First-edition Book of Mormon set for auction

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A first-edition Book of Mormon -- the foundation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- is set for auction this week and could fetch nearly $100,000.

Hessney Auction Center in Geneva, N.Y. will offer the book for sale Wednesday.

Mormons believe the book was translated from gold plates by church founder Joseph Smith in 1830. Just 5,000 copies of the first book were printed. Fewer than 600 of those are believed to still exist.

Auction house manager Mark Witmer says the book, which was tucked away in its owner's bookshelf, estimated the sales price at between $70,000 and $90,000.

In September, a first-edition copy of the book sold for $105,600.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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