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    [Mormon Church]. [Joseph Smith, Junior, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, compilers]. Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God... Kirtland, Ohio: Printed by F. G. Williams & Co. for the Proprietors, 1835. Second edition of the revelations to Joseph Smith (after the first incomplete publication in 1833 titled The Book of Commandments); the first edition under the title Doctrine and Covenants; and the first to include the "Lectures on Faith." Small octavo (5.75 x 3.875 inches; 147 x 100 mm.). iv, [5]-198, 203-257, [1, blank], xxv, [3, blank] pages. Lacking leaves M4 and M5 (pages 199/200 and 201/202), and final blank leaf R8. The second leaf in each gathering is signed with the number of the gathering (1-18) followed by an asterisk; the third leaf of each gathering is signed as 2. Leaf A7 is signed "B." Leaves I2-I7 (pages 131-142) have been supplied from another slightly narrower copy, on fresher paper with edges stained red and; leaves A4 and A5 (pages 7/8 and 9/10) and N3-N6 (pages 213-220) are slightly smaller and quite browned and chipped at the edges. "Copy Right According to Law" (title-page verso); "Index" (pages i-iii at end); "Contents" of "Part Second" (pages v-xxiii); and "Notes to the Reader," correcting several errors (page xxv).

    Contemporary sheep, smooth spine lettered in gilt between two bands of decorative gilt tooling and with four double gilt fillets. Recased, and now tightly bound. Binding quite rubbed and worn, with several repairs; leather on spine cracking, with a few tiny holes; front joint starting; old damage (darkened and with some surface loss) to front cover near joint repaired; several areas of surface loss on covers and board edges; covers with several scuffs and scratch marks; front cover with vertical dark streak from the lower edge; corners darkened and slightly rounded; small tear to sheep at upper corner of rear cover, resulting in a loose flap of sheep. Endpapers and first and last few leaves browned at edges; two horizontal creases to front pastedown and single horizontal crease to rear pastedown, resulting in slight creasing to following and preceding leaves, respectively; front free endpaper and title-leaf strengthened and reinserted on tissue. Some browning and soiling; large stain across the text on A6 (pages 11/12), faintly visible on adjacent leaves; occasional smaller stains and smudges. L6 (pages 185/186 and 187/188) creased diagonally from outer margin, affecting several letters (no loss); L8 (pages 191/192) with diagonal crease from upper corner, affecting the pagination on the recto and a few letters in the text on the verso; several additional leaves with slight creasing. Small piece torn from outer edge of A6 (pages 11/12); C5 (pages 41/42) with a tiny hole in the text, with loss of one letter on recto and two on verso, and with paper repair to lower margin, where ink handwriting has been cut away; small hole in the outer margin of E7 (pages 77/78), with loss of one letter on recto; tissue repair to outer edge of I1 (pages 129/130); M8 (pages 207/208) with three-eighths-inch tear to lower margin, and additional quarter-inch curved tear to outer margin; a few additional edge nicks and tears. Pencil correction on page 203, changing the date from "1830" to "1831" in the heading for Section LXXIV, "Revelation given October, 1830." Despite these minor flaws, a very good copy.

    In spite of the relatively large edition (generally believed to be 3,000 copies), the book is quite rare. Housed in a linen and olive-colored cloth clamshell case lined with felt and with black leather spine label decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt. In 1833, three years after the Church was formally organized, an important collection of Joseph Smith's revelations, previously circulated in manuscript, was sent to the press at Zion (Independence, Missouri), with the intention of issuing 10,000 copies, under the title The Book of Commandments. But in July 1833, while the sheets were only partially printed, an anti-Mormon mob destroyed the press and most of the printed sheets, and even tore down the building housing the press. Miraculously, a few of the completed sheets were salvaged, and some were bound up, but only a handful of copies, all incomplete, are extant today (see census of institutional copies in Crawley, p. 43). After emigrating to Kirtland, Ohio, the elders decreed that a new and expanded version of these revelations were to be printed. Flake and Draper 2860; Crawley 22; Howes S624; Graff 711; A Mormon Fifty 5; The Scallawagiana Hundred 8; Sabin 83152. Streeter 2266.

    More Information: "Fourteen months after the Independence press was destroyed, a second effort was launched to print the revelations to Joseph Smith in book form. Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and later W. W. Phelps were designated to select textual material and publish the book, with the understanding that they would share any profits arising from its sale. By June 1835 the book was in press, and three months later the first copies were delivered by the Cleveland binder. This second edition includes all of the revelations in the Book of Commandments, some with substantial textual changes. In addition, it contains forty-two other revelations—making one hundred in all; an article on marriage; and an article on government. This edition also prints for the first time the seven 'Lectures on Faith,' a series of short theological essays written by Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith which had been delivered before a school of the elders the preceding winter" (A Mormon Fifty).

    Sabin describes the contents of Doctrine and Covenants: "the first part consists of lectures on faith...with questions and answers, pp. 5--74; the second part, 'Covenants and Commandments,' contains the revelations included in the earlier 'Book of Commandments,' differently arranged, and considerably revised, with some additional revelations for that period as well as for the years 1832 to 1834, followed by two articles, one on 'Marriage,' and the other, 'Of Governments and Laws in General,' the whole making 102 numbered sections, pp. 75--254. The minutes of the General Assembly of August, 1835, relating to the publication...and the adoption of the articles, fill pp. 255--257; the two indexes, one chronological...the other alphabetical, pp. i--xxiii; and notes to the reader on the errata to be corrected, p. xxv."

    Signatures: A-I8 J8 K-L8 M8 (-M4, M5) N-Q8 R8 (-R8, blank).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2020
    4th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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