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New Exhibit Features Rare Early Church Documents

An exhibit featuring some of the early documents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be on public display at the Church History Library on Temple Square in Salt Lake City beginning 4 September 2014. Foundations of Faith includes 26 books, manuscripts and other historical documents that date back to the 19th century and the beginnings of Mormonism. The Church was organized in 1830 by the faith’s first prophet, Joseph Smith, who Latter-day Saints believe translated the Book of Mormon from an ancient record he was led to by God.

Items of note in the exhibit include: a portion of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon; first editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price; a copy of the Book of Commandments, considered one of the rarest books in the collection; Joseph Smith’s journal from 1832 to 1834; the minute book from the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and some of the first non-English editions of the Book of Mormon such as the Danish edition that was printed in 1851. Other early translations include Hawaiian, Spanish, Maori, Turkish, Japanese and Portuguese. 

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