The Doctrine and Covenants is, in large measure, a compilation of God's answers to Joseph Smith's inspired questions. So that all might benefit from these teachings and to establish the order of the Church, the revelations were canonized and published. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, sometimes referred to as the Inspired Version, consists of the divinely inspired clarifications that Joseph made to the King James Version of the Bible. "I resumed the translation of the Scriptures," Joseph said in 1831, "and continued to labor in this branch of my calling with Elder Sidney Rigdon as my scribe" (History of the Church, 1:238). The Pearl of Great Price includes lengthy portions of Joseph's translation of the Bible and his translation of ancient papyri from Egypt, now known as the Book of Abraham. The Pearl of Great Price also contains a brief history of Joseph Smith and the Restoration and the Articles of Faith, drawn from a letter Joseph wrote to the newspaper editor John Wentworth in 1842.
"The public mind has been excited of late, by reports which have been circulated concerning certain Egyptian mummies and ancient records, which were purchased by certain gentlemen of Kirtland, last July," acknowledged Joseph Smith in December 1835. He explained that the records were obtained in Egypt and later came into the possession of Michael H. Chandler, who came to Kirtland and sold them along with some ancient mummies. With this explanation of their origin, Joseph promised "a correct translation of which I shall give in its proper place" (History of the Church, 2:348–51).