The Mormons







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Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life



Chapter 2

The Pearl of Great Price





If we continue going through the holy books of the Mormons, one of them is the so-called Pearl of Great Price that comprises of the so-called Book of Abraham, the translation of Matthew, chapter 24 (did Smith, an uneducated man, also know Greek?), and the so-called Book of Moses containing visions and dreams that Smith received.

   The so-called Book of Abraham came about in this way: Smith and his church first got hold of found mummies and papyrus scrolls from Egypt, near the town of Thebes. When Smith studied these scrolls, he noted that they included writings of the father Abraham, written in his own hand! Then, Smith himself did the translation work on these "Abraham's" scrolls and added these writings to the Pearl of Great Price to be a part of the holy scriptures of the Mormons.

   But as there are numerous faults in the background and contents of the Book of Mormon, there are also problems as comes to the Book of Abraham. We can mention, for example, the following:


The finds of Smith. Firstly, the fact alone that one and the same person (Joseph Smith) gets hold of the Urim and the Thummim and a text written by Abraham himself, is a remarkable miracle. What makes it miraculous is that only the High Priest in Israel had the Urim and Thummim about 3,000 years ago and because Abraham lived 4,000 years ago, and nobody else has found preserved writings by Abraham. Therefore, the latter finding of Smith, for example, can be regarded as one of the most important in history, or one of the greatest deceits. Which one is it? Surely most researchers would say that it is a question of deceit.


A part of the Book of the Dead. The second problem is connected with the contents of the scrolls. According to Smith, Abraham wrote these scrolls but later it has been noted (they were found again in 1967) that not a single word about Abraham has been mentioned. Instead, these scrolls have been seen to include names of Egyptian idols and were a part of the Egyptians' Book of the Dead it was called the Book of Breathings. The purpose of this book was to give incantations to the deceased to protected them on their journey hereafter. This book had nothing to do with Abraham.


There is also a problem concerning the translation of the scrolls: in order to translate some Egyptian symbols, Smith needed as much as over a hundred words! These examples indicate that Smith, an uneducated man, did not possess the skills required, even though he claimed otherwise. His translation is, therefore, not consistent with the contents of the scrolls:


When the text on the papyrus and the translation are more closely studied, we can see that for translating a certain Egyptian symbol Joseph needed 76 English words; for translating another symbol 177 words, and for another 130 words. This information already arouses suspicions regarding the translation. Nowadays, we know that Egyptian writing was mainly word writing. One symbol or group of symbols corresponds to one word. Only a few abbreviations contain more than the symbols in question separately. Generally, an Egyptian symbol or group of symbols can translated with a few words.

   A good example of the translation of Joseph Smith is an Egyptian symbol that is a definite article. In order to translate this symbol, Joseph needed 59 words in English, of which two are proper nouns. Or yet another symbol that means water and is a part of a word that means pond, for which Joseph needed 76 words with nine proper nouns among them in his translation but the Egyptian symbol only consists four straight lines! And the whole group of symbols meaning pond requires 135 words in the English language! (5)
















Jari Iivanainen