The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi; NY: Joseph Smith Jr., 1830; [i]– pp.; includes typeset signature marks and copyright notice. The copy presented here is held at CHL; includes pasted newspaper clippings, bookplate, selling price and signature of former owner, and library markings.
This book was printed on thirty-seven sheets and folded into thirty-seven gatherings of eight leaves each, making a text block of 592 pages. The last printed leaf—bearing the signed statements of witnesses—is not numbered. The book includes two blank front flyleaves and two blank back flyleaves (other copies have three back flyleaves). The pages of the book measure 7¼ × 4⅝ inches (18 × 12 cm).
The book is bound in brown calfskin, with a black label on the spine: “BOOK OF | MORMON”. The spine also bears seven double-bands in gilt. The book measures 7½ × 4¾ × 1¾ inches (19 × 12 × 4 cm). To the inside front cover are affixed four clippings of descriptions of different versions of first edition copies of the Book of Mormon and of an 1854 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, along with a clipping describing the origin of the text of the Book of Mormon and a bookplate of the “Shepard Book Company” of Salt Lake City, Utah. There is also a pencil notation: “CEEY- | asxx”. The recto of the first front flyleaf bears one clipping describing a first edition Book of Mormon for sale and several notations in pencil: “1st Edition” and “$50.00 | BS KN”. Pencil notation on verso of first flyleaf: “1st Edition” and “M222.1 | B724 | 1830 | #8”. Pen notation on recto of second front flyleaf: “James H Moyle | March 22 1906”. The page edges are decorated with a light blue speckled stain.
The price notation inscribed in the front of the book suggests that the book was sold. It is uncertain when this volume was placed in the care of the Church Historian’s Office.
And now, as I said unto you, that after king Mosiah had done these things, he took the plates of brass, and all the things which he had kept, and conferred them upon Alma, which was the son of Alma; yea, all the records, and also the interpreters, and conferred them upon him, and commanding him that he should keep and preserve them, and also keep a record of the people, handing them down from one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. Now when Mosiah had done this, he sent out throughout all the land, among all the people, desiring to know their will concerning who should be their king. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: We are desirous that Aaron, thy son, should be our king, and our ruler. Now Aaron had gone up to the land of Nephi, therefore the king could not confer the kingdom upon him; neither would Aaron take upon him the kingdom; neither was any of the sons of Mosiah willing to take upon them the kingdom; therefore king Mosiah sent again among the people, yea, even a written word sent he among the people. And these were the words that were written, saying: Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren, for I esteem you as such; for I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider; for ye are desirous to have a king. Now I declare unto you, that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong, hath declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom. And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you; and who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry, and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you; which would be the cause of shedding much blood, and perverting the way of the Lord; yea, and destroy the souls of much people. Now I say unto you, let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another, if he should be appointed in his stead. And if my son should turn again to his pride and vain things, he would recall the things which he had said, and claim his right to the kingdom, which would cause him and also this people to commit much sin. And now let us be wise, and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people. Therefore I will be your king [p. 217]