The First Table of Contents of the Pearl of Great Price

This article is not an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

The first publication of the pamphlet The Pearl of Great Price was published on July 11, 1851 mainly for the 31,000 LDS Saints living in Great Britain.  It contained revelations from Joseph Smith received years before.  Franklin D. Richards, apostle and mission president in England, selected what would go in this pamphlet.  He also wrote the preface calling it a "little collection of precious truths..." 

For more information about how the first Pearl of Great Price came to be, click here. 

Below is the Table of Contents from 1851*.  In brackets [] are included where the contents can be found in today's scriptures.  

  • Extracts from the Prophecy of Enoch [Moses 6:43-68; Moses 7:1-69]
  • The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at the time when Moses was caught up into an exceeding high mountain... [Moses 1:1-42a**; Moses 2:1-4:13a; Moses 4:14-19; Moses 4:22-25; Moses 5:1-16a; Moses 5:19-23,32-40; Moses 8:13-30]
  • The Book of Abraham--A Translation of some Ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands from the Catacombs of Egypt... [Abraham 1:1-2:18; Abraham 2:19-5:21]
  • An Extract from a Translation of the Bible... [Matthew 23:39-24:55]
  • A Key to the Revelations of St. John... [D&C 77]
  • A Revelation and Prophecy by the Prophet Seer, and Revelator, Joseph Smith. Given December 25th, 1832... [D&C 87]
  • Extracts from the History of Joseph Smith... [Joseph Smith--History 1:1-75]
  • Commandment to the Church concerning Baptism [D&C 20:71, 37, 72-74]
  • The Duties of the Members after they are received by Baptism [D&C 20:68-69]
  • Method of administering the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper [D&C 20:75-79]
  • The Duties of the Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, and Members of the Church of Christ [D&C 20:38-44;107-11;20:45-59,70,80]
  • On Priesthood [D&C 107:1-19,12-20]
  • The Calling and Duties of the Twelve Apostles [D&C 107:23,33]
  • The Calling and Duties of the Seventy [D&C 107:34-35,93-100]
  • Extract from a Revelation given July, 1830 [D&C 27:5-18]
  • Rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [D&C 20:1-36]
  • Articles of Faith [Pearl of Great Price, pages 60-61]
  • Truth [Hymns, no.272]
  • Fac-Simile No. 1 from the Book of Abraham [Same]
  • Fac-Simile No. 2 from the Book of Abraham [Same]
  • Fac-Simile No. 3 from the Book of Abraham [Same]

As I look over this lengthy Table of Contents I think about how difficult it must have been for Franklin D. Richards to select what should be included in this pamphlet and what should be left out.  This will be read by thousands of Saints who do not have access to a Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants.  Even though it has not been cannonized yet, it will be their "scripture."  

This list helps me see just how valuable D&C 20 and 107 are to the organization of this Church.  It also teaches me how important baptism, the Sacrament, and the Priesthood are in the restored church.  In the future I'll explore just what doctrine each chapter in the Pearl of Great Price teaches.  

*Information for this article was found primarily in a book titled "The Pearl of Great Price: A History and Commentary" by H. Donl Peterson, published by Deseret Book Company 1987. 
** the letter "a" means the first half of the verse was used