Well, It’s been many years since I’ve read the Book of Abraham (BoA). Many years. In fact, I guess I had completely forgotten about all the references to “the Gods.” So much so that it was almost like I had never read it before at all. I just kept thinking to myself:
How in the world did this ever sit right with you?
How in the world did this not ever raise a single red flag?
What in the world were you thinking?
Were you thinking??
I not only wept, I began to feel physically ill. The only answer: I was raised in the church by my parents. My only consolation: I never gained a testimony of Joseph Smith or the LDS Church. Which only begged one more question:
Why did it take you so long to leave?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but I trust the Lord does. And I trust that every part of my journey, even that which took me to and through and out of the LDS Church is what makes me who I am today and is exactly what prepared me for the relationship with Christ that I now have.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK
Besides the fact that it’s clearly polytheistic, with all its references to the Gods and counsels of the Gods, albeit with one God who is more intelligent than all the rest, to me it shows a clear lack of spiritual insight in several places and a few oddities.
I’ll start with the oddities:
1. Abraham is Abraham throughout and never mentions God changing his name from Abram to Abraham.
2. Abraham calls his wife Sarai throughout, never referring to her as Sarah, nor ever mentioning that her name was changed from Sarai to Sarah.
3. Abraham takes credit for seeing that he needed to leave the home of his father, wherein he sought the Lord, rather than the Lord seeking him.
4. Abraham claims to be a High Priest, which he claims is a right that belongs to the firstborn, even all the way back to the first man – Adam. (Several references to the Priesthood, but I don’t even want to get into that, though I will be coming back to the right or blessing of the firstborn and the claim that it belonged even to “the first man, Adam.”)
5. The text itself claims that the hieroglyphics that accompany the BoA were provided by Abraham himself, despite the fact that we now know that these Egyptian papyrus have nothing at all to do with Abraham.
6. Abraham claims that the Lord told him to tell the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister, rather than his wife.
7. Abraham claims to have had the Urim and Thummim. (Not really going to discuss this either, but it’s certainly worth noting, as this was part of the garment of the High Priest under the Law of Moses. I guess Abraham has it because he claims to be a High Priest.)
8. Abraham is shown the sun and the moon and the stars, etc, and told all about Kolob, the star nearest to the throne of God and is told how the Lord’s time is reckoned differently – “according to the reckoning of Kolob,” – which is one day being one thousand years.
9. Abraham claims that “the Gods” all came together to organize the world, etc, etc, etc… the Gods, the Gods, the Gods….
10. Abraham claims that time here was originally reckoned according to the Lord’s time or the time of Kolob (one day = one thousand years). I assume that is to account the fact that Adam was supposed to die “in the day” that he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… and he lived for 930 years. We are not told how or when or why time ceased to be reckoned according to the time of Kolob.
I’m not sure all of these things require explanations for why they are listed. I think it’s probably obvious to anyone who is familiar with the Bible why some of these things made my list. They contradict the Biblical record outright or they can, in no way, be supported by the Biblical record.
Now for the lack of spiritual insight:
1. The blessing or birthright of the firstborn: while it is true that the Bible also speaks of the blessing or the birthright of the firstborn, it must have escaped Joseph Smith’s attention that when it comes to spiritual blessings the “firstborn” is the firstborn of God, not the firstborn of man. We see this pattern repeated over and over again in the OT where the firstborn son, according to the natural order, doesn’t receive the father’s blessing. It goes to a younger child, who serves as a figure for the second man or the Last Adam. This is the reason Ishmael had to be born before Isaac, the child of promise through whom the Promised Seed was to come.
2. Adam serves as a figure of Him who was to come. And he also serves as figure for all mankind and the process by which man is being “created in the image of God” – that image being seen/found in “the Last Adam,” into whose image we are being conformed. And what we see in Gen 2 is not God placing the pre-existent spirit of Adam into a body created for Adam to house that spirit, we see God sending forth “His Spirit” (the breathe OF LIFE) into a man He “first formed” out of the dust of the ground, who is not “created in the image of God” until God “sends forth His spirit” and “reneweth the face of the earth.” (See Psa 102:18 and 104:30 and Isa 48:7.)
3. If Joseph Smith understood the true meaning of a thousand years being as one day and one day being as a thousand years to the Lord, he would not have taken that so literally and claimed that it’s how the Lord reckons time where He is and is how time was once reckoned even here, in the beginning. It’s not meant to be taken literally. If we study the scriptures we can see this “thousand years” which is as “one day” to the Lord is associated with one day that has been divided into two, just as God divided “the light” (which he called THE DAY – also called TODAY) from “the darkness” (which He called THE NIGHT – also called YESTERDAY, but only once the night/darkness IS PAST) in Gen 1. God made a covenant with both (Jer 33:25 and others), which is why we see this “thousand years” associated with both (being “twice told” – Ecc 6:6). David speaks of this in Psa 90:3-4: “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” This is why Jesus is said to be “the same YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER.” This is why Jesus said, to the thief on the cross who asked to be remembered when he came into His kingdom, “TODAY shalt though be with me in paradise.” This is a spiritual truth which is why the true Sabbath is not observed on the seventh day of the week, as it was given to the Jews in a figure, but on a day called “today” (when we hear His voice and harden not our hearts and enter into His rest!). God dwells in THE LIGHT, in THE DAY, where there is NO DARKNESS. This is why it is ALL “one day” to the Lord, who is the great “I AM.”
4. It was not the Lord who feared what the Egyptians would do to Abraham if they knew Sarah was his wife. It was not the Lord who told Abraham to tell them that Sarah was his sister. That was all Abraham’s doing! And, in the Bible, we are told why. When Abimelech asked Abraham why he had done this, Abraham did not say God told him to do it, he said: “Because I THOUGHT, SURELY THE FEAR OF GOD IS NOT IN THIS PLACE; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.” Well, if it wasn’t, God sure took care of that by putting the fear of God into that place when He came to Abimelech in a dream and told him he was “a dead man” if he touched Sarah and did not return her to her husband. God did not tell Abraham to pass Sarah off as his sister instead of his wife just so He could appear to Abimelech in a dream to tell him the truth. He fixed what Abraham did by making sure there was a “fear of God” in that place and he could have protected Abraham just as easily had he not first tried to take matters into his own hands due to his own fears.
So much more could be said about this book, but this is more than enough to prove to me that (1) the Book of Abraham is not only false, (2) Joseph Smith is a false prophet.
This is not the work of God.