A first European edition of the Book of Mormon will be on display at the Museum of Idaho next month.
Beginning Sept. 26, the museum will display the book, which was published in Liverpool, England, in 1841. It includes a signature at the bottom of a page that reads, “Read by order of B Young in the Bowery in June 1856,” referring to Brigham Young, a leader of the church in the 19th century.
“This is a significant contribution to the Museum of Idaho because the ‘Mormon migration’ into the west and into Idaho is a fascinating part of our local history,” shares Rod Hansen, director of exhibitions at the museum. “This artifact is an extraordinary relic and we are proud to display such a rare piece of our history
Brought to Idaho by a Pony Express rider, Thomas Owen King, the book originally belonged to King’s mother, Hannah Tapfield King, who left her home in England to follow the migration of her religious affiliation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in their migration to Utah. Along with the book, she also brought her journals which included records of her encounters and interactions with Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders. After receiving the book, Thomas King inscribed in the book, “To be kept as a relic.”
After Thomas King settled in Idaho, he passed it on to his descendents, the Tracy family and Bonnie and Arlo Lloyd, who have had it in their possession for more than 20 years.
“I feel that (the museum) is a safe place for it, and it will be kept in good condition,” said Bonnie Lloyd in a museum news release. “It was in need of being taken care of instead of handled to pieces and falling apart—it needed to be where it could be seen by others . . . and it could be taken care of.”
On loan for two years at the Museum of Idaho, the Lloyds first approached the museum about the book in November 2011.
The items will be displayed in the Nickum-Bates Hall, where the Bonneville County Centennial Celebration is currently on display.
For more information, contact David Pennock at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208) 522-1400 ext. 3008.