Hello, my name is Sister Birch. And I’m Sister Garner. We’re missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We’re standing outside the restored Grandin building in Palmyra,

New York, USA.

We'd like to take you inside to show you what the bookstore in this building might have looked like in the 1830s.

This store was much like other bookstores in the eastern United States at that time, with books on the shelves and writing tools, paper, and small toys and games on the counter.

But on March 26, 1830, there was something different about this store.

A new book was advertised for sale here, and it wasn't available anywhere else.

That book was the Book of Mormon,

a sacred record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.

The book’s testimony of Jesus Christ had changed the life of the prophet Joseph Smith, had changed the life of a few of his family members and friends, and now that it was published and available for others to read, it would begin to change the lives of people throughout the world.

If you have taken a tour of the Sacred Grove, the Smith Family Farm, the Hill Cumorah, the Priesthood Restoration site, or the Whitmer Farm, you have learned about how the Lord prepared Joseph Smith to bring forth the Book of Mormon. While the Lord prepared Joseph,

He also prepared a man named Egbert B. Grandin to play an important role in the effort.

This is Egbert B. Grandin’s office; we’ll return here in a moment.

First, we would like to show you original oil paintings of Egbert and his wife, Harriet.

Egbert Bratt Grandin was born on March 30, 1806,

about three months after Joseph Smith was born.

It's interesting to note that Joseph and Egbert also died within several months of each other. But in the story of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon,

it is especially inspiring to see the parallels between the lives of these two men in their late teens and early twenties.

As a young man, Egbert worked as an apprentice for two printers: Pomeroy Tucker and John H. Gilbert.

At the same time, Joseph met at least 20 times with the angel Moroni, who taught him about the work he would do in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As part of this training, Moroni helped Joseph prepare to bring the Book of Mormon forth to the world.

Egbert completed his apprenticeship and purchased John Gilbert’s printing business. In 1827, he moved the business to this building. In September, 1827, Joseph was ready to begin translating the Book of Mormon.

The Lord allowed him to remove the gold plates from the place they were buried in the Hill Cumorah, about six and a half kilometers or four miles from here.

Between 1827 and 1829,

Egbert built a successful printing business. Between 1827 and 1829, Joseph translated the words on the gold plates from an ancient language to English by the gift and power of God.

These two men came together in June, 1829, when Joseph visited this office with his good friend, Martin Harris, after obtaining a copyright for the Book of Mormon.

They asked Egbert to print the book, and he gave a swift answer: No. He thought the book was a fraud.

Two other printers also turned them down.

Finally, a printer in Rochester, New York, agreed to print the book, but Rochester is about 44 kilometers away.

It’d be difficult to supervise the printing there. So they went back to Egbert Grandin.

He finally agreed to print the book, but he wanted a guarantee of full payment.

Martin generously mortgaged his farm to help pay for the printing.

Even after Egbert agreed to print the book, he must have questioned Joseph's ambition.

This was an unusually large job for a printer in a small town— 5,000 copies of a book that was almost 600 pages long

and it would be hard bound with a leather cover.

Many of the other books Egbert sold were paper bound, with the possibility that some of his customers would cover them with leather after buying them.

To accomplish this task, Egbert purchased a new printing press, the Smith Patent Improved Press.

This machine was faster and simpler than other presses of the day. On the third floor of this building we’ll show you how it worked.

This is a replica of the press Egbert and his employees used to print the Book of Mormon. The Church owns the original machine.

It is housed in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Remember how we said that this press was faster than other presses in those days? Well, it was, but it wasn’t nearly as fast as today's printing presses or even little desktop printers.

Publishing a book required a lot of work even before the pressmen could use this machine.

When Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, he spoke the words of the book. Scribes wrote those words by hand.

Oliver Cowdery was a scribe who worked with him the most.

Joseph wanted to safeguard the original manuscript, so he instructed Oliver to prepare a new copy for the printer. Over a period of about five months,

Oliver copied the entire Book of Mormon by hand with occasional help from Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, and another scribe.

We often refer to that second copy as the printer's manuscript.

Hyrum delivered portions of the printer's manuscript to this building as they were ready.

He often hid them under his buttoned vest on his way here to keep them safe.

When he got here, he handed them to John H. Gilbert.

John had once hired Egbert Grandin as an apprentice. Now he worked as an employee in Egbert’s shop.

There was one problem with the manuscript—it had almost no punctuation.

Very few commas, periods, question marks, and so on.

One of John Gilbert's jobs was to read the manuscript and write punctuation where he felt it belonged.

Like Egbert Grandin, he played an important role in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

Hyrum gave John permission to take the pages home at night so he could get the work done more quickly. During the day,

John supervised the typesetting of the book.

He couldn't just send an electronic document to the printer.

He and others had to place every letter, every punctuation mark, one at a time. They removed them from a case like this and placed them in a composing stick like this.

You might be able to see that they had to place each letter or punctuation mark backwards. This required careful attention.

After filling a composing stick, they emptied the type into a galley—

a flat board edged with a wooden rim.

Line by line, they divided the lines of type into pages. When they had filled the galley with the type for 16 pages, they secured it to the press. They carefully placed a large piece of paper on the other side.

Then it was time for ink. The workers pressed ink balls evenly over the type.

They pressed the paper over the inked type, let the ink dry on the paper,

reversed the papers, and pressed them again on the other side.

The end result was a sheet that looked like this.

Each sheet contained two 16-page sections.

Each section was called a signature.

The first edition of the Book of Mormon contained 37 signatures. That’s a lot of paper—over 92,500 sheets. And that’s a lot of times to pull the press—as many as 190,000 pulls.

It took a team of pressmen about seven months to print the book,

and it all happened right here.

You can still see ink spilled on this original floor.

When historians worked to help restore this building,

they found between the floorboards a few pieces of type that matched the font in the first edition of the Book of Mormon.

Each time the pressmen completed all the printing for one signature,

they sent the ink sheets—all 2,500— to the bindery on the second floor of this building.

Luther Howard, who was Egbert’s business partner at the time, ran the bindery. The pressmen probably placed the sheets on a pallet and lowered them using a pulley system. And then there was more work to do.

Workers in the bindery folded and cut the sheets like this.

And then placed them in a press to compact the folds.

When all 37 signatures had been printed, folded, cut, and compressed, the binders compiled them and sewed them together at a station like this.

They coated the spine with a thin layer of glue and added end pages.

Then using a machine similar to this, they used a plane to trim the pages uniformly.

They attached boards using the ends of the strings they had used to sew the signatures together.

Then they wrapped the boards with leather.

Then they embossed the title of the book on the spine using gold leaf.

The end result would look something like this.

And on March 26, 1830,

some copies of the Book of Mormon were ready to be sold in the bookstore downstairs.

This is a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon printed and bound right here in this building.

This is one of 5,000 copies. As we said earlier, this was a large number, especially for a first edition book in rural New York in 1830.

But Joseph Smith, his family, and a few others knew this work would expand beyond Palmyra, New York.

The Book of Mormon had been preserved, translated, and published for people throughout the world.

Its title page says that is for “The convincing of Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ,

the Eternal God, manifesting himself onto all nations.”

Those 5,000 copies were just the beginning.

Here's a copy that was printed recently. And over here are a few others.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has printed over 193 million copies of the Book of Mormon.

The Church currently publishes translations of the entire book in 91 languages and selections of the book in 21 other languages.

There are 110 languages available digitally.

Some translations are available in sign language, braille, and audio recordings.

As I study the Book of Mormon every day, I receive strength and guidance from the words of ancient prophets that testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am also grateful for the Book of Mormon.

It gives me additional knowledge about my Savior, Jesus Christ, and it’s helped me to be able to come closer to Him.

Thank you for joining us today. We hope you’ve enjoyed visiting the place where the Book of Mormon was first published, so people around the world can receive strength from its testimony of Jesus Christ.

Grandin Building: Sharing the Book of Mormon with the World

Missionaries guide a tour of E. B. Grandin’s bookstore and printshop, where the Book of Mormon was first published. Beginning in this place, the book’s testimony of Jesus Christ has been shared throughout the world.

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