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.
As many false reports have been circulated respecting the following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by evil designing persons to destroy me, and also the work, I would inform you that I translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written, one hundred and sixteen pages, the which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi, by the hand of Mormon; which said account, some person or persons have stolen and kept from me, notwithstanding my utmost exertions to recover it again—and being commanded of the Lord that I should not translate the same over again, for Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God, by altering the words, that they did read contrary from that which I translated and caused to be written; and if I should bring forth the same words again, or, in other words, if I should translate the same over again, they would publish that which they had stolen, and Satan would stir up the hearts of this generation, that they might not receive this work: but behold, the Lord said unto me, I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing: therefore thou shalt translate from the plates of Nephi, until ye come to that which ye have translated, which ye have retained; and [p. [iii]]