"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, April 26, 2011

The Ulterior Motives of Reverend Franklin S. Spalding


Reverend Franklin S. Spalding1

Almost 100 years ago, Reverend Franklin Spencer Spalding, an Episcopalian Bishop in Utah, published a 36 page booklet that was circulated amongst LDS officials, college professors, high school teachers, and students.2 The pamphlet was meant to discredit the Book of Mormon by illustrating that Joseph Smith's ability to translate the facsimiles contained in the Book of Abraham could not hold up to the scrutiny of Egyptologists. If Reverend Spalding could successfully illustrate that Joseph did not translate Egyptian accurately, then it may be inferred that his translation of the Book of Mormon should not only be called into question, but dismissed altogether. Apparently it did not occur to Reverend Spalding that the success of his experiment was dependent on some logical fallacies, a subject that will be addressed in a later posting; nevertheless, Spalding's efforts elicited quite a response in relation to some potentially serious implications for the Book of Abraham.