Officially, there are four books which the LDS Church has declared "canon". Together, these books of scripture constitute the "Standard Works". Here they are in no particular order.
Like most Christian faiths, Mormonism upholds the Bible (specifically the King James Version) as the word of God. However, it is believed that over time, key passages of scripture have been corrupted, and in some cases even removed by unscrupulous translators and theologians. While this does not diminish the Bible's importance in our lives, the end product is believed to be the word of God as far is it is translated correctly. The LDS Church addresses this issue. Much research has been put into the subject and prophets of the Church have prayerfully included footnotes in the Bibles produced by the Church to clarify certain corrupted passages and cross-reference Gospel principles with other passages in the Bible and the rest of the Standard Works.
In 1820, Joseph Smith Jr. was just a fourteen-year-old farm boy living in upstate New York. At the time, many religious revivals were blazing through the area. Religious leaders and preachers from all over would come together and preach powerful sermons in hopes of attracting new converts. Smith, attending many of these revivals, was confused by all the conflicting voices he heard, each claiming to be the truth. During Smith's study of the Bible, he came across James 1:5:
" If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Inspired by this passage, Smith found some solitude in a grove of trees near his home. He knelt and asked God which of these Churches he should join. It was then that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. He was commanded that he should join none of these churches, because they were all false. Later, Joseph was led by an angel named Moroni to record etched in golden plates, buried in a nearby hillside. Through the power of revelation, Joseph Smith would translate this record, and it would come to be known as the Book of Mormon.
This volume of scripture is where members of the LDS Church get their nickname: Mormons. The Book of Mormon is similar to the Bible. While the Bible recounts the stories of God's people in the eastern continents, the Book of Mormon tells of God's people in the ancient Americas. The record begins around 600 B.C., when a prophet named Lehi leads his family out of Jerusalem before it is destroyed. Lehi's son Nephi builds a ship and they sail across the ocean to the promised land. Nephi's older brother's, Laman and Lemuel, rebel against him and attempt to kill him many times. Nephi and those who will listen to him are forced to flee into the wilderness. The two groups become known as the Nephites and the Lamanites, and are enemies. The Book of Mormon recounts about a thousand years of history, full of spiritual guidance, missionary work, war, and miracles. At about 33 A.D., the resurrected Christ appears to the Nephites and ordains a group of men as prophets, seers, and revelators, as well as healing and blessing the righteous in His midst.
Joseph Smith himself said of the record, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."
The Doctrine and Covenants is an excellent example of Mormonism's open canon. The writings contained within are different from the other books of the Standard Works, in that they are not translations of ancient writings, but are the transcriptions of modern revelations. Most of D&C (as it is commonly abbreviated) was revelation given through Joseph Smith in the early days of Church. A big purpose of D&C is to put forth the policies and methods of conducting the Church, and how to perform saving ordinances. There is also spiritual guidance and teachings in similar style to what is found in the Bible, or the Book of Mormon. It is truly modern scripture, as it is revelation given specifically for this generation.
Lastly, the Pearl of Great Price is the amalgamation of a few other pieces of revelation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Included are the 13 Articles of Faith which are thirteen succinct paragraphs that state plainly the basic beliefs of the Church. Also in the Pearl of Great Price are some selected portions of Joseph Smith's re-translations of two portions of the Bible, one from the writings of Moses, and another from Matthew. A small section details significant events and revelations in the life of Joseph Smith. And another has a more storied background.
In the early nineteenth century, the world took an extreme interest in Egypt, thanks to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799. Many expeditions headed for Egypt ensued. An Italian excavator named Antonio Lebolo was part of one such expedition, and one of his more fruitful finds, produced several mummies from the catacombs of Thebes. Years after his death, Lebolo's find, through trade and sale, found its way into the hands of one Michael Chandler of New York. Chandler found within the sarcophagi a series of papyri, upon which was written some text which no one could translate. Chandler searched and searched for someone who knew how to read this seemingly undecipherable text. Several of the scholars Chandler met with would joke that, "Perhaps Joseph Smith could translate it," poking fun at Smith's claims to have a special talent for translating ancient texts like the Book of Mormon. In 1835, Chandler made contact with the Prophet Joseph Smith who was with the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio at the time. After translating some of the papyrus, Smith felt impressed to purchase the mummies and papyri from Chandler. Chandler agreed, and the sale was made. As Smith began to translate the records, He was delighted to learn they were the writings of Abraham, the Old Testament prophet. The resulting manuscript would come to be known as the Book of Abraham, and were eventually included in the Pearl of Great Price.
For a more comprehensive look at the Pearl of Great Price click here.