Our own peek into the First Presidency vault

On postmormon.org and mormoncurtain.com there is a list of items found in the First Presidency vault. This list is every item on that list, linked to any document outside the vault (scan, photo reproduction, or, in some cases, a BYU article about what is in the vault), along with a brief description.

An Address by Way of an Abridged Account and Journal of My Life, Lyman Wight– George Miller’s committee describing how he was part of the Council of Fifty, and had a special mission from Joseph Smith. This is his testimony that Brigham Young is apostate and that Lyman Wight was correct, before he joined the Strangites about two years later.

An Address to Americans, James Mulholland– He died before being able to publish it himself. Long testimony in poem form of how Missouri drove the true church out, etc.
Almanacs (1859, 1860, 1861, 1863, 1864), William W. Phelps- Too vague to find details, perhaps only exist in the vault.
The Amateur, Ogden, Utah, YMMIA– A guide to society for youth. Think of it as an early “For the Strength of Youth” Pamphlet. Additional link.
An Appeal to the American People, Sidney Rigdon– Grievances against the Saints were gathered while Joseph was in Liberty Jail. This is a published collection of those grievances. A manuscript version of Rigdon’s Appeal to the American People (referred to as the “petition draft,” titled “To the Publick,” and endorsed by Joseph Smith, Rigdon, and Elias Higbee) was read to a conference of Saints in Quincy, Illinois on 1 November, 1839.
Articles of Association for the United Order (1870 and 1874)– Similar to Articles of Organization for a corporation.
Book of Mormon (various editions, including 1830)– The originals are in the vault, but a scanned version of one is online.
Book of One Thousand Marks and Brands, William Clayton (best link I could find)- On December 29, 1849, the Council of Fifty passed an ordinance creating an office of marks and brands. William Clayton was the recorder. The first Utah territorial legislature established a territorial office of marks and brands on March 1, 1852, continuing Clayton as recorder.
Book of the Law of the Lord, James J. Strang– Details on what to be/do as a Strangite. “Translated” by James J. Strang. Fascinating that they keep an original copy of this in the vault.
The California Star– An LDS newspaper, The California Star appeared weekly until June 14, 1848, when it was forced to shut down because its entire staff had departed for the gold fields.
Calumny Refuted and the Truth Defended, John Taylor– Debate between John Taylor and Reverend Robert Heys.
Celestial Marriage, and the Plurality of Wives, Jesse Haven- There is no online information available, but it is available at BYU.
Central Route, The Emigrant’s Guide, Thomas B. H. Stenhouse- Stenhouse was sent to map out the route to the Rocky Mountains.  Only in vault.
Circular to Bishop Edward Hunter, First Presidency– A call to the Eastern Saints who support Brigham Young to prepare to gather.
The City Charter of Nauvoo, Illinois
The City of the Mormons, Henry Caswall– Origin of the “Greek Psalter” story, but likely a fabrication. Again it is interesting they would think this valuable enough to store an original.
A Collection of Sacred Hymns (1835, 1844, etc.)– Hymns, now published as part of the “Joseph Smith Papers” project.
A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, Daniel Tyler– Thirty-six years after the fact, a few of the Mormon Battalion members wrote a history.
Constitution of the State of Deseret
A Correct Account of the Murder of Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith, William M. Daniels– A non-member caught up in the events at Warsaw, Missouri decides to walk with the “mob” (militia) headed to Carthage to drive the Mormons from the state. Clearly biased in favor of the Mormons by the end. This includes the attempted bowie knife beheading of Joseph Smith, Jr. foiled by miraculous means.
Death of the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Gooch– This is an account of the murders, biased in favor of mormonism.
Delusions. An Analysis of the Book of Mormon, Alexander Campbell– Alexander Campbell’s rebuttal to the Book of Mormon.
Deseret Almanac (1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, etc.,), William W. Phelps– I just linked to the 1851 almanac, but one should be able to find the other years with a simple search.
A Dialogue between Joe Smith and the Devil, Parley P. Pratt– A quaint little small play in which Joseph Smith is perfect and the devil is a simpleton. One line stands out to me as a curiosity: “you are causing many persons to think who never thought before and you would fain put the whole world a thinking and then where will true religion and piety be?”
The Diamond, James J. Strang– Tract attempting to prove Strang was the true successor. It’s interesting that they kept all the documents of all break-offs of mormonism.
A Dissertation on Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream, William I. Appleby– Religious tract by a missionary using Book of Daniel to tie in to the foundation of the Mormon faith.
Doctrine and Covenants (1835, etc.)– In this version, Oliver Cowdery has “gift of the rod” (meaning “dousing”).
Book of Commandments– One of the books saved by the girls when the printing press was destroyed.
Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &C. in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons– Senate notes as to what happened to the Mormons and what the Mormons did in Missouri.
Document Showing the Testimony Given Before the Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit– Documentation of the charges of treason against Joseph Smith, Jr. and others.
Elders’ Journal– Publication in Kirtland, Ohio.
The Evening and Morning Star– Periodical published in Independence, Missouri.
Evidence Taken on the Trial of Mr. Smith-1843 trial of Joseph Smith, Jr.
Evidences in Proof of the Book of Mormon, Charles B. Thompson– Missionary tract showing evidences in proof of the Book of Mormon. Evidence is mostly quoting scriptures from the Bible.
The Far West: Or, A Tour Beyond the Mountains, Edmund Flagg– A description of life in the West.
Y Farw Wedi Ei Chyfodi Yn Fyw, Dan Jones– Translated- “The dead raised to life: or the old religion anew.” Treatise showing the immutability of the Kingdom of God. Jones uses more than two-thirds of the section “The Kingdom of God” from Apostle Parley P. Pratt’s pamphlet “Voice of Warning.”
A Few Plain Facts, George J. Adams– Rebuttal to a local minister by a missionary.
Frontier Guardian– Available only in libraries. BYU Studies paper on the vault documents. The Frontier Guardian was published in Kanesville, Pottawatamie County, Iowa from 1849 to 1851. The newspaper was started by Orson Hyde.
General Courses and Distance from G.S.L. City to Fort Limhi, Jesse W. Fox– Travel guide and treasure map all in one.
1847 General Epistle from the Council of the Twelve Apostles– Before Brigham was prophet, the 12 sent this letter from Winter Quarters out to all the Saints. Truly the call to gather and head to Salt Lake, published December 23rd, 1847.
General Joseph Smith’s Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys– Four page tract to men of Virginia, by “General Joseph Smith.”
General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States– This one is a beauty. Polygamy and monogamy are compared, and it explains how monogamy causes crime. The introduction could have been written by a Skousen.
The Gospel Reflector– Doctrine of the church as published in 1841 in Philadelphia at the request of the presiding bishop.
Governor’s Message, Brigham Young (1850, 1851, etc.)- His Excellency, Governor Brigham Young, speaks to the territory.
A Grammar of the Hebrew Language, Moses Stuart– One of the Hebrew grammars Joseph Smith would have used and understood.
He That Hath Ears to Hear, Orson Hyde– One page pamphlet by Orson Hyde (testimony).
History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons, Parley P. Pratt– Parley’s 84 page 1839 description of what happened in Missouri.
History of the Persecutions, Charles W. Wandell- Not available online. interestingly enough, Charles W. Wandell would later be a critic of the Mountain Meadows Massacre for the same reasons. He wrote about the massacre as he had in this book about what was done to the Saints in Missouri. More about him here.
A History of the Priesthood, Benjamin Winchester– 1842 version of the Restoration of the Priesthood.
An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, Orson Pratt– Earliest version of the Articles of Faith and a simple, early version of “Joseph Smith History.”
James J. Strang, Weighed in the Balance of Truth, Reuben Miller– 1846 “Anti-Strangite” pamphlet produced by the LDS Church.
Journal of Discourses– Oh, those wondrous sermons given by the early GAs…
Heber C. Kimball Journal
Edinburgh Branch- Too vague to find information.
The Latter Day Saints, A Poem, Omer– A poem and tribute of respect from a member to Joseph Smith.
The Latter-day Saints’ Emigrants’ Guide, William Clayton– Latter-day travel brochure.
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate– Church newspaper from 1834-1837.
A Lecture on the Authenticity and Scriptural Character of the Book of Mormon, George J. Adams– Delivered at the town hall, Charlestown, Mass. on Sunday evening, February 4th, and Wednesday evening, February 7th.  Available only in microfilm and book formats at a few libraries.
Letters of Oliver Cowdery to W.W. Phelps– Origin of the Book of Mormon, as told by Oliver in a set of letters after he had left the church (published in 1844).
List of Recorded Brands, William Clayton- Too generic.  Clayton kept several books of brands.
Manifesto from William S. Godbe and E.L.T. Harrison- Godbeites who split off from the church and their manifesto for leaving. Available only at libraries or in the vault.
Hebrew Grammar, James Seixas– The Grammar used to teach Joseph Smith in the 1838 time frame.
Marks and Brands, William Clayton- Again, too generic. A BYU article  explains why William Clayton always maintained this kind of information.
Melchizedek and Aaronic Herald, Isaac Sheen– Published paper of testimony for the church (note the original article had punctuation issues).
The Millennium, Parley P. Pratt– Hymns and songs by Parley P. Pratt.
The Mormon- Way too vague to find.
Mormonism: Embracing the origin, James Hunt– Another list of grievances with Jackson County, only this time from the Missouri perspective. It includes an origin of the Latter Day Saints from the “anti-mormon” perspective.
Mormonism Unvailed, Eber D. Howe– Commonly called the first Anti-mormon book, E.D. Howe gathered evidence against the Saints.
Mormonism Unveiled, Parley P. Pratt– A tongue-in-cheek title, Parley combats the allegations against the church printed in “Zion’s Watchman.”
The Mormons in Illinois, G. W. Westbrook- Only available in the vault.
Narrative of Some of the Proceedings of the Mormons, Catherine Lewis- The online text link is broken, but this is available at the Villanova Library. The temple ceremony described in this book. Catherine Lewis was a faithful member who defected and then wrote about the secrets of the Mormons in 1845.
A Narrative of the Life of Solomon Mack– Joseph’s Gradfather’s conversion tale, self published.
Nauvoo Expositor– The one and only issue, half of the first page of which is a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Joseph had a free press destroyed on account of this issue.
Nauvoo Neighbor– An 1843-1845 circular in Nauvoo.
The Olive Branch- Too Generic. Orson Hyde’s biography, published after the year 2007, is named the same.
The Only Way to be Saved, Lorenzo Snow– A debate with Reverend J. Richards and a dialogue on polygamy as the only way to be saved.
Oration Delivered by Mr. Sidney Rigdon– Published document of a speech by Sidney Rigdon saying he would, “Exterminate the exmormons.” This speech was given just before Bogg’s “extermination order” was created.
Ordinances of the City of Nauvoo– Joseph and Company’s private little law book.
Ordinances Passed by the Legislative Council of Great Salt Lake City– Brigham and Company’s private little law book.
Ordinances Passed by the General Assembly of the State of Deseret– Brigham and Company’s private little law book for the state.
‘Pamphlet book,’ George Albert Smith- Not available outside of the vault.
‘Pamphlet book of miscellaneous pamphlets owned by Wilford Woodruff’- Not available outside of the vault.
Pearl of Great Price (1851, etc)- Transcript. Differences with current versions, and original sources.
Plain Facts, Showing the Falsehood and Folly of Rev. C.S. Bush, Parley P. Pratt– Anti-“anti” tract.
Political and Religious Detector, Noah Packard– Anti-Millerite, Mormon and other religions paper.
Proclamation to the People of the Coasts and Islands of the Pacific, Parley P. Pratt– Parley gets excited to teach people on islands. Chapter 4, “An address to the Red Man,” is of particular interest.
The Prophet- Too ambiguous.
Prophetic Almanac (1845, 1846), Orson Pratt
Prophetic Controversy, James S. Strang- Not available outside of the vault.
The Reflector- Too ambiguous.
Le Reflecteur- Too ambiguous.
Reply to Shall We Believe in Mormon, Charles W. Wandell- BYU Studies paper says:

Reply to Shall We Believe in Mormon is the fifth, and last, work published by Charles W. Wandell in Australia (see items 630–31, 655, 670). Dated July 4, 1852—one month after he assumed the presidency of the mission when John Murdock left for America and nine months before his own departure—it was likely printed that July, before he began a five-month visit to Port Phillip about the middle of the month. Typographically it resembles Remarkable Visions and History of the Persecutions! (items 631, 670), so it was probably printed by Albert Mason.

As its title indicates, Wandell composed it in response to an anti-Mormon tract entitled “Shall We Believe in Mormon?,” by an anonymous Protestant clergyman who signed himself “Discipulus” and who Wandell refers to as “Mr. C.”—no copy of which is located (Draper 9549. CSmH, CtY, UPB, USlC, UU).

The Return- Transcript online.
Various Revelations- Too ambiguous to find.
Revised Laws of the Nauvoo Legion– Created by an ordinance in the Nauvoo City Charter, and formed under the Second Amendment’s right to form a militia, this document illustrates what the Nauvoo Legion was, and was not, authorized to do.
Route from Liverpool to the Great Salt Lake City, James Linforth– Another tour guide.
St. Louis Luminary- BYU article. “Best of” book, undoubtedly. A heavily edited version available from Deseret Book.
Edward L. Sloan works- I’m not sure what they mean by this. The only “work” by Edward L. Sloan I can find is “For the Strength of the Hills.”
The Seer– 1853-1854 periodical by Orson Pratt. It deals heavily with the truth of polygamy.
A Short Account of a Shameful Outrage, Parley P. Pratt– Parley was interrupted while preaching the gospel, took the responsible individuals to court, and won $47 for damage to his personal belongings.
A Small Selection of Choice Hymns, C. Merkley– 1841 hymnal.
Strictures, on Dr. I. Galland’s Pamphlet Entitled “Villainy Exposed,” David W. Kilbourne- This link offers to sell this for $850, so I’m curious how it can also be in the vault. It describes land dealings by Kilbourne and Galland who sold land to the Saints while not owning title to said land.
Synopsis of Phrenology, O.S. Fowler- Here are some details as to why this matters in Mormon history.
Synopsis of the Holy Scriptures, Benjamin Winchester– Proving the LDS faith via the scriptures.
Testimonies for the Truth, Benjamin Brown– Record of miracles by a UK missionary.
Third General Epistle of the Presidency– Bulletin of how things were going across the Rocky Mountains.
Times and Seasons– Newspaper from 1840-1846, edited by Joseph Smith, Jr.
To the Public, William Smith– The Smith family received a free home.
A Treatise on the Fulness of the Everlasting Gospel, Moses Martin– 1842 missionary tract printed in New York.
A True and Descriptive Account of the Assassination of Joseph and Hiram Smith, Thomas A. Lyne- You have to pay $3 for it as an ebook. The interesting thing is that the copyright is owned by Deseret Book, with all kinds of copyright notices, even though the book was clearly written before copyright laws applied. This is known as copyfraudText available here.
Utah Territorial Library Catalogue– What they had in the library in 1852.
A Vocabulary of the Snake or Shoshone Dialect, Joseph A. Gebow
The Voice of the Captives, Assembled at Zarahemla– Communication from an offshoot in Wisconsin (Strangites?) to others who believe in Mormonism.
The Voice of Truth, Joseph Smith– Discussion between James A. Bennett and General Joseph Smith.
A Voice of Warning and Proclamation to All, Francis Gladden Bishop-Available only at Utah State University outside of the vault, this pamphlet printed to support Joseph illustrates some of the differences in early tellings of the First Vision.
The Wasp– Newspaper founded by William Smith.
The Western Standard– George Q. Cannon’s newspaper in San Francisco, CA.
Why the “Latter Day Saints” Marry a Plurality of Wives, Benjamin F. Johnson– Polygamy defended.
The Wonderful Prophecies of Robert Nixon, Robert Nixon– Not a Latter-day Saint document as it was published long before. Interesting that the church has possession of an original.
A Word of Consolation to the Scattered Saints, Jason W. Briggs– Warning pamphlet from the Strangites to the rest of the Latter Day Saint faiths.
Yankee Story, Hiram Bradley Clawson– A bizarre story told in the voice of “Hank the Cow dog.” If I’m not mistaken, it is about the United States in some sort of metaphor.
Zion’s Panier– 1851 German Newspaper produced by the Church.
Alberta Temple Dedication Services- Too ambiguous.
Missionary Blessing of Truman O. Angell- This autobiography was all I could find.
Arizona Temple Dedication Services- Too ambiguous.
George Bean Report- Too ambiguous.
Ezra T. Benson Missionary Blessing- Only available in vault.
Carson Valley Mission List of Missionaries- Failed mission to Indians, retracted when Johnston’s Army came. Only available in vault.
Council of Fifty Minutes and Notes- Quinn saw these notes and drafted a book from them. Originals are available only in the vault (Quinn, D. M. 1980. The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844 to 1945. BYU Studies vol. 20 no. 2 pg. 163).
Elders’ Licenses and Record of Ordinations (Independence and Kirtland)- List of ordinations.
Elk Mountain Mission List of Missionaries- Details of the mission.
Excommunication Records- Too ambiguous.
Far West List of Members- Too ambiguous.
Far West Record- Too ambiguous.
Female Subscriptions, Nauvoo- List of members of Relief Society. I’m not sure if it’s the same.
1893 First Presidency Minutes- Too ambiguous.
First Presidency Office Journal- Too ambiguous.
Various First Presidency Minutes- Too ambiguous.
Flat Head Mission List of Missionaries- Another ill fated group of missionaries. Only available in the vault.
Garden Grove, Iowa, History- Wiki article.
1855-1856 General Conference Minutes- Too ambiguous.
Hawaiian Temple Dedication Services- “Man would never reach moon” speech from Joseph F. Smith. Available only in the vault.
Idaho Falls Temple Dedication Services- Available only in the vault.
Kirtland, Ohio, Township Record and Record of Livestock Ear Marks- Availabe only in the vault.
Kirtland Stake Minutes- Availabe only in the vault.
Las Vegas Mission List of Missionaries- Available only in the vault.
Liverpool Office Emigration Record (1840-1854)- Here is a scholarly paper based on this record.
Logan Temple Dedication Services
Los Angeles Temple Dedication Services
Mormon Battalion Record (1846-1848)
Nauvoo, Ill., City Council Proceedings
Nauvoo, Ill., Deed Records
Nauvoo, Ill., List of Members
Nauvoo, Ill., Marriage Records- Listed on Infobase CD previously posted on this blog.
Nauvoo, Ill., Municipal Court Docket
Nauvoo, Ill., Schools
Nauvoo, Ill., Seventies License Record
Nauvoo, Ill., Trustee in Trust Tithing and Donation Record
Nauvoo, Ill., Trustee’s Land Book
Nauvoo High Council Minutes
Nauvoo Legion Minutes
Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute Minutes
Nauvoo Masonic Lodge Minutes
Nauvoo Relief Society Minutes
New Zealand Temple Dedication Services
Oakland Temple Dedication Services
Pioneer Emigration List
Pottawattamie High Council Minutes
St. George Temple Dedication Services
Salt Lake Stake High Council Minutes
Salt Lake Temple Dedication Services
Salt Lake Temple Annex Dedication Services
Swiss Temple Dedication Services
Teacher’s Quorum Minutes (Far West, Kirtland, and Nauvoo)
George A. Smith Letter Book (1854) [Included in Nauvoo Marriage Record Book]
Various other Temple Dedications
Adam-ondi-Ahman Plat- Only available in the vault.
Affidavits on Joseph Smith and Plural Marriage– RLDS published the abridged version with all testimonies of sexual relations edited out. Available only in the vault, an 80 page document in government, or for $50 from UTLM.
Arabic manuscript- Too vague to find.
Berlin Mission, Confidential Report, 1963-1966- Too vague to find.
Bible, photocopy of Bernhisel copy of Inspired Version manuscript- Only available in the vault. Details here.
Bible, manuscript in Deseret Alphabet- Only available in the vault.
Bible, Matthew, Chapter 24- Too vague.
Book of Commandments, Law and Covenants- Too vague.
Book of John Whitmer– Interesting note, John Whitmer was declared not to be a historian during a church trial even though he was commanded to function as such.
Book of Mormon manuscript, Copyright, and Course Taken by Nephites- Only available in the vault.
Book of Mormon manuscripts in Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Deseret Alphabet, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindostanee (Urdu), Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Maori, Rumanian, Philippine (Ilicano Dialect), Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Tongan, Turkish, and Yugoslavian (Serbo-croatian).
Brands, Utah, manuscript, 1850- Only available in the vault.
George Q. Cannon Journal [May have been moved]- Here is a BYU Studies article based on this source.
George Q. Cannon letters (1871-1879)- Related link.
Albert Carrington letter (1886): U of U has this. BYU has some lettersDetails as to why this matters.
Catechism for Children, by John Jaques, manuscript in Deseret Alphabet- Only available in the vault. Link to relevant information.
Phebe Chase’s temple apron- Only available in the vault.
Church of the First-born of the Fulness of Times Minutes (1955)- Relevant information. Minutes only available in the vault.
City of Zion Plat- Replica available at Cornell University.
William Clayton letters (1869, 1871, 1874)- Some can be found in this book, but they are really only available in the vault.
William Clayton’s manuscript for Emigrant’s Guide– Travel guide by William Clayton.
Oliver Cowdery Account Books (1835-1836, 1839-1846)- Link to BYU article about what is in them, but they only available in the vault.
The Hebrew Question, Oliver Cowdery- Only available in the vault.
Oliver Cowdery Journal (1836)- Only available in the vault. Leonard Arrington wrote this paper on it.
Oliver Cowdery letter to Hyrum Smith (1831)– Church Business.
Oliver Cowdery Revelation (1829)- D&C 6 is the content of this revelation. The original is in the vault.
Warren A. Cowdery Ledgers and Cash Book (1816-1830)- The Warren Cowdery Ledger is available at BYU’s Lee Library in Provo, Utah. By consulting that ledger, it is possible to document members of the Cowdery clan living about 5-10 miles from the Alvah Beaman family in the Groveland-Geneseo-Avon area between 1816 and 1826.
Cypher Book (Telegraph Code Book)- Too ambiguous.
State of Deseret Constitution (1849)
Deseret Alphabet (Punches used for printing)- Available only in the vault.
Deseret First Book, first reader (Incomplete manuscript in Deseret Alphabet)– “A First Reader, in an edition of 10,000 copies, was published, as well as 10,000 copies of a Second Reader, and 8,000 copies of part of the Book of Mormon were also printed. The experiment was finally abandoned in 1869, a year after Heber’s death. There is no evidence that Heber [Kimball] ever learned the alphabet” (Heber C. Kimball, by Stanley B. Kimball, p. 206).
Deseret Phonetic Speller in Deseret Alphabet- Possibly sold on ebay, but pretty much only available in the vault.
Deseret Second Book, Second Reader, in Deseret Alphabet
Deseret Third Book, Third Reader, in Deseret Alphabet
Doctrine and Covenants, manuscript in Deseret Alphabet- Only available in the vault.
Doctrine and Covenants, Kirtland Revelations-  BYU publication about what is contained in these.
Doctrine and Covenants, Czechoslovak manuscript- Too ambiguous.
Doctrine and Covenants (handwritten copies of revelations)- Only available in the vault.
Documentary History of the Church, original manuscript- Also available  in Independence Missouri on microfilm.
Various Dream Mine papers- Too ambiguous.
Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, and various manuscripts- Can be purchased as part of this book.
Far West Missouri Plat
Fundamentalist Church Minutes (1951-1952)- Too Ambiguous.
John L. Ginn Papers- Available at University of Utah Willard Marriott Library (supportive link on different site). It includes the Mormon and Indian Wars manuscript, and the Mountain Meadows Massacre manuscript.
Miles Goodyear map- Too ambiguous, but might be available in “Miles Goodyear, Explorer” from DUP, Heart Thobs of the West, Vol. 12, 1951, pages 187-193. The map is on page 188.
Jacob Hamblin Journal and letters- This book is based off of both.
Martin Harris, deeds and articles of agreement- Only available in the vault.
Lansford W. Hastings map- An original of the map to Salt Lake and California, shorter than Fort Hall Route, first Used by Donner party in 1846. Reproductions exist, but the original is in the vault.
Hebrew Grammar manuscript- Too ambiguous.
John E. Hill’s manuscripts of hymns and tracts in Hungarian- Only in the vault.
Historian’s Office Journal (1858-1878)- listed as a source in Rough Stone Rolling, otherwise only available in the vault.
Historical Notation manuscript (Guide for material used in compiling DHC, 1841-1857)- Available only in the vault.
Orson Hyde manuscripts containing some sections of D&C- Available only in the vault.
Orson Hyde Revelation (3/14/1846)- Available only in vault. Discussion of why this matters.
Independence, Missouri, Temple Plans- Available only in the vault.
Inspired Version manuscript by James E. Talmage (cross referenced to Inspired Version)- James E. Talmage’s comparison to the actual documents of the Inspired Version (i.e., his own notes). Available only in the vault.
List of Persons Driven from Jackson County, Missouri, in 1833- Available only in the vault.
Andrew Jenson’s temple garment- Andrew Jenson was an assistant Church Historian.
Kirtland, Ohio, Plat- Family History Library has this on microfilm. Reproduced in The Examiner.
Masonry Affidavits and article by William S. Paine- Available only in the vault.
William McLellin Diary- Bits of this are available here for purchase. It is also available at U of U and in the BYU Special Collections.
Petition of Citizens of Carroll County, Missouri, 1838
John Moore’s application to become a citizen, and trial in Bishop’s Court- Too Ambiguous.
Mormon Battalion Member List
Nauvoo, Ill., Act to Incorporate the City (1840)
Nauvoo Municipal Court (impression on seal of wax, 1843)- Can only be seen in the vault, but is mentioned in History of the Church.
L. John Nuttall Diary [May have been moved]- BYU Special Collections. Also available in U of U J. Willard Marriott Library. This contains the first written “lecture at the veil.”
Obituary Notices of Distinguished Persons (1837-1872)- Too ambiguous.
William S. Paine manuscript of “In Defense of Joseph Smith the Prophet” – Available only in the vault.
Patriarchal Blessings, Vol. 2, Joseph Smith, Sr.- This includes transactions of the Twelve, 1835.
Pearl of Great Price, Book of Abraham manuscripts.
Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses manuscript.
Pearl of Great Price, Egyptian manuscripts.
LaMar Petersen’s manuscript for “Hearts Made Glad,” and his excommunication minutes- Hand written notes for his book, “Hearts Made Glad,” about Joseph Smith’s use of intoxicants. The book is out of print, but can be found in these libraries.
William W. Phelps Journal (1835)- Available only in the vault.
List of Original Pioneers- Too ambiguous.
Various Portraits (Daguerreotype, tintype, ambrotype, and glass) of Old Tabernacle, Temple Square, Joseph F. Smith, Isaac Hale, Polly Walworth Lambson, Joseph Smith III, Eliza R. Snow, Charles E. Keetch, J.T. Ross, John W. Young, the Nauvoo Temple ruins, Brigham Young, Jr., Robert Warner, Julia Earl Warner, John Smith, Brigham Young, Emma and Bertha Howell Jenson, Mrs. W.C. Staines, Parley P. Pratt, William Stewart Seeley, Lovina Smith Walker, Capt. James Brown, and numerous unidentifiable persons- Available only in the vault.
Parley P. Pratt’s temple apron- Found only in the vault.
George Reynolds letter (1888)- Why this matters.
John W. Rigdon’s manuscript on the life story of his father, Sidney Rigdon– Why this matters.
Brigham H. Roberts’ manuscripts of “Data of Verbal and Grammatical Errors in the Book of Mormon,” “The Life Story of B. H. Roberts,” and “The Way, the Truth, The Life”- Ultimate source for UTLM’s “Changes to the Book of Mormon.”
Orrin Porter Rockwell, Affidavit by Milo Andrus (1934)- Releases Orrin Rockwell from accusation of being hired to kill Milo’s wife. She was killed in a buggy accident. Available only in the vault.
San Bernardino Ranch Deed (1857).
Paul G. Schettler’s temple apron.
Annie Smith Letter in Deseret Alphabet (1869)- Annie Smith was employed by Orson Pratt in the office where the alphabet was created.  Available only in vault.
Hyrum Smith Journal (1838-1839)- Available only in the vault.
Piece of Joseph Smith’s shirt and vest.
Joseph Smith Journals (1832-1834, 1835-1836, 1839)
Joseph Smith Letter Book (1829-1835, 1838-1843)
Joseph Smith letters (1831, 1832, 1833, 1836, 1839-1844)- Too ambiguous, but probably in the “Joseph Smith Papers.”
Joseph Smith petition of Saints to Congress of U.S. (1839)
Joseph Smith painting on tin- Available only in the vault.
Joseph Smith Revelations (not included in D&C)- Too ambiguous.
Joseph Smith wax seal (1844).
Lucy Mack Smith’s manuscript of “Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith and His Progenitors”
William Smith essay (notes written on Chamber’s Miscellany)- Available only in the vault.
Eliza R. Snow’s temple apron- Found only in the vault.
Lorenzo Snow Revelations- Too vague.
James J. Strang’s 6/18/1844 letter (Purportedly from Joseph Smith)- Transcript
John Taylor Diary [May have been moved]- Available only in the vault.
Moses Thatcher’s High Council Trial Minutes (1897)- Available only in the vault.
Twelve Apostles’ Minutes (1835, 1849-1870)- Available only in the vault.
Utah Territory Census Statistics (1872)- Available only in the vault, but some data here.
Nelson Wheeler Whipple Journal- Transcript by his son.
David Whitmer Testimony (1881)- Transcript.
Newel K. Whitney’s 1842 letter from Joseph Smith- Available only in the vault. Why this matters and transcript.
Lyman Wight’s petition to the Honorable Senate of the United States- Available only in the vault.
Frederick G. Williams’ manuscript on questions, characters on Book of Mormon, etc.- Original paper in which Williams says that Joseph claimed the coast of Chile is where Lehi’s party landed. Here is a BYU paper discounting this (without providing the source for others to read).
Wilford Woodruff’s handkerchief given to him by Joseph Smith- Why this matters.
Wilford Woodruff Revelations- Transcriptions, 1889 revelation transcription.
Charles S. Woodward letter and account of Dream Mine investigation- Available only in the vault.
Brigham Young promissory note for $18.50 to be repaid in kitchen chairs (1830)- Available only in the vault.
List of Zion’s Camp Members– Available only in the vault.
Coins (Centennial coin issued by Reorganized Church; Deseret gold coins)- Deseret Gold Coin images and description.
Smith’s coins (paid by Joseph just before martyrdom)- Joseph Smith penny.
Coins (dies for gold coins)- Available only in the vault.
Coins from many countries.
Council of Fifty Minutes, rolls (1845-1849, 1867-1868, 1880-1882)- Quinn details this.
Various Currencies (Kirtland Safety Society; Deseret currency; Deseret Currency Association, cooperatives, mercantile institutions; Bank of Monroe; City of Nauvoo; Nauvoo House Association; Nauvoo Legion; storehouse notes; Drover’s Bank; First National Bank of Great Salt Lake City; GSLC Corp; Salt Lake City Corp; Salt Lake City National Bank of Utah; Utah State National Bank; Utah Territorial Mercantile Currency; ZCMI; etc.).
Awards in the form of coins, issued by Deseret Agriculture and Manufacturing Society, etc.
Badges, for Pioneer Jubilee (1851); state celebrations; old folks day, etc.
Medals of Lorenzo Snow; Mormon Temple; Pony Express Diamond Jubilee; Brigham Young, etc.
Obscene Material [I don’t know what this could be]- I know you were all hoping, but no, I could not find anything on this.
John Taylor Revelation (1882)- Transcript.
John Whitmer, photocopy of his original manuscript.
Seer stones- Details and images of the stones kept there, other stones used, or similar stones.

After compiling all of this, a definite trend emerged. The most faith promoting stuff was made available the easiest. The less faith promoting, the harder it is to get a hold of. Many of the exmormon sites contained exact transcripts of items in the vault, clearly indicating the church knows these things are damaging and hiding what they can. It tries to discount the exmormon/anti-mormons as full of lies when it knows with a certainty that the sites actually hold the truth.

The question is, with the items still in the vault, are they the mundane that neither side cared about enough to publish, or are they the more damaging that are ever-better safe guarded? Only further releases from the vault may tell, but with the tightening of correlation, even the mundane can look anti-mormon.  A note about a woman giving a blessing, or a letter mentioning that Joseph had a drink of beer that evening can suddenly seem damning, whereas the members of that day would have seen it as nothing more than an everyday occurrence.

This entry was posted in Apologetics, Correlation, Early Church History (1800s), Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Bookmark the permalink.
Last edited by EmmaHS on June 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm

11 Responses to Our own peek into the First Presidency vault

  1. grindael says:

    You can find Ebeneezer Robinson’s ‘The Return’ online here: http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/RigWrit/M&A/Return1.htm

    • Mithryn says:

      Thank you! Added. I had read that of course; but a long time ago. When I got to this line I typed “The Return” into google, then chuckled and never even pressed “enter” because there was no way to identify the specific item in a vault…

      but once you put “Ebeneezer Robinson” on it, duh!


  2. grindael says:

    Here is a good link about Charles W. Wandell and many of his writings after he turned “traitor”. http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1870s/CWandell.htm

  3. Brian says:

    I’m guessing “The Seer” is just Orson Pratt’s Periodical that was mostly published in DC, but also in England. It ran from 1853-1854. A photo reprint is available from Eborn Books.

    There are two book published concerning “The Dream Mine.” It all has to do with Bishop Koyle’s dream that he had concerning berried treasure that is supposedly in the side of a mountain near Payson/Santaquin. The first book is called “John H. Koyle’s Relief Mine.” The second book is called “Relief Mine II.” They are both by the same author Ogden Kraut.

    • Mithryn says:

      I’ll like to “The Seer”

      I can link to everything Ogden Kraut published.

      But I don’t want to assume these are the same papers. They might have something more, like an apostle confirming the vision. Ya know?

  4. grindael says:

    Here is another I think you missed, “The Prophet” is more than likely the 1844 publication edited by Samuel Brannan and William Smith. There are copies online here: http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY/1844Prof.htm and a brief article on its origins here: http://blogs.nycldshistory.com/nycldshistory/2013/05/14/from-the-prophet-18-may-1844-the-origins-of-the-prophet/

  5. grindael says:

    The Hebrew Grammar manuscript is most likely what Edward Ashment describes here: http://signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=10284

    Figure 1.
    Transliterations from English into Book of Mormon Hebrew

    Questions asked in English & answered in Hebrew

    English: For it grieveth me that I should lose this tree & the fruit thereof
    Hebrew Ans. ofin Zimim ezmon E, Zu onis i f s veris etzer ensvonis vineris

    [Modern transliteration: ki car li ki yo’bad li ha’ec hazzeh upiryo]

    English Brethren I bid you adieu
    Hebrew Ans. i f s E Zamtri
    [Modern transliteration: ‘aHay ‘omar lakem shalom]

    The textual selections in the documents are from Jacob 5:13 and 7:27. Fresh out of Palestine, the Hebrew known to Jacob should have been biblical Hebrew. But as Figure 1 illustrates, it bears no resemblance to Hebrew at all.

    Lack of any resemblance between Book of Mormon “Hebrew” and actual Hebrew from material on the small plates (written only fifty years after Lehi left Jerusalem) further confirms that the Cowdery and Williams documents date prior to January 1836, when Smith began his [p.335] formal study of Hebrew. After that time all of Smith’s Hebrew transliterations are recognizable as such.

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  7. David Wills says:

    Grant Palmer claims he’s seen Joseph’s three seer stones in the vault.

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