Elder and Sister Watts

Elder and Sister Watts

Hill Cumorah Visitors' Sites Mission Statement

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
3 Nephi 5:13

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Welcome to the Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site. This site is one of the sacred sites here in Palmyra because this is where the Book of Mormon was first printed, bound, and sold to the public. We will start the tour with a 5 minute video to give you an overview of the site. Please have a seat and enjoy the video.The owner of the print shop and bookstore was Egbert B. Grandin. He was just 21 when he bought the print shop and was a young up and coming businessman in Palmyra.

Please notice this wall map. The scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants written in the 1830's tells us that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be taught to everyone in their own tongue. The Book of Mormon has now been printed either completely or partially in 108 languages. We are seeing that prophecy full filled!
Now, get prepared to "step back in time" as we visit the bookstore of EB Grandin. In the bookstore you will note that the walls, floors and ceiling beams are original. The furnishings are either antiques from the period or authentic reproductions. Most of the books sold in the store were paperback. The Book of Mormon was bound in sheepskin leather and was approximately the size of the Bible used during that time period. That way people could have a matched set of scriptures.
The scriptures above aren't part of the official tour, but a book collector came by the Grandin Building with this original copy of the Book of Mormon and and original Bible from the same time. You can see how they are a matched set. We were happy to get this picture of both books together!
The Book of Mormon sold for $1.25, about equal to two days wages during that time. EB Grandin's store was a community gathering place, to discuss politics, the weather, social events, read the paper and play board games, much like bookstores in our day.

In the case above is a math book printed and published by EB Grandin in 1832 and is very valuable.

This is the office of EB Grandin where he signed the contract with Joseph Smith to publish the Book of Mormon for the cost of $3000. Martin Harris a trusted friend agreed to mortgage his farm to pay for the printing. Eventually he had to sell half of his farm to pay the printing costs.

Below are original paintings of EB Grandin and his wife Harriet. They are the only known likenesses that exist of them and the paintings were donated to the LDS Church by their descendants in 1980. EB Grandin became an apprentice in the printing business at age 16 and bought his own business at age 21. He married Harriet a year later and they had 6 children. Though they didn't sympathize with Joseph religiously, they were business associates that helped bring forth the Book of Mormon to the public.

In the case below you will see one of those first 5.000 copies of the Book of Mormon and a Bible printed in 1828. One contains the Old Testament of Jesus Christ and the New Testament of Jesus Christ, and the other is another Testament of Jesus Christ. Together they testify of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and give us the fullness of His Gospel.

Next we will go upstairs to learn more about how the Book of Mormon was revealed, translated and printed.

(Check the next blog post for that part of the tour.)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful bit of American History. Fascinating man Mr. Grandin.