New Church History Library Foundations of Faith Exhibit

  • Through 2018
Through 2018
Salt Lake City, Utah and Online

The Church History Library exhibit Foundations of Faith features 26 rare historical documents and records considered to be “foundational” to the Church, such as the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon (right), the first hymnbook (top left), and the book of Abraham facsimile printing plates (bottom left).

Article Highlights

  • The Foundations of Faith exhibit feature rare historical documents and records considered to be "foundational" to the Church.
  • Visit the Church History Library or view the virtual exhibit online in 10 languages.

From its organization in 1830 to the present day, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has followed the divine mandate to keep a record of its history. The Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is exhibiting documents that are foundational records from that history. They trace the unfolding Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days and the founding of its important auxiliary organizations. Many of these records mark a seminal development of Church doctrine or organization. This permanent exhibit is titled “Foundations of Faith.”

Through the Church’s early years, records of the Restoration were carefully transported to a series of headquarters from New York to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. They were eventually carried across the great American plains and over the Rocky Mountains to what is now Salt Lake City, Utah.

Among these treasures are an original manuscript page of the Book of Mormon; first editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price; Joseph Smith’s handwriting preserved in his journal from 1832-34; the minute book of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, the foundational record of the Church-wide organization for women; and some of the earliest non-English editions of the Book of Mormon available in each continent. Other records on display preserve stories that illustrate the courage and consecration of early members of the Church. All of these records celebrate the foundations of faith in Jesus Christ upon which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built.

Book of Mormon first edition (1830).

Book of Abraham facsimile printing plates (1842).

Rarely have these foundational records been assembled and displayed for an extended period of time. Church members can now personally connect their faith with the documents that were instrumental in building the Church years ago. In addition, the exhibit showcases the wealth of history contained within the walls of the Church History Library, a facility open to the public for research and discovery.

Visitors to the exhibit can obtain a free booklet that provides specific details about each item. The exhibit is also available virtually with added audiovisual interpretation at Both the booklet and website will be offered in ten languages.

Joseph Smith Journal (1832–34).

Article of the Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Association (1870).

Early Japanese Book of Mormon translation.