A Book of Mormon milestone was reached recently when the 100 millionth copy was printed.
At year-end 1999, about 99.2 million copies had been distributed, and the books are sent out at the rate of about 15,000 a day, according to Kay W. Briggs, director of printing and distribution services. So at that rate, the date for reaching 100 million was estimated to be during late February or early March.According to Historical Department estimates, some 27.2 million copies were printed between 1830 and 1981. The estimate is based on historical research of all language editions during 151 years, said Brother Briggs. He said that in 2000, the Church has also reached the 100th language milestone. Seven of the languages are no longer in print. Currently, selections of the Book of Mormon are available in 40 languages and copies of the full book are available in 53 languages.
The first edition was printed in 1830 in Palmyra, N.Y., and was followed by editions printed in Europe. Most of the books since have been printed in the United States and distributed among English speaking people. A significant number, however, have been distributed in the Spanish language, including almost 1.5 million in 1999. Other languages include such African tongues as Efik, Lingala, Shona and Urdu, and languages of Mexico and Central America such as Tzotzil, Mam and Kekchi. Several of the languages are from the Philippines, such as Tagalog, Ilokano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray and Pangasinan. The list of translations also includes such major languages as Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Hindi. Among the most recent is Malagasy, which was completed just this year.
The greatest period of translation occurred between 1979-89 when the book was translated and published in 53 languages.
In the 1990s, an average of about 5 million books were published and distributed annually.