SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church for the first time is publishing photos of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate the story that became the basis of the religion.

The pictures of the smooth, brown, egg-sized rock are part of a new book that also contains photos of the first printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. Officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled it Tuesday at a news conference in Salt Lake City.

It's the religion's latest step in a push to be more transparent about its history and tenets. Mormons believe 185 years ago, Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian. God helped him translate the text, which became known as the Book of Mormon.