Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first organized in the year 1830, the Book of Mormon had been published in only one language: English. But the church was growing quickly and spreading to other parts of the world. One of the first publications of the Book of Mormon in another language was in French. This article gives an account of the French translation from 1850 to 1852, when Elder John Taylor, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, presided over a newly opened mission in France. Elder Taylor oversaw the translation process, which was done primarily by recent French converts Mr. Wilhelm and Louis Bertrand and one of Elder Taylor’s counselors, Elder Curtis E. Bolton. While these men were translating, Paris was in the midst of political unrest and was wary of unfamiliar social, political, and religious organizations. In fact, both Elder Taylor and Brother Bertrand had to hide from government officials. Despite all the complications that came about during this process, the work was ultimately a success.