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.
might understand all the words which he spake. And it came to pass that after he had done all this, that king Limhi dismissed the multitude, and caused that they should return, every one unto his own house.
And it came to pass that he caused that the plates which contained the record of his people, from the time that they left the land of Zarahemla, should be brought before Ammon, that he might read them. Now, as soon as Ammon had read the record, the king inquired of him to know if he could interpret languages. And Ammon told him that he could not. And the king saith unto him, I being grieved for the afflictions of my people, I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness, that thereby they might find the land of Zarahemla; that we might appeal unto our brethren to deliver us out of bondage; and they were lost in the wilderness, for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla, but returned to this land, having travelled in a land among many waters; having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, &c., and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind; having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people, which were as numerous as the hosts of Israel. And for a testimony that the things that they have said is true, they have brought twenty-four plates, which are filled with engravings; and they are of pure gold. And behold, also, they have brought breast-plates, which are large; and they are of brass, and of copper, and are perfectly sound. And again: They have brought swords, the hilts thereof hath perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore, I said unto thee, Canst thou translate? And I say unto thee again, Knowest thou of any one that can translate? for I am desirous that these records should be translated into our language. For, perhaps they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people which have been destroyed, from whence these records came; or, perhaps they will give us a knowledge of this very people which hath been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their destruction.
Now Ammon saith unto him, I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records: for he hath wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are [p. 172]