Book of Mormon Publication

From the time Joseph received the gold plates to the time the plates were completely translated was a period of nearly three years.  Much of that time, however, was spent hiding the plates from thieves and running from persecutions.  Not to mention the period of time following the loss of the first 116 pages of manuscript in which the Lord took away the power to translate from Joseph for a time.  It wasn’t until the beginning of April in the year 1829 that the work of translation began moving forward.

Throughout the time spent working on the plates Joseph had many people as scribe, including:  John Whitmer, Martin Harris, Emma Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams.  But it the gist of the scribe work was performed by the hand of Oliver Cowdery, who arrived at the household of Joseph Smith on April 5th of 1829.  It was only three months later that the unsealed portions of the plates had been completely translated and awaited publication as the Book of Mormon.

The Smith family was not a wealthy family, and so in order to gain enough money to print and publish the Book of Mormon a lot of work had to be done.  Members of the family found whatever extra odd jobs they could to raise money.  As Joseph Smith Jr. was receiving more persecutions than ever, it became hard for him to find someone that would hire him and so raising money for publication became an even harder task.  Best friend to the family, Orrin Porter Rockwell, found whatever work he could around town as well to help support the prophet in bringing forth the book.

Nearly one year later there was still not enough money to pay the publisher to print the Book of Mormon, and so the Lord issued forth the following commandment through Joseph Smith to Martin Harris:
“And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God. …Impart a portion of thy property, yea, even part of thy lands, and all save the support of thy family.  Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer.” (D&C 19:26,34-35)
As commanded, Brother Harris mortgaged his farm and gave all the money to Joseph so that the Book of Mormon could come forth.


Additional Reading:
Doctrine and Covenants
Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon