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An 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon, including a page from the "treasured" original manuscript, rare coins and currency from the then-fledgling LDS Church are on display at the Smithsonian.
The artifacts from the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are part of the "Religion in Early America" exhibit, which opens Tuesday in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The Mormon contributions are among many artifacts representing the evolution of faith in North America from 1630 to the 1840s, museum curator Peter Manseau said in an LDS Church news release.
"To stand in the presence of the physical objects transports you to sharing space with those who had lived with them in early American history," he said, noting the display focuses on three themes: religious diversity, religious freedom and religious growth.
A highlight is the original page from the LDS Church's founding scripture, the Book of Mormon.
"The original manuscript is the most important record in possession of the church," Brandon Metcalf, archivist at the Utah-based faith's Church History Department, said in the news release. "This is the first time we've ever loaned a page of the original manuscript because it is so rare. Many of the pages that did survive are illegible, and so it's one of our most treasured collections."
Metcalf said 28 percent of the manuscript survived 40-plus years of storage within the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House in Illinois.
The first edition of the Book of Mormon ran just 5,000 copies, few of which survive today.
In addition to a page from the volume's original manuscript covering 1 Nephi 4:20–5:14 visitors to the museum will see Mormon-minted gold coins and two "Kirtland Safety Society" bank notes from 1837.
The "Kirtland notes," originally printed in Philadelphia, were signed by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith and his associate, Sidney Rigdon, and circulated.
The coins, crafted from nuggets dug up during the California Gold Rush, were minted in Salt Lake City and used in the then-Utah Territory around 1850.
The exhibit also includes George Washington's christening robe from 1732; Thomas Jefferson's "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible; a 1654 Torah scroll; Native American wampum beads; and an 800-pound Revere and Son bronze bell made in Boston in 1802 for a Unitarian church in Maine.