3. Pearl Great Price

The Pearl of Great Price is one of the four standard works of the Mormon Church. There are four major sections of The Pearl of Great Price: the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, the History of Joseph Smith, and the Articles of Faith. These items were originally published in the Church periodicals during the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.In 1851 a collection of writings and revelations from Joseph Smith were printed by Elder Franklin D. Richards. He compiled this work so that members of the Mormon Church in Britain would be able to read and learn about the important Mormon doctrinal principles found in these writings.Bible and Book of MormonThe Pearl of Great Price was widely used in Britain and was made a standard work of the Church on October 10, 1880.  Additions and revisions have been made. In 1902, certain parts were removed because they repeated information found in the Doctrine and Covenants. The book was also arranged into chapters and verses with footnotes at the same time.The book of Moses was a revelation received by Joseph Smith. He learned what Moses had been taught when he spoke with God face to face on the mount. Moses saw the future of God’s people and knew God’s plans.Following the book of Moses is the Book of Abraham. In 1835, a man named Michael Chandler came to Ohio with an exhibit of four Egyptian mummies and some rolls of papyrus with ancient writings on them. The Prophet Joseph Smith looked at the writings and was told by the Spirit that they were about Joseph in Egypt and about the prophet Abraham. The Church decided to purchase the mummies and papyrus rolls. With Oliver Cowdery and William Phelps working as scribes, Joseph Smith translated one of the papyrus rolls. This roll told of Abraham’s experiences, and a vision Abraham had where he spoke to Christ and learned of the pre-mortal life, the creation of the earth, and Abraham’s fore-ordination as a prophet. The translation was published in the Times and Seasons, the newspaper in Nauvoo, beginning March 1, 1842.The writings of Joseph Smith have two major parts. The first part is the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew. Joseph Smith was inspired by God to correct some portions of the Bible. The next section, Joseph Smith History, tells of important events in the life of Joseph Smith that pertain to the gospel. It tells of his first vision, how he obtained the gold plates and translated them, and how the priesthood was restored through heavenly messengers. Most of the information found in Joseph Smith history was taken from Joseph Smith’s official testimony and history, which he completed in 1838.  Beginning on March 15, 1842, Joseph Smith History was published serially in the Times and Seasons.The Articles of Faith are the last part of the Pearl of Great Price. Joseph Smith wrote them in response to a letter from John Wentworth, who wanted to know the main principles and doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

See the next page in the timeline series.

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