Book of Abraham – Part 1

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Have you ever prayed to know if the Book of Abraham is true?

Does the promise in the Book of Mormon – to pray and ask God if it is true – doesn’t apply to the Book of Abraham?

How can you trust that the Book of Abraham is the word of God?

Latter Day Saints believe they have to have faith that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he had the gift to translate.

From ancient Egyptian into 16th-century Kings James English, no less. 

Are you aware that – what Joseph Smith claimed to be a correct translation of the Book of Abraham – has since been proven to be a fraud?

Let me begin, by sharing with you some of your own church history.

In 1835 a traveling showman – Michael Chandler – brought an exhibit of Egyptian artifacts to the Mormon town of Kirtland, Ohio.  Those artifacts consisted of four ancient Egyptian mummies and two papyrus scrolls.  Because the Latter-day Saints believed their prophet Joseph Smith had the gift to translate the Book of Mormon gold plates that were inscribed in “reformed Egyptian”, those same Mormons believed Joseph might want to see if the papyri were of any religious value. 

Joseph examined the hieroglyphics on the scrolls and declared them to be the writings of Abraham and the writings of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt. 

Despite the severe financial, problems the church was suffering at that time, the Mormons purchased the scrolls for $2,400 – a large sum of money in those days. 

Joseph immediately began the translation of the first scroll.  He stated, “I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 2:235-236)

Consequently, he never began the translation of the supposed writings of Joseph of Egypt. 

In the eyes of the church members, this translation of Abraham’s record validated Joseph as a “prophet, seer, and revelator.” 

Contained with in it were unique and distinct doctrines. 

the pre-existence of spirits

eternal progression, and

the plurality of gods. 

It also introduced the first and only scriptural basis for denying the priesthood to people with black skin.

You’ll find the “curse of Cain” referred to in Abraham 1:21-27.

The value and impact of the Book of Abraham was recognized at once by the faithful, and Joseph continued to expound upon its contents in lectures and sermons right up to the time of his death. 

When we meet again, I would like to tell you what became of the papyrus scrolls.  It’s an intriguing story that you’ll want to hear.

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