For the first time ever, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has assembled some of its most treasured historical documents into a single exhibit and is inviting the public to view them.
Starting on September 4, 26 books, manuscripts and other papers that date from before the faith’s founding in 1830—including a manuscript page from the original Book of Mormon, a first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants and the handwritten minutes from the 1842 founding of the women’s Relief Society—will be on display at the LDS Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City.
These artifacts go “to the roots of our foundational faith,” LDS Church Historian and Recorder Steven E. Snow said at a news conference Wednesday. “These four cases hold our most precious documents.”
Taken together, the documents are worth several million dollars, Snow said, so church officials waited to showcase them until their safety could be secured.
“This exhibit is not intended to silence critics” of Mormon history, Snow said. “But members will find it faith-promoting.”