Almost 185 years after the first pages of the Book of Mormon were printed on E. B. Grandin’s press in Palmyra, New York, the 110th translation of the Book of Mormon was published online.
The First Presidency announced March 18 the publication of the Kosraean Book of Mormon — the first book of scripture available in that language — on LDS.org and the Gospel Library. Printed copies will be available in July. Kosrae is an island in the Federated States of Micronesia.
In the past, the Church released printed versions of new translations before the digital versions. Now the Church is releasing the digital versions at the same time translations are sent to the printer, which makes the newly translated scriptures available to members much earlier.
According to the Church’s Scriptures Committee — chaired by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — members can look forward to several exciting developments regarding the standard works this year.
“The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are committed to providing, promoting, and preserving the scriptures for members throughout the world in their native languages. Scripture coordinators, translators, reviewers and printers are working diligently each day to accomplish that goal,” said Elder Larry R. Lawrence of the Seventy and a member of the Scriptures Committee.
New translations of standard works
In addition to Kosraean, several new translations of the scriptures will be announced over the next two years. Three new translations of the Book of Mormon and five additional translations of the triple combination of the scriptures will be published in 2015.
Updates to existing translations
In 2013, the Church released an updated edition of the standard works in English. Now most of those same updates are being made to most existing translations of the standard works, as well as other needed corrections and revisions.
The updated translations will also reflect the updated style and layout of the 2013 English edition. Details of the changes will be made available in each language as the new edition of scriptures is released on scriptures.lds.org.
Over the next 18 months members may also notice updates to the layout and design when studying the standard works on LDS.org in all languages. These updates are meant to make the digital scriptures more personal, more user friendly, and to provide a deeper study experience.
Most printed versions of new and updated translations of the triple combination will be available in the new soft and supple black simulated leather cover introduced in 2013, in addition to the hard or soft covers.
More languages available digitally
Many scripture translations are available online only as PDFs. The Church has been updating its translation databases to enable digital publishing to LDS.org, as well as the Gospel Library and Book of Mormon mobile applications, which allows members to use search, notes, highlights, and other helpful study tools and scripture-marking features.
Local members will be informed as these digital versions are published. Members speaking Chinese (simplified characters), Setswana, Bislama, and Hiligaynon were the first to see these digital versions. The goal of the Scriptures Committee is to have most of the existing translations available on LDS.org by the end of 2016.
“We encourage members to obtain their own copies of the scriptures and to use them in regular personal and family study and in Church meetings and assignments,” the First Presidency wrote in a letter announcing the Kosraean Book of Mormon. “As members prayerfully learn and teach from the scriptures, their testimonies will grow and they will receive greater direction in their daily lives.”