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June 29, 2021 9:40 pm
When sharing your faith with the letter they sent it helps to know what their church is taught in several basic topics. For this reason, is a research ministry has provided its crash course Mormonism crash course, Mormonism includes concise articles highlighting what LDS leaders and church manuals have taught on issues that will probably come up in a typical conversation. You can find these informative articles. A crash course Mormonism.com that's crash course Mormonism.com .1 Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. What was the Rosetta Stone and how does that play into the controversy regarding the book of Abraham. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week we are looking at chapter 11 in the book the gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. Chapter 11 is titled the continuing controversy over the book of Abraham, written by Stephen C.
Pay some were still talking about the history behind the book of Abraham. We feel that that is important that you understand what this document is all about, because that's going to make it easier to understand what the essay is going to try and discuss as we've already covered this is certainly a controversial portion of Mormon scripture and it gets even more controversy old.
When you consider that Joseph Smith's ruse is going to eventually be discovered. Eric on page 284 very quickly.
He introduces John Françoise Shan Pulliam in the 1820s, a brilliant Frenchman John François Ciampa Lyons claim to have cracked the code of Egyptian hieroglyphic language. Why is that become important. First of all, let's go back a little bit. How was Shan Pulliam able to crack the code and by the way, that's a common expression whenever you're talking about the Rosetta Stone.
The phrase cracked the code is used quite often, not only in this chapter by Stephen take some, but also in this article that I want to point to. From the history Channel history.com it says that in the 19th century. The Rosetta Stone help scholars at long last crack the code of hieroglyphics. The ancient Egyptian writing system. French army engineers who were part of Napoleon Bonaparte Egypt campaign discovered the stone slab in 1799, while making repairs to a fort near the town of Rashid or Rosetta.
The stone features a decree issued in 196 BC by a group of Egyptian clergy and Egypt's ruler told a May 5, attesting to his generosity and devoutness. The decree on the stone is written in three ways in hieroglyphics, which was used mainly by priests and ancient Egyptian demotic used for everyday purposes and in ancient Greek. Ultimately it was French linguist John Françoise Jim Poe Lyons who deciphered the Rosetta Stone and cracked the hieroglyphic code between 1822 and 1824 for his discovery. Shan Poe.
Lyons is heralded as the founding father of Egyptology that this all happens Eric in the 1820s when Jim Poe Lyons is really working on this, but he's not able to come up with a definitive conclusion on this till way later but what does that say about Joseph Smith you really think Joseph Smith was completely ignorant about the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. If it shipped over mania that was really going on at this time and that word Egypt a mania was mentioned earlier in this chapter by Mr. Chiasson. Do you think that Smith was totally ignorant or do you think he was aware that there were people working on discovering or understanding the Egyptian hieroglyphics that were on the Rosetta Stone.
It's hard to know.
But at the same time Joseph Smith seems to get away with anything he wants to do. I mean, he's able to take supposedly plates that were in a bag and have people believe that those were actually plates written hundreds of years before by these profits and that he was able to translate these.
He was able to do a number of things that I think that at first he must've thought Mike and get away with it, but he kept getting away with it. So was he thinking long term. In 1835 when he buys these Egyptian mummies that had proprietary that he was able to translate these and put them into English for all of us to understand. Does he think he's going to get caught.
I don't think he ever even anticipated that Mr. Chiasson goes on to say on page 284 that the controversy however arose largely because some of the material that Smith used in his translation resurfaced long after it had become quote possible to read what the artifacts had to say about themselves, their makers in the context in which they were made," the materials that Smith received from Chandler. Now this is speaking of Michael Chandler who happened to sell the mummies and the papyrus to Joseph Smith could be translated in this translation could in turn be compared and contrasted with what Smith produced the book of Abraham.
Controversy begins with the papyrus scrolls that Smith used to produce the book of Abraham continues in 1835 Smith and most of the members of this church resided in the village of Kirtland in Northeast Ohio. Chandler had been traveling throughout the eastern United States displaying and selling mummies he had acquired.
By the time he arrived in Kirtland, Chandler had only a few mummies left and he goes on and says, as it happened, the mummies themselves proved of little interest to Smith much more important where the mysterious scrolls that accompanied the monies Egyptian hieroglyphics had yet to be deciphered. In this coupled with their telegraphic quality Lenten irresistible air of mystery to Egyptian texts. Smith began working with the textual materials in the fall of 1835. But he did not publish his translation of the materials until 1842 by then Smith and the church had relocated to Nob Illinois where he would remain until his murder.
In the summer of 1844, the material that would eventually be canonized as the book of Abraham appeared first in the LDS newspaper and times and seasons. In March 1842, along with certain images from the papyrus scrolls images that Smith called facsimiles in which he numbered one through three. He goes on to say that the book of Abraham's publication in 1842 is clearly linked with Smith evolving theological ideas. I don't know if a lot of people understand that but it's clearly seen when you read the theology of the book of Mormon and then you start to see what he's teaching, for instance, in the pearl of great price and so forth. Later on, Smith's theology is not only evolving, you could say it's going off the rails. He's coming up with stuff that wasn't even close to what Christians believed in the first century, but yet he's trying to paint a picture of his organization as being a restoration of what Christians believed and practiced in that first century. It's easy to show that that's just not true, but patience is like the book of Mormon. This new ancient text served as further proof of Smith's calling as a prophet and as a source for new theological ideas that would eventually exert deep and powerful influence over the course of Mormon history and theology.
He goes on to explain what the story of the book of Abraham is all about. He goes on to point out a page 287 the significant theological perspective that is Abraham's vision of the life of human spirits before being born into mortality. Abraham is shown in a scene of God gathering what he calls intelligences and organizing them into anthropomorphic spirit form.
These spirits were then grouped according to rank, and God informs Abraham that his spirit was among the quote noble and great ones" who were chosen as spirits to come to earth to play important roles in God's plan for humans. It is at this point that three other important theological ideas are introduced. First, the concept of the states according to the book of Abraham, the intelligences come spirits who chose to come to earth past the major hurdle and Their first estate ally faithfully lived on earth would mean that an individual kept her second estate and would merit eternal glory.
Second, the idea that Satan's origins are found in his unsuccessful attempt to come to earth as God's son and his subsequent failure to keep the first estate, first introduced in the book of Moses is reinforced in the book of Abraham. Let me stop you there because yesterday you read quite a lengthy citation from Egyptologist John McGee, and as I mentioned in yesterday showed John McGee. He's the go to guy when it comes to Egyptology and especially the book of Abraham.
He gave the impression that the book of Abraham wasn't as important as other books in Mormon scripture but yet if it talks about these topics. As Chiasson lists on page 287. How could a Latter Day Saints say that that's insignificant. I mean this idea of the first estate, the second estate and going on to merit eternal glory is a significant part of Mormon theology. You can't get rid of that because it's based on what you believe and what you do in this life. The second estate that's going to determine where you end up after you die in the book of Abraham allegedly explains all that for the Latter Day Saints. That's an introductory lesson for the Mormon missionary called the plan of salvation and you're talking to find that idea. Certainly in the Bible or the book of Mormon. This is where it comes from in yesterday show. I also talked about Abraham 126, which was the verse cited by Mormon Pres. David O. McKay as being the one proof text that supported the practice at that time.
When David O.
McKay was alive of prohibiting those of African heritage from holding the priesthood Taser mentions that at the bottom of page 287 Reese's. Finally, there is an extremely brief mention of quote that race and then in brackets it says descended from him which preserve the curse in the land." After Smith's death, Brigham Young introduced a policy forbidding persons of black African ethnicity or dissent from holding the priesthood and participating in temple rituals. Later some Latter Day Saints. Most prominently, church, apostle, Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith pointed to the book of Abraham as a scriptural basis for this conclusion.
So not only did we have David O. McKay point to the book of Abraham, Dr. Tate. Some also points to Joseph Fielding Smith is pointing to the book of Abraham. Could you imagine if the LDS church agreed with John Gay and said you know maybe we don't even need to have this in our Scripture anymore. This is an important doctrine.
You can't get rid of the book of Abraham is essential to this religion, your right you can't get rid of the book of Abraham any more than you can get rid of section 132 in the doctrine and covenants that talks about the necessity of practicing polygamy the best they could do was section 132 is to start redefining some of the words and giving them new definitions that they never had. When Joseph Smith produced that revelation during his lifetime, thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is is 101 for teens is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective. Mormonism 101 preteens is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or MRM.org