Mormon Church Showcases Statement, “The Church does not stand or fall on the Book of Abraham”

On Tuesday, August 11th (2009) the “Authorized news web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Church News) showcased a lecture given by John Gee, “an associate research professor of Egyptology at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU” (the organization formerly known as FARMS).

“While critics of the Church often challenge the authenticity of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, they attach more importance to it than Church members do themselves, a Latter-day Saint Egyptologist said Aug. 6 at the annual conference of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR).” (“The Book of Abraham: The larger issue”)

Dr. Gee’s bedrock argument is that the Book of Abraham is “not central” and that its validity is not crucial:

John Gee“‘The Book of Abraham is true,’ said Brother Gee,…’I think it can be defended. I think it should be defended. But it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of either apologetics or research or the scriptures…’

“‘…if what is most important needs to be defended, what are some of the things that need to be defended?’ he asked.

“He suggested six: God exists; Jesus Christ is His Son; God talked and still talks with men through the power of the Holy Ghost; Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world; the Atonement is available to those who trust Jesus, turn from sin, make and keep sacred covenants, and follow the course throughout their lives; and the Book of Mormon is true, an authentic record of God’s interactions with actual ancient people…

“‘Now where is the Book of Abraham in this?’ he asked. ‘It isn’t. The Book of Abraham is not central to the restored gospel of Christ…

“…how the Book of Abraham was translated is unimportant. The Church does not stand or fall on the Book of Abraham.‘”

Joseph Smith began the “translation” of the text of the Book of Abraham in 1835. The translation was printed in LDS publications in 1842, 1851 and 1878. It was officially canonized as LDS scripture in 1880.

While giving lip-service to the claim that the Book of Abraham is true, Dr. Gee’s comments actually serve to place something Mormons recognize as sacred scripture on the ‘irrelevant shelf’ to gather the dust of neglect.

If Mormons believe the Book of Abraham is true, if they believe it is “the word of God as revealed to His inspired prophets,” and if continuing revelation is central to the restored gospel, how does Dr. Gee, and by extension the LDS Church, come to say it’s not all that important?

The implication here is that LDS leaders recognize that if the Book of Abraham really isn’t true—if Joseph Smith’s prophetic work known as the Book of Abraham is fraudulent—they will still encourage Mormons to sustain Joseph Smith as a true prophet.

Nevermind that Joseph Smith was acting as a charlatan, claiming to translate by the gift and power of God.

Nevermind that church membership, by “common consent,” was in error when it sustained the canonization of the Book of Abraham in 1880.

Nevermind that the LDS Church has been wrong to include it in the LDS canon of scripture for the last 129 years (What other things might be erroneously included in the LDS canon?).

Nevermind that doctrines that have arisen historically or have been solidified by the Book of Abraham are called into question, such as pre-mortal existence, the multiplicity of gods, and the co-participation in the work of “creation” between God the Father and “the gods” (including Adam).

Nevermind that Joseph Smith unnecessarily required great sacrifice on the part of the Latter-day Saints in 1835 when he solicited $2400 to purchase the Egyptian papyri.

Nevermind that prophets are supposed to represent God Almighty and that they should be held to higher standards than mere teachers or politicians or world leaders, particularly when doing something in the name of God.

Nevermind that people have left the “one true Church” over their loss of faith in the Book of Abraham. Nevermind that no one told them this LDS scripture was unimportant. The Church bid them fond farewell and as a result families have been split. Lives have been rocked. Tears shed. Hard words exchanged. Marriages broken. For what? For something that now, in 2009, doesn’t really matter anymore.

No apologies, no repentance, no major doctrinal reversals.

Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “Don’t worry about those little flicks of history.”

But how can we not be concerned? Jesus said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in D&C and Pearl of Great Price and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

212 Responses to Mormon Church Showcases Statement, “The Church does not stand or fall on the Book of Abraham”

  1. HankSaint says:

    Wow, what a hornets nest of religious whoppers. Abraham committed Adultery, was a liar, worshiped false Gods etc, etc. I would love to be a fly on the wall at your Sunday school brain washing classes that perpetrates such unbiblical confusion and leave members with nothing more then, well this is the Gospel, you see the Prophets in the new testament were not perfect men, sinned against God, committed adultery, were immoral, and lied a lot. Me thinks this is one of many reasons that Bongo Drums, Guitars, Videos, Sunday BBQs, and softballs games are so popular, the substance is not important as long as the sing along, bongo beating and videos can distract enough to keep the meat of the Gospel from being questioned by some one who might just say, what the hey, I thing I will go listen to the Mormon Missionaries, they have a important message about the Restoration of the Gospel as once preached. Hmmm, Interesting.


  2. liv4jc says:

    HankSaint, are you claiming that the prophets were sinless and holy? Are you denying the clear scriptural proof in Joshua 24:1-4 that Terah and Abraham were called out from across the Euphrates from Ur of the Chaldees away from the gods of their fathers?
    Are you refuting the clear archaelogical and biblical evidence that pagan gods were worshipped throughout Mesopotamia and Egypt? Unlike Bountiful and Zarahemla those places actually exist outside of Utah.
    Can we agree that Daniel was a prophet (I hope so since Jesus calls him one in Matthew 24) who was a very respectable man given great power and authority in Babylon? Was Daniel not confessing his sin and the sin of Israel in Daniel 9:3-7?
    Have you not read Isaiah 6:6,7 where he sees the throne room of God. Isaiah declares, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips dwelling among people of unclean lips” An angel takes a coal from the altar and puts it to Daniels lips telling him that it has taken away his iniquity and purged his sins.
    Have you not read where Jesus rebukes Peter telling him, “Get behind me Satan!”, or that Peter lied about knowing Jesus, denying Him three times? Is that not sin?
    Matthew was a despised tax collector who made a living, prior to his calling as an apostle, by collecting taxes for the Romans and extorting a profit(robbery) from his fellow Jews.
    Paul held the mob’s coats as they murdered Stephen. In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul says that Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom he is chief. In Romans 7 Paul says that if it were not for the Law he would not have known what sin was.
    Your gospel is not “good news” to be proclaimed. It is nothing but a cheap knock-off of age old heresies that Satan has re-packaged for a modern generation. You will meet the true God one day and you will fall on your knees in worship and praise or because you are crushed by the weight of your sin compared to his holiness. I pray God saves you before that happens.

  3. liv4jc says:

    As for your condescending comment about our churches, you know nothing about me or where I worship. I happen to belong to a small fellowship that meets in a home. We rely on strict exegetical preaching from the Bible. We meet twice on Sunday for worship and bible study and have a Wednesdy prayer meeting. I don’t have anything against the style of worship music Christians engage in as long as it glorifies God, but we only have a piano. We have never had a softball game or a barbecue, but we do have a fellowship lunch and a men’s breakfast once a month.
    I do however have many Mormon friends and it is the height of hypocrisy for you to accuse Christians of entertainment and being kept busy to keep our eyes off of false doctrine. Every LDS church where I live has an inside basketball court. I know about your barbecues and activity nights, womens relief society, boy scouts, and giving everyone in the church a calling, whether the person is qualified or desires the position, has time, or not.
    In the nicest possible way I tell you this, “You’re an arrogant Pharisee falsely assuring yourself of a salvation by a system of works that you cannot possibly accomplish.” Remember how Jesus rebuked them? He told them this parable in Matthew 18 “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  4. Andy wrote “The difference in this account in the Book of Abraham is the Lord TELLING/INSTRUCTING Abraham to lie. This is not the account in Genesis.”

    I tried posting this earlier, but it didn’t get through before Hank/Richard’s comments or liv4JC’s.


    I thought that was your intent, but it didn’t come over in your post.

    I fully agree; the Genesis text includes no such command. The BoA inserts something that isn’t there, and it ignores something that is – namely YHWH.

    BTW, if BoA was autobiographical (written by Abraham’s own hand), can you imagine Abraham writing, effectively, “I lied because God told me to”? I can’t.

    As for HankSaint’s comments, they are pretty typical of the LDS perspective, which goes something like this;

    * Abraham was a patriarch (Saint), so everything he did was commanded by God
    * Abraham was a polygamist, therefore God commands polygamy (even though there’s no such command in the OT)
    * Abraham lied, so God must have commanded him to lie (even though there’s no such command in the OT)
    * Therefore, Saints only do what God commands them to.
    * Saints are justified by works

    Of course, this is a poor substitute for the message of Genesis, which speaks of grace, election and justification by faith, not obedience to the law. Certainly, this was Paul’s view, and Jesus’, though he expressed it differently. I know I don’t need to convince Andy of this.

    Hank, you can say what you like about my style of worship (I doubt you even know what my ‘style’ is). If you don’t like it, fine; go somewhere which suits your tastes better.

    What I am very careful about, however, is presenting the Bible as it is, without inserting stuff which isn’t there, or ignoring stuff which is. Joseph Smith, by contrast ripped the guts out of scripture with his radical re-write.

    Not only is the BoA a demonstrable fraud; it does unjustifiable violence to the scriptures it is supposed to enhance.

  5. falcon says:

    Boy, I guess we’re really getting off track if we start talking about styles of worship. But I guess if I were a Mormon, I’d want to change the topic of conversation too. So just for fun, I would draw attention to Psalm 150. It says:
    Praise the Lord!
    Praise God in His sanctuary;
    Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
    Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
    Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
    Praise Him with trumpet sound;
    Praise Him with harp and lyre.
    Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
    Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
    Praise Him with loud cymbals;
    Praise Him with resounding cymbals;
    Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
    Praise the Lord.

    In Second Samuel 6:14-15 we read:
    “And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.”

    First Corinthians 14:26-33 is kind of interesting as he straightens out the Corinthians regarding their assembling together.

    So are all of these things we read in the Bible “prescriptive” or “descriptive”? I kind of like the description in Psalm 150. That would be an interesting church service.

  6. falcon says:

    I guess one of our new Mormon posters wants to know what a “Biblical” Christian is. I can say what I mean when I use the term. Here are the essentials I would identify with Biblical Christianity:
    1. The Bible is the Word of God.
    2. The Trinity, One God, three persons.
    3. The Deity of Christ. He is God.
    4. The Virgin birth of Christ.
    5. Christ died for us. The blood atonement.
    6. Jesus’ resurrection.
    7. Saved by grace a part from works.
    8. Jesus second coming.
    9. The final judgment of God.

    Now each of these points could be expanded to give more definition to them; that would bring further clarification. Mormonism differs from Biblical Christianity in probably seven of the nine. Mormons would assent to Jesus’ resurrection and His second coming, however with the other Christian essential, they would be heading in a different direction.
    For example, Mormons worship a different God. The God of Mormonism is a former sinful man, who through his efforts, progressed to become a god. In fact Mormons are polytheists believing that there exists countless gods in the universe and that the Mormon male can achieve godhood also. Now Mormons will try to fudge this and say they aren’t polytheists because they only “worship” one god, but this is just part of the semantic hocus pocus Mormons pull so as to sound more mainstream.
    The Mormon man-god will then rule, along with his goddess wife/wives, his own planetary system which he will organize. They will procreate endlessly. They will have their own minions who will worship and adore them. Quite a deal for the Mormon male and a real contributor to (the Mormon male’s ego and pride).
    As we can see, Mormonism is not Biblical Christianity because none of this appears anywhere in the Bible.
    Mormons also hold to “scripture” other than the Bible. This entire discussion on this thread has concerned the bogus BoA. This false document passes for “scripture” in Mormonland. The folks seem to be wanting to walk-it-back when it comes to the BoA

  7. HankSaint says:

    Calm down Liv4JC and please take the time to read not glance at what I said.

    “Me thinks this is one of many reasons that Bongo Drums, Guitars, Videos, Sunday BBQs, and softballs games are so popular, the substance is not important as long as the sing along, bongo beating and videos can distract enough to keep the meat of the Gospel from being questioned.

    I very clearly stated Sunday BBQs and Softball games, now I don’t think we use the Basket ball courts on Sundays at least for the 50 plus years I have been a member. On the condescending remarks, I give back what I receive and your biggest sarcastic condescending poster is Falcon. So unless you want to include him, I suggest you just let the remarks roll off your shoulders and move on with some substance.

    Martin as for you list:

    * Abraham was a patriarch (Saint), so everything he did was commanded by God
    * Abraham was a polygamist, therefore God commands polygamy (even though there’s no such command in the OT)
    * Abraham lied, so God must have commanded him to lie (even though there’s no such command in the OT)
    * Therefore, Saints only do what God commands them to.
    * Saints are justified by works

    1). False
    2). False
    3). False
    4). False
    5). False

    There that pretty much answers your list of LDS Beliefs we don’t believe.

    Falcon, usual posting of irrelevant topic matter. 🙂

    So all you lurkers, guest, and visitors, what we find is the standard borrowed talking points, and no one who really can claim to have read completely the Standard works of ours, very interesting.

    VWBrown, you need to not quote what you think the Church says about the papyri you need to actually read some history or quit getting your lame facts from some phony sources.

    Andy, by your own remarks it’s clear your deflecting about reading our standard works COMPLETELY.

    May I quote you: “clearly enough that I had to point out to you in the thread topic “

    I asked if you read it completely, not clearly. Nice try.


  8. Andy Watson says:


    Yes, I’ve read your standard works COMPLETELY – all of them – slowly – carefully – cover to cover – and…what else? The stakes are always being raised – the “annie” is always being raised. I’ve read the Book of Mormon more times than I have read the Bible. I have typed my own topical index with scripture reference of every subject in all of your standard works. I have typed a chapter analysis and summary of every chapter/section in all of your standard works. I find it puzzling that the Mormon people have such a hard time trying to get through the Book of Mormon and their scriptures themselves.

    I was reading the September 2009 Ensign (p.74) just a few moments ago of the story of a Mormon finding it very difficult to abide by Hinckley’s instruction to read the Book of Mormon in a year and his personal struggle just trying to get through one chapter a day. Why? It’s not a big book. My last read-through was done in three weeks. For a works based religion such as Mormonism I think your people need to get it in gear and dump the apathy.

    Yes, I’ve read COMPLETELY what the Book of Abraham says about Kolob. That was what I was pointing out to you when you claimed ignorance of the subject. I’ve just registered for the Fall semester at Institute for a refresher/new revelations of LDS teachings. I wish you were my professor. I have lots of questions. You could join me as a student and we could sit next to each other. At this institute they promise “food, fun, friends and ping-pong” into the night on Tuesdays. It may interfere with my 3:45 AM wake-up for work so we may have to part ways at that point. I also need to get home to my family.

    I’m still curious if the Facsimiles in the BoA are of God since you said that the book itself is scripture? Do I have to wait for Institute before I get an answer? Thanks in advance for your help. I’ll be thinking about you when I play the trombone in church this morning. Come on, Hank, lighten up. Have a nice day!

  9. mobaby says:

    I want to address something I read over and over in Mormon comments here at Mormon Coffee. It is the assertion that the historic Christian Creeds (and by extension our Confessions) are “just the words of men.”

    This is repeated as if it is a phrase that in and of itself disproves Christian doctrine – “just words of men.” The equivalent from one of the Christian comments would be to dismiss LDS doctrine out of hand as “just the words of false prophets” with no explanation. Mormons follow just the words of false prophets. The Christians here endeavor to discuss what the false prophets said, why it is false, and point to the Biblical viewpoint. We demonstrate why we believe Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are false prophets and the many problems with their theology.

    In contrast to Mormon assertions, when I read through the statement of faith for my denomination – the Westminster Confession of Faith, there are numerous Bible quotes and the writers laid out a clear Biblical foundation for our doctrines. In other words, what we believe is in the Bible – I don’t need any “words of men” – I can see it for myself. So the “just the words of men” argument doesn’t hold up – it makes for a good talking point, but not an accurate one. It reveals more about the Mormon mindset really, JS said they are just doctrines of men, therefore they are. Mormons follow just the words of false prophets.

  10. VWBrown says:

    HankSaint said “VWBrown, you need to not quote what you think the Church says about the papyri you need to actually read some history or quit getting your lame facts from some phony sources.”

    Unfortunately for your assessment of me is lame at face value for you have no information to base it upon. How about actually answering the point for once. The lds church has accepted the papyri as authentic – it is the mormon apologists who have tried to spin it away. Throughout this thread, you have FAILED to provide ANY of this so-called ‘history’ to correct us – why? (crickets)

  11. pookachamp says:

    Falcon- THe problem is the term Biblical Christian. That is not a Biblical Term. Sorry to disappoint.

    You’re right about one thing… THere are many differences between the “Traditions of Men” and their false Biblical Christianity, and the Mormon CHurch. Specifically, 7 of those 9 examples. The funny thing is… there are probably several of those differences among the thousands of other “Biblical Christian” groups. Different Religious Families (lutheran, baptist, pentecostal, etc) have very different beliefs pertaining to some of these points. DIfferent “Theological Ideologies” (calvinism, arminianism, etc.) have varying views on some of these points. Even the big “Meta Groups” (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Anglican) have differing creeds and beliefs, yet all are Christian, and may even use your imaginary term “Biblical Christian”. To be extreme… many of those groups have interpreted the Bible differently, use different versions, or even created their own version. Yet… somehow, you’re all right… even though you say different things. Hmmm…. so what kind of Christian are you? Catholic, Baptist, Orthodox, Anglican, Liberal, Conservative, Amish, etc.? Or just part of one of the other thousand or so groups that sprung up from no where, that teach what they interpret to be true? Just curious…

    Oh, and by the way, it would be more appropriate to call your christianity, “Nicean Christianity”, instead of Biblical. We can discuss that all day.

    About the thread… are any of the teachings in the BofA false? or bad? No. Did anyone in the church say that the Book is not true? No. Has someone outside of the mormon religion (Sharon – Aaron) taken bits and pieces of a talk with the sole purpose of creating a controversial subject on a website that slanders mormon beliefs? Yes.

    It is all very clear to me. VWBRown asks for History? Help me find Noah’s ark, or help explain (using science) how Moses turned the river to blood…

  12. pookachamp says:

    Or let’s go fishing for that fish that swallowed up Jonas…

    History, Science, Archeology… you’re asking for signs, yet all you talk about is how Faith saves.

    What you need to do is have faith that God still speaks to man on earth through a prophet, as he always has, and as he always will. Find out who that prophet is, and then all of this mumbo jumbo website crap will go away.

  13. HankSaint says:

    AS far as I have discovered the Facsimiles were a attachment to the scrolls, like many others found, they are not uncommon to be placed with the dead. The Church has never claimed that Abraham physically wrote the scrolls or the facsimiles since the scrolls date to thousands of years later. From what I have been able to determine, whoever the author was, he most likely had some original writings of Abraham, and the Facsimiles were also a rendering done by someone else, you should read more by Nibley who has done some major work in this area.

    The Church has never claimed that the fragments in their possession are done by Abraham. If you have better information that can accurately give evidence that contradicts this, please do so.

    I have read the Book of Mormon completely some 11-12 times and hardly think it difficult or uninteresting. The Same for all the other Standard works. My experience with the Book of Mormon actually led to my testimony just from reading it. It was profound and spiritual.
    Since it is personal and many would mock me here at Mormon Coffee, I can not share it with you.

    Your statement is incorrect about BOA being completely of God since men are the ones who write as moved by the spirit, you should know this from the Book of Mormon you have read countless times and Nephi even admits, “if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”


  14. falcon says:

    Poor HankSaint, he’s really suffering. I can always tell when I’ve hit him right between the eyes because I get his typical “irrelevant comment” comment.
    POOK, and the point of “Biblical Christian” not being a Biblical term is what? It’s a label that I attached to a set of beliefs. So what? Do you have a point. Is Celestial Kingdom a Biblical term? The word grandfather isn’t in the Bible either, as far as I know, so what? You are so wrong that it’s embarrassing when it comes to what Biblical Christians attest to and embrace as basic doctrine. Another typical Mormon slogan. Pick-up a copy of “Kingdom of the Cults” by Walter Martin. Turn to the section on Mormonism for a detailed description. If the bogus BoA is a prime example of Mormon “revelation”, I could come up with something better on my own in a couple of hours. Funny thing, I could probably get Mormons to buy-in to it, especially if I showed them the magic rock I found while digging a well as did the con man Joseph Smith.
    You Mormons are going to have to pick-up your game a little. This copy cat comment type of approach really isn’t working for you.

  15. Let me throw out a wild off-topic question, because it seems for this thread anything goes. For Mormons – Does your church stand or fall on the Book of Abraham?

  16. falcon says:

    Excuse me David Whitsell,
    But I’d like to go off topic, off your off topic, topic.
    Since our Mormon friends want to stop talking about the BoA and would rather talk about denominationalism (a word that I don’t know if it is a Biblical term or not); let’s talk about Mormon denominations. “What”, you say, “there are Mormon denominations?” Well of course there are. “How can that be?”, you reply anxiously as you see just one more example of the fact that the one true super duper Salt Lake City Mormon church might not be true.
    The SLC Mormon church is the one true church, isn’t it?. How can there be more than one? Well it seems that there are Mormons who have various points of view on a variety of topics fundamental to Mormonism. We have the FLDS which is the closest thing you’ll find to Smithism and Youngism who enjoy the many benefits of Smith/Young polygamy including being the only ones that are going to make it to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. We have the Community of Christ which is probably the one true Mormon church with the restored gospel because we have lineage working here with Joseph Smith’s son having been the head of this group and Joseph Smith’s wife as a member (of CoC). In my correspondence with the CoC they tell me that they leave it up to the individual members to decide whether the BoM is real history or a “spiritual” book.
    Then we have the Temple Lot group. I can’t remember which one, but one of these two sees Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet and won’t accept anything after the 1832 Book of Commandments. Then we have the SLC Mormons (again) who are severely messed-up doctrinally in comparison to the other Mormon denominations. And then of course we have all the little splinter groups, at last count, I don’t know, sixty or seventy of them who have gotten a bunch of different revelations from God also.
    Oh, what’s a SLCer to do. Well I’d suggest dump the whole ruse and acknowledge the One, everlasting, unchanging God.

  17. liv4jc says:

    David, we have been drawn off topic by accusations, and I have been one of the worst offenders. I apologize.

    It is obvious from these postings though, that the LDS church does not stand or fall upon any scripture. They stand or fall upon the beliefs and traditions of their church. This is illustrated from this fact: When I make a point I use scripture to prove it (whether I am right or wrong, you be the judge). What I get in return are comments about the same scripture being a “hornets nest of religious whoppers,” and then off-topic remarks about church behavior. There is no scriptural rebuttal. What does 2 Timothy 3:16,17 say?

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    This is how I used scripture to prove my points. HankSaint tells me to calm down, never explaining from scripture what he actually meant when he inferred that the OT prophets, NT prophets (whoever they were), and apostles were not sinful men called by God, not because of works of righteousness that they had done, but because of His mercy (Titus 3:5). Never refuting from scripture that God did not call Abram out from idolotry to the One True God (Josh 24).

    The bible is clear on these matters, but we do not see our LDS posters using scripture to back their claims, nor to refute clear biblical doctrine.

    They do not use their “scriptures” to dazzle us with truth, because they know that there is no way to prove their asserted origins, other than believing JS was a prophet, by faith (mere belief). What is the standard LDS testimony? I believe JS was a prophet, I believe the BoM is true, and I believe the LDS church is the one true church.

    The bible refutes these things. If prophets are supposed to be sinless, JS was not one by any stretch of the imagination. JS was a false prophet (Deut 13 and 18)

  18. setfree says:

    I was rolling it around in my head, trying to think of a good analogy for the current scholarship (LDS) on the Book of Abraham. This is what it finally came down to:

    “Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me… ending up together?
    Mary: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…
    Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
    Mary: Not good.
    Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
    Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
    Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!* ”

    FAIR enough analogy? 😛

    Seriously though, the LDS have these HUGE problems with their religion, sitting at their back doors, staring them in the face. But they casually step over these, and walk 500 miles away to try to find some dust that resembles something that may have been…burned up? relocated to another country? taken back by the spirits?

    Your prophet said he translated from what are the ‘facsimiles’ in the BofA. He frankly lied.

    When a Bible prophet did something stupid, he acknowledged it, felt bad about it. He never set himself up as god over his own little kingdom and made all his errors into sacred books, revelations, and commandments.

    The only Bible “prophet” to ever be perfect was Jesus, and He alone is qualified to set Himself up as God over His Kingdom.

    Ya know?

    Pooky, where in the Bible did you find the Mormon church? Just wondering… cuz it appears that your disbelief for the Bible is what led you to the Mormon church. If so, it’s the right place for you.

  19. setfree says:

    If you take time to think about the issues that set the Mormon Church apart from the churches that claim Christianity, then the issue of which Standard Works are the most important becomes more clear.

    In order for mainstream (SLC) Mormonism to be true:
    1) The Bible has to be mostly false.
    2) The Book of Moroni from the Book of Mormon has to be true. The rest needs to be not that crucial.
    3) The Doctrine & Covenants has to be true, but mostly just some key verses in the latter parts of it. Some stuff would be more efficient if it were removed (i.e. D&C 20:28)
    4) The Pearl of Great Price, and most specifically the Book of Abraham MUST BE TRUE as it is the historical back-up book for the idea that the M Priesthood was had by Adam et al, that God was once a man, and that we can become gods.

    So really, if the BoA is bogus, we have to fall back on the D&C, which was written by the same guy and thus subject to question. If the D&C is bogus, we have to fall back on the Book of Mormon, which does not have M Priesthood or man-to-god in it. Pretty soon, we’re back to not-that-far from “mainstream” Christianity.

    So then, the LDS church does stand or fall on the BoA. Your expert made a statement to the contrary. Are you just going to go with that? Well, that’s why the statement was made. So you could pass over the truth, and stay in the church.

    Christians, I think we need to be praying for HankSaint. Wanna join me?

  20. Michael P says:

    Mobaby, I agree completely. They use thesde standard lines that really prove nothing. Because the creeds were voted on, they must be false. They say other christians follow the philosophies of men but cannot prove this an iota. They claim the numerous denominations prove that an apostacy occured, but fail to see the similarities between or the unity that they maintain. The list goes on with arguments that really prove nothing.

    They voted on a creed? So what? What they voted for could well be right, correct?

    There are many denominations, right? So what? What do they hold in common?

    We have no authority figure? We don’t? What is Christ’s role in our church?

    We are led by pholosophies of men? Who creates their doctrine and philosophies? God? Prove it.

    They have a testimony! Great, so do we, and so do Muslims, Jews, JW’s, Buddhists, etc. Now what?

    The Bible has been translated poorly! And that proves it needs an update! OK, care to look at how much? We can show you some very early documents and you can discern how different they are. Oh, and by the way, what about the changes to the BoM in its short history? What about the BoA? Can we trust them? Why?

    See, we could go on for a while, but the talking points really do not have strong defenses. But, logic to them is not necessary, since they have a testimony which proves their faith. But does that mean Islam is true, too?

  21. Michael P says:

    My point with this last post is simply to suggest that all the talking points given by Mormons really don’t prove anything as much as they say. Sure, to be fair, their points can be evidence of what they claim, but are very short of proving it. At best, a discussion can arise from the points, separately, or together.

    However, taking them all together, and given the amount of these points, given the other alternatives, it really clouds the veracity of their claimt. It clouds them so much, in fact, it becomes difficult to say they are true, because for each alternative, or argument with an alternative, the odds get larger that they are true. It becomes harder to put the puzzle together.

    The topic of this post is a great example of the slippery nature of Mormonism. A piece of scripture can easilly be discarded to them and they feel their faith still stands. If the BoA were not official scripture, the problem would not exist, because scripture should be foundational to any faith. And if a foundation crumbles, the house should fall, too. It is that way with Christianity, because if we can’t trust the Bible, we can’t trust that Christ did what we claim he did.

    But Mormons don’t see it that way. If a scripture is not foundational and thus its destruction won’t kill the faith, what use is scripture anyway? It would be clear in that scenario that they take their truth from something other than scripture, which can only be through the ideas of men (or if you go by them, by revelation through their god). But the trouble with their explanation is how do you know that the being telling them is God? If any scripture can be brushed aside, then you can’t trust fully that other pieces of scripture will not be cast aside later, or that particular parts of scripture will not be cast aside.

    The result is that there is no way to discern beyond the testimony what truth is, but the testimony is terribly dangerous to base truth on alone…

  22. falcon says:

    So I was out in the woods that surrounds my farm picking blackberries. Unbelievable year for blackberries. I love blackberry pie, warm, with vanilla ice cream. Anyway I was thinking about my handy dandy little chart that I have here that compares Mormon church beliefs and practices of the Community of Christ, Temple Lot and the SLC branches of Mormonism.
    So guess what? Neither the Temple Lot bunch or the Community of Christ accept the Pearl of Great Price (of which the BoA is part) as scripture. These folks have caught on to something that the SLC folks seemed to have missed. You see if somebody says the translated something and then it’s found out that he didn’t really, he just kind of made it up, then you toss it. SLC LDS haven’t quite figured that out.
    BTW, all three groups claim to have prophets. Neither TL or CoC practice baptism for the dead. Neither believe in celestial marriage, men to gods progression, or god was once a man.
    Guess who owns the property on which the temple (end times) is to be built. It’s not the SLCers! Guess who owns the copyright to the Joseph Smith translation of the KJB. Not the SLCers. Who owns the Kirtland temple. Poor SLCers. Who’s son was the head hancho for the CoC. You guessed it Joseph Smith’s son.
    Finally the TL says this: The Church of Christ is a remnant of the original church of 1830, being neither disorganized nor reorganized. Its priesthood may be traced back, intact, to Joseph Smith and the angel. Early Church innovations were accepted for a time, but we later repudiated them, reverting to the scriptural pattern in organization and doctrine. As the Bible and BoM were said to contain the fullness of the gospel, a fullness will admit of no new doctrine nor priesthood office.”
    Also (I particularly like this):
    “Many changes were made in the revelations to support offices not originally provided for, and these were introduced by men-not God!” (that’s so cool)
    So that interloping SLC bunch appears neither fish nor fowl.

  23. liv4jc says:

    setfree, I’ll join you, but it feels like casting pearls before swine. I do pray however that Hank has a Saul of Tarsus experience.
    By the way. If you’re reading this Hank, I had a great day at church. I hit two home runs and took part in a double play! God is good! After the game we had an awesome barbecue. Don’t worry, though. We did do some worship while avoiding the meat of the gospel. We prayed to Horus, the other god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and thanked him for our food. Afterwards we had an awesome bongo drum session. My
    hands are so sore I can hardly type.
    Honestly though, all joking aside, I will be praying as I always do that God will continue to call His lost sheep. I honestly pray that the message of the gospel will be faithfully presented by all Christians who post here. I pray that we remember that we too were lost and without hope, dead in our trespasses and sins in which we formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, as the spirit who is now working in the sons of disobedience, among them too we all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

    Did God have any more reason to save us, than them. No. Amazing grace how could it be that you my God would die for me? Christ came into the world to save sinners, and I am their chief.

  24. setfree says:

    I think I should have mentioned earlier that the little dialogue quote I gave was from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”.

    Jim Carrey’s character, Lloyd, is pursuing Mary. He doesn’t know that she’s married. When he asks her if there is “a chance” for the two of them, an even-one-in-a-hundred-chance, she says “more like one in a million”. Of course, she knows she’s already married; she just doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. lol.

    If anybody didn’t see the movie, i’m not recommending it. I just thought the quote really worked out well for what I was hoping to say about the current “LDS Scholarship” thing.

    Mormon: “Is there really one in a million chance that it’s true, then? So… you’re saying there’s a chance. Yippee! I’ll stay put!”

    Evidence: “Well, no, I’m saying it’s MORE LIKE one in a million (because really, there’s no chance at all)”

    lol. okay, maybe i only crack myself up with this one.

    Thanks! I agree wholeheartedly with your last post, having been one of the those who never knew how yucky I was until being exposed to the Righteousness of God, and still wondering why He would save a wretch like me.

  25. HankSaint says:

    Setfree states, “Your prophet said he translated from what are the ‘facsimiles’ in the BofA. He frankly lied.”

    Yet Setfree does not source the quote, does not give a reference, very interesting bit of manipulation and editing, are we using Mormon history, or just youe usual borrowed talking points again with out naming the source for fear of embarrassment that we might have somewhere to go and validate it.

    No where is there any evidence of the means of translation, we also know the Facsimiles are not the Book of Abraham, we do know that the original scrolls are missing, most likely burned up in the Museum where they were kept. Hmmm.

    Nice try again.


  26. liv4jc says:

    HankSaint, sorry to break you out of your diversion (I assume you buying yourself some time while poring over the scriptures making ready for a blistering doctrinal response), but you still haven’t answered my questions about the sinful nature of prophets and apostles, or Andy’s question about whether or not the church stands or falls upon the truthfulness of the BoA.

    I have been very honest with you about my beliefs and given you the scriptures that they are based upon. You are free to say that the scriptures do not mean what I claim, but please use scripture to support your argument when pointing to my errors. Maybe you can teach me something, since I assume you hold the Melchizedek priesthood and have the Holy Ghost.

    Stop claiming that others are refusing to provide support for their claims when you are doing the same thing. It’s not nice. Maybe try reading Matthew 7. Methinks you have a plank in your eye.

  27. gundeck says:


    Is it your contention that Facsimile #1 was restored and translated correctly by Joseph Smith?

  28. Joheshua says:

    Hank, this is really getting pathetic. The intro to the Book of Abraham reads, “A Translation of some ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt.—The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus”.

    Let’s break it down, a TRANSLATION of SOME ANCIENT RECORDS that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt–the WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM WHILE HE WAS IN EGYPT, called the book of Abraham, WRITEN BY HIS OWN HAND, UPON PAPYRUS.

    Do you get it?! Joseph Smith said it himself.

    I used to be like you. I used to ignore all of the evidence because the church just had to be true. I had devoted so much of my life to it and if it wasn’t true that meant that I had wasted my time and efforts for nothing. And I could just not accept that. Thank God I finally came to my senses. I think you are too far gone. I hope not, but I’m afraid you are a lost cause.

  29. So far I have seen two Mormons here suggest that the BoA was burned up (usually The Great Chicago fire is the culprit). I have encountered young Mormons born in the 70’s or later that believe the same thing. Is Mormendom now challenging the fact that SLC has the papyri that were used to bring forth the BoA? The BoA cache was found at the Met in NYC (in the 60’s), along with an affidavit by Emma testifying to its authenticity. Not to mention the fact that the image on the papyrus matches the facsimile. O and we do have “evidence of the means of translation” – the grammar that Joseph Smith constructed while he was working on the BoA.

    Are we really entertaining this madness? Now the papyri do not exist because we do not like what they say?

  30. HankSaint says:

    Interesting, and I suppose if a original manuscript from John who gave us Revelations, was ever to be shown to exist, we could then say it was the actual copy that all else came from, the many different scribes that have translated it over the centuries. I guess you missed my comment that the remaining copies we have, the fragments, the Funeral text are all several thousand years later then when Abraham walked the earth. No one is trying to hide this fact, so what we have are the writing of some scribe who has translated the original BOA.

    Nibley has pretty much put this to rest along with the many apologist and even the Church Authorities,

    Sorry to hear you quit the truth, all because you listened to the lies of others and would not believe that your subjective testimony came from the Holy Ghost, sorry again.


  31. HankSaint says:


    “Is it your contention that Facsimile #1 was restored and translated correctly by Joseph Smith?”

    Of course I do, or wouldn’t I be a Creedal Christian instead. Please produce 7-8 Egyptologist that even though they claim Joseph got it wrong, have come up with the correct interpretations that they all agree on, good luck, I will be waiting for those names.


  32. HankSaint says:


    I feel sad for you, your source of information is totally false, and it must be from the outdated anti-book your following, Do yourself a favor and check your facts with a authorized Mormon site. The old saying is if you want the truth then go to the source of that truth.

    Mossier and Owens, two of your scholars pretty much state it all.

    “A third conclusion we have come to is that currently there are, as far as we are aware, no books from an evangelical perspective that responsibly interact with contemporary LDS scholarly and apologetic writing.(3) In a survey of twenty recent evangelical books criticizing Mormonism we found that none interact with this growing body of literature. Only a handful demonstrate any awareness of pertinent works. Many of the authors promote criticisms that have long been refuted; some are sensationalistic while others are simply ridiculous. A number of these books claim to be “the definitive” book on the matter. That they make no attempt to interact with contemporary LDS scholarship is a stain upon the authors’ integrity and causes one to wonder about their credibility.”

  33. Hank,

    Do you care to interact with anything I have written? Are you just going to state, “You are wrong” and then drag out an eleven year old quote? You are guilty of the very thing that Mosser/Owens crticize some evangelicals of(over ten years ago). You have not interacted with the arguments and refutations that are out there.

    I would love to read more about the BoA from Nibley, but his last book (the one on the the BoA) for some reason has not been published in the 4 years since his death. I for one would like to now why it has not been published.

    What assertions have I made that are incorrect? Do you really think the Chevy dealer is going to tell me its latest truck will occasionally burst into flames? If you are a Chevy dealer and you got an answer to what Ford, GM, Dodge, Toyota, and consumer reports claims to be true then I am listening. Or perhaps you can give a straight answer to a month old quote form one of your scholars. Does the Mormon church stand or fall on the BoA?

  34. Ralph says:

    For those who are interested in some referenced work about what we have and don’t have in the way of the papyrus scrolls this website (updated July this year) has some information –

    Yes its from FAIRLDS, but you cannot disclaim all of their research especially if it is referenced.

    Basically their claim from records/journals of JS contemporaries is that we only have at most one eighth of the scrolls that JS had and that none of the pieces match the description that JS gave concerning the papyrus he used for the BoA. It even gives the lengths of the papyri sections we have, how they match up with each other (ie which are from the same scroll) and how they figure into the 5 papyri that JS had in his possession (ie, they are from 2 of the papyri, meaning that we are missing 3 other full papyri). And since he is the ‘man of the moment’ it references much of Dr Gee’s work. So this will give you more of an insight into what Dr Gee thinks about the BoA.


    If you go back to my very first post on this site I give you an answer to your question with my thoughts about it. Briefly – NO the LDS church does not stand or fall on the BoA.

  35. pookachamp says:


    THe difference between my example and yours… You said “Biblical Christian” … I never said “Biblical Mormon/Marriage/Grandfather” etc. You missed the point 10 posts ago… carry on.

    I like this website, because I see so much of the same hatred/slander/lies/etc. that I saw when I was a so-called christian (Biblical or not 🙂 ), and it does something good for me. It allows me to dig deep and continue learning the True Gospel. The best part about it… I was that person too, so I had all of the same arguments (or arguments fed to me by some other person) at one point in time, and I am ashamed of the focus I put on pointing fingers, as all of my Christian friends did and still do. I had Mormon friends before I was converted, but many of my Christian friends have judged me and will no longer associate with me. For a group of people that pride themselves on doing so much good, and being so right, you sure stir up a lot of controversy and judge a lot of people. Just from my personal experience.

    BofA is true. And no, The Church doesn’t stand or fall on the BofA. (By the way, I’m an employee of Bank of America… BofA.)

    Everyone, please pray for Rick B! He needs all the help he can get!

  36. Ralph,

    Thanks for the response. This one was much more to the point than your first one. I would merely assert that your position is not only wrong but ludicrous. Common sense dictates that J. Smith’s prophetic status does hinge on the authenticity of the BoA.

    I am aware of the assertions that the scrolls we have do not constitute the entirety of the originals. There is the question on how much survived from the first century until the 1830’s and how much survived from the 1830’s until the 1960’s. While relevant (I am sure we disagree on the percentage), it still does not get your church around the connections between the rediscovered text and the PoG. Even if there were large portions of text missing from the 1830’s until now, somehow those missing pieces would have to controvert the current text of the BoA and how it matches to the scrolls we do have. The “grammer” plus the scrolls plus the facsimiles adds up to something that does not jive with the BoA.

    If this case was presented in a US court of law(or an Australian one) I would not want to bet on J. Smith. The same means people use to determine if other books are fraudulent are the same means people have used to determine that the BoA is a fraud. The indicators show that what we have is what Smith used to translate the BoA. You would have us all believe that among a common Egyptian funerary cache from the 1st century was a set of theological texts from over 1500 years prior, and that those texts were about the Jewish patriarch Abraham. You would also have us believe that Smith only took from the super-ancient theological, Hebrew texts and not at all from the later funerary texts. To make matters worse, the text of the BoA contradicts the Egyptian in the facsimiles of the pictographs in the PoG.

  37. falcon says:

    One thing that the Mormons have done for you is help develop the good old Mormon persecution complex. We either get the haters charge or “let me bear my testimony” when you folks run out of gas. You have bought the delusion and I don’t think there’s any pulling back from it.
    In Second Thessalonians chapter 2 starting with verse 9. It reads “that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who, perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”
    In essence, what we have here is a picture of the antichrist. I believe it can be applied to Joseph Smith. He gave himself over to the occult. He denied God by making for himself an idol of a man who would be god. He created a different Jesus, not one who can secure someones salvation through the blood of the Cross, but a type of superhero, a subgod.
    I don’t expect you or the hardcore TBMs to get it. You can’t. Because you have chosen to believe a lie, you’ve condemned yourself to an eternity separated from God.
    Anyone who can’t see that the BoA, for example is a fraud, is indeed deluded.

  38. gundeck says:


    7 or 8, is that the magic number for disproving a fraud? Why not 20 or 30? Come on, John Larson, Robert Ritner, Klaus Baer, or John Wilson aren’t good enough?

  39. Ralph says:


    You are against divination, am I right? Anyone who ‘divines’ is not from God and is giving themselves to the occult, am I right? So what do you say about Laban, Jacob’s (ie Israel) father-in-law – Genesis 30:27? The phrase ‘by experience’ is translated in some Bibles to mean ‘by divination’? But yes, he wasn’t a prophet. Well how about Joseph, Israel’s son? He had a special cup for divination which he used to ensnare his brothers – Genesis 44:5, 15? A few blogs ago I gave you some references from the internet about the Urim and Thummin being crystal stones that the high priests looked through to receive revelation from God – these were from Jewish sources, not LDS sources. So there we have divination and scrying by God’s own people in the Bible. So I guess this means that the Bible is from occult as well.


    As I said, the article argues that the fragments we have do not constitute the one that JS used for the BoA, and they give their references from eye witnesses to show this. Did you read the article to see this? So if we do not have the section that JS used then of course it would not match up with what we have.

  40. HankSaint says:

    gundeck, make it 20-30, but I will make it easier, why not find just 4-5 that agree on the actual interpretations found on the fragments.
    I asked for proof and you gave me names, hmmm, are you willing to do the research or just buy into the usual talking points of the Tanners and others.

    I really thought you were going to step up to the plate and produce some eye popping proof, how disappointing. Game over, Richard will just have to settle for names, not the interpretations that they do no all agree on. Nice.


  41. Andy Watson says:

    Hank said: “No where is there any evidence of the means of translation”.

    FALSE – “The book of Abraham is an evidence of the inspired calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith…Joseph Smith began his translation of the ancient manuscripts. His knowledge and ability came through the power and gift of God, together with his own determination and faith.” (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual Religion 327, p. 29)

    Hank said: “we also know the Facsimiles are not the Book of Abraham”.

    FALSE: on the account of Facsimile 1. In the “Pearl of Great Price Student Manual” on pp. 30-32 it gives commentary on “Abraham 1:5-19 and Facsimile 1 – Jehovah Saved Abraham”. However, all three Facsimile’s have this heading on top of them “A Facsimile From the Book of Abraham”. The key word here is “From”. The Facsimiles are part of the Book of Abraham and are dispersed throughout the book. If they weren’t part of the book, not scripture and irrelevant, then the LDS Church should have left them out and not called the whole book “scripture”.

    “In addition to hieroglyphic writings, the manuscript also contained Egyptian drawings…Joseph Smith published the copies (facsimiles) along with the book of Abraham. Joseph Smith’s explanations of the drawings accompany the facsimiles.” (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual Religion 327, p. 29)

    Hank, you stated that all of it is scripture just yesterday. If it’s scripture it has to be from God. You confirmed that 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20-21 applied to this book. It’s all or nothing.

  42. Andy Watson says:

    Hank said: “we do know that the original scrolls are missing, most likely burned up in the Museum where they were kept.”

    FALSE – What the LDS Church has today is what Joseph Smith used back then. “In 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, discovered papyri known to have been used by the Prophet Joseph Smith in producing the Book of Abraham.” (Improvement Era, January 1968, page 12)

    Ralph said: “It even gives the lengths of the papyri sections we have, how they match up with each other (ie which are from the same scroll) and how they figure into the 5 papyri that JS had in his possession (ie, they are from 2 of the papyri, meaning that we are missing 3 other full papyri.”

    FALSE – The LDS Church were given 11 papyri. “In 1966 eleven fragments of papyri once possessed by the Prophet Joseph Smith were discovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They were given to the Church and have been analyzed by scholars who date them between about 100 B.C. and A.D. 100.” (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual Religion 327, p, 28)

    Hank to Joheshua: “Sorry to hear you quit the truth”.

    INTERESTING: This is the same exact phrase the Jehovah’s Witnesses say to those who walk away from them. After attending one of their meetings today to see how it compares to Mormon services among other reasons, I heard this phrase quite a bit in addition to other similarities that the LDS have with the JW’s. They have 6 million active just like the LDS. Any chance on a merger? Strength through numbers?

  43. Ralph says:

    Yes Andy,

    The church has in its possession 11 fragments of papyri (not 11 papyri). These fit into 2 of the original 5 papyri that JS had in his possession according to the article I referred you to. Did you read it? So there are still 3 papyri that JS was supposed to have had in his possession that we know nothing about because we do not have any pieces of them. Could the BoA have been one of these?

    Yes I do see the quote you wrote from Dr Atiya about the fragments being used in the translation. But were they actually part of the translation or did JS ‘read’ through them and decided that they were not necessary and used other papyri for the actual translation. I use over 100 papers for writing my manuscripts, but usually only place 30 – 60 references in as some of the papers are not revelant, but they show me some good references to use, or they double up on the topic. Basically what I am saying is that yes, the fragments were with JS while he was translating, but that does not mean that they were part of the final BoA.

  44. GRCluff says:

    I know it’s late to weigh in on this topic, but here’s my perspective on the Book of Abraham.

    I endorse the revelations from JS in the Doctrine and Covenants readily with no source document at all, why would I have a problem with the BoA? The only difference is the century being referenced, in one case Abraham’s in the other that of JS.

    The evidence that Hugh Nibley has provided in his book on the “Book of Abraham” helps solidify my belief in the book, but is really not necessary.

    For those who don’t know what I am talking about, HN outlines duplicate content from 3 other ancient documents that parallel content from the JS translated text. Quite an interesting analysis on the topic.

    His point is- it doesn’t matter if JS has the real source docment at all, as long as he makes a valid doctrinal translation. HN has found 3 different ancient documents that “could have” been a valid source for the JS version of the BoA. Works for me-

  45. Olsen Jim says:

    I am very bummed out that I have been kept from following and posting- this is one of my favorite topics. But I am consumed by work at this time.

    I will just post a couple of humorous things:

    Andy- The hypothalamus is a gland found above the sella tursica near the optic nerve. I think you mean the hypocephalus?

    Falcon- You mention Thomas Ferguson- that he had a period of doubt is not exactly earth-shattering. He remained faithful to the end of his life, and in the years before his death he strongly reaffirmed his testimony in all the revelations that came through Joseph Smith, apologizing for his earlier comments. A member of my immediate family spoke with him within a year of his death- and he was emphatic in his belief that it is all true.

    By the way- he was not an archeologist nor a historian- he was an attorney from California. Almost everything he claimed to have discovered supposedly “proving” the BOM was fairly quickly dismissed by LDS academics and apologists. Seems he overstated both pro and con arguments. But I suppose the quotation you cited serves your purpose.

    liv4jc- you mention “excommunicated-for-telling-the-truth researcher D. Michael Quinn.” Actually, it was coming out with his new homosexual lifestyle that resulted in his excommunication. But hey- your spin sure sounds better, huh? Funny how those details are always confused by critics as you have.

    The Book of Abraham is exactly what Joseph claimed it was. Nobody has studied the history of the manuscripts and papyri more closely than its defenders. I am hoping to have a little more time this week to post, but it is rediculous to claim we have all the papyri that Joseph purchased. I will recommend a few articles that shred the critics arguments. Here is one to start with by John Gee of all people:

    The claim that the church is distancing itself from the BOA is laughable. I wouldn’t hold your breath.

  46. setfree says:

    Ralph said: “The church has in its possession 11 fragments of papyri (not 11 papyri). These fit into 2 of the original 5 papyri that JS had… So there are still 3 papyri that JS was supposed to have had in his possession that we know nothing about because we do not have any pieces of them. Could the BoA have been one of these?”

    Ralph: no. Joseph Smith said (in the History of the Church) “…one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt…” and that the other pieces of papyrii were “Two or three other small pieces of papyrus, with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, &c,”,
    that he later said this about: “the
    principles of astronomy as understood by Father Abraham and the ancients unfolded to our understanding”

    The two mummies from which the scrolls came… one scroll he said was about Joseph, the other about Abraham.

    So, they opened up some catacombs in Egypt, took out some coffins, opened them up, removed the scrolls… which had egyptian burial writings on them… AND one happened to have stuff of Joseph written with it, and the other Abraham.

    I’m sorry. LOL

    To your other topic: You pretty much answered your own question about Laban (I love that about you) and as to Joseph… he was pretending to be an Egyptian ruler? May he not have divined at all? I think it’s entirely likely.

    Does God say it’s okay to divine? No.
    Lev. 19:26

  47. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, I think I was the one who brought up Joseph Smith using the seer stone for divination.
    Deut 18 forbids it.

    Genesis 30:27 does indeed say that Laban found out by divination that YHWH was using him to bless Jacob. That does not mean that God condones divination, which is nothing more than speaking with demons. These same kind of entities immediately recognize Jesus in Matthew 8:28,29. These beings in the spirit realm are deceptive, but know a lot, and sometimes tell the truth (think of modern day psychics).
    In Acts 16:16-18 a girl possessed with a spirit of divination followed Paul crying out, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” Paul became annoyed by the spirit and cast it out in the name of Christ.
    We know that Laban was not a servant of God (YHWH) because in Genesis 31:19 Rachel steals his household idols before fleeing with Jacob and the rest of his family. Laban pursues them and is intent on getting the idols back. A servant of God does not worship idols. If Laban received a message by divination it was not condoned by God who calls it an abomination.

    In Genesis 44 we have Joseph deceiving his brothers by making them think that his ability to practice divination is what makes him able to know who stole his cup. He is concealing his identity as a Hebrew, and also trying to scare them. He boasts to them in Genesis 44:15 “Do you not know that a man such as I can practice divination?” But Joseph had no need for divination. He knew they had the cup because he had it placed there.
    When he interprets the dreams he gives all credit to God. Pharaoh says, “I have had a dream and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” So Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Genesis 41:15,16.

    God’s word is not contradictory. We interpret unclear verses with clear verses

  48. Today I did a ‘double-take’ on HankSaint’s earlier post.

    To re-cap;

    1 Andy posts a quote from BoA in which God commands Abraham to lie (by omission) about his wife.

    2 I interject, saying that there are similar stories in Genesis, though Genesis is very careful not to imply that God commanded the lie.

    3 Andy and I agree about the differences between the accounts in BoA and Genesis. Andy and I don’t disagree on Abraham’s questionable behavior. Andy’s intent, and mine too, was to object to the BoA inserting a command of God to Abraham to lie (I think I can say this on Andy’s behalf).

    4 HankSaint steps in and accuses us of accusing Abraham of questionable behavior.


    HankSaint, your own scriptures tell us about Abraham’s transgression.

    Are you defending BoA or not? Why would you object if Andy and I agree to the ‘facts’ of Abraham’s transgression? Its in the BoA! Have you actually read what Abraham (allegedly) says in the BoA?

    Perhaps we’re witnessing a modern miracle here. HankSaint has acquired the ability to write without the ability to read.

    Or, more plausibly, the impenetrable fortress of his mind cannot be breached by even the words of his own prophets. It must be pretty lonely in there. Welcome to hell.

  49. Andy Watson says:

    Jim Olsen, I’ve reviewed all of my posts. I don’t see anywhere where I mentioned the “hypothalamus” as the “hypocephalus”. Maybe you have me confused with somebody else?

    Ralph, I’m sure anything is possible in the eyes of devout Mormons who know that their religion is hanging on the claims of Joseph Smith. The leaps that the LDS faithful at BYU and FAIR have in the past and are still going through today to defend these known blatant errors in Egyptian translation on Joseph Smith’s part is simply amazing. How many scrolls did Joseph Smith buy from Michael Chandler? I’d be curious as to what the LDS Church says of this in contrast to the record.

    Cluff, was Nibley and Egyptologist? I look forward to discussing soon what Nibley wrote in “Book of Abraham”. Many things that he said in reference to the Facsimiles I found disturbing.

    Hank, let me know if you’d like more names of Egyptologists that have reviewed Joseph Smith’s explanations of what is in the Facsimiles and are having a barrel of laughs over it. The list is quite long. I wish the LDS Church would quit trying to defend the non-defendable. The evidence against Joseph Smith on this one is enormous.

  50. HankSaint says:

    Andy, I’m still waiting, your silence is suspicious. 🙂


    For it was God who commanded Abraham: “see that ye do on this wise: Let her say unto the Egyptians, she is thy sister, and thy soul shall live” (Abraham 2:23—24). As to the “lie” about the family relationship of Abraham and Sarah, a number of factors must be considered. Technically, the Bible explains, Sarah was indeed Abraham’s half-sister on his father’s side (Genesis 20:12). To this physical relationship, the Zohar adds a spiritual, reporting that “Abraham always called her ‘sister’ because he was attached to her inseparably. . . . For the marital bond can be dissolved, but not that between brother and sister”—so by an eternal marriage that the world did not understand they were brother and sister.79 More to the point, in Syria, Canaan, and Egypt at the time it was the common custom to refer to one’s wife as one’s “sister,” and Abraham’s life reflects both the Semitic and the Hurrian cultural and legal patterns,80 so that “Sarah was . . . a ‘sister-wife,’ an official Hurrian term signifying the highest social rating.”81 On the other hand, everyone knows that it was custom for pharaohs of Egypt to marry their sisters, and in the Egyptian love songs the nonroyal lovers regularly address each other as “my sister” and “my brother.” The same custom appears in Canaan and even in the Genesis Apocryphon, the opening fragments of which show us the mother of Noah berating her husband Lamech for suspecting her virtue, but addressing him throughout the scene as “my Brother and my Lord.”82 Indeed, in Abraham’s day “both in Egypt and Canaan,” according to Albright, “the notion of incest scarcely existed. In fact, Phoenicia and Egypt shared a general tendency to use ‘sister’ and ‘wife’ simultaneously.”83

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