March 26 - 1830 - The Book of Mormon is First Published
The Book of Mormon is perhaps the most important scripture for the Latter Day Saint movement, better known as Mormons. Yet when it was first published, the church did not even exist, as it was only officially incorporated two weeks later. As a scripture, it is certainly unique, as it tells the story of a group of Jewish refugees who went from Jerusalem to America 600 years before the time of Christ, then details their descendants until Christ would visit them in America. Even more remarkable is the story of the actual publication of the Book of Mormon itself. Joseph Smith, Jr, the founding prophet of Mormonism, said he had a vision of the angel Moroni, who led him to ancient golden plates that contained a remarkable story. After years, Smith pulled the plates from the ground, then translated them from "Reformed Egyptian" to English using seer stones, and had them transcribed by someone else. Or at least that was how Smith always put it. The actual story is fairly complicated to disentangle from various sources. More stunning, though, was the power the Book of Mormon would have after publication, when a whole new religious movement would be built upon the captivating nature of the Book of Mormon.