Source:Echoes:Ch12:21:Emma Smith on the translation

Emma Smith on the translation

Emma Smith on the translation

In the latter part of 1827 and the early part of 1828, when the book of Lehi was being translated and Emma was acting as scribe, Joseph translated a passage describing Jerusalem as a walled city and stopped to ask Emma if Jerusalem indeed had walls. In 1856 Emma recalled this incident (which, incidentally, reflects how poorly equipped educationally Joseph Smith was to produce the Book of Mormon on his own):

When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote a part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word, and when he came to proper names he could not pronounce, or long words, he spelled them out, and while I was writing them, if I made any mistake in spelling, he would stop me and correct my spelling, although it was impossible for him to see how I was writing them down at the time. Even the word Sarah [sic!] he could not pronounce at first, but had to spell it, and I would pronounce it for him. When he stopped for any purpose at any time he would, when he commenced again, begin where he left off without any hesitation.[1]


  1. Stephen D. Ricks, "Converging Paths: Language and Cultural Notes on the Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 12, references silently removed—consult original for citations.