Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship



Book of Mormon translation, L. Tom Perry, Joseph Smith, Martin Harris, church history


In his address to the friends and supporters of FARMS at the Foundation's 1995 annual banquet, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve expressed his interest in the human chemistry found in organizations and examined the early history of the Church from this perspective. He spoke of the challenges that Joseph Smith faced as a young husband with a skeptical father-in-law who thought Joseph should be doing something more productive than sitting around the house translating golden plates. He reflected on the challenges that Martin Harris faced in helping to finance the work on the Book of Mormon; the sadness that accompanied the loss of the manuscript and the consequent removal of the plates for a time; Oliver Cowdery's excitement over helping with the translation, as the Lord provided a scribe; and the miraculous speed of the translation, compared to the time required for the translation of other works of scripture, such as the King James Version of the Bible.