Abraham the Seer

‘Abraham and the Stars’ by Waylon Smith. The Book of Abraham contains a number of hidden gems that you might miss if you read the text too quickly. Take Abraham’s vision of the cosmos and the divine council in Abraham 3. Most people remember this chapter for its vivid depiction of Kolob, a star “set … Read more

Book Review: “A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine & Church History”

When I was in junior high school I attended a performance of Annie Get Your Gun that was put on by a nearby high school. I vividly remember the number “Anything You Can Do” because the actress playing Annie Oakley broke or sprained her ankle in the middle of the performance (she badly misstepped during … Read more

Admission and Omission: What Is the Church’s Position on the Book of Abraham?

“Printing Plates of Facsimiles of Papyrus Drawings, Nauvoo, IL, early 1842” (http://josephsmithpapers.org) In his March 2015 letter to the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appealing his excommunication, John Dehlin claims there has been a “recent admission” on the part of the Church “that the Book of Abraham is not … Read more

The Book of the Dead as a Temple Text and Its Implications for the Book of Abraham

Last month I presented at the 2014 Temple on Mount Zion symposium on the Book of the Dead as a temple text. The video of my presentation is now online. My understanding is that the proceedings of the conference (including my paper) will be published sometime next year. As I re-watch my presentation, I realize … Read more

Caveat Lector

This is a follow-up to my last post. In reading the Introduction to the Loeb edition of Manetho, I encountered this: Of the two chronographers, the founder of Christian chronography, Sextus Julius Africanus, whose Chronicle came down to A.D. 217 or A.D. 221, transmits the Epitome in a more accurate form; while Eusebius, whose work … Read more

More Blatant Misrepresentations from Jeremy Runnells

Jeremy Runnells has a bad habit of misquoting people. As I showed on my blog a little while ago, he misquoted the printed endorsements of Brian Hales’ three-volume Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, for example. Most recently, he has misquoted both a dead and a living Latter-day Saint apologist, namely, B. H. Roberts and Daniel C. Peterson. … Read more

“Joseph Smith: Seer, Translator, Revelator, and Prophet”

Professor Alexander L. Baugh is a professor of Church History at Brigham Young University. He is the author of numerous articles on early Church history and wrote the magnificent dissertation A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, one of the definitive works on the 1838 Mormon War. You can read the … Read more

Abraham the Monotheist?

Abraham’s Departure (1849) by József Molnár. James L. Kugel has some interesting comments on the account of Abraham’s call and journey as recorded in the Book of Genesis. In his volume How to Read the Bible, Kugel explores how ancient and modern interpreters of the Abraham narrative(s) in Genesis portray the patriarch’s relationship with God. … Read more