The Prophet Joseph Smith » Church of Jesus Christ Reestablished on Earth

[this teaching has not yet been illustrated]

Joseph Smith completed translating the Book of Mormon in late June of 1829 and returned to nearby Palmyra, New York, to find a publisher. Negotiations were conducted with Egbert B. Grandin, a 23-year-old printer, who, like his other businessman friends, was reluctant to print what was being called the "golden Bible". He told them that to print 5,000 copies of the book would cost $3,000.

Smith knew the only way he could access that amount of money would be for Martin Harris to mortgage his farm. Harris expressed his fear to Smith that if the Book of Mormon did not sell, he would lose his farm. So the prophet prayed and received a revelation from Jesus which was directed at Harris, saying "Thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon." And so Smith commanded Harris to pay the printer.

And so a deal was struck on August 29, 1829. Since the original manuscript contained no punctuation or paragraph breaks, these were supplied by Grandin's typesetter. During this process, a newspaperman—who thought the Book of Mormon was rubbish—managed to access a few pages of the manuscript and printed them in the local paper in January 1830, prompting many in Palmyra to congregate and pass resolutions not to buy the book when it was published.

Smith convinced Grandin to continue with the printing despite the threatened boycott. And on March 26, 1830, the first edition printed copies of the Book of Mormon became available for sale in Palmyra, New York. The printing of the Book of Mormon caused an increased interest in Joseph Smith, the gold book, and “Mormonism”—as it came to be called by outsiders.

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