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

"...it must be evident to all who seriously consider the matter, that if the Book of Abraham as given to us by Joseph Smith be true, it must have been translated by a greater than human power." - George Reynolds, The Book of Abraham: Its Authenticity Established as a Divine and Ancient Record (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1879), 4

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book of Abraham in Wilford Woodruff's Journals

The purpose of this post is to aggregate quotations from Wilford Woodruff's journals with respect to the text of the Book of Abraham and the Egyptian papyri. References that seem clearly outside of the Book of Abraham that seem dependent upon other scripture (such as references to the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob") are excluded from this compilation. All spelling is as in the original.

November 25, 1836 (WWJ 1:106-107)
NOV 25th Took the parting hand with Elder Sherwood. I then set out in company with Elder Smoot on foot in a hard snowstorm for Kirtland. We Came in Sight of the Temple of the Lord before we reached the village & I truly felt to rejoice at the Sight as it was the first time that mine eyes ever beheld the house of the Lord built by Commandment & Revelation.
We soon entered the village & I spent one of the happiest days of my life at this time in  visiting Kirtland & the House of the Lord & the Presidents & Elders of the Church. I was truly edified to again strike hands with President Joseph Smith Jr. & many other beloved saints of God who are rolling on the mighty work of God & of Israel after being seperated from them for 2 1/2 years & amoung the rest I was filled with joy with the priviledg of again meeting with Elder Warren Parrish & also being made acquainted with his Companion Sister Parrish. There is an enjoyment in meeting our brethren & companions in tribulation that the world Knows not off because it flows from a Celestial Source.
After Spending a short time in Conversing With my friends A more important scene was now to open to my view than Kings ever saw or Princes ever Knew in this generation Which was to visit the Temple of the Lord & its contents. Elder Smoot & myself visited each appartment of the House accompanied by Elder Parrish & I must confess the scenery is indisscribable. When I entered the threshhold of the house & Passed into the lower room their was great Solemnity if not Awe immediately overwhelmed me. I felt indeed as if my footsteps were in the Temple of the Lord.
After walking into the Pulpets, erected for the Priesthoods & viewing the curtains all bespeaking that grandure, solemnity & order that nothing Short of wisdom from God could invent, we then visited the upper rooms & there viewed four Egyptian Mumies & also the Book of Abram Written by his own hand & not ownly the hieroglyphicks but also many figures that this precious treasure Contains are Calculated to make a lasting impression upon the mind which is not to be erased. Many other important views I was Privileged with in the upper story the school rooms, belfry &c. all indicating great Architecture & wisdom.

October 19, 1840 / December 9, 1840 (WWJ 1:533-535)
I again visited this Museum & went through evry appartment of it on the 9th of Dec in company with Elders B. Young & H C. Kimball. The foregoing account of this Museum is ownly its origen. They have continued to build & add thereto untill it covers or surrounds five acres of ground, & it now contains a vast number of rooms sum of them several hundred feet in length & this Museum now contains the greatest variety of curiosities of evry kind name & nature Ancient & Modern consisting of all Natural History, Beast, Fowl, Birds Fish, Serpents, ores minerals, Antiquities, of all nations Sculptures, Mummies, hieroglyphics & Papyrus.
Though I felt interested in a visit to evry apartment of this Museum which is considerd the greatest collection in the world & open to the free inspection of the publick, yet I felt the more deeply interested in that Part Called the gallery of Antiquities esspecially the Egyptian. The Antiquities consists mostly of Greek, Roman Jewish & Egyptian, & some british. Among the vast number of sculptures, was Nero, Trajan The God Ammon, Shakespere, Hercules, Apollo, Thalla, Diana, Domitia, Homer, Minerva, & hundreds of others.
An article Called the Portland Vase is the choicest article of any one thing among the Antiquities as it is the ownly thing of the Kind known in the world. This celebrated Barberini Vase was for more than two centuries the principal ornament of the Barberini Palace. It was found about the middle of the sixteenth Century two miles & a half from Rome in the road leading from Fraseati. The material of which the vase is formed is glass. The figures which are executed in relief are of a beautiful opake white & the ground is in perfect harmony with the figure[s?] of a dark transparent blue. This superb spec[imen?] of greek art was deposited in the British Museum in 1810 by the Duke of Portland.
Among the Egyptian Antiquities, is a large number of Tombs coffins, mumies, Hieroglyphics & Papyri enough if translated into the English language to make one hundred volums as large as the Bible. I felt more interested in this part than any thing I saw as they were from three to four thousand years of age, & would no doubt if translated have revealed many glorious things Sacred & historical concerning the early ages of the world Abram & the Prophets &c.
Having formed a intimate acquaintance with one of the overseers of the gallery of Antiquities, He explained many things to us concerning those things which were interesting unto us.

February 3-4, 7-11, 14-16, 19, 21-26, 28
March 2-4, 7-10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19
[Wilford Woodruff spent time at the printing office]

February 19, 1842 (WWJ 2:154-155)
19th This was a busy day in each department of business it being tithing day for the temple. Their was much business done at the store property brought in &c. We sent about two bushels of the Times & Seasons to the post Office to send to our patrons. I received 3 papers from Mr Ezra Carter jr. which contained much intelligence of various kinds.
It is truly interesting edifying & glorious to contemplate the great & mighty work which God has set his hand to esstablish in these last days by revealing the fullness of the everlasting gospel as recorded in the Book of mormon & esstablishing his church & kingdom as at the Beginning which is according to the order of heaven with Seers prophets Apostles, Elders Priests, Bishops, Teachers, Revelation, Administering of Angels gifts, graces, Knowledge, wisdom tongues healings &c &c.
Truly the Lord has raised up Joseph the Seer of the seed of Abraham out of the loins of ancient Joseph, & is now clothing him with mighty power & wisdom & knowledge which is more clearly manifest & felt in the midst of his intimate friends than any other class of mankind. The Lord is Blessing Joseph with Power to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God; to translate through the urim & Thummim Ancient records & Hyeroglyphics as old as Abraham or Adam, which causes our hearts to burn within us while we behold their glorious truths opened unto us.
Joseph the Seer has presented us some of the Book of Abraham which was written by his own hand but hid from the knowledge of man for the last four thousand years but has now come to light through the mercy of God. Joseph has had these records in his possession for several years but has never presented them before the world in the english language untill now. But he is now about to publish it to the world or parts of it by publishing it in the Times & Seasons, for Joseph the Seer is now the Editor of that paper & Elder Taylor assists him in writing while it has fallen to my lot to take charge of the Business part of the esstablishment.
I have had the privilege this day of assisting in setting the TIPE for printing the first peace of the BOOK OF ABRAHAM that is to be presented to the inhabitants of the EARTH in the LAST DAYS.
My Soul has been much edifyed of late from time to time in hearing Joseph the Seer convers about the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Truly GOD is with him & is making him mighty in wisdom & knowledge & I am convinced for myself that none of the Prophets Seers or Revelators of the Earth have ever accomplished a greater work than will be accomplished in the Last days through the mercy of God By JOSEPH THE SEER.

February 21-26, 1842 (WWJ 2:156)
21 22 23 24 25 & 26 Was spent in the printing office. Nothing remarkable transpired with us during the week excepting we prepared A plate for making a cut at the commencement of the Book of Abraham which is to be published in the 9 no. of the 3 Vol of the Times & Seasons which will be interesting to many of the inhabitants of the earth.

March 19, 1842 (WWJ 2:159)
19 Spent the day in the printing Office. We struck off about 500 No of the 10 No 3 vol of Times & Seasons which contained the portion of the Book of Abraham that gave his account of Kolob, Oliblish, God siting upon his Throne The Earth, other planets & many great & glorious things as revealed to Abraham through the power of the priesthood. The truths of the Book of Abraham are truly edifying great & glorious which are among the rich treasures that are revealed unto us in the last days.

October 1, 1845 (WWJ 2:612)
The Book of Mormon has had three editions published in America And only one in England. Doctrins & Covenants of Revelations of God given through his servant Joseph have been published in three editions in America And one [in] England. Both the book of Mormon & Covenants have been sterotyped. The bible has also been translated also the book of Abraham by the Prophet Joseph before his death.

December 22, 1852 (WWJ 4:164); Discourse by Parley P. Pratt
Of those who survived the flood Noah was of course the lawful king Patriarch or ruler and after him the Elect[ion?] of God Continued through the loins of Shem down to Abraham. But in Abraham's day according to his own writings lately taken from the tombs of ancient Thebees & translated and published by our great Prophet we find a man made government existing in Egypt under a race of Phariohs. This Egypt according to Abrahams account was first discoverd by Egyptus or Daughter of Ham who afterwards settled her sons in it & from whom sprang the race of Pharioh's & the Ancient Egyptians. The same authority also informs us that Ham & his race were cursed as it regards priesthood but blessed in matters pertaining to the fruits of the Earth & of wisdom. And that the Pharioh's & their priests had not the priesthood although they pretended to have received it from Ham their progenitor. Hence we find a Government in Egypt of mere human origen and a priesthood and Religion by law Esstablished which worshiped several Gods among which was the crokadile & which sacrafized Human sacrafices upon the Alter of State. Hence the calling out of Abraham & the reesstablishing of a government of God to be perpetuated in his linage for Ever which linage is Elected to reign & rule & hold the keys of religion Priesthood Power & Government while the Earth Endures & in worlds without End.

March 2, 1854 (WWJ 4:252)
2d I met with the 14 ward at the school house as a fast day for prayer & the worship of God. We had a house full & the spirit of God was poured out upon us. I confirmed 10 that had been Baptized this morning. I ordained 1 Priest & laid hands upon 3 that were sick. Dr Richards is still vary sick & weak. I addressed the Saints. Many spoke prayed & sung. One spoke in tongues & Brother Covington interpeted it. The following is the substance of it:
That you should not give heed to the medium & spirit rappers that are in the land. For when the Lord sent the Holy Ghost anciently to the servants of God it came in the form of a dove. And when the Holy Ghost came to Abraham while He was bound & about to be slain by the Priest of Elkena He came in the form of a Dove & so when He came to Jesus He came in the form of a Dove. We continued our meeting through evening & had a good time.

February 12, 1862 (WWJ 6:20-21); Discourse by Wilford Woodruff
Here was Adam and seven of his sons all Aged Patriarchs who lived over nine hundred years Except Mahalalel who lacked five years of Being Nine hundred years of age. Enoch was 365 years of age when he was Translated. Here was that great & glorious meeting of those old Patriarchs and all the History we have of those great Prophesies of Adam Concerning what Should befal his posterity to the End of time is given to us in a few lines. Whare is there a latter day Saints who would not be glad to read the Journal & History of that great Event?
Abraham and the later Patriarchs & Prophets have left to the world by there Journals and sacred records some History of the dealings of God with them. But there records were kept upon parchment & papyrus written in Egyptian, Arabic, Chaldeic and Hebrew, mingled with many Hieroglyphics in order to Convey their ideas & principles to future generations, some of which [p.21] have been translated into the English language by the order of King James which now forms the Bible. But what a small History the Bible is of the dealings of God for 4,000 years with the Nations of the Earth.

March 14, 1893 (WWJ 9:243)
I visited the mummies that were got in the Caves of Sanwan County & were to be taken to the worlds fair in Chicago. Not as well preserved as were the Mummies of the Catacombs of Egypt.

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