Scripture Stories
Chapter 38: The Pearl of Great Price

“Chapter 38: The Pearl of Great Price,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 145–50

“Chapter 38,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 145–50

Chapter 38

The Pearl of Great Price

winter home
Pearl of Great Price

The Pearl of Great Price is a book of scripture written by prophets. There are five parts of the Pearl of Great Price. They are the book of Moses, the book of Abraham, Joseph Smith—Matthew, Joseph Smith—History, and the Articles of Faith.

The Book of Moses

Joseph receiving revelation

The first part of the Pearl of Great Price is a revelation given to Joseph Smith. It is named the book of Moses. Moses was a prophet who lived long ago.

God appearing to Moses

The book of Moses tells what God said to Moses on a high mountain. Moses saw God and talked with Him. God said He had a special work for Moses to do.

Moses seeing vision

God showed Moses the world and everything that would happen in it. Moses also saw all of God’s children who would live in the world.

Moses telling Satan to go away

God left Moses, and Satan came and told Moses to worship him. Moses would not worship Satan and told him to go away. When Satan would not leave, Moses asked God for help. Receiving strength from God, Moses again told Satan to leave. Satan finally left, showing great anger because Moses would not worship him.

Jesus creating the earth

Moses was filled with the Holy Ghost. He prayed, and God came and talked with him again. God told Moses that there are many worlds—more than we can count. He said that Jesus created these worlds and would create even more because there is no end to God’s works.

Moses writing his revelations

Moses learned that God’s work is to help His children so they can return to live with Him forever. The book of Moses also tells about the creation of the earth, Adam and Eve and their family, the prophet Enoch and the city of Zion, and other prophets who lived long ago.

The Book of Abraham

man presenting mummies to Joseph

The second part of the Pearl of Great Price is the book of Abraham. In July 1835, a man named Mr. Chandler came to Kirtland. He showed the Saints some mummies from Egypt. Long ago, people in Egypt used cloth to wrap the bodies of people who died. These bodies are called mummies.

Mr. Chandler holding Egyptian papyrus

Some rolls of very old paper were with the mummies. Some strange writing was on the paper, and Mr. Chandler was looking for someone who could read it. He had heard that Joseph Smith could translate the writing.

Mr. Chandler presenting papyrus to Joseph

Joseph looked at the writing. The Lord revealed to him what some of it meant, and he told Mr. Chandler. Some of the Saints bought the rolls of paper from Mr. Chandler.

Joseph translating papyrus

Joseph Smith began to study the writing, and God revealed the translation to him. Oliver Cowdery and William Phelps wrote what Joseph translated. The writing was by the great prophet Abraham, who had lived in Egypt long ago.

Jesus speaking to Abraham

Jesus had talked with Abraham and told him about our life before we came to earth. Jesus said we lived as spirit children with Heavenly Father before we were born. The book of Abraham also tells about the creation of the earth, sun, moon, and stars, as well as the creation of plants, animals, and people.

Abraham looking heavenward

Abraham wanted to receive the blessings of happiness and peace. Because Abraham was faithful, Jesus made a covenant with him. A covenant is a sacred promise between God and His children.

Abraham writing revelations

In this covenant, God promised Abraham that he would have the priesthood and a great family. God also promised Abraham that future members of his family would be given the gospel and the priesthood if they were faithful. The family of Abraham would take the gospel to all the people of the earth.

Joseph Smith—Matthew and Joseph Smith—History

Joseph writing

Joseph Smith—Matthew contains inspired corrections the Prophet made to part of the book of Matthew in the Bible. Joseph Smith—History contains the Prophet’s writings about the First Vision, the gold plates, the Book of Mormon, and the restoration of the priesthood.

The Articles of Faith

Joseph and writer

The last part of the Pearl of Great Price is the Articles of Faith. One day a man whose friend was writing a book came to see Joseph Smith. The man wanted something about the Church in the book, so he asked Joseph to tell how the Church began.

Joseph writing about the Church

Joseph Smith wrote about the beginning of the Church. With help from God, he also wrote 13 important statements about what members of the Church believe. Joseph called these statements the Articles of Faith.

Saints reading the Articles of Faith

On 1 March 1842, the Articles of Faith were printed in the Church’s newspaper. The Saints read the Articles of Faith and believed what Joseph had written.

The Articles of Faith

Joseph Smith

pen and paper
Joseph Smith

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.