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Over the past twenty-five years I have tracked down almost a thousand copies of the Book of Mormon that were printed between 1830-1920. I am fascinated by the history of the Book of Mormon. I would like to share with you ten little-known facts about the Book of Mormon:
1) You will not find “Third Nephi” or “Fourth Nephi” in the first edition Book of Mormon–or any other edition of the Book of Mormon printed prior to 1879. You will, however, find two books with the titles “The Book of Nephi, The Son of Nephi, Which Was the Son of Helaman” and “The Book of Nephi, Which Was the Son of Nephi, One of the Disciples of Jesus Christ“. In 1879, when Orson Pratt divided the Book of Mormon into what is now our current chapters and verses, “III Nephi” and “IV Nephi” were added to these titles for clarification. In 1920, they were again revised to “Third Nephi” and “Fourth Nephi”.
2) There were five editions of the Book of Mormon printed during the life of Joseph Smith [1805-1844]. The first edition was printed in Palmyra, New York in 1830. The second edition was printed seven years later in Kirtland, Ohio . The third edition was printed in Nauvoo in 1840. The first European edition was printed in Liverpool, England in 1841. And, in 1842, another edition was printed in Nauvoo.