A new volume of “The Joseph Smith Papers Project” featuring the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon was released Tuesday by the Church Historian’s Press, an imprint of the History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Revelations and Translations, Volume 3: Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon” is the 11th published volume of the project in the Church’s ongoing effort to make every document produced by Church founder Joseph Smith or by his scribes available to the public.
The volume is published in two parts, each a full-color, oversized book that showcases each page of the historic manuscript with a high-resolution photograph and color-coded transcript. In addition to the photographs and transcripts of the manuscript, the volume also contains a list of scribes and printers involved in its creation and the printing of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon.
“High-quality, full-color images of the most complete early manuscript of the Book of Mormon give users of this volume unprecedented access, as though they were holding the original in their hands,” said assistant Church historian and recorder Richard E. Turley Jr.
Publication of the volume represents a major milestone in a longstanding collaboration between historians from the Church History Department and the Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
Released among the new papers is a photograph of a stone long associated to be the seer stone Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. The official caption states: “The stone pictured here has long been associated with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon translation. The stone Joseph Smith used in the Book of Mormon translation effort was often referred to as a chocolate-colored stone with an oval shape. This stone passed from Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery and then to the Church through Brigham Young and others.” The image has been provided by the Church and is part of a feature article in the Ensign. The article will be printed in next month’s issue and is available now online.