Elder Nelson's Neighbor Translated Book of Mormon and Converts

MYTH: Elder Nelson’s neighbor was converted by Book of Mormon


This myth was circulated through an email message, entitled "Reflections of Sami Hanna”, and was passed around by many LDS members.

It claims to be a first-hand account written by Elder Nelson of his native-Egyptian neighbor who was asked to translate the Book of Mormon into Arabic. During the process of translation Hanna was converted to the Church because he believed that no American could have written the profound internal evidences he discovered within the book.

This account is only partially true. While Elder Nelson did have a neighbor named Sami Hanna who did translate the Book of Mormon and was converted to the Church as a result, according to Elder Nelson’s office in Salt Lake, he did not write this account. Furthermore, additional details within the story itself have been found to be false, such as the account’s claim that the “original language of the book” was Arabic. (The Book of Mormon claims to have been written in a reformed Egyptian.)

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