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 I speak unto you, Joseph, my last born. Thou wast born in the wilderness of mine afflictions; yea, in the days of my greatest sorrow, did thy mother bear thee. And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel. And now, Joseph, my last born, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions, may the Lord bless thee forever, for thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed. For behold, thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph, which was carried captive into Egypt. And great was the covenants of the Lord, which he made unto Joseph; wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins, the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the House of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off; nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord, that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light; yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom. For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, which shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Yea, Joseph truly said, thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers. And I will give unto him a commandment, that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes: for he shall do my work. And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my [p. 66]