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9 Rare Artifacts from Early Church History

With the turbulent early days of the Church came the loss and destruction of many items the Saints regarded as precious. Here is a look at some of the rarest books, coins, notes, and documents salvaged from Church history.

1830 Book of Mormon and "References to the Book of Mormon"

9 Rare Artifacts from Early Church History

Photo by Stefan Hallberg

1830 Book of Mormon

The 1830 Book of Mormon is extremely desirable for many collectors. Although it is not the rarest LDS book, it is the starting point of the Church in this dispensation and, as such, it is indispensable for serious collectors. Five thousand copies of the first Book of Mormon were printed for a cost of 75 cents each. Today, it is estimated that only a few hundred copies in any condition remain–even scarcer are complete copies.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Microsoft founder Bill Gates purchased an 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon in 1998? 

Replicas of the 1830 Book of Mormon are available for purchase at deseretbook.com.


"References to the Book of Mormon"

"References to the Book of Mormon” was printed to help missionaries find their way around the first Book of Mormon. These two back-to-back sheets were simply placed inside copies of the 1830 Book of Mormon and served as the very first index. Since they weren’t attached, most were easily lost or destroyed. Page for page, these are among most rare and expensive printed pages in Latter-day Saint history.


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