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AussieMatt

Book of Abraham

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The Book of Abraham falls into the Faith category for me. Was Joseph Smith a Prophet of God? If the answer is yes than the Book of Abraham falls into place. Scrolls or no scrolls.

 

The Brethren and the body of the church view it as doctrine. Good enough for me.

Kinda like...if Joseph Smith is a Prophet and the Book of Mormon is true....everything falls into place.

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I do not believe God would instruct us to read from good books, the scriptures, and to seek an education if he didn't care about us becoming scholars; although, in order to become exalted one doesn't need to be a scholar at anything and in this case I would agree, God doesn't care one whit.

 

Spencer W. Kimball counseled, "Become scholars of the scriptures—not to put others down, but to lift them up! After all, who has any greater need to “treasure up” the truths of the gospel (on which they may call in their moments of need) than do women and mothers who do so much nurturing and teaching?"

 

I assume, it really depends on what context an individual is using "scholar" and whether or not God cares a whit or doesn't.  

 

 

The Glory of God is Intelligience ....not sure about scholars.... we as Latter Day Saints need to study and pray more. Of course my opinion.

 

The scriptural mandate for learning "from the best books" explains why that learning is so necessary.

 

"And as all have not afaith, seek ye diligently and bteach one another words of cwisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best dbooks words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith." (D&C 88:118).

 

We ought to be studious because not everyone has faith. So when we come to the topic of same-sex marriage on these fora, someone inevitably points out that the Family Proclamation is all well and good, but that it is LDS-centric. Your God may have a problem with it, but my God doesn't. With learning by study and faith, from the best books, comes the retorts of the instability it adds to society and the value of a stable family with a mother and a father. With the Word of Wisdom, those without faith actually do the legwork for us. The effects of alcohol and tobacco are already popularly known. They've already learned from the best books and study the value of this practice; I just need to introduce the faith.

 

Another reference from the same section encourages the early saints to be instructed "Of things both in aheaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must bshortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the cnations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a dknowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—" (D&C 88:79).

 

Note that not all of these things are secular - such as "things which must shortly come to pass" - and some are a mixed bag - "the judgments which are on the land". But again we do have a charge to gain "secular knowledge". Please note that this charge also has a purpose.

 

"That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to amagnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the bmission with which I have commissioned you." (D&C 88:80).

 

They were to learn of nations, countries, and kingdoms because they would soon be going abroad to preach the gospel (ah, the prophecies and judgments part makes more sense now). If you go to the Seventies Hall in Nauvoo you'll see that it was intended to teach these very things (complete with a library/museum upstairs) to prepare them for their missions. I recall getting a similar-themed crash course in the MTC when they handed me a culture-gram to teach me what life is like in the United States.

 

I would say this is hardly scholarship or academia at work. A search for "learning" in the D&C tells me the two things Jesus really wants me to learn is Him ("learn of me") and obedience.

 

And since intelligence is often used as a synonym of knowledge or learning, I'll throw this out there as well. When God talks about intelligence, He defines it for us and tells us how to gain it.

 

"The aglory of God is bintelligence, or, in other words, clight and truth. Light and truth forsake that aevil one." (D&C 93:36-37). Elsewhere he defines Abraham-style intelligence as 'the light of truth" (D&C 93:29).

 

When intelligence is coupled with knowledge, we are again pointed away from scholarship and academics. "And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come." (D&C 130:18-19). Saving knowledge and intelligence comes from diligence and obedience.

 

So while there can be value in traditional learning for building Zion and sharing the gospel, the learning God wants us to achieve is that gained through obedience.

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The scriptural mandate for learning "from the best books" explains why that learning is so necessary.

 

"And as all have not afaith, seek ye diligently and bteach one another words of cwisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best dbooks words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith." (D&C 88:118).

 

We ought to be studious because not everyone has faith. So when we come to the topic of same-sex marriage on these fora, someone inevitably points out that the Family Proclamation is all well and good, but that it is LDS-centric. Your God may have a problem with it, but my God doesn't. With learning by study and faith, from the best books, comes the retorts of the instability it adds to society and the value of a stable family with a mother and a father. With the Word of Wisdom, those without faith actually do the legwork for us. The effects of alcohol and tobacco are already popularly known. They've already learned from the best books and study the value of this practice; I just need to introduce the faith.

 

Another reference from the same section encourages the early saints to be instructed "Of things both in aheaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must bshortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the cnations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a dknowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—" (D&C 88:79).

 

Note that not all of these things are secular - such as "things which must shortly come to pass" - and some are a mixed bag - "the judgments which are on the land". But again we do have a charge to gain "secular knowledge". Please note that this charge also has a purpose.

 

"That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to amagnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the bmission with which I have commissioned you." (D&C 88:80).

 

They were to learn of nations, countries, and kingdoms because they would soon be going abroad to preach the gospel (ah, the prophecies and judgments part makes more sense now). If you go to the Seventies Hall in Nauvoo you'll see that it was intended to teach these very things (complete with a library/museum upstairs) to prepare them for their missions. I recall getting a similar-themed crash course in the MTC when they handed me a culture-gram to teach me what life is like in the United States.

 

I would say this is hardly scholarship or academia at work. A search for "learning" in the D&C tells me the two things Jesus really wants me to learn is Him ("learn of me") and obedience.

 

And since intelligence is often used as a synonym of knowledge or learning, I'll throw this out there as well. When God talks about intelligence, He defines it for us and tells us how to gain it.

 

"The aglory of God is bintelligence, or, in other words, clight and truth. Light and truth forsake that aevil one." (D&C 93:36-37). Elsewhere he defines Abraham-style intelligence as 'the light of truth" (D&C 93:29).

 

When intelligence is coupled with knowledge, we are again pointed away from scholarship and academics. "And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come." (D&C 130:18-19). Saving knowledge and intelligence comes from diligence and obedience.

 

So while there can be value in traditional learning for building Zion and sharing the gospel, the learning God wants us to achieve is that gained through obedience.

Which is exactly why we as Latter Day Saints need to read and study the Pearl of Great Price.

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I do not care if the translation of the Book of Abraham is literal or it was given by inspiration.  I have studied it and the Holy Spirit has told me it is true and inspired scripture.

 

"For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet.  Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet . . ." I Nephi 19:7

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Critics are so busy trying to disprove the Book of Abraham--and when you talk to them, none of them know what's actually IN the book!  Seriously.  Try getting an anti-Mormon to talk about the actual contents of the Book of Abraham.  It is one of the most stunningly profound revelations we have.  I figured out a long time ago that Satan's minions love to attack the things that have the greatest potential to teach us light and truth.  They absolutely go bonkers over the Book of Mormon, the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, temples, and the Book of Abraham.  So the Book of Abraham must have something really important that Satan doesn't want us to know, I figure.  That led me to study it and to just look at what the plain message of the book.  What does it try to teach us?  What important lessons does it impart?  After doing so, I wrote this article a few years ago.  You might enjoy it.  It's too long to post here, unless the moderators want me to.  

 

What's in the Book of Abraham?

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I just noticed that there is a new podcast episode today in Mormon Discussion Podcast with LDS Scholar Brian Hauglid of the Maxwell Institute.  He talks for about an hour about the Book of Abraham and various views people hold about it, including the so-called "catalyst theory" that I had been leaning toward in recent years.  I found it very interesting.

 

http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2015/01/brian-hauglid-the-book-of-abraham/

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translation is not a cut and dry nor a direct process, any more than language is ever truly set in stone.

no one can prove or disprove that joseph did or did not translate the book of abraham (a museum fire destroyed it later) the only things we have to work off of are notes and a few pieces that were seperate or were seperated from the main items and hence avoided the fire..

I

 

I'm going to have to disagree with what you've written here and ask if you can provide sources for what you claim exists regarding the Book of Abraham manuscripts.

 

This is what I have found:

 

https://archive.org/stream/improvementera7101unse#page/n13/mode/2up

 

http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-book-of-abraham-manuscripts

 

M.

Edited by Maureen

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I'm going to have to disagree with what you've written here and ask if you can provide sources for what you claim exists regarding the Book of Abraham manuscripts.

 

This is what I have found:

 

https://archive.org/stream/improvementera7101unse#page/n13/mode/2up

 

http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-book-of-abraham-manuscripts

 

M.

 

http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Abraham.shtml#source

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On another thread Blackmarch also said:

 

...1 on the book of abraham- it was destroyed before anyone could copy it so anyone who says that Joseph didn't translate it is blowing smoke....

 

This is not true.

 

The original papyri are partially extant per this link, http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-egyptian-material

 

And Jeff Lindsay's essay that TFP was kind enough to link also mentions:

 

...it appears that two of the Joseph Smith Papyrus fragment do have rubrics on them, so this physical description statement from Nibley may not be adequate to rule out the fragments we now have as being the document Joseph considered to be the Book of Abraham. This strengthens the case for the Book of Abraham being associated with the poorly written fragments found in 1967.

 

Also, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers are Book of Abraham related documents which I believe are in the LDS church's possession.

 

M.

Edited by Maureen

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Parts of the KEP were even shown in a temporary exhibit at the Church History Museum a year or two ago--I saw them.

Also - even if we lost most of the source material for the BoA, we DO have a copy of the hypocephalus (facsimile 2), together with the translation of specific portions as given by Joseph Smith. There are conceptual parallels, to be sure--but literally speaking, the modern translation just doesn't match up with Smith's.

But the fact that Smith was willing to publish the original and his translation together--especially in the wake of the Anthon affair--tells me that either a) Anthon, contra his later statements, did authenticate Smith's translation of the characters from the golden plates to Martin Harris, and Joseph sincerely believed his Abraham translation would survive similar scrutiny; or b ) Anthon in fact told Harris that he couldn't authenticate the characters, but Joseph nevertheless believed in his subsequent Abraham translation so strongly that he was wiling to risk further and even more public scrutiny in this case. IMHO, the worst that can be said of Smith was that even he didn't fully understand what was happening in the translation process; particularly how the text he produced was related to the ancient documents before him as their scriveners most likely understood them. Smith seems to have assumed that they constituted Abraham's own handwriting and that his translation was literal.

In either case, Smith's treatment of his Abraham translation is not what one would expect of a charlatan.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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