Study aids enhance Spanish scriptures

" . . . My scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety. And I give unto you a commandment that . . . ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people." - D&C 42:56,58.

In following the Lord's admonition to take the scriptures to "all nations [andT tongues," the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have directed the publication of a new Spanish edition of the triple combination of the scriptures - to be available about the third week of December.This new triple combination includes a Spanish edition of the Book of Mormon with the LDS footnotes and cross references. This edition was first published in December 1992, and now nearly 500,000 copies have been distributed throughout the world. Nearly the same number of the Spanish edition of the triple combination is expected to be printed.

In addition to the Book of Mormon, the new Spanish edition of the triple combination of the scriptures includes the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price - also with LDS footnotes - and a Guide to the Scriptures.

The Guide to the Scriptures contains approximately 260 pages of about 1,000 of the most useful, important and relevant topics selected from the 1,225 pages of study aids found in the English version of the LDS standard works. Each listed alphabetically contains a brief description of the person, place, principle, etc., plus a listing of substantive scriptural references.

Developed under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve for all non-English versions of the scriptures, this new guide replaces the Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide found in the English editions of the scriptures. It cross-references latter-day scriptures with the Bible, contains excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and includes eight Bible maps and four Church history maps with supporting gazetteers.

The Church has not published a non-English LDS edition of Bible, so it was important to include some of the Church's Bible maps in the Spanish triple combination, explained the Church's Scriptures Committee. This committee coordinates publication of LDS scripture under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

Also included in the new Spanish edition of the triple combination are the introductions to the three books of scripture, as found in the current English edition, and a new 16-page color section of 32 pictures of important scriptural sites, beginning with the Nile River and ending with the Salt Lake Temple. The pictures are preceded by a description of each site, as well as significant scriptural references.

The new triple combination of the scriptures is the second published in the Spanish language. The first was in 1980, before the Church published the 1981 English edition of the triple combination, which included enhanced study aids.

In his April 1984 general conference address, President Ezra Taft Benson called the publication of the new LDS standard works with their study aids "one of the most significant happenings in recent Church history."

Publication of the triple combination of the scriptures in Spanish with the new study aids was a formidable task. According to the Scriptures Committee, the first step in the translation process was preparing a translators document. (See Feb. 8, 1992, Church News for more information on the translation process and how LDS scriptures are taken to the world.)

One of the main tasks in preparing this document was going through - topic by topic - the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary in the LDS edition of the Bible, and the topical index in the English triple combination of the scriptures to select entries for the Guide to the Scriptures.

The resulting guide is annotated and is concept-oriented, as is the footnote system. For example, Alma 37:37 is listed under "Prayer," although the word "prayer" does not appear in that verse.

Once the translators document was prepared, the translation and review processes were accomplished by several committees. The focus of these reviews were to check carefully for any differences of meaning between English and Spanish words or phrases to ensure that all doctrines were communicated correctly and clearly with appropriate dignified language.

In addition, the review committees ensured that the translated scriptures reflected the Hebraic elements found in the English edition of the Book of Mormon. For example, in 1 Ne. 3:2; and 8:2, Lehi states, "I have dreamed a dream." In Spanish, it is not considered good style to repeat two word forms of the same origin so close to each other. However, according to the Scriptures Committee, this is a significant Hebraic speech pattern and, thus, was preserved in the translation process.

Once the translation process was complete, the new triple combination was graphically prepared and typeset. Printing films were then developed for distribution to publishing facilities in various locations.

Although there are many challenges to translating LDS scriptures into non-English languages, those involved in this process expressed sincere gratitude for the Lord's help and guidance.

One member of a review committee related: "Sometimes we had to stop because the Spirit was so strong. We were crying. It was so beautiful."

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