I just have a minute tonight to write a short post.
The question at hand is: What is the truth concerning Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham?
Evidence suggests that the papyri from which the book was translated were not the writings of Abraham but a book of breathings.
So, did Joseph Smith commit fraud and just make the whole thing up?
I do not think so. I believe he was sincere in all the writings he brought forth, really believing that they were as he claimed.
And in a different way than is suspected, this is true.
Joseph Smith's mother gave us a clue as to where some of his information came from. In describing some of the events of his childhood she wrote:
"During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He could describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, AS IF HE HAD SPENT HIS WHOLE LIFE WITH THEM." LUCY SMITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, Pg. 85.
As a child he could entertain his family with descriptions of civilizations long past because he actually lived in them and had a recollection of many of his past lives as a boy. Some of these abilities were taken from him as he aged but he was able to bring this talent back and more with the aid of stones, crystals and contemplation. Joseph Smith had lived a number of lifetimes in the Ancient Americas as well as during Old Testament times with the early Hebrews.
As he examined the Papyri in question, the name Abraham came to him as a seed thought and this guided his meditation. During this reflection he was transported back to the consciousness of an ancient prophet and wrote from his mind through the Oneness Principle. As this happened to him he assumed he was getting the information from the Papyri whereas, in reality, he was getting it through the Oneness Principle combined with ancient memories.
Copyright 2003 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved