“The Pearl of Great Price,” Friend, Feb. 1987, 27
1 The Pearl of Great Price, one of the four standard works of the Church, has four parts: (1) the book of Moses, (2) the book of Abraham, (3) some of the writings of Joseph Smith (Joseph Smith—Matthew and Joseph Smith—History), and (4) the Articles of Faith. The prophets who wrote this scriptural record were inspired by God in their writing.
2 The first part of the Pearl of Great Price, the book of Moses, is a revelation given to Joseph Smith. Moses was an Old Testament prophet.
3 The book of Moses reveals what God told Moses face to face on a mountain. Moses had a special work to do for the Lord, Who made it possible for Moses to see the whole world and all of God’s children and what would happen to them from the beginning until the end of time.
4 After God left Moses, Satan visited him. He told Moses to worship him instead of God. When Moses refused to do it, Satan became very angry. Moses called upon God for strength, then commanded Satan to leave him. Satan left, weeping and wailing.
5 Moses was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost, and God came and told him that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, was His only Begotten Son and that Jesus created this and other worlds. God also told Moses about His purposes and work and about the Prophet Enoch and the city of Zion.
6 After the book of Moses is the book of Abraham. One day in 1835, a Michael Chandler came to Kirtland, Ohio, to exhibit four Egyptian mummies and some rolls of papyrus with ancient writing on them. When the Prophet Joseph recognized that the writings were about Joseph in Egypt and the prophet Abraham, the Saints purchased the mummies and papyrus rolls.
7 Oliver Cowdery and William Phelps helped Joseph by writing down the information that he translated from one of the papyrus rolls. It was about the Prophet Abraham, who lived in Egypt long ago and who, because of his righteousness, talked with Jesus Christ.
8 Jesus told Abraham about our premortal life and that it was He who created the heavens and the earth and all things on it. The book of Abraham helps us understand the purposes for the prophets and the priesthood.
9 In the writings of Joseph Smith, the third part of the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith—Matthew, is Joseph’s inspired corrections of a portion of the New Testament. Joseph Smith—History tells about Joseph’s family, his first vision, how he got the gold plates, and how he and Oliver Cowdery received the priesthood from heavenly visitors.
10 The Articles of Faith were first written by Joseph Smith in 1842 in a letter to a John Wentworth. Mr. Wentworth wanted to know the true history of the Church and what the Saints believed. The Articles of Faith are the inspired result of Mr. Wentworth’s request.