Foundations of Faith

Treasures from the Historical Collections of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Behold, there shall be a record kept among you” (Doctrine and Covenants 21:1). Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints build the foundations of their faith on Jesus Christ and the testimonies of His apostles and prophets. From its organization in 1830 to the present day, the Church has kept records of its history to help each generation see the hand of God and remember Him daily.

The items in this exhibit are priceless foundational records from the Church’s history that document its Restoration and growth throughout the earth. Among the records you will see here are early editions of modern scripture, personal records of modern prophets, and evidence of key developments in Church doctrine and organization.

Accounts of the First Vision

Modern Scripture

Book of Mormon Original Manuscript (1829)
This page from the original Book of Mormon manuscript contains the story of Nephi trying to obtain the brass plates from Laban, found today in 1 Nephi 4:2–24.
Book of Mormon Printer’s Manuscript (1829)
Because 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript had been lost a year earlier, Joseph and his associates were wary about the manuscript's safety.
Book of Mormon First Edition (1830)
The Book of Mormon was published in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York, under the direction of printer Egbert B. Grandin.
Book of Mormon Liverpool Edition (1841)
This copy of the Book of Mormon belonged to Mercy R. Fielding Thompson. It bears a note by her descendants that on the morning of June 24, 1844, her husband, Hyrum Smith, read from it before leaving Nauvoo with his brother Joseph for Carthage, Illinois.
Book of Commandments (1833)
The Book of Commandments was the first effort to publish in book form early revelations received by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Doctrine and Covenants First Edition (1835)
The Doctrine and Covenants was the second effort to publish in book form revelations received by Joseph Smith.
Egyptian Papyrus Fragment (Second Century B.C.)
In 1835 the Church acquired papyrus scrolls that had recently been discovered in Egypt.
Book of Abraham Facsimile Printing Plates (1842)
This lead plate was engraved by Reuben Hedlock as part of the printing of the book of Abraham in the Church’s newspaper The Times and Seasons.
Pearl of Great Price First Edition (1851)
Joseph Smith published two accounts of the First Vision during his lifetime. The first of these, known today as Joseph Smith—History, was canonized in the Pearl of Great Price and thus became the most well-known account.

Modern Prophets

Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Gathering Israel


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