Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


In the year 1850, Elder Lorenzo Snow of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles arrived in Italy as a missionary. He and his companions spent much of their time with a Waldensian community. Elder Snow soon began sending missionaries to Switzerland to preach the gospel to French speakers there and began publishing church materials into French. The new materials caused a lot of opposition from Swiss Protestants and Italian Catholics. Elder Snow then went to England, where he solicited the help of an anonymous translator, and together they completed the translation of the Book of Mormon into Italian. Elder Snow returned to Italy soon after, bringing copies of Il Libro di Mormon with him, but he and the other missionaries did not find much success. Because of the influence of the Catholic Church on the government, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was not given much freedom in their preaching. Il Libro di Mormon similarly did not significantly help the missionary work. Almost all the Italian converts to the church were French-speaking Waldensians. Because of the lack of progress, the Italian mission was closed in 1867 and not reopened until a century later, in 1966.