"I want to say to you, read the book, the Pearl of Great Price, and read the Book of Abraham. The Pearl of Great Price I hold to be one of the most intelligent, one of the most religious books that the world has ever had; but more than that, to me the Pearl of Great Price is true in its name. It contains an ideal of life that is higher and grander and more glorious than I think is found in the pages of any other book unless it be the Holy Bible. It behooves us to read these things, understand them: and I thank God when they are attacked, because it brings to me, after a study and thought, back to the fact that what God has given He has given, and He has nothing to retract." - Levi Edgar Young, Conference Report (April 1913), 74

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mummies of Nauvoo

As published in the December 1973 issue of the New Era, Solomon Hale, a nephew to the Prophet Joseph Smith, used to show his friends the mummies while in Nauvoo. The article isn't particularly informative, but it does provide some history regarding the mummies location and the culture and atmosphere surrounding the presence of the mummies that existed at that time and place.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Girl's Letters From Nauvoo - Charlotte Haven - 1843

This letter was written by Charlotte Haven to her mother on February 19, 1843, but wasn't published until 1890 (Charlotte Haven, "A Girl's Letters From Nauvoo," Overland Monthly 16/96 (December 1890):622-624). Charlotte was born in 1819 and was 23 or 24 years old at the time of her visit to Nauvoo. She was from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Her comments are fairly critical of Joseph and the saints, for example, dubbing all residents of Nauvoo as "fanatics" (ibid, 616). Thus her characterization of her visit and her experiences are colored with some heavy skepticism; nonetheless, her remarks provide some valuable historical information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Joseph Smith Papyri Display

Daniel Smith attended the Joseph Smith Papyri display in Salt Lake City held in March 2013. Check out his blog post to see some great pictures from the display:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Facsimile Reproductions

Daniel Smith has created the best reproductions of the Book of Abraham facsimiles (and other hypocephali) that I've ever seen. Check them out here:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gospel Topics: Book of Abraham


A new Gospel Topics page is up regarding the Book of Abraham. It provides a great summary of the salient points in BoA discussions:



Monday, May 5, 2014

Blessings of the Gospel and Compliance to the Law - Pres. Snow

Originally printed in the Journal of Discourses, this discourse was delivered by Elder Lorenzo Snow during a session of the April 1879 General Conference. While highlighting various components of the Abrahamic Covenant, Elder Snow draws attention to one of the lesser discussed events in Abraham's life as it relates to the principle of obedience. Elder Snow also discusses the relevance for us in following the example set by out great patriarch:
Abraham was called to leave his kindred and country. Had he not complied with this requirement, he would not have been approved of the Lord. But he did comply; and while he was leaving his home, he no doubt was living in obedience to this divine law of perfection. Had he failed in this, he certainly could not have obeyed the requirements of the Almighty. And while he was leaving his father’s house, while he was subjecting himself to this trial, he was doing that which his own conscience and the Spirit of God justified him in doing, and nobody could have done better, providing he was doing no wrong when he was performing this labor.

Children of the Covenant - Elder Nelson

During the April 1995 session of General Conference, Elder Russell M. Nelson delivered a talk entitled, "Children of the Covenant." This talk outlined the promises contained within the Abrahamic Covenant and he discussed its relevance and importance to us today.

"The covenant that the Lord first made to Abraham and reaffirmed to Isaac and Jacob is of transcendent significance. It contained several promises:
  • Abraham’s posterity would be numerous, entitled to eternal increase and to bear the priesthood;
  • He would become a father of many nations;
  • Christ and kings would come through Abraham’s lineage;
  • Certain lands would be inherited;
  • All nations of the earth would be blessed by his seed;
  • That covenant would be everlasting—even through “a thousand generations.”
This topic, which can occasionally be a bland repetition in Sunday School, is brought to life by Elder Nelson with thoughtful and provoking insights. Very inspiring. Read the full text here.

Identity, Priority, and Blessings - Elder Nelson

Elder Russell M. Nelson delivered this speech at Brigham Young University on September 10, 2000. He focuses upon the importance of understanding our heritage through an Abrahamic identity. He also discusses the need to prioritize the covenants of the gospel and the blessings that flow therefrom.
How do you obtain your blessings? How can you qualify for eternal blessings—even “all that [the] Father hath”? With your identity preserved and your priorities properly honored, our Father’s blessings will flow to you by virtue of the holy priesthood, which is without beginning or end.
You can lay claim to all the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant, destined to be fulfilled in these latter days (see 1 Nephi 15:18). Blessings and responsibilities once extended to other nations (see Galatians 3:7–9, 14, 27, 29) have now been given to us (see D&C 110:12). Patriarchal blessings reveal our linkage to the great patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are the seed of Abraham through whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed. That identity merits our precious priority, which in turn brings to us the blessings of heaven.
Read the full text of this speech here.

The Key of the Knowledge of God - Pres. Faust

President James E. Faust discussed the power of the priesthood sought and obtained by Abraham, and the blessing of the priesthood to his posterity and to the human family in the October 2004 session of General Conference:
What does it mean to be the seed of Abraham? Scripturally it has a deeper meaning than being his literal descendants. The Lord made a covenant with Abraham, the great patriarch, that all nations would be blessed through him. Any man or woman can claim the blessings of Abraham. They become his seed and heirs to the promised blessings by accepting the gospel, being baptized, entering into temple marriage, being faithful in keeping their covenants, and helping to carry the gospel to all the nations of the earth.
Read more of President Faust's inspiring talk regarding the blessings of the priesthood in the Abrahamic covenant here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Example of Abraham - Pres. Kimball

The First Presidency Message in the June 1975 Ensign was entitled, "The Example of Abraham," by President Spencer W. Kimball. An excerpt from his message is as follows:
Abraham’s desire to do God’s will in all things led him to preside over his family in righteousness. Despite all his other responsibilities, he knew that if he failed to teach and exemplify the gospel to his children he would have failed to fulfill the most important stewardship he had received. Abraham’s instruction and example in his home led the Lord to say of him: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” (Gen. 18:19.)
This excerpt provides some insight as to why Abraham was not considered just a righteous prophet, but why he was also known as the "father of the faithful" (Gal. 3:7; D&C 138:41), and why the 'covenant' was made with Abraham and is renewed through his righteous posterity. Read the rest of this great article online here.