For many, the Book of Abraham is one of the most problematic subjects within Mormonism due to our ability to translate Egyptian after Joseph Smith released the Book of Abraham. We want to give a brief overview of the history of the Book of Abraham, looking at the facsimiles and manuscripts, and then review the church’s response to how this can all be reconciled.
For a very brief history of how the Book of Abraham came to be, we quote from the official LDS essay:
In the summer of 1835, an entrepreneur named Michael Chandler arrived at Church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio, with four mummies and multiple scrolls of papyrus. Chandler found a ready audience… By the time the collection arrived in Kirtland, all but four mummies and several papyrus scrolls had already been sold. A group of Latter-day Saints in Kirtland purchased the remaining artifacts for the Church. After Joseph Smith examined the papyri and commenced “the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics,” his history recounts, “much to our joy [we] found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham.”