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  • The first work on the Book of Mormon's translation took place in Harmony, Pennsylvania in the spring of 1828.

  • Joseph Smith's primary scribes were his wife Emma Smith and his close friend Martin Harris.

  • During this time,

  • Martin badgered Joseph with requests

  • to allow him to show the translation manuscript to his wife and other close friends.

  • The Lord initially forbade them to share the manuscript, but after Joseph's third request,

  • the Lord finally allowed Joseph to give Martin permission,

  • but commanded that he show them to only four specific people.

  • After some time with no word from Martin,

  • Joseph felt urged to visit him about the manuscript.

  • To Joseph's horror,

  • he discovered that, despite Martin's commitment to keep it safe,

  • he had lost the manuscript.

  • Joseph was commanded by the Lord to repent

  • and promised that if he would humble himself, the work of translation could again resume.

  • Thankfully, Joseph and Martin did humble themselves and the work continued not long after.

  • Some time later, Oliver Cowdery took over as scribe and worked with Joseph to complete the translation.

  • Toward the end of the translation, after heartfelt prayer and humble repentance,

  • Martin became one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon.

  • He beheld an angel displaying the plates and other ancient objects in a glorious vision.

  • Both Joseph Smith and Martin Harris learned many important principles about repentance

  • with the episode involving the loss of the 116 pages.

  • They learned that sinful actions sometimes have dramatic and enduring consequences,

  • bearing the full weight of agency and accountability.

  • They also gained a testimony that repentance is always possible,

  • through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  • Although they had transgressed the Lord's commandments,

  • they were nevertheless allowed to return to their sacred calling

  • of bringing forth the Book of Mormon after heartfelt repentance.

  • The example of Joseph and Martin in the outcome of the loss of the 116 pages

  • teaches, as President Dallin H. Oaks has promised, that

  • Past sins and transgressions, when properly repented of,

  • will not bar us from experiencing even very profound divine manifestations.

  • We may not all behold visions or angelic visitations as Joseph and Martin did,

  • but we may still experience manifestations of God's love

  • and feel the abundant joy of the full influence of the Holy Ghost

  • and the testimony of God's beloved Son.

  • And now you knowhy

The first work on the Book of Mormon's translation took place in Harmony, Pennsylvania in the spring of 1828.

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