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.
hath brought forth much evil fruit; and because that it hath brought forth so much evil fruit, thou beholdest that it begineth to perish: and it will soon become ripened, that it may be cast into the fire, except we should do something for it to preserve it.
And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sayeth unto his servant, Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches have also brought forth evil fruit. And it came to pass that they went down into the nethermost parts of the vineyard. And it came to pass that they beheld that the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea, the first, and the second, and also the last; and they had all become corrupt. And the wild fruit of the last, had overcome that part of the tree which brought forth good fruit, even that the branch had withered away and died.
And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and sayeth unto the servant, What could I have done more for my vineyard? Behold, I knew that all the fruit of the vineyard, save it were these, had become corrupted. And now, these which have once brought forth good fruit, have also become corrupted. And now, all the trees of my vineyard are good for nothing, save it be to be hewn down and cast into the fire. And behold, this last, whose branch hath withered away, I did plant in a good spot of ground; yea, even that which was choice unto me, above all other parts of the land of my vineyard. And thou beheldest that I also cut down that which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the stead thereof. And thou beheldest that a part thereof, brought forth good fruit; and a part thereof, brought forth wild fruit. And because that I plucked not the branches thereof, and cast them into the fire, behold, they have overcome the good branch, that it hath withered away. And now behold, notwithstanding all the care which we have taken of my vineyard, the trees thereof hath become corrupted, that they bring forth no good fruit; and these I had hope to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof, against the season, unto mine own self. But behold, they have become like unto the wild olive tree; and they are of no worth, but to be hewn down and cast into the fire: and it grieveth me that I should lose them. But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay; I have nourished it, and I have digged it, and I have [p. 135]