News Release

Greater Access to the Word of God in Malaysia

In mid-March, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received news that additional scripture had been translated into a main dialect of Malay and was available in digital format. The Church recognizes the Bible as the word of God. Additional recognized scripture includes: The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. These last three make up what is known as the Triple Combination because they are frequently published in a combined book.


Eder Wong, the main translator who participated in the project said, “The number of Malay speaking members has increased in East Malaysia. Teachers serving in the Church there have been learning Malay to be more effective in helping people understand the Gospel.”

The Church process of preparing Gospel manuals and scriptures is uniform and careful. First, an existing Bible translation is selected for Church use. Then, basic manuals and a web page of are prepared. New scripture translation is requested by the area Church leadership when the number of members who speak the language is growing and the basic Church curriculum has been translated into the language. The request is reviewed by Church headquarters committees and approved by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

The process began over ten years ago in Malaysia. Once approved, the Translation division begins to search for local individuals as candidates for the translation effort. Translators are mature Church members, have language skills with Malay and English and are active in the Church. They utilize textual, and digital tools to assist them in their work and are supervised by a Church headquarters translation individual. Malay translators are compensated financially because of the time required.

In addition, there are other local individuals who evaluate the translation to make sure it is correct and captures the meaning of the scriptures. Eder Wong called “this team . . . the eyes and ears of members of the Church.” A group of three to five men and women who are local ecclesiastical leaders are called and set apart to help review the translation for readability and doctrinal accuracy. They prayerfully review the translations. Wording changes are not made until the committee unanimously agrees and the changes are in harmony with the translation guide. Local Church members also review the translation. They give feedback on the clarity and appropriateness of the wording. Clarity of translation ensures that the Holy Ghost can bear witness of the teachings.

Eder Wong offered his witness of the spiritual nature of this project: “I had several opportunities to attend gospel classes in several Church congregations in East Malaysia. When the members use the Malay scriptural terms in gospel classes, I received spiritual confirmations that those terms are correct. I received further enlightenment on the meaning of those terms and the scriptures that contain them.”

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