The Book of Abraham commands fascination, with its theological distinctiveness (plurality of gods and teaching about the pre-existence) and connections to the Egyptian papyri. Not everyone may be aware that many struggle with this book of scripture, however. This episode digs deeply into the value of the Book of Abraham theologically, focusing on teachings about the pre-existence and foreordination. We also explore the implications of the relationship between scripture and history.
Other Reading: None
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The discussion with David, Joshua and Maxine at times gets technical and runs long, but is worth the time and effort.
You can access the Annotated Reading here.
You can access my Lesson Notes here.
Lesson Part 1
6:17 Stars, Intelligences, Plan of Salvation
Lesson Part 2
Lesson Part 3
24:00 Book of Abraham: Intro
26:00 Book of Abraham: BCC Blog Reading
50:30 Purpose of Scripture
Discussion Part 1
1:27:03 Plural Gods
1:40:08 Book of Abraham: Source Papyri
1:46:44 Abraham 3
2:06:33 Closing Theological Thoughts
Discussion Part 2
Discussion Part 3
2:12:32 Book of Abraham: Apostasy Catalyst
2:24:36 Historicity of Abraham
2:33:00 Scripture Does Not Equal History
2:48:58 Joseph Smith: Inspired Translator
3:03:18 Pondering on Priesthood Doctrine
- Introduction to the papyri, Joseph Smith Papers project
- Foreordination, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
- Check out these other articles relating to Pre-earth life in the EoM.
- The Doctrines of the Gospel manual on foreordination
- The Church’s recent statement on race and the priesthood
- Kevin Barney’s thorough post about the background of the Book of Abraham (the one I read in the lesson)
- “The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources”
- Post about the psychology of foreordination on By Common Consent
- Benjamin the Scribe’s post on this lesson… He will also be covering the Sunday School lessons, so be on the lookout for many other resources this year.
Also consult his very worthwhile extra resources:
- The Anchor Bible Dictionary’s article on the pre-existence of the soul (written by BYU professor Kent Brown)
- Charles Harrel, “The Development of the Doctrine of Preexistence, 1830–1844″ BYU Studies 28:2 PDF.
- Teryl and Fiona Givens, The God Who Weeps, chapter 2, is all about the premortal existence. It’s an excellent book. See Rosalynde Welch’s review here, Julie Smith’s review here, and Adam Miller’s semi philosophical discussion of chapter 2 here.
Thanks to James Estrada for going above and beyond to get this episode out in time, and to to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.