Gospel Topics Essays on LDS.org
There is an important one released in 2014 titled: “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham”.
It starts off by stating, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embraces the book of Abraham as scripture.”
I’m surprised Church leaders embrace the Book of Abraham after all the problems I pointed out in our previous conversations. The Book of Abraham is perhaps the biggest reason church members are leaving Mormonism.
The reason is because there is plenty of evidence to show this LDS Scripture is fraudulent.
Honestly Elders, I believe the Book of Abraham is an embarrassment to the LDS Church.
The Book of Abraham is supposed to be evidence of the inspired calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith. But it turns out, Smith never translated the ancient writings of Abraham like he claimed he did. That has been proven beyond a doubt.
But haven’t LDS scholars proposed a number, of theories to support the reliability of the Book of Abraham?
Yes, but none of these theories has been able to hold up when all the evidence is considered.
It would be worth your time to read “By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus” by Charles Larson for explanations of those theories. He shows that there is absolutely no support for Smith’s translation.
Egyptologists all agree that Smith’s translation was inaccurate and that his papyrus source was, in fact, of pagan origin, having nothing to do with father Abraham.
To put it another way – Not a single word, thought, or concept, including his explanations of his three facsimiles, is in any way related to the subject matter of the Egyptian texts from which they were supposedly translated.
It says in the essay, “The book of Abraham’s status as scripture ultimately rests on faith in the saving truths found within the book itself as witnessed by the Holy Ghost.”
So, the greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of the physical evidence nor historical background, but it is primarily a matter of faith.
The Bible is very clear that we must “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We are supposed to “try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the word” (1 John 4:1). The Bereans were considered nobler than the Thessalonians because they tested the truth of everything against scripture (Acts 17:11).
It is completely unbiblical for the essay to say that facts ought to take a back seat to faith.
Here’s another thing to consider – There is no evidence a Jew like Abraham ever wrote in the Egyptian language.
But one might notice that Abraham traveled to Egypt and stayed for a while.
But ask yourself – Why would Abraham have written in Egyptian hieroglyphics belonging to foreign pagans who worshiped other gods? It is simply illogical!
The essay says, “Much like the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s translation of the book of Abraham was recorded in the language of the King James Bible. This was the idiom of scripture familiar to early Latter-day Saints, and its use was consistent with the Lord’s pattern of revealing His truths.”
It is clear, that Joseph Smith plagiarized the Book of Abraham from the Book of Genesis to make it sound biblical.
It is obvious why the Mormon Church needs to maintain the Book of Abraham as authentic. As an intellectual leader and historian of the LDS Church, B.H. Roberts noted: “If Joseph Smith’s translation of Egyptian parchment could be discredited, and proven false, then doubt would be thrown also upon the genuineness of his translation of the Book of Mormon, and thus all pretensions as a translator would be exposed and come to naught.” (Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. 2 p. 138)
The essay concludes: “The veracity and value of the book of Abraham cannot be settled by scholarly debate concerning the book’s translation and historicity. The book’s status as scripture lies in the eternal truths it teaches and the powerful spirit it conveys.”
It is time for the LDS Church to de-canonize the Book of Abraham. But, the Book of Abraham is so full of distinct LDS doctrines that it can never be discounted as inauthentic without throwing Joseph Smith’s reputation out the window.
The Gospel Topic Essay regarding the translation of the Book of Abraham does not provide the answers necessary to stem the tide of defection among Latter-day Saints.
I realize many members won’t care how Joseph did it. All they know is that it was done. If members begin to question, they are regarded as weak in their faith, so most never allow themselves to do so.
As a, result they fall for another JosephSmyth.