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TitleThe Language of the Book of Mormon
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1960
AuthorsBarker, James L.
MagazineImprovement Era
Issue Number6
Pagination388–389, 444, 446, 450–454
Date PublishedJune 1960
KeywordsBook of Mormon Translation; Characters; Gold Plates; Language - Reformed Egyptian; Writing System

This article states that English, the language of translation employed by Joseph Smith, retains the original thought, personal writing styles, distinctive patterns, and unique phraseology belonging to each of the ancient writers and prophets of the Book of Mormon. Barker also discusses the language of the gold plates, which has been described as being a combination of the “learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 12), and as “reformed Egyptian” (Mormon 9:32). Too little is known about the characters of reformed Egyptian, which had been “altered” by the Nephites (Mormon 9:32).