Book of Mormon first edition could make up to $40,000

A first edition copy of the Book of Mormon is valued at $30,000-40,000 ahead of a sale of printed and manuscript Americana at PBA Galleries on April 14.

The lot was printed in the days running up to the establishment of the church on April 6, 1830.

Book Mormon Smith
Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon from angelic texts

Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the book from a set of golden plates, the location of which were revealed to him by an angel named Moroni.

Moroni was apparently one of a number of prophets that authored the book in America from 2000 BC onwards. Jesus Christ is also alleged to have visited the US.

PBA states: "This was the only edition listing Joseph Smith as the "author and proprietor" rather than as the translator, and the only edition with his 2-page preface.

"This copy has the 2 pages of witness testimony at the end, but not the index pages which were inserted in later copies."

Around 5,000 copies of the book were initially printed, of which only around 500 are thought to have survived to the present day.

One particularly fine copy sold for $180,000 in 2007.

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