Tag Archives: Oliver Cowdery

#BOMTC Moroni 1-7: Moroni’s Handbook of Instructions

people sitting at table

I really wish that this post on Moroni 1-7 were something that we could just sit down together and discuss, with our scriptures open, ready to learn from each other.

From what I have observed, some people don’t really seem to appreciate these chapters of the Book of Mormon. So, I want to take a moment and look back at the chapter headings and consider what a “gold mine” we have in these small chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Moroni writes for the benefit of the Lamanites—The Nephites who will not deny Christ are put to death.
  • Chapter 2: Jesus gave the twelve Nephite disciples power to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  • Chapter 3: Elders ordain priests and teachers by the laying on of hands.
  • Chapter 4: How elders and priests administer the sacramental bread is explained.
  • Chapter 5: The mode of administering the sacramental wine is set forth.
  • Chapter 6: Repentant persons are baptized and fellowshipped—Church members who repent are forgiven—Meetings are conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  • Chapter 7: An invitation is given to enter into the rest of the Lord—Pray with real intent—The Spirit of Christ enables men to know good from evil—Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil—The prophets manifest the coming of Christ—By faith, miracles are wrought and angels minister—Men should hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity. About A.D. 401–421.

Do you see what I mean? That is not “milk” of the gospel type stuff; that is serious “meat and potatoes” gospel stuff. Sure, it may seem common place to us now, BUT that is only because Moroni put it there in the first place, so many of us have known it most of our lives!

Sometimes we don’t realize the value of what we have because we have always had it. But what we are really looking at in these chapters is what Moroni knew was essential, and he knew that these essentials were not yet found in the Book of Mormon. Indeed they are just as Moroni had hoped–they have been, and are, of great “worth” (Moroni 1:4).

Let’s see how these seemingly common-place teachings helped to bring about the marvelous restoration of Christ’s church in the latter days.

As I wrote in the title of this blog post, I like to refer to these chapters as, “Moroni’s Handbook of Instructions”. This handbook has both ecclesiastical and personal application. Let’s first take a look at the ecclesiastical aspect of it.

In Doctrine and Covenants 18:1-5 we find a “commandment” that was given to Oliver Cowdery. See if you can discover what that commandment was by taking a good look at those verses.

Now, behold, because of the thing which you, my servant Oliver Cowdery, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words:

Behold, I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written are true; wherefore you know that they are true.

And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written;

For in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock.

Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

Alright, so what was the “commandment” that Oliver was given? Yes, you can see the word “commandment” in verse 3. But you need to use verses 4-5 to really understand why he needed to “rely upon the things which are written“. Let me review those verses with you again with a little added detail:

Now, behold, because of the thing which you, my servant Oliver Cowdery, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words:

Behold, I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18] are true; wherefore you know that they [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18] are true.

And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18];

For in them [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18] are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock.

Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have preceded D&C 18], the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

The verse summary of D&C 18 also gives us a clue to the commandment given to Oliver:

“1–5, Scriptures show how to build up the Church”

Was that helpful? Are you starting to see the commandment that Oliver was given? In the article, “How the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants Were Received and Compiled” we learn that:

Most of the Christian churches located in New York at the time Joseph Smith received his first revelations had “confessions,” “creeds,” “platforms,” or “articles of faith.” These documents contained brief statements of basic beliefs, doctrine, duties of members, and other information useful to investigators and members. Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants (which was known as the Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ during the first decade of the Church) has many parallels to the confessions of the Christian churches of the day and appears to have been written for the same purpose. It is composed of short statements about basic doctrines, ordinances, duties of members and priesthood bearers, and the baptismal and sacrament prayers.

What appears to be an early draft of the Articles and Covenants (in Oliver Cowdery’s handwriting and dated in 1829) is in the Archives of the Historical Department of the Church. It is titled: “A True Copy of the articles of the Church of Christ.” Oliver Cowdery wrote at the beginning of this document that he composed it by commandment. If the procedure was the same then as now, such a commandment would have come through the Prophet [D&C 18:3]. This document contains quotations from the Book of Mormon and from earlier revelations [D&C 18:4-5]. Most of the Book of Mormon quotations are retained in the current form of section 20.

The existence of this document helps solve two matters concerning the text of section 20. First, when a comparison is made between the current text and various earlier printings of section 20, it is clear that this section has had numerous additions and deletions. For example, section 22 was included as part of this section when it was first published in the Evening and Morning Star. Similarly, verses 14–15, 41, 50–52, and 61–67 are either additions to the text or are verses that were completely revised over the years.

The second matter involves a letter that Oliver Cowdery wrote to Joseph Smith in July or August of 1830, asking that a part of verse 37 which he considered to be in error be taken out of the revelation. A portion of this early document is similar to verse 37 in section 20, but does not contain that part of the verse Oliver Cowdery wanted removed. The portion questioned by Oliver was later reinserted by the Prophet.

Thus, section 20 is an example of the principles taught in sections 67 and 68 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 67, we are informed that the revelations were given in the language of the Prophet Joseph Smith with all the normal imperfections of human communication. In section 68, we are told that when a servant of the Lord is moved upon by the Holy Ghost, what he says is the mind and the will of the Lord, and is scripture. The historical background of section 20, therefore, appears to be centered in an effort to put into words the basic beliefs and tenets of the Church. The document was drawn from earlier revealed sources and was thus inspired by the Spirit over a period of time; it is, therefore, scripture.

On 9 June 1830, the first conference of the Church was held as directed in the Articles and Covenants of the Church (section 20). The complete Articles and Covenants were read in this conference by Joseph Smith as one of the first items of business. This document was then received by the “unanimous voice of the whole congregation.” Thus, section 20 became the first revelation of this dispensation canonized by the Church. It was also the first revelation of this dispensation to be printed in the first edition, and was printed on the first page of the first newspaper of the Church, the Evening and Morning Star (vol. 1, no. 1, June 1832). From that point on, basic practices of the Church have been conducted in accordance with this section. In succeeding conferences, the Articles and Covenants were read in order that the Latter-day Saints might be reminded of the policies and procedures they were to follow.

So, here is what happened… In D&C 18:1-5, Oliver was commanded to take an active roll in creating the Articles and Covenants of the Church (D&C 20) by “rely[ing] upon the things which are written” in the Book of Mormon and the revelations that chronologically preceded D&C 18.

man reading book

Now what parts of the Book of Mormon match up best with D&C 20? In the true spirit of discovery and seeking learning by faith, you may want to take a break from this post and study Moroni 2-6 as if you were Oliver Cowdery and had been commanded by the Lord to “rely upon the things which are written” to figure out how to organize Christ’s Church. As you do so, I would recommend that you mark anything that stands out to you.

Once you have completed your study, go to D&C 20 and look for the elements that you discovered in Moroni 2-6. I would encourage you to write the Book of Mormon references that you discovered with their companion scriptures in D&C 20. After my first read I found eight references in Moroni 2-6 that are directly correlated to companion scriptures in D&C 20. I am sure that there are more. See what you can discover for yourself!

For a great little article on the Church Handbook of Instructions used today, see “Church Handbooks: The Written Order of Things“.

These chapters from Moroni seem to have been inserted and intended to be of “worth” for the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days. However, as I mentioned before, we can also see these chapters as a Personal Handbook of Instructions.

open book with gold ribbon

To me, these chapters can serve as a handbook from Moroni on “How to Never Be Alone”. This man knows what it is like to be alone! He has been alone for a loooong time (it appears to be about 20 years). During that time long time alone he has protected the plates and added to them.

Now I know that Moroni’s intent in writing these chapters is not to be a handbook for how to never be alone. All I am doing is “likening” what is found in these chapters to things that the Lord has given us to help us never feel alone… even when we are.

Once again, in the spirit of discovery and seeking learning by faith, I invite you to study what is found in Moroni 1-7 and find what can help you to understand that you never have to feel alone when you live the gospel. This time you really will have to be like Oliver Cowdery, because there will be no supporting document to show you the right answers. You can do it! “Rely upon the things which are written,” and find what the Lord has given you in these chapters so that you never have to feel alone.

Please leave your thoughts about a special verse, teaching, etc. that you enjoyed at one of the following:

REPLY at the bottom of each post at: bookofmormontranslationchallenge.wordpress.com
LIKE our Facebook page and post at: facebook.com/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
JOIN our Facebook group and share at: facebook.com/groups/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
TWITTER and INSTAGRAM users can use #bomtc for related posts: twitter.com/brosimonsays | instagram.com/brosimonsays


#BOMTC April 5th, Oliver Cowdery Meets Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery Translating the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery Translating the Book of Mormon

Did you know that Oliver Cowdery met Joseph Smith just two days before they began the translation of the Book of Mormon together? In fact, it was on this day, on April 5, 1829, that Oliver first met Joseph. What’s more, by June 30, 1829, just 85 days later, Joseph and Oliver completed the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Joseph Smith faced an important year in 1829. At the end of 1828, after the loss of the 116 manuscript pages, the angel Moroni returned the ancient plates of scripture and the Urim and Thummim and promised a new scribe to assist in the translation.

In the spring of 1829, the Prophet Joseph Smith felt a sense of urgency about the translation of the Book of Mormon, but he found his time to translate severely limited because of the need to work to support his family. And although Joseph’s wife Emma and his brother Samuel had helped by acting as scribes at times, they could not do this full time. Joseph prayed that the Lord would send someone who could assist him in the work of translation.

In response to Joseph’s prayer, the Lord fulfilled His promise (D&C 5:34). On Sunday, April 5, 1829 (“Near the time of the setting of the Sun”) Oliver Cowdery arrived in Harmony, Pennsylvania and met Joseph Smith.

Upon meeting Oliver, Joseph recognized him as the assistance the Lord had promised, and they discussed Joseph’s experiences until late that evening. The next day (April 6th) they attended to some business, and on Tuesday, 7 April, they began the work of translating the Book of Mormon–just 2 days after meeting!

Joseph and Oliver finished the translation of the Book of Mormon by June 30, 1829–just 85 days after beginning the translation! And that is the basis of the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge; you and I will try to read the entire Book of Mormon from April 7-June 30.

Remember, you don’t have to start at the beginning of the Book of Mormon to take advantage of this challenge. You can simply continue where you are currently reading and cycle through the entire Book of Mormon until you finish on (or before) June 30.

However, if you would like to study along with this blog, this year the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge (#BOMTC) is doing something NEW! When Joseph resumed the translation process following the loss of the 116 manuscript pages, he and Oliver did not begin at 1 Nephi, where most of us begin reading, instead they began in Mosiah, where Joseph and Martin had paused in the translation process. So, this year the #BOMTC is going to follow a schedule that begins with Mosiah 1 and ends with Words of Mormon. Don’t worry though, if you like the traditional style of beginning in 1 Nephi and ending with Moroni we still have a schedule for you too. Just check out the schedule links above to choose your preference.

Please JOIN and SHARE this challenge with others by clicking on the graphic below or visit our Facebook events page: https://www.facebook.com/events/147323189128973

2017 BOMTC Facebook Event Image

Click on the picture above to join the 2017 #BOMTC

For a great article explaining why many LDS painting depict church history events differently, like the translation process, please see Dr. Anthony Sweat’s insightful article, “BY THE GIFT AND POWER OF ART“.

For greater details of the events mentioned in this blog post, please see CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES STUDENT MANUALCHAPTER FIVE: COMING FORTH OF THE BOOK OF MORMON AND RESTORATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD.

Leave your thoughts about what you enjoyed at one of the following:
REPLY at the bottom of each post at: bookofmormontranslationchallenge.wordpress.com
LIKE our Facebook page and post at: facebook.com/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
JOIN our Facebook group and share at: facebook.com/groups/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
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#BOMTC Day 83, June 28~Moroni 1-7 or Pages 519-524: Moroni’s Handbook of Instructions

#BOMTC Day 83, June 28~Moroni 1-7 or Pages 519-524, Moroni's Handbook of Instructions

I really wish that this post on Moroni 1-7 were something that we could just sit down together and discuss, with our scriptures open, ready to learn from each other.

From what I have observed, some people don’t really seem to appreciate these chapters of the Book of Mormon. So, I want to take a moment and look back at the chapter headings and consider what a “gold mine” we have in these small chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Moroni writes for the benefit of the Lamanites—The Nephites who will not deny Christ are put to death.
  • Chapter 2: Jesus gave the twelve Nephite disciples power to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  • Chapter 3: Elders ordain priests and teachers by the laying on of hands.
  • Chapter 4: How elders and priests administer the sacramental bread is explained.
  • Chapter 5: The mode of administering the sacramental wine is set forth.
  • Chapter 6: Repentant persons are baptized and fellowshipped—Church members who repent are forgiven—Meetings are conducted by the power of the Holy Ghost.
  • Chapter 7: An invitation is given to enter into the rest of the Lord—Pray with real intent—The Spirit of Christ enables men to know good from evil—Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil—The prophets manifest the coming of Christ—By faith, miracles are wrought and angels minister—Men should hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity. About A.D. 401–421.

Do you see what I mean? That is not “milk” of the gospel type stuff; that is serious “meat and potatoes” gospel stuff. Sure, it may seem common place to us, BUT that is only because Moroni put it there in the first place and many of us have known it most of our lives!

Sometimes we don’t realize the value of what we have because we have always had it. But what we are really looking at in these chapters is what Moroni knew was essential, and he knew that these essentials were not yet found in the Book of Mormon. Indeed they are just as Moroni had hoped–they have been, and are, of great “worth” (Moroni 1:4).

Let’s see how these seemingly common-place teachings helped to bring about the marvelous restoration of Christ’s church in the latter days.

As I wrote in the title of this blog post, I like to refer to these chapters as, “Moroni’s Handbook of Instructions”. This handbook has both ecclesiastical and personal application. Let’s first take a look at the ecclesiastical aspect of it.

In Doctrine and Covenants 18:1-5 we find a “commandment” that was given to Oliver Cowdery. See if you can discover what that commandment was by taking a good look at those verses.

Now, behold, because of the thing which you, my servant Oliver Cowdery, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words:

Behold, I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written are true; wherefore you know that they are true.

And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written;

For in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock.

Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

Alright, so what was the “commandment” that Oliver was given? Yes, you can see the word “commandment” in verse 3. But you need to use verses 4-5 to really understand why he needed to “rely upon the things which are written“. Let me review those verses with you again with a little added detail:

Now, behold, because of the thing which you, my servant Oliver Cowdery, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words:

Behold, I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18] are true; wherefore you know that they [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18] are true.

And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18];

For in them [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have chronologically preceded D&C 18] are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock.

Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock [the Book of Mormon and the revelations that have preceded D&C 18], the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

The verse summary of D&C 18 also gives us a clue to the commandment given to Oliver:

1–5, Scriptures show how to build up the Church

Was that helpful? Are you starting to see the commandment that Oliver was given? In the article, “How the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants Were Received and Compiled” we learn that:

Most of the Christian churches located in New York at the time Joseph Smith received his first revelations had “confessions,” “creeds,” “platforms,” or “articles of faith.” These documents contained brief statements of basic beliefs, doctrine, duties of members, and other information useful to investigators and members. Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants (which was known as the Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ during the first decade of the Church) has many parallels to the confessions of the Christian churches of the day and appears to have been written for the same purpose. It is composed of short statements about basic doctrines, ordinances, duties of members and priesthood bearers, and the baptismal and sacrament prayers.

What appears to be an early draft of the Articles and Covenants (in Oliver Cowdery’s handwriting and dated in 1829) is in the Archives of the Historical Department of the Church. It is titled: “A True Copy of the articles of the Church of Christ.” Oliver Cowdery wrote at the beginning of this document that he composed it by commandment. If the procedure was the same then as now, such a commandment would have come through the Prophet [D&C 18:3]. This document contains quotations from the Book of Mormon and from earlier revelations [D&C 18:4-5]. Most of the Book of Mormon quotations are retained in the current form of section 20.

The existence of this document helps solve two matters concerning the text of section 20. First, when a comparison is made between the current text and various earlier printings of section 20, it is clear that this section has had numerous additions and deletions. For example, section 22 was included as part of this section when it was first published in the Evening and Morning Star. Similarly, verses 14–15, 41, 50–52, and 61–67 are either additions to the text or are verses that were completely revised over the years.

The second matter involves a letter that Oliver Cowdery wrote to Joseph Smith in July or August of 1830, asking that a part of verse 37 which he considered to be in error be taken out of the revelation. A portion of this early document is similar to verse 37 in section 20, but does not contain that part of the verse Oliver Cowdery wanted removed. The portion questioned by Oliver was later reinserted by the Prophet.

Thus, section 20 is an example of the principles taught in sections 67 and 68 of the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 67, we are informed that the revelations were given in the language of the Prophet Joseph Smith with all the normal imperfections of human communication. In section 68, we are told that when a servant of the Lord is moved upon by the Holy Ghost, what he says is the mind and the will of the Lord, and is scripture. The historical background of section 20, therefore, appears to be centered in an effort to put into words the basic beliefs and tenets of the Church. The document was drawn from earlier revealed sources and was thus inspired by the Spirit over a period of time; it is, therefore, scripture.

On 9 June 1830, the first conference of the Church was held as directed in the Articles and Covenants of the Church (section 20). The complete Articles and Covenants were read in this conference by Joseph Smith as one of the first items of business. This document was then received by the “unanimous voice of the whole congregation.” Thus, section 20 became the first revelation of this dispensation canonized by the Church. It was also the first revelation of this dispensation to be printed in the first edition, and was printed on the first page of the first newspaper of the Church, the Evening and Morning Star (vol. 1, no. 1, June 1832). From that point on, basic practices of the Church have been conducted in accordance with this section. In succeeding conferences, the Articles and Covenants were read in order that the Latter-day Saints might be reminded of the policies and procedures they were to follow.

So, here is what happened… In D&C 18:1-5, Oliver was commanded to take an active roll in creating the Articles and Covenants of the Church (D&C 20) by “rely[ing] upon the things which are written” in the Book of Mormon and the revelations that chronologically preceded D&C 18.

Now what parts of the Book of Mormon match up best with D&C 20? In the true spirit of discovery and seeking learning by faith, you may want to take a break from this post and study Moroni 2-6 as if you were Oliver Cowdery and had been commanded by the Lord to “rely upon the things which are written” to figure out how to organize Christ’s Church. As you do so, I would recommend that you mark anything that stands out to you.

Once you have completed your study, go to D&C 20 and look for the elements that you discovered in Moroni 2-6. I would encourage you to write the Book of Mormon references that you discovered with their companion scriptures in D&C 20. After my first read I found eight references in Moroni 2-6 that are directly correlated to companion scriptures in D&C 20. I am sure that there are more. See what you can discover for yourself!

These chapters from Moroni seem to have been inserted and intended to be of “worth” for the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days. However, as I mentioned before, we can also see these chapters as a Personal Handbook of Instructions.

To me, these chapters can serve as a handbook from Moroni on “How to Never Be Alone”. This man knows what it is like to be alone! He has been alone for a loooong time (it appears to be about 20 years). During that time long time alone he has protected the plates and added to them.

Now I know that Moroni’s intent in writing these chapters is not to be a handbook for how to never be alone. All I am doing is “likening” what is found in these chapters to things that the Lord has given us to help us never feel alone… even when we are.

Once again, in the spirit of discovery and seeking learning by faith, I invite you to study what is found in Moroni 1-7 and find what can help you to understand that you never have to feel alone when you live the gospel. This time you really will have to be like Oliver Cowdery, because there will be no supporting document to show you the right answers. You can do it! “Rely upon the things which are written,” and find what the Lord has given you in these chapters so that you never have to feel alone.

Please leave your thoughts about a special verse, teaching, etc. that you enjoyed at one of the following:

REPLY at the bottom of each post at: bookofmormontranslationchallenge.wordpress.com
LIKE our Facebook page and post at: facebook.com/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
JOIN our Facebook group and share at: facebook.com/groups/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
TWITTER and INSTAGRAM users can use #bomtc for related posts: twitter.com/brosimonsays | instagram.com/brosimonsays


#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:

 


#BOMTC, President Monson’s Answer to: “Why Should I Read the Book of Mormon?”

"If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it."

“If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it.” ~ President Thomas S. Monson

In the April 2011 General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson said:

“If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it. I will not ask for a show of hands. If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study.

Now, for those who have read the Book of Mormon, this invitation from Elder Gerrit W. Gong was given to you during our most recent General Conference:

“Please, open your heart to the Book of Mormon, again, for the first time.”

– Elder Gerrit W. Gong

With the anniversary of the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6th (tomorrow), we also have the opportunity to remember another important anniversary that was the prelude to the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ.

On September 22, 1828, following the loss of the 116 page translation of the Book of Lehi, the plates and translation tools were returned to Joseph Smith, and during that winter he translated “a few more pages” (D&C 5:30). The work progressed slowly until April 5, 1829, when Oliver Cowdery, a school teacher, arrived in Harmony, Pennsylvania and offered his scribal services to Joseph. Two days later-April 7, 1829-he commenced to write for Joseph.  Virtually all of the current text of the Book of Mormon was translated between April 7 and the last week of June, 1829.

The King James Version of the Bible was produced by 50 English scholars who accomplished their work in seven years, translating at the rate of one page per day. In contrast, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon at the rate of about 10 pages per day (After subtracting the time spent on other tasks, translation time available was about 55 days).

As I realized this a few years ago, I gave myself a challenge. I called it the “Book of Mormon Translation Challenge” (#BOMTC). The challenge is to read the entire Book of Mormon during the same basic time period that it took Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to translate it–beginning April 7 and ending June 30 (I start on April 6 by reading the introduction pages and remembering the restoration of the Church, D&C 20:1: 21:3).

I encourage those who want to complete the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge and are already reading the Book of Mormon to continue where you are currently reading and cycle back to the current location (i.e. If I were in Mosiah 1, then I would just begin The Translation Challenge at Mosiah 1 on April 7 and on/before June 30 read Words of Mormon)

Elder David A. Bednar taught that we should be reading the Book of Mormon and discussing it with our children. What a great opportunity to set the example for our children and share our testimony with them. As they see us sacrifice sleep and diversion to read the Book of Mormon, our children will believe our words as they see our actions.

It wasn’t easy for Joseph to translate on such a strict schedule and you will probably find it difficult to read on that schedule, but I want to invite you to accept this 85 day challenge to study the Book of Mormon. I have been blessed each time that I have read the Book of Mormon. There is something to be learned by both a slow study of the Book of Mormon as well as a quick careful reading. Each serves a purpose, and each will bring blessings.

I invite you to claim these blessings in your life by accepting the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge! Elder Russell M. Nelson, referring to the time that it took to translate the Book of Mormon, said:

Many of us feel good if we can read the book in that time”.

I know you will indeed “feel good”, especially if this is your first experience reading the entire Book of Mormon. Challenge yourself and bless your life!

DON’T FORGET TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS…

Please leave your thoughts about a special verse, teaching, etc. that you enjoyed at one of the following:
REPLY at the bottom of each post at: bookofmormontranslationchallenge.wordpress.com
LIKE our Facebook page and post at: facebook.com/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
JOIN our Facebook group and share at: facebook.com/groups/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
TWITTER and INSTAGRAM users can use #bomtc for related posts: twitter.com/brosimonsays | instagram.com/brosimonsays

Please, open your heart to the Book of Mormon, again, for the first time. --Elder Gerrit W. Gong

Please, open your heart to the Book of Mormon, again, for the first time. –Elder Gerrit W. Gong


#BOMTC April 5th, Oliver Cowdery Meets Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery Translating the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery Translating the Book of Mormon

Did you know that Oliver Cowdery met Joseph Smith just two days before they began the translation process together? Well, read on!

Joseph Smith faced an important year in 1829. At the end of 1828, after the loss of the 116 manuscript pages, the angel Moroni returned the plates and the Urim and Thummim and promised a new scribe to assist in the translation.

In the spring of 1829, the Prophet Joseph Smith felt a sense of urgency about the translation of the Book of Mormon, but he found his time to translate severely limited because of the need to work to support his family. And although Joseph’s wife Emma and his brother Samuel had helped by acting as scribes at times, they could not do this full time. Joseph prayed that the Lord would send someone who could assist him in the work of translation.

In response to Joseph’s prayer the Lord fulfilled His promise (D&C 5:34). On Sunday, April 5, 1829 (“Near the time of the setting of the Sun”) Oliver Cowdery arrived in Harmony, Pennsylvania and met Joseph Smith.

Upon meeting Oliver, Joseph recognized him as the assistance the Lord had promised, and they discussed Joseph’s experiences until late that evening. The next day (April 6th) they attended to some business, and on Tuesday, 7 April, they began the work of translating the Book of Mormon–just 2 days after meeting!

Joseph and Oliver finished the translation of the Book of Mormon by June 30, 1829–just 85 days after begining! And that is the basis of the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge; you and I will try to read the entire Book of Mormon from April 7-June 30.

Remember, you don’t have to start over at the beginning of the Book of Mormon to take advantage of this challenge. Simply continue where you are currently reading and cycle through the entire Book of Mormon until you finish on (or before) June 30.

Please JOIN and SHARE this challenge with others by visiting our Facebook events page: https://www.facebook.com/events/978173738902991/

For a great article explaining why many LDS painting depict church history events differently, like the translation process, please see Dr. Anthony Sweat’s insightful article, “BY THE GIFT AND POWER OF ART“.

For greater details of the events mentioned in this blog post, please see CHURCH HISTORY IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES STUDENT MANUALCHAPTER FIVE: COMING FORTH OF THE BOOK OF MORMON AND RESTORATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD.

Leave your thoughts about what you enjoyed at one of the following:
REPLY at the bottom of each post at: bookofmormontranslationchallenge.wordpress.com
LIKE our Facebook page and post at: facebook.com/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
JOIN our Facebook group and share at: facebook.com/groups/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
TWITTER and INSTAGRAM users can use #bomtc for related posts: twitter.com/brosimonsays | instagram.com/brosimonsays


#BOMTC Welcome to the 2016 Book of Mormon Translation Challenge!

Welcome to the 2016 Book of Mormon Translation Challenge!

Most of the Book of Mormon was translated from April 7 to June 30, 1829. Do you have what it takes to read it in that amount of time?

I have divided each of my blog posts into groups of pages that one can read each day in order to finish the Book of Mormon in the same time period that it took the Prophet Joseph Smith and his main scribe, Oliver Cowdery, to complete the translation.  You can CLICK HERE for a copy of the bookmark that I have created to help people stay up to date on their reading.

I have also created a Google calendar that you can import into your digital planner to help you to complete your daily study. Just click on the +GOOGLE CALENDAR button at the bottom-right corner of the calendar to add it to your schedule.

I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is a TRUE book of scripture from God.  It is Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  My testimony of Him grows each year that I complete the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge–that is why I do it year after year.  I hope you will take the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge this year!

CLICK HERE to request a FREE copy of The Book of Mormon

PDF Bookmark for The Book of Mormon Translation Challenge

PRINTABLE bookmark to help you keep pace! Print front-to-back for 4 copies/sheet.

DON’T FORGET TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS…

Please leave your thoughts about a special verse, teaching, etc. that you enjoyed at one of the following:
REPLY at the bottom of each post at: bookofmormontranslationchallenge.wordpress.com
LIKE our Facebook page and post at: facebook.com/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
JOIN our Facebook group and share at: facebook.com/groups/BookOfMormonTranslationChallenge
TWITTER and INSTAGRAM users can use #bomtc for related posts: twitter.com/brosimonsays | instagram.com/brosimonsays


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