Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Book of Abraham

So during the 1970s, there were a powerful number of attacks laid against the Book of Abraham, a piece of LDS canon found in the Pearl of Great price. I need not even post those attacks here because of the incessant number of anti-Mormons that troll everywhere they can in the wide expanse of cyber space (just look it up on wikipedia).

Now, when I first saw these attacks I was very confused, because at the surface, they seemed valid, but at the time I had just had a very powerful spiritual experience and wondered if I was crazy, or what I should even believe. Luckily, I was able to find an old article written by Hugh Nibley and LDS scholar that lays those claims to rest. I know you're thinking "but Eric, he's LDS, isn't he biased?" That's a valid concern, but everything he references to lay those claims to rest are historical accounts or even research done by non-LDS scholars, so it was good research.

From this experience I learned what it meant to have faith. I learned that faith was relying on the answers that Heavenly Father gave me, not on what my head or others tell me. How did I learn this? I found out that many members of the Church actually left the Church due to these attacks. What was even more interesting though, was that in disproving some of the arguments against the Book of Abraham, Hugh Nibley actually managed to provide evidence of its divine origin.

A link to Nibley's article can be found here.

On page 11 of the PDF (or 219 according to numbering in the PDF), Hugh Nibley points out that recent discoveries have validated the existence of the city Olishem referenced in the Book of Abraham. To me, this gives evidence of its authenticity. The research he references was dated @ 1985, over a hundred years after the translation of the Book of Abraham. So my question to the naysayers is how did Joseph Smith know that city even existed if he wasn't translating a valid document?

This if anything, gives evidence of his abilities as a prophet.

Now those who know me well know that I would be the last one to join the Church over "logical" evidence or even encourage others to, but I'm posting this to show the world that the people who troll the LDS Church will neglect evidence even when it's there and to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

The reason why I'm posting this is because recently there was a Washington Post Social Reader article that referenced the attacks on the Book of Abraham in an indirect way when talker about Park Romney, a relative of Mitt who is campaigning against the LDS Church. I'm also getting the feeling the attacks on the Book of Abraham are being posted a lot more places because the brother of a friend of mine is having problems with his testimony due to hearing stuff on it in a podcast and I felt this is a piece of knowledge I needed to share with the world.

Now, if you were to ask me how to know the LDS Church is true or why you should join it, I would tell you to listen to what the LDS missionaries teach you, apply those teachings in your life, see what the Gospel gives you and pray for an answer. The things you should be looking for are the good the Gospel brings to your life, the answer that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Saviour and the answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet called to bring back the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ after a long night of apostasy after the death of the Christ's apostles. When you get those answers and you see those things, you know what to do. The Gospel has opened a Pandora's box for me, because it's brought both trial and also the greatest good in my life. But it's a box I would open again if given the second chance, because I know my Saviour lives, that my Heavenly Father loves me and that I can make it back to home to Him.

One of these days I'm going to post this article formatted well in a blog post because digging up the PDF required me using a lot of "tricks" to get it from its source (it's not directly linked from the site I originally found it on anymore) and the world apparently still needs to know why the Mormons have moved on and will continue to when stuff like this comes up.

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