News Release

1841 edition of The Book of Mormon on display at London Temple Visitors' Centre

 An 1841 first European edition of the Book of Mormon, printed in Liverpool, is now on display at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ London Temple Visitors’ Centre in Newchapel, Surrey.  This priceless artifact was printed by John Tompkins at the request of Brigham Young and John Taylor, former presidents of the Church. 

Dr. Peter Crawley, in A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, vol. I, p. 149, wrote:
“Taylor reported on July 23, 1840, that Tompkins had printed three forms, and he suggested that the galleys be forwarded to Young in Manchester and then sent back to be read by a new convert who was a compositor at a Liverpool newspaper.  The next day he paid Tompkins the first monthly installment. But the printing took longer than the four months Brigham Young had anticipated, and not until January 1841 did Tompkins finish the text…  Wilford Woodruff and Heber C. Kimball, who were labouring in London, received a bundle of twenty copies of the new Book of Mormon on February 8, 1841 and that day they secured the British copyright at Stationers’ Hall and deposited five copies.  Four days later the last of the monthly payments was made to Tompkins. In spite of the fact that he was paid the full 110 pounds, John Tompkins delivered only 4,050 copies of the promised 5,000.” 

The book did not sell out until December 1848, the second European edition was printed in 1849, and the third edition in 1852.

The London Temple Visitors’ Centre at Newchapel, Surrey is now open Sundays from 3-8 p.m., Mondays from 5-8 p.m., and Tuesday – Saturdays and Bank Holidays from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.  Everyone is invited to come see this historic edition of the Book of Mormon, as well as two other new displays, “A History of the Church in the British Isles” and “We Follow Christ.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.