Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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MG 2.0
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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Shulem wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:33 pm
In England the Pearl of Great Price seemed to be used as a proselyting tool and the saints there were using it. Taylor caught that vision and included it with the testimony of the saints, hence the 1880 canonization.
What year was the PofGP published in England? Who was the prophet at the time? Was the PofGP published under authorization from the 1st Presidency? Who was in charge of the publication in England? And last, was it published as a pamphlet or book?

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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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Jeff Lindsay | Nov 10, 2017 wrote:Gee carefully discusses some of the interesting connections between the Book of Abraham and evidence from antiquity, such as the many ancient accounts of Abraham being threatened as a human sacrifice and accounts of his father’s idol worshipping, accounts not available to Joseph Smith. Sometimes there are especially significant points that, from an apologetics perspective, I wish had been given more emphasis or at least an exclamation mark or two.

It could be argued that there were no accounts available to Joseph Smith of scholarly and academic explanations of Egyptian funerary scenes such as the one depicted in Facsimile No. 1. Without a doubt, that particular vignette was the first time anyone in Kirtland or Nauvoo had ever seen such a scene and very likely there wasn’t a soul in town that could have given a proper exposition of what the scene actually represented. Joseph Smith was free to offer up any explanation he wanted and who in town would disagree?

In light of modern Egyptology and a true understanding of the funerary scene depicted in Facsimile No. 1, it becomes necessary for modern apologists to look for parallels or symbolical ideas similar to Smith’s interpretations in order to justify the Explanations canonized in the Book of Abraham.
Last edited by Shulem on Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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MG 2.0 wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:51 am
Shulem wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:33 pm
In England the Pearl of Great Price seemed to be used as a proselyting tool and the saints there were using it. Taylor caught that vision and included it with the testimony of the saints, hence the 1880 canonization.
What year was the PofGP published in England? Who was the prophet at the time? Was the PofGP published under authorization from the 1st Presidency? Who was in charge of the publication in England? And last, was it published as a pamphlet or book?

Regards,
MG

MG,

The first edition of the Pearl of Great Price was compiled and published in Liverpool England in booklet form under the direction of elder Franklin D. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1851. Elder Richards was the President of the British Isles and represented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abroad. The full text of the Book of Abraham and the Facsimiles 1-3 with their accompanying Explanations were included in the work. Elder Richards served under President Young, Taylor, Woodruff, and Snow. Late in his ministry he served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve until he passed in 1899.

It may interest you to know that the Book of Abraham and the Facsimiles were also published in England in the church periodical Millennial Star in 1842 under the direction of elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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Shulem wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:49 am

The first edition of the Pearl of Great Price was compiled and published in Liverpool England in booklet form under the direction of elder Franklin D. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1851. Elder Richards was the President of the British Isles and represented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abroad. The full text of the Book of Abraham and the Facsimiles 1-3 with their accompanying Explanations were included in the work. Elder Richards served under President Young, Taylor, Woodruff, and Snow. Late in his ministry he served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve until he passed in 1899.

It may interest you to know that the Book of Abraham and the Facsimiles were also published in England in the church periodical Millennial Star in 1842 under the direction of elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve.


So from 1842 to 1851 the BofA was published in England, one would assume, with the knowledge of Brigham Young. The Deseret News was first published in Salt Lake City in 1850. With a printing press. The press may have been there before then. The PofGP is published in 1851 in England. So it seems weird that the booklet was published in one place and not the other. One might think that we might see the Book of Abraham in SL a lot earlier than 1880.

Was the Book of Abraham and/or the PofGP being published in Utah before 1880 but not canonized as scripture?

What’s with the THIRTY year delay before the saints in Utah finally figure out they want BofA publication? And for thirty years the booklet is being used by the saints in England without canonization. Why push for canonization after thirty years?

The printing press was available earlier.

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MG
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Shulem »

MG 2.0 wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:40 am
Shulem wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:49 am

The first edition of the Pearl of Great Price was compiled and published in Liverpool England in booklet form under the direction of elder Franklin D. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve in 1851. Elder Richards was the President of the British Isles and represented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abroad. The full text of the Book of Abraham and the Facsimiles 1-3 with their accompanying Explanations were included in the work. Elder Richards served under President Young, Taylor, Woodruff, and Snow. Late in his ministry he served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve until he passed in 1899.

It may interest you to know that the Book of Abraham and the Facsimiles were also published in England in the church periodical Millennial Star in 1842 under the direction of elder Parley P. Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve.


So from 1842 to 1851 the BofA was published in England, one would assume, with the knowledge of Brigham Young. The Deseret News was first published in Salt Lake City in 1850. With a printing press. The press may have been there before then. The PofGP is published in 1851 in England. So it seems weird that the booklet was published in one place and not the other. One might think that we might see the Book of Abraham in SL a lot earlier than 1880.

Was the Book of Abraham and/or the PofGP being published in Utah before 1880 but not canonized as scripture?

What’s with the THIRTY year delay before the saints in Utah finally figure out they want BofA publication? And for thirty years the booklet is being used by the saints in England without canonization. Why push for canonization after thirty years?

The printing press was available earlier.

Regards,
MG

MG,

Actually, to my understanding Brigham Young didn’t have anything to do with the publication of the Book of Abraham in the English 1842 edition of the Millennial Star. Elder Pratt was on a mission under the direction of President Joseph Smith. Later, during Brigham Young’s ministry everything that happened in Utah was under his direct supervision. I do not know how many copies of the Nauvoo Times and Seasons were taken west with the pioneers but it’s reasonable to think that copies were had by members especially the leadership. I don’t know about printing presses in Utah during the early period or the management and operation of them. I tend to think there were a sufficient number of copies of the Times and Seasons early on without having to set the type and organize a new edition. Whether it was republished in Utah, I don’t know.

The 30-year delay or failure to canonize the Pearl of Great Price is between the Lord and Brigham Young. He was the only man on God’s green earth that could move to authorize that act. So, it’s all on Brigham Young and I can’t answer for him. John Taylor became Church President in 1880 and immediately canonized the Pearl of Great Price. So whatever indifferences may have existed between Young and Taylor about this matter was settled when Young died. Perhaps there are clues to this in his personal writings or journal. That would certainly prove interesting!
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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MG 2.0 wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:55 pm
The BofA may have been more or less a midrash or riff from the mind of Joseph Smith?

MG,

We can be sure that it all came from the mind of Joseph Smith. The question is *how* did it get there? Was it his own creative invention or did he get help from the Holy Ghost? That is the answer that best solves the question. I cited earlier the revelation on how the “Holy Spirit” was involved when Smith was commanded to “go” and tell the Quorum of the Twelve to ready the press at the Times and Seasons and prepare to publish the Book of Abraham to the world. It makes sense that if the Holy Spirit is involved in the publication of the book, then he must have been involved in producing the book in the first place, in the mind of Joseph Smith via direct revelation. Right? I think it’s highly appropriate that we call to mind statements made by Joseph Smith about how he received inspiration while producing things that pertain to the Book of Abraham and determine if he truly claimed revelation in doing so. Recall that Joseph Smith wrote that he “labored on the Egyptian alphabet, in company with bro. O. Cowdery and W.W. Phelps: the System of astronomy was unfolded. Was this unfolding with or without the help of the Holy Spirit? Smith also wrote that he “exhibited and explained the Egyptian Records to them, and explained many things concerning the dealing of God with the Ancients, and the formation of the planetary system.”

So the question I guess I’m posing is was this revelation of man or of God? Do recall what elder Woodruff wrote in his journal while the Book of Abraham was rolling on the printing press and let that testimony settle in your own mind:

“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."
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

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Shulem wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:35 am
Canadiandude2 wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:34 am
Well this thread was a fun read.

Particularly the apologetics.

Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to read the thread and benefit from it. May I ask how you would grade my overall contribution? How would you rate the strength of my presentation in making my case so far?

[ ] Very weak
[ ] Weak
[ ] Fair
[ ] Strong
[ ] Very Strong

Also, do you have any questions you might like to pose or any advice on how I can improve my position?
Strong.

There were a few times where your language kinda distracted from your overall meaning (I believe this generally happened in moments where you were attempting to settle personal points with the author instead of just stating your counter arguments without any attempt at cute mockery)

I have no Egyptology or archaeology training so there were moments where I wouldn’t have minded a little more exposition as to why a piece of evidence or argumentation is or is not relevant.

I know of the missing scroll theory generally-speaking but there were definitely times where I would’ve appreciated greater clarification.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by MG 2.0 »

Shulem wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:29 am


The 30-year delay or failure to canonize the Pearl of Great Price is between the Lord and Brigham Young. He was the only man on God’s green earth that could move to authorize that act. So, it’s all on Brigham Young and I can’t answer for him. John Taylor became Church President in 1880 and immediately canonized the Pearl of Great Price. So whatever indifferences may have existed between Young and Taylor about this matter was settled when Young died. Perhaps there are clues to this in his personal writings or journal. That would certainly prove interesting!
That it would. So John Taylor seems to have been intimately involved in the BofA project from the get go. When Taylor became president of the church he went on a revelatory binge of sorts. If I’m not mistaken during his ministry as prophet he was known for bringing a constant flow of revelatory writings into publication for the Saints. It doesn’t surprise me that he would resurrect the BofA for canonization and publication in Utah. It’s interesting that apparently for a thirty year period the booklet containing the BofA was published in England, along with other publications, and accepted as…what? Scripture? It obviously hadn’t been canonized yet. Was it a curiosity? This thirty year gap seems rather odd. If the PofGP and the Book of Abraham were considered scripture on par with the other three standard works I can’t help but think something would have transpired during the time of Brigham Young. We wait until John Taylor who seems to have had a much more expansive view as to what was considered to be revelatory than did Brigham.

Reading through all of the resources you’ve contributed here…much of the content from here:

https://site-2056867-937-9411.mystrikingly.com/

I am still not convinced that Joseph himself saw the BofA project as a precursor to adding a fourth standard work of scripture to the canon. That seems to have been the work of John Taylor. If so, then it comes down to the question of Taylor’s motivations and inspiration in this matter. Obviously if he presents the matter of canonization at conference and he supports it, those in attendance are likely to support it. At that point in time and ever since, we are then left with the results of that vote in that place at that time.

Why did Brigham Young not bring up the vote in conference for canonization? Did he feel the same way about the BofA as John Taylor? Were there other things going on there that we are not fully or even aware of at all?

There were a bunch of people around Joseph that viewed whatever came from the prophet as being from God Almighty Himself. Joseph’s mother Lucy was totally on board and into the Book of Abraham project from the very beginning and also saw I as a way to gain more notoriety and fame for the Saints there in Nauvoo. The T&S’s made a financial turn around as a result of the fantastic story being published in serial form. Joseph himself was the writer and promoter, along with others, of this ‘blast from the past’, so to speak. And he may very well have considered the BofA project to be God inspired in a midrashic fashion similar to the way in which he viewed his translation work with the Bible.

There are enough moving parts during the Nauvoo period, the publication of the PofGP in England, the lag time of publication and canonization in Utah, etc., that it causes me to wonder whether we ought to go ‘whole hog’ and put all of our eggs in one basket as far as the BofA is concerned. I think John Gee, a few years ago, pretty much said something to that effect if I’m not mistaken.

Personally, I’m not willing to risk my own commitment to the validity of the restoration movement based on the BofA project there in Nauvoo. Just as with polygamy, there are too many things that are rather fuzzy and hard to get a full crystal clear picture of.

But, let me be clear, I can see where those that see the Book of Abraham as a type of ‘smoking gun’ for Joseph’s revelatory claims as being fraudulent are coming from. It is all rather messy. The apologists have their points of argument that are interesting and convincing as do the critics and naysayers.

I’m willing to leave the BofA on the shelf and wait for confirmatory evidence one way or the other as to how much Joseph Smith and Co. got right vs. what they got wrong. And as I’ve tried to make clear, I think there are some items of interest as I’ve already outlined having to do with the whole canonization process, that I’m a bit wary of giving full confidence to all that transpired along the way from 1850 to 1880.

Regards,
MG
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Shulem »

MG 2.0 wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:11 pm
So John Taylor seems to have been intimately involved in the BofA project from the get go. When Taylor became president of the church he went on a revelatory binge of sorts. If I’m not mistaken during his ministry as prophet he was known for bringing a constant flow of revelatory writings into publication for the Saints. It doesn’t surprise me that he would resurrect the BofA for canonization and publication in Utah.

Yes, Taylor was very intimately involved in the entire process of getting the Book of Abraham published and you could even say that he was Smith’s right arm man and Woodruff was his left arm. Both apostles bore their testimony of the truth of that work.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Taylor went on a revelatory binge per se, after all, he didn’t add anything to the Doctrine and Covenants -- he simply canonized someone else’s previous work and revelations that were generally already accepted by the Church as such. That’s an easy thing to do. The hard part is to come up with new revelation such as the Pearl of Great Price. You have to admit that it’s a lot of material and quite complex. Brigham Young passed away in 1877 and Taylor ran the Church as President of the Twelve for 3 years until finally ordained President of the Church in 1880, the same year he canonized the Pearl of Great Price. Taylor remained President of the Church for 7 years but nearly the last three years he presided over the Church in exile and went onto hiding because he was wanted by the US government for polygamy. I think the two things he is probably remembered most for is his canonization of additional scripture already presented to the Church previously as “revelation” and hiding from the government for polygamy.
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Re: Jeff Lindsay praises John Gee's book “Introduction to the Book of Abraham” as a tool to save his testimony

Post by Shulem »

MG 2.0 wrote:
Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:11 pm
It’s interesting that apparently for a thirty year period the booklet containing the BofA was published in England, along with other publications, and accepted as…what? Scripture? It obviously hadn’t been canonized yet. Was it a curiosity? This thirty year gap seems rather odd. If the PofGP and the Book of Abraham were considered scripture on par with the other three standard works I can’t help but think something would have transpired during the time of Brigham Young. We wait until John Taylor who seems to have had a much more expansive view as to what was considered to be revelatory than did Brigham.

I think the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses when presented to the Church in canonized form were always considered more than mere curiosities or inspired speculation. I would like to momentarily share with you something special about the Book of Moses that will blow your mind as it blew mine. Both books were perceived and accepted as revelations on par with scripture but were not officially added to the other three books of canon because the time to add them wasn’t right for whatever reason Brigham Young determined. Smith was mainly concerned with keeping the D&C current and he added to that volume after the Book of Abraham was published in Nauvoo.
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