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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Video: The Lost Book Of Abraham


The information in this video is what made me conclude that the Book of Abraham is a fraud. When I learned about the Book of Abraham, and the fraudulent claims made by the church, I lost complete faith in Mormonism.

The LDS church still includes the Book of Abraham as part of their canonized scripture. The only apologetic response for the Book of Abraham being translated from a common funerary text is that it wasn't a literal translation, but a "spiritual translation". I am sorry, but I just can not begin to wrap my brain around that argument.

The most important thing it demonstrates is that Joseph Smith had absolutely no clue how to translate Egyptian. The Book of Mormon was supposed to be translated from a form of Egyptian. Joseph Smith said he recognized the hieroglyphics on the papyri from the golden plates. Who is to say that the Book of Mormon wasn't also a "spiritual translation" and not a literal translation? Perhaps there never were any golden plates.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this video.

The big double-standard with the LDS church is that they lecture people about honesty and integrity, yet they have known that the Book of Abraham was a fraud since 1967 and have lied about it. Mormon leaders give interviews to members that question their worthiness. One of the questions they ask is if they are honest in their dealings with their fellow man. Maybe we should be interviewing the church leaders and asking them if the church is honest with its members.

The LDS church continues to assert its position that the Book of Abraham is a literal translation from a first-hand account of Abraham written on the ancient documents that went into the possession of the church in 1835. This article was written in the official LDS church publication The Ensign as recent as 1997 that re-asserts this position.

Skeptical Mormon

28 comments:

The 1 Truth said...

You know what, there are a lot of things I don't understand. I don't understand about Egyptian papyri or hieroglyphics. However, there is one thing I do understand. I understand that the books Joseph Smith gave us are from God. The means by which these books came to us are of no consequence. Who cares about some papyri?

I think Joseph Smith had a revelation about the Book of Abraham and was just looking for something tangible that he could use so that people would believe him. So he told a little fib about the translation process, who cares? The important thing is that we have these scriptures to help us with a greater understanding of the gospel. Nephi was commanded to kill Laban to bring forth the plates of brass, and he was justified in doing so, so Joseph Smith lying about the translation process is pale in comparison.

Zelph said...

The 1 truth,

Thank you for your comments. I was always taught that the purpose of faith is to take the information we know and use it to bridge the gap to what we don't know. Faith has never been intended to eliminate the information that we know.

We know the Book of Abraham was not a literal translation. That we can agree upon. We know Joseph Smith was unable to correctly translate Egyptian.

Now, if he lied about the translation method of the Book of Abraham, who is to say he didn't do the same for the Book of Mormon? Perhaps the story of golden plates buried by Moroni was just "something tangible that he could use so that people would believe him".

Maybe the entire Book of Mormon is not a literal history, but a "spiritual history".

Either way, you are already starting to see that not everything is black and white, is it? Like I have always said, black and white thinking in the LDS church will just set you up for a giant fall.

Elder Joseph said...

The Boof Of Abraham is a Big Farce .

I find it very frightening that we are told its a Translation of Abrahams writings on Ancient Egyptian Papyri . Then it turns out that it isn't and we are expected to believe one of two possibliities

1 The scrolls just inspired him to get revelation ( like his Book Of Moses )
2 The actual Abraham Narrative was missing from the Papyri collection ?

Both are false and even contradictory of each other and of the fact that Joseph Smith claimed ro read and Translate them .

His nonsensical Interpreatation of the facsimiles defy all credibility .


I have been told that the evidence is in the contents of The Book Of Abraham . Does is feel true ? How ridiculous .If we knew what was true instinctively as to deep doctrines on God and Man , why on earth have so called prophets to tell us !

The more I have looked and rationilsed the more weaker the foundations of this church to the point that it has no foundation for anything of its claims whatsoever .

It's a shame because most Mormons are genuine people with a zeal to do the right thing and this is what Joseph Smith took advantage of .Con men prey on good natured people otherwise they'd never be successful con artists and Joseph was just another who took the religion route .

I've heard many times that if his motive was to get wealthy he failed .I agree he failed but he tried damn hard enough like his father did who failed miserably in business , at least his father tried legitimately though .

ungewiss said...

The 1 truth,

I really hope you nail your dismount after that spectacular mental gymnastic routine. A person could really get hurt trying to land on their feet after so much twisting and turning.

TBM Mike said...

I agree with the 1 truth. It does not matter that we know Joseph Smith did not actually translate the Book of Abraham. What matters is that he translated it.

It does not matter that the Book of Abraham contains irreconcilable anachronisms within its pages. What matters is that it is a true book.

In other words, it does not matter what we know, it's what we know that matters. And I know the church is true.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago my daughter was driving me nuts about the paranormal. She talked endlessly about it. I took her to see James Randy known as the "Amazing Randy"...a debunker of the paranormal. After his presentation, in which he debunked all sorts of paranormal phenomonon, someone asked "Why do people believe this stuff?" I loved his answer. He said "Because they want to!" That is why Mormon folks believe in all of these things that have been proven to be false. They want to believe it. It makes them feel good and emotions win out over rational thought every time. And that is why they do all of these mental gymnastics to explain away evidence that disproves the claims of the Mormon faith.

Scott Stevenson said...

the 1 truth said...
I think Joseph Smith had a revelation about the Book of Abraham and was just looking for something tangible that he could use so that people would believe him. So he told a little fib about the translation process, who cares?

You can't be serious. First of all I care, and I'm sure a lot of Mormons would care too. If it was a revelation why on earth would he need to lie about it? The D&C are all revelations right? He didn't need something tangible so people would believe him then.

Zelph said...

anonymous-

you bring up some very good points. People will believe anything if they have a desire to believe. It is really amazing to see how people can believe in anything, even when faced with outright proof that it is false.

No wonder the LDS church tells people to rely on their emotions, as if that is the ultimate say in what is truth. No wonder they discourage people to look for physical evidences of the Book of Mormon and discourage people to expose themselves to material that challenges Mormon beliefs. All they have left are human emotions.

However, what about people that believe in Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, or in the African God Elegua? Their emotions for their religion are just as strong, if not stronger. They can't all be right. Obviously human emotions are not a good indicator of what is true.

If anyone really took an honest objective look at the Mormon church, they would come to the same conclusion I did: It is a fraud made up by Joseph Smith and perhaps others could have been in on it.

The 1 Truth said...

D&C includes revelations regarding instructions given to Joseph Smith. However, when making the translations of ancient writings, he needed something tangible like the golden plates, the Papyri or the bible itself. This is just my own opinion and not official. Like I said, none of it matters, the only way to know if something is true is to ask God. I just know it is true, and I can't explain it.

The 1 Truth said...

Mike-

Thank you for backing me up. It is very difficult right now, it is like an uphill battle facing these people. I am preparing for my mission in about a year and know I will be dealing with this kind of stuff. I know it must be true. How else do can people explain the 13 million members worldwide?

Zelph said...

the 1 truth-

You said "when making the translations of ancient writings, he needed something tangible like the golden plates, the papyri or the bible itself" Why? Why did he even need the golden plates if he didn't even use them in the translation process? He had his head buried in his hat for most of the translation of the Book of Mormon.

nathanielmacrae said...

Sorry that this has nothing to do with the video (as interesting as it is)...but I'd like to pick up on what the 1 truth said:

"Like I said, none of it matters, the only way to know if something is true is to ask God. I just know it is true, and I can't explain it.

This statement at best, is laudable. I commend the 1 truth for his/her obedience to their faith...but like Zelph said, "What about all the other followers of other religions?"

What about the Buddhist? Or the Muslim? If their faith is based upon emotion alone (and not upon substantiated truth), who is to say that anyone of us holds truth? And with an ingrained relativistic mind-set, we cannot afford to sit back and simply say, "This is my truth, that is your truth - hey, let's all be happy"...it just doesn't work that way. If there is a heaven and hell, eternity is too long for us to afford to be lazy now.

If there are many truths, effectively there is no truth: a philosophical conundrum...so how do we determine what is true when faced with evidential proof that disproves it, or left with nothing to support it?

nathanielmacrae said...

Excellent lecture by Michael Ramsden, "Who Am I?" who exposes the absurdities of our relativist, "This is my truth, this is my truth" society.

Prepare to laugh out loud.

Scott Stevenson said...

QUOTE the 1 truth...
It is very difficult right now, it is like an uphill battle facing these people. I am preparing for my mission in about a year and know I will be dealing with this kind of stuff. I know it must be true. How else do can people explain the 13 million members worldwide?


You are right that it is an uphill battle. But that's not because of anyone on this site or vicious "anti-Mormons". It's because the Church has made claims that are actually testable (IE. The Book of Mormon, The Book of Abraham, Prophetic ability, etc.). These claims have been tested and fallen short. Did you actually watch the Book of Abraham video?

QUOTE the 1 truth...
I know it must be true. How else do can people explain the 13 million members worldwide?


If the Church is true because of 13 million members, wouldn't Islam and Catholicism be truer? Each one has a BILLION members. Of course you’re aware that of those 13 million members maybe 4 million are even active. Actual membership, attendance, sincerity, or devotion, say nothing about the truthfulness of a claim.

It’s seems what is clear is that you know you want it to be true. I can totally understand that. I desperately wanted it to be true and struggled to reconcile LDS claims with reality. But what you want to be true and what actually is true can be two totally different things.

And by the way, you might want to reread tbm Mike’s post I think he was being sarcastic.

Dan said...

Zelph-

I have been lurking here for a while and decided to post. I find myself at a crossroad. I think deep down everyone has their doubts about the church. However, when you put everything together, there seems to be so much evidence that disproves so many claims made by the church. What hurts my testimony the most is how sites like fairlds.org that defend the church seem to discount apostles, prophets and long-standing church positions. It is almost as if the official church leaders are insignificant.

After seeing that video, I must say that any ounce of testimony I had left was stamped out. I find myself in the same position you are. I am married in the temple, but a few months ago I also started a spiritual journey that has lead to losing my testimony of the church.

I am in the Elder's quorum presidency and find it difficult to give lessons on doctrines that I am having a hard time believing.

I think overall, the church is good and seems to work for a lot of people. If anything, I give Joseph Smith credit for being so creative.

TBM Mike said...

Indeed, the 1 truth. As one of my favorite poets once wrote- "a rose is a rose is a rose." Similarly, "the truth is the truth is the truth."

Even though Joseph Smith drew in parts of the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham, I still know deep inside, with every fibre of my being, that the facsimile shows Abraham being sacrificed by his father to the Gods of Elkenah. Just as I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Zelph, a white lamanite, was buried in Missouri after a great battle. Just as I know that the Native Americans are descendants of the Lamanites who are not yet righteous enough for their skin to have turned white, and even though DNA evidence dispositively proves that no semetic DNA is extant in the latter-day Lamanites. Science be damned because I know that it's true.

I know this because one day, I was taking a crap and happened to be praying about this at the same time. As the crap came out and the prayer finished, I felt an intense feeling of relief that can only be ascribed to the workings of the Holy Ghost. In fact, I feel those relieved, peaceful feelings after every session on the porcelain throne, which is my only chance to be alone and pray. So I know these things are true.

You've got a friend in my, 1 truth! :)

Elder Joseph said...

The 1 Truth says something and then say "this is only my opinion"

How come we never get an LDS Apostles's clarification on anything ? They are just ignorant imposters ...

We have a church thats being exposed daily for its deception ... We have numerous BYU Apologists writing endless papers on the problems of Archeology , History , polygamy etc ... and they all say this is not official LDS belief !

So what is official LDS belief then and who speaks for the church if no one is doing ...

What do you have a prophet for .. is he alseep all the time or something ?

The wholething is a deception concopted by a David Koresh type character called Joseph Smith who brought death and ruin to many lives and also loss of virtue, dignity and respect to the unsuspecting women of that time .

the 1 truth needs to reallt get a grip on reality and snap out of the LDS nonsense... same with TBM Mike .

and TBM mike I agree a rose is a rose is a rose ....but according to FAIRS and FARMS mormon Apologists a rose is really a daffodil when the Book Of Mormon is concerned ......and you are still waiting for the Lamenites to turn white ?

keep waiting ! Are you white ? because if you are its obviously the wrong skin colour you have according to your own belief ....because you are not any more righteous than any lamenites .

And how did Zelph end up in Missouri when there was never any battle there .Didn't you know the location has been moved to somewhere else called the limited geography theory !

In the book of Mormon a horse is really a tapir , a goat is really a deer , and Cumorah is not really where it should be.... and what about chariots ? what are they really then ? Piggy back riding !

Zelph said...

EJ,

I think TBM Mike is being sarcastic, but you draw a great point. Why do we have prophets and apostles if their only position is to have no position? I guess I can't say that GBH is a false prophet, but he isn't a true prophet either, because he hasn't made any prophecies. He is simply not a prophet at all.

I often get frustrated at the game they play. They allow all sorts of opinions, but never make an official position. I think it is o.k. for people to have different opinions, but not when you claim your church leaders receive divine revelation to guide the church.

The LDS church leaders have learned early on that the best position to take is to take no position. They have been burned so many times in the past with certain doctrines such as polygamy, blacks, Hill Cumorah, Native Americans, etc.

Anonymous said...

The Bible gives some clear indications of the gifts and ministries within the Church. Ephesians 4:11 talks about the five fold ministry of the Holy Spirit: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. First Corinthians 12:4-10 lists the various gifts of the Spirit that can be manifested within the body. The office of the prophet and the prophetic gift are available today. It didn't fade away. However, claiming to be a prophet or hanging around and moving up the organizational chart until it's your turn doesn't make someone a prophet. Among the prophetic errors is the attempt to establish doctrine or practice by revelation alone, a part from clear Biblical support. The body is to hold the prophet accountable for his pronouncement(s).

Elder Joseph said...

zelph

I just noticed tbm mike is making fun ! hahahahahahah

The funny thing is he sounded so like TBM's I couldn't notice the difference , I was getting wound up and didn't finish reading properly ! lol

I was just thinking about Horses again in the Book Of Mormon . There weren't any but according to FARMS or FAIRS (I can't remember which one as they all sound so painfully similar )they could be tapirs , some kind of pig like creature..... lol

But what about Chariots mentioned in the Book Of Mormon

Alma 18: 10 Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished,

Why was King Lamoni more astonished ? Was it because they were tapirs after all and he was wondering how on earth they would pull the chariots ? lol

Maybe I could be a LDS Apolgist( mopologist) myself !

Zelph said...

EJ, Thank you for bringing up that chariot refrence. I have also heard an explanation that the horse in the Book of Mormon is really a deer.

Good one about being astonished. Funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

I want to expand on what Scott Stevenson said in response to 'The 1 Truth'. A friend (former Institute Instructor and bishop)shared this point. First of all, there aren’t 13 million Mormons as advertised. There are 13 million LDS who were baptized but since the retention rate worldwide is only 35%, the 65% who left a short time after baptism, outnumber the 35% who remained in the church. If you want to go with the majority, then leave the church and join the 65%. On the other hand it might be better to ask, “Can 1.4 Billion Muslims and 1 Billion Catholics and Protestants be all wrong?” After all, if you’re going to use larger numbers as your guide, the Mormons aren’t even in the game. They comprise less than 1/12th of one percent of the “Christian” groups and even less than that when compared to the number of Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Here is an excellent link that gives more information about the BoA.
http://trialsofascension.net/mormon.html

Zelph said...

Anonymous,

That is an excellent link and I believe it was where I myself learned about the Book of Abraham.

Zelph said...

I take it back, I have never seen that site before. WOW! I am impressed with the amount of information. That site sums it all up for me.

ungewiss said...

I was out of town and missed all these delightful comments. What rotten timing.

The 1 Truth, knowing that you're pre-mission sort of turned my rancor into pity. Please, as part of your mission preparation, take these "deceived anti-Mormon" comments seriously. I'm not saying you should believe them, but understand what they mean, where they come from, and the historicity behind them.

It won't do you any good, and in due time will seem ridiculous even to yourself, to cling to logic like, "How else can you explain those 13 million members?" Your first post-mission psychology course will decimate the feel-good basis for testimony. You need something more concrete if you're going to live your whole life as a mormon.

As John Stuart Mill said, the truth is only strengthened by collision with error. Truth need not fear the "yapping" of we disaffected Mormons online--put your truth to the test by learning the real history of the church before you convert others to the prettiest 30% of the truth. If your faith is well founded, it will only be strengthened by its collision with our erroneous skepticism.

Nigel said...

Hi
I'd like to comment on the first poster's remarks, namely, "Who cares about some papyri".
What!?!?!

Mr '1 Truth' -
Joseph Smith LIED. THAT'S why you should care!
That papyri is the only scrap of proof that the Mormon church has that anything Smith claims regarding ancient writings is true, and it has been found to be a fraud!!!!!

LDS - your entire belief system is based on a fraud!!!! You have been following a proven liar this whole time. And what is even more disturbing is that you KNOW that Smith was a liar.

He lied about the first angel visit: Men don't become angels.
He lied about seeing God and Jesus: The revivals that drove him to the woods to pray didn't happen until several years AFTER his so-called first vision.
He lied about the plates: Nobody can carry 130lbs of gold under his arm for 3 miles.
He lied about translating: He had the 'Urim and Tummim' but Whitmer says Smith had his head buried in a hat looking at his 'peep stone'. (And even after getting the words one at a time the BoM has needed almost 4000 changes from the 1830 edition till now.)
He lied about having more than one wife: He blatantly told accusers he 'could only find one' while in fact he had several dozen. Poor Emma was told "accept it or be destroyed". She didn't and she wasn't.
HE lied about prophecy: Sending Page and Cowdery on a wild goose chase to Toronto to sell the BoM copyright - based on revelation from God. They returned empty handed.
Want more?
D&C 84.40-41 - failed.
D&C 84 - failed.
D&C 124.56-60 - failed.
D&C 57.1-3 - failed.
D&C 71.6-10 - I have personally watched this one fail!

On and on and on it goes, the Kinderhook plates, Mountain Meadows, the Kirtland bank fraud, and then the 'Book of Abraham' scam. This man lead these people from one catastrophe to another leaving a trail of lies, deceit, adultery, fraud, death and misery in his wake, and all of it in the name of God.

Anonymous said...

Why did you delete ''The Testaments of One Fold And One Shepherd'' Article?