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January, 18, 2013

Ka Buke a Moramona: The translation of the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian

The Translation of the Book of Mormon into other languages is an important aspect of the gospel and of the Education in Zion Gallery.  Like other translations, the Hawaiian translation of the Book of Mormon was vital in spreading the gospel and connecting missionaries with the Hawaiian people.

When he arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1850, George Q. Cannon noticed the missionaries were focusing their teaching efforts on English-speaking-white inhabitants because the missionaries didn’t know the Hawaiian language. However, Elder Cannon wished to work among the native inhabitants and “felt that [he] could not do otherwise and be free from condemnation.” [1] Because of his desire to teach the native inhabitants about Christ, Elder Cannon made it a goal to translate the Book of Mormon. With the help of Jonathan Napela, the first native Hawaiian to receive his temple endowment, Elder Cannon was able to see this dream realized. [2]

For the Hawaiian members to have a copy of the newly translated Book of Mormon, Elder Cannon published the book on a press purchased with donations from the Hawaiian Saints. [3] When finally printed and distributed, most of the copies of the Book of Mormon were left unbound to keep them affordable. [4]

Throughout the world, the gospel has been spread through the knowledge of other languages and cultures, some of which are featured in the Education in Zion Gallery. Innumerable lives and generations continue to be blessed through the diligence and love of others.

Suggested Links:

The Education in Zion gallery’s online text and documents:

http://lib.byu.edu/sites/education

inzion/resources/online-database/

George Q. Cannon’s Biography:

https://byustudies.byu.edu/showtitle.aspx?title=6681

Footnotes:


[1] George Q. Cannon, My First Mission, 2nd ed., Faith-Promoting Series 1 (Salt Lake City:Juvenile Instructor, 1882), 22.


[2] See David J. Whittaker, “Placing the Keystone: George Q. Cannon’s Mission of Translating 
and Printing the Book of Mormon in the Hawaiian Language” in Revelation, Reason, and Faith: Essays in Honor of Truman G. Madsen, eds. Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and Stephen D. Ricks. (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) 499-541. Ordinance Index, online at  www. familysearch.org (accessed June 11, 2008). See also Fred E.Woods, “An Islander’s View of a Desert Kingdom: Jonathan Napela Recounts His 1869 Visit to Salt Lake City”, BYU Studies 45, no. 1 (2006): 23–26, 29.

[3] George Q. Cannon, My First Mission, 2nd ed., Faith-Promoting Series 1 (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor, 1882), 72.

[4] See David J. Whittaker, “Placing the Keystone: George Q. Cannon’s Mission of Translating and Printing the Book of Mormon in the Hawaiian Language” in Revelation, Reason, and Faith Essays in Honor of Truman G. Madsen, eds. Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and Stephen D. Ricks. (Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) 499-541.