Gospel Living

She helped translate the Book of Mormon into Thai!

03/14/24 | 2 min read
Here’s Srilaksana’s remarkable story.

Can you imagine growing up in the same household as a queen? Because Srilaksana lived with the queen of Thailand as a child, she was taught both Thai and English. Little did she know that this skill would one day enable her to help change the lives of many people!

In 1970, when the Church was ready to translate the Book of Mormon into Thai, they invited Srilaksana to join the translation committee. She had been the first convert to the Church in Thailand. Even though her family had disowned her for her choice to be baptized, she was determined to live and act in faith.

Soon Srilaksana became the head translator!

It was clear that Satan did not want the Book of Mormon translated. Srilaksana experienced opposition of every kind.

“It was as if someone I couldn’t see was trying to pull me away [from the project],” she said. “I had hard problems with family and health every inch of the way.”

She even had interactions with evil spirits like the experience Joseph Smith had in the Sacred Grove! But Srilaksana didn’t let any of that scare her away. Like Joseph, she relied on the Savior to protect her and guide the work of translation. She knew He wanted the people of Thailand to have the scriptures in their own language.

One big problem she faced was finding the right Thai words to represent many Christian words. Especially “priesthood.” She pondered, fasted, and prayed over this specific word for a full year but could not find a way to translate it accurately.

“Oh, help me,” she prayed again. “Help me to solve this word.” She later recalled, “I looked up at the ceiling in my room, and I saw a hand, writing Thai letters. I knew immediately that this was the word for priesthood.”

Later, she searched for the word only to discover that it was not in any Thai dictionary!

Today there are more than 23,400 members of the Church of Jesus Christ in Thailand who can trace their knowledge of the gospel to Srilaksana’s translation of the Book of Mormon.

Stay tuned for more stories about faithful women this month, as we celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) and the anniversary of the Relief Society (March 17)!

To Think About

What’s a skill you’re developing now that might enable you to help people in the future, like Srilaksana did?