Pearl of Great Price

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The Pearl of Great Price is a series of Mormon holy books which Joseph Smith claimed to have translated from Egyptian papyri.


At 60 pages, the Pearl of Great Price is the thinnest of Joseph Smith's works. The main section is the Book of Abraham. Smith bought Egyptian papyri from a travelling mummy exhibit and proclaimed to his followers that the papyri contained the Book of Abraham. He claimed it was written by Abraham, of the Old Testament, in his own hand. According to Smith, the papyri recounts the story of Abraham's early life as well as a vision he received concerning the creation of the world. The book is a source of some distinctive and controversial Latter-day Saint doctrines such as the exaltation of humanity, the plurality of gods, priesthood, pre-mortal existence, and other inhabited worlds in the cosmos.

For many years the original papyri were considered lost. In 1966 eleven fragments of the papyri were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Modern Egyptologists have studied these and found them to be a funerary document for a man named Hor, dating to around the 2nd century B.C.

Books included

The Pearl of Great Price includes several texts. Included are the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith—Matthew (Smith's retranslation of Matthew in the New Testament), Joseph Smith History and the Articles of Faith.

Joseph Smith History

The Joseph Smith History was written in 1838 and is considered the offical account by the modern LDS church. However several other histories written or orated by Smith exist and have some contraditory accounts.

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