PRATT, Parley Peter (1807-1857). A Voice of Warning and Instruction to All People, Containing a Declaration of the Faith and Doctrine of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Commonly Called Mormons. New York: W. Sandford, 1837.
12o (144 x 93 mm). (Leaves in gathering D bound out of sequence, some scattered pale spotting.) Original brown cloth, very faint embossed leaf pattern, gilt-lettered on spine "Voice of Warning" (a few stains, some fading, typed label with author's name on spine). Provenance: Mrs. R. Raymond (early ink signature on front free endpaper, faint pencil inscription on rear free endpaper: "Mrs. Raymond, Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio").
"NO BELEVER IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHO READS IT WITH ATTENTION, SHALL CLOSE THIS VOLUME WITHOUT BEING FULLY CONVINCED OF THE GREAT AND IMPORTANT TRUTHS CONTAINED THEREIN" (p.12)
FIRST EDITION OF " THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL THE NONCANONICAL LDS BOOKS" (Crawley). "Fleeing the dissention that swept the Mormon community in Kirtland, Parley Pratt went to New York in July 1837 to preach the gospel and purify himself. Few New York doors opened to him, and so impelled by the literary instincts within him, he retired to his room to write. In two months he produced the most important of all the noncanonical LDS books, Voice of Warning. In a letter of October 3, 1837, Parley reported that he was publishing the book in an edition of 3,000 with financial help from Elijah Fordham, and that the first copies would be out on October 4 or 5... [It] was not quite the first Mormon missionary tract or the first outline of the tenets of the Latter-day Saints, but it was the first to emphasize the differences between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity. It established a formula for describing the Church's basic doctrines, and it included biblical proof-texts, arguments, and examples which whould be used by Mormon pamphleteers for a hundred years. It was also an extremely effective missionary tract, and before the close of the century it would go through more than thirty editions in English and be translated into Danish, Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Spanish and Swedish" (Crawley).
VERY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, the last copy of the 1837 first edition sold at auction was sold at New Hampshire, 6 October 1991, lot 209. Crawley 38; Flake 6627.