Monday, July 9, 2012

Interesting Take on Translating

A quote from Joseph Fielding Smith about Joseph Smith:

After the Prophet received the record, the Urim and Thummim and breastplate, he did not commence to translate immediately. In fact, this he could not have done. In the first place he discovered that the translation of the record had to be studied out. It was similar to any other kind of skill, it took study and practice. It was not a matter of sitting down and having the translation of the characters appear to him like looking at a picture screen. It required deep and sincere faith and a contrite spirit. Just as well might one expect to play a musical instrument without practice, or to accomplish another difficult task. Therefore in seclusion, such as he could obtain, he worked over his problem and gradually the light dawned and the skill came so that he could say after the task was finished: "I translated the Book of Mormon by the Gift and Power of God."

"Church History and Modern Revelation," Melchizedek Priesthood Manual (1947), p. 19.

This is particularly striking after I just read Moroni 10, where we are told that all have gifts of the Spirit given to them, but also that we should strive to lay hold upon every good gift. Such gifts don't come or stay with out an effort to receive them.

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