Digital Download 1833 Book of Commandments + added content

Digital Download 1833 Book of Commandments + added content


The Book of Commandments was planned as a compilation of  Joseph Smith Jr.'s early prophecies. Smith, leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, gathered several of his revelations for a High Priest's council in November 1831. The ten-man council voted to print 10,000 copies, but the actual number of prints was reduced to between three and five thousand.

W. W. Phelps publisher of the book, ran a press in Independence, Missouri. A faithful Mormon, Phelps also edited an historically important Mormon periodical, The Evening and Morning Star from September 1831 to July 1833. Most revelations in the Book of Commandments were previously published by Phelps in the Star.

The title page of the book reads "A Book of Commandments, for the government of the Church of Christ, organized according to law, on the 6th of April, 1830. / ZION: published by W. W. Phelps & co. / 1833."

On July 20, 1833 an anti-Mormon and pro-slavery mob destroyed the press. The mob, purportedly frightened of Mormon political power, was incensed by an editorial in Phelps's Evening and Morning Star perceived to be abolitionist. Breaking down the door, they razed Phelps's home and business in less than an hour. At that point, 65 revelations of the Book of Commandments, about two thirds the total, were already printed. Totaling 160 pages, most of the uncut and unbound sheets were destroyed in the ensuing fire. However, some neighbors including teenage sisters Caroline and Mary Elizabeth Rollins[1] saved remnants of nearly 100 copies.

Fewer than 30 are known to exist today, including several incomplete versions. Further enhancing the book's scarcity, several copies of the Book of Commandments are held in permanent collections. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the Community of Christ have multiple copies, and the rare books divisions of the University of Utah Marriott LibraryBrigham Young University Harold B. Lee LibraryThe Library of Congress, and the New York Public Library each own a copy. When sold on the open market, the book regularly fetches over $100,000. An incomplete copy changed hands for $200,000 in 2001, and a complete volume sold at auction for $391,000.[2] Rare books dealer Ken Sanders claims a copy was sold privately in Utah for $500,000.[3]

This digital copy of the book of Commandments features 30 additional pages of revelations that were intended to be in the book but printing was stopped by the local mobs. This is the first time that this work has been available in its entirety.

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