Church Buys Printer’s Manuscript of Book of Mormon for $35 million from the Community of Christ Church

The Mormon Newsroom reported that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon from the Community of Christ Church. The Deseret News has reported that they have purchased the manuscript for a record $35 million. A join statement made by both churches states that the money to purchase the manuscript was provided by generous donors.

“That makes it the most expensive book or manuscript ever sold. The Codex by Leonardo da Vinci sold for $31 million. The Magna Carta sold for $21 million.” John Haijak

Back in 2015 in a joint effort between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and The Community of Christ Church, the printer’s manuscript from which the earliest edition was set in type became accessible to the public through the latest volume in the Joseph Smith Papers project.

Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy, Church Historian and Recorder, explained at the time “that the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon—the one scribes wrote as the Prophet Joseph Smith dictated it—was mostly destroyed from water damage after it was placed inside the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1841”

He continued:

“So the printer’s manuscript, which is included in this volume, is the most complete early text of the Book of Mormon,” Elder Snow said, adding that the manuscript was copied primarily by the Prophet’s scribe, Oliver Cowdery, for use by E. B. Grandin, the printer in Palmyra, New York, who was contracted to produce the first Book of Mormon edition. It was hand copied and delivered to the printer several pages at a time, as it was ready…The manuscript contains 464 pages, a title page, and a preface by Joseph Smith.”

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