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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.”

LDS Discussion Book of Abraham Essay


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Show Notes:


  1. Timmy Tim December 6, 2022 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Nemo: “I look forward to ripping apart the apologists’ defense.”

    And we are all supposed to believe your continued assertions that you are “just presenting the facts in the most gentle way possible”?

    And that you are giving equal time to the apologetics?

    And that the listeners can draw their own conclusions based on your balanced presentation?

    It’s laughable guys. Really. Just be honest……your true motives are obvious.

    And it’s fine, just stop pretending to do something you’re not doing.

  2. Robert M. Hodge December 10, 2022 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Timmy Tim. Kind of an ad hominem attack. Attack the Messenger rather than the message. I believe that John said that they would present the apologist’s view in the next episode.

  3. Timmy Tim December 12, 2022 at 10:37 am - Reply

    How did I “attack the man” with that comment? Please be specific.

    I’m attacking their approach. And I’m questioning their claims of “taking the most gentle approach possible” and “giving equal time to the apologetic response”.

    Addressing the apologetic response with the intent of “ripping apart” is in no way a balanced or gentle approach. And it’s a misrepresentation to claim they are giving equal time or fair time to the apologetic response.

    If they spent 30 minutes addressing the problem and 30 minutes presenting the apologetics, that would be balanced. But their presentation of the apologetics is nothing but a debunking.

    I don’t care if they rip apart the apologetic response, but they are repeatedly misrepresenting what they are doing.

    Or maybe this is what’s going on:

    Mike really wants to present it in a balanced way, but Nemo (and John?) isn’t committed to that approach.

  4. B Nicolich December 12, 2022 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    In this episode (which I really enjoyed), it was suggested that had the hypocephalus been done right, certain areas would have been left empty.

    There might be some miscommunication there. Just a cursory glance online at various specimens suggest they should be filled in with something.

    Related, I think care should be taken assuming that missing pieces were always missing once in the hands of the saints. In other words, the fragments could have degraded and could have been either lost or attached to other documents.

  5. Laura December 19, 2022 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Jon does present in a way where you can see the cognitive dissonance so many of us experience as
    Ex Mormons.
    Jon comes across sometimes as being angry at the blatant cover ups and farces that were engrained in many of us from birth.
    I think he comes across in shock and dismay by the way the church is able to cover up , spin , deflect , gaslight and side step the facts that expose their coverups and lies.
    I think Jon is heartbroken for the loss of all the good parts of the church that he has had to reconcile with losing in order to escape this at best “high demand religion “ probably most honestly a cult.
    Confused with how he followed along so long and didn’t see the red flags until hindsight gave him 20/20.
    Jon Feels shameful sometimes as waves of anxiety and guilt flood over him as his body experiences pain and guilt that has been programmed into his existence since he was born. You’re not righteous enough, you’re not faithful enough if u questions history and facts.

    Regret, that he has lost friendships and family members and the family within the church by pulling back the curtain and living his life going forward with true integrity. The kind that doesn’t allow you to live a lie in a church you know is not true.
    Betrayed for all the times the church covered up child abuse.
    Disgusted by the greed and wealth taken from their members to blackmail and extort them in so many ways. You don’t pay your tithing? You can’t enter the temple to attend your own child’s wedding .
    You can’t baptize your children in front of your church family and they will all wonder why you aren’t worthy.
    I could go on and on. But yah I think these may be some of the ways that Jon is feeling.
    Jon is human and this podcast is to help him reconcile leaving Mormonism. To help others navigate leaving as well. To spread awareness, advocate for informed consent and do all of this while still unpacking his trauma with the damage the church has done to himself and others he loves. Jon does what he says. Jon admits when he is wrong, Jon says sorry. Jon explains himself . Jon gives disclaimers. Jon has a soft spot for a religion that gave him love and stability while it simultaneously lied, cheated and tricked him.
    It’s a bit like being in love with someone that beats you up . Not being able to totally leave because even though they hit you , they spout such sweet nothings and make such elaborate promises. Promise that include manipulation “no one else can ever love you like they do. “ ( you won’t be with your family in heaven if you leave)
    It’s a bit like that.
    Or maybe they actually don’t apologize … not at all. But you think so little of yourself that you’re convinced no one else will ever love you.
    Yep. Leaving the church is a little like that.

  6. BCW December 22, 2022 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I heard many members talk of John as a wolf in sheep’s clothing before I knew really who he was. I figured he was just some anti who had an axe to grind. To the contrary, I have learned a great deal about the “rest of the story” as the great Paul Harvey would have put it. I have seen John tear up as he speaks about the loss of friends and family as a result of his Podcast and excommunication. I have found him to be very fair to both sides as truth permits. He constantly says that he just wishes the church could be more transparent and admit their mistakes so people can make their own choices without all the guilt and reprisals. Every single podcast seems to have articulate ,sincere and interesting guests.

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