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.
For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms, and all manner of wickedness. And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed; a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also, a fifth part of all their grain. And all this did he take, to support himself, and his wives, and his concubines, and also, his priests, and their wives, and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom. For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts. Yea, and thus were they supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly, to support iniquity. Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.
And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper; and he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood, and was ornamented with gold, and silver, and with precious things. And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass; and the seats which was set apart for the high priests, which was above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon, while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.
And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.
And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be [p. 178]