December, 7, 2012

The Gift of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues

The Lord promised in D&C 90:11 “Every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power.”

At 19 years old, Alma O. Taylor was among the first LDS missionaries called to Japan. Elder Heber J. Grant told Alma that he “would be the main instrument in the hands of the Lord in translating the Book of Mormon into the Japanese language.”[1]

The gravity of such a task made him “fear and tremble from head to toe.” Humbled by his assignment, Alma first and foremost asked the Lord for help. He also sought the help of a famous Japanese novelist to deliver the work in correct literary format.[2]

In his missionary journal, Alma reflected his constant prayer and supplication concerning translating the Book of Mormon. On one account, while his mission president testified of the Lord’s will to strengthen and help his servant with the translation, Alma said, “I say when Pres. [Horace S.] E[nsign]. said these things my heart fairly leaped within me, for I knew God had heard me when I went alone in a fasting condition before Him and supplicated Him with all my soul in behalf of the B[ook]. of M[ormon].”[3] (Neilson, The Japanese Missionary Journals of Elder Alma O. Taylor, 194).

Alma O. Taylor spent nearly nine years in Japan proselyting, strengthening, learning and translating. His tenacity is an example to all of us!

[1] Education in Zion Gallery text panel.

[2] Education in Zion Gallery text panel.

[3] Reid L. Neilson, The Japanese Missionary Journals of Elder Alma O. Taylor (Provo, Ut.: BYU Studies, 2001), 194.