First Edition Spanish Book of Mormon (1886)
With the prevalence today of Spanish-speaking members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many are surprised to hear that the Church did not have a large presence in Latin America or among Spanish speakers until the late 19th century. Among foreign language editions of the Book of Mormon, Spanish (1886) ranks as 10th, behind English (1830), Danish (1851), French (1852), Welsh (1852), German (1852), Italian (1852), Hawaiian (1855), Deseret Alphabet-English (1869), and Swedish (1878).
Recently the LDS Church History Department produced and posted a video on their website titled “Unto the Least of These: Olivas Aoy’s School.” While not listed as a translator in the first edition Spanish Book of Mormon, Olivas Vila Aoy heavily influenced its production. For this video the Church used the L. Tom Perry Special Collections’ copy of the 1886 1st edition Spanish Book of Mormon for several scenes, including those where the actor portraying Aoy is holding and reading the book. Watch the video and see if you can catch those scenes! The site also includes a link to a great article by Matthew McBride on Aoy’s connection with the Book of Mormon.