 27-30
  • April 23, Alma 31-33
  • April 24, Alma 34-36
  • April 25, Alma 37-39
  • April 26, Alma 38-40
  • April 27, Alma 41-43
  • April 28, Sunday, Alma 44-45, about this time wrote a letter to David Whitmer
  • April 29, Alma 46-48
  • April 30, Alma 49-51

May, 1829

  • May 1, Alma 52-54
  • May 2, Alma 55-57
  • May 3, Alma 58-61
  • May 4, Alma 62-63/Helaman 1
  • May 5, Sunday, Helaman 2-4
  • May 6, Helaman 5-7
  • May 7, Helaman 8-10
  • May 8, Helaman 11-13
  • May 9, Helaman 14-16
  • May 10, About this time traveled 30 miles to Colesville
  • May 11, About this time traveled 30 miles back from Colesville
  • May 12, Sunday, 3Nephi 1-3
  • May 13, 3 Nephi 4-6
  • May 14, 3 Nephi 7-10
  • May 15, 3 Nephi 11-12, Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood prompted by 3 Nephi 11:25
  • May 16, 3 Nephi 13-15
  • May 17, 3 Nephi 16-18
  • May 18, 3 Nephi 19-21
  • May 19, Sunday, 3 Nephi 22-23
  • May 20, 3 Nephi 24-27
  • May 21, 3 Nephi 29-30 and 4 Nephi
  • May 22, Mormon 1-4
  • May 23, Mormon 5-7
  • May 24, Mormon 8-9 and Ether 1
  • May 25, Sunday, Ether 2-3, Samuel Smith baptized
  • May 26, Ether 4-7
  • May 27, Ether 8-10
  • May 28, Ether 11-12, Hyrum Smith arrives, David Whitmer arrives
  • May 29, Ether 13-15/Moro 1-4
  • May 30, Moroni 5-8
  • May 31, Moroni 9-10, Title Page. By this date the translation of the large plates was finished.

June, 1829

  • June 1, Sunday
  • June 2, Move from Harmon, travel to Fayette
  • June 3, Travel to Fayette
  • June 4, Travel to Fayette
  • June 5, Unpack in Fayette, resume translation, 1Nephi 1-2
  • June 6, 1 Nephi 3-6
  • June 7, 1 Nephi 7-10
  • June 8, Sunday, 1 Nephi 11-12
  • June 9, 1 Nephi 13-16
  • June 10, 1 Nephi 17-19
  • June 11, Copyright filed in Western District Court of the United States
  • June 12, 1 Nephi 20-22
  • June 13, 2 Nephi 1-3
  • June 14, 2 Nephi 4-6, Oliver wrote a letter to Hyrum
  • June 15, Sunday, D&C 14, 15, 16, 18, baptism of Hyrum, David and Peter Whitmer Jr, and others
  • June 16, 2 Nephi 7-9
  • June 17, 2 Nephi 10-13
  • June 18, 2 Nephi 14-19
  • June 19, 2 Nephi 20-24
  • June 20, 2 Nephi 25-27; 27:12 will prompt the showing to the Three Witnesses
  • June 21, 2 Nephi 28-31
  • June 22, Sunday, about this time Oliver prepares the “Articles of the Church of Christ”
  • June 23, 2 Nephi 32-33, about this time the Three Witnesses see Moroni
  • June 24, Jacob 1-3
  • June 25, Jacob 4-5
  • June 26, Jacob 6-7
  • June 27, Enos and Jarom
  • June 28, Omni, Words of Mormon, Translation completed
  • June 29, Sunday, in Manchester, New York, about this time, the Eight Witnesses shown the plates
  • June 30, By this date, the entire translation was finished

Please see the article, “Book of Mormon Translation,” an official essay published by the Church for greater insights.

If you would like to use the 1 Nephi-Moroni reading schedule, one of our #BOMTC readers, Ben Anderson, has created and shared a PDF that you can print up to place in your scripture cover. He created a “standard” and a “compact” scripture size option for you to download. Click on an option below to download your preferred size:

Sources for this post:

 

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About Bro Simon Says

Husband, Father, Teacher View all posts by Bro Simon Says

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