Church of Ladder Day Saints acquires Book of Mormon manuscript for $35M

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These are the first couple of pages of the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It is enclosed by folding the casing and then by sliding it into an additional case. (Credit: The Church of Ladder Day Saints)

These are the first couple of pages of the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It is enclosed by folding the casing and then by sliding it into an additional case. (Credit: The Church of Ladder Day Saints)

The Church of Ladder Day Saints in Salt Lake City, UT. has recent acquired the near 200-year-old printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, making it the earliest surviving copy in existence.

Elder Steven E. Snow, Church historian and recorder, said the Book is a revered text in the community.

“We hold the Book of Mormon to be a sacred text like the Bible," Snow said in a press release. "The printer’s manuscript is the earliest surviving copy of about 72 percent of the Book of Mormon text, as only about 28 percent of the earlier dictation copy survived decades of storage in a cornerstone in Nauvoo, Illinois.”

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George Schweich, a grandson of early Church member David Whitmer, Mormon. Schweich inherited the manuscript from his grandfather and sold it in 1903 to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The modern day Church purchased the manuscript on Sept. 18 for $35 million, which was provided by "generous donors."

Plans are currently under way to display the manuscript to the public at the Church History Library in the coming months, the release added.

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