We usually don’t stop to think about it, but our conceptions of the nature of scripture play a key role in our understanding of spiritual reality. The fundamental question is: Do we use scripture to understand the rest of reality, or do we need to use other evidence first to understand the nature of scripture? Or is there a way where they can inform each other? So for example, do we take the scriptural descriptions of God at face value and try to understand life using that framework, or do we use our personal experiences and other sources to understand God and then use that understanding to engage with the scriptural accounts?
This lesson explores the scriptural contributions of Joseph Smith, and a key goal will be to explore the nature of Joseph’s revelations and the new scripture he brought forth, as well as their significance. This new scripture includes:
- Book of Mormon
- Book of Commandments–>Doctrine & Covenants
- Book of Moses/Joseph Smith Translation
- Book of Abraham
- Lectures on Faith (remember, these were included in the D&C until 1921!)
- Theologically significant sermons such as the King Follett Discourse
- The temple endowment
Since we have already talked about the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants, we will focus this lesson on the Joseph Smith Translation and Book of Abraham, while also touching on the idea of scripture as a whole and Joseph’s other contributions.
Jessica, John, and Ben join the class.
One Time Donation:
Student Reading: Bible Dictionary: Joseph Smith Translation, Our Heritage, pages 23–25, 41, 58 , Moses 1:40–41, 2 Nephi 3:11–15, D&C 84:19–25, D&C 88:15–24, D&C 76:50–112, D&C 93:29, D&C 107:23, 33, 35, D&C 124:37–42, D&C 128:16–18, D&C 130:22
Additional Teacher Reading: D&C 5:10, Heading D&C 67, Heading D&C 69, eighth article of faith, 1 Nephi 13:24–28, D&C 35:20; 37:1; 45:60–61; 73:3–4; 93:53, Genesis 5:18–24, Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5, Jude 1:14–15, Moses 6:21–68, Moses 7:1–69, Matthew 4, Heading D&C 76, D&C 76:15–19, Matthew 3:16–17; John 4:24; Acts 7:55, Joseph Smith—History 1:17; D&C 130:1, 22, Genesis 1:27, Moses 6:8–9, Ephesians 2:20; 4:11–16, D&C 107:23, 33, 35, 39, 58; 112:30–32, Hebrews 6:20; 7:17, D&C 84:19–25; 107:1–8, 18–19; Hebrews 7:11, D&C 13; 84:18, 26–27, 30; 107:1, 13–14, 20, Matthew 3:16, 3 Nephi 11:22–26; Moroni 8:8–12; D&C 20:71–74, Acts 8:17; D&C 20:41, 43; 35:6; 121:46, Jeremiah 1:4–5, D&C 93:29; Abraham 3:22–26, 1 Corinthians 15:29, D&C 128:16–18, Job 19:25–26; John 5:28–29; 1 Corinthians 15:22, Alma 11:42–45, 1 Corinthians 15:40–42, D&C 76:50–112; 131:1, Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 11:11, D&C 131:1–4; 132:19, Romans 8:17, D&C 88:107; 93:20; 132:20–24
You can access my Lesson Notes here.
You can access my Reading Notes here.
Continue the conversation by posting your comments and questions here, in the facebook group, or email them to me at MormonSundaySchool at gmail.
- Philip Barlow, Mormons and the Bible 2nd Edition
Joseph Smith Translation /Book of Moses
- Encyclopedia of Mormonism article on the Joseph Smith Translation
- Excellent References in EoM article:
- Jackson, Joseph Smith’s Cooperstown Bible
- Jackson and Jasinki, Two JST passages translated twice
- LDS Creation narratives as “Mormon Midrash”
- Wayment and Lambert, Nature of pen and pencil markings in NT of Joseph’s translation
Book of Abraham
- Michael T. Walton, “Professor Seixas the Hebrew Bible and the Book of Abraham, Sunstone, 6, No. 2 (1981): 41-43.
- Response to Walton by Milan Smith
- Egyptian Grammar available through the Church History Dept
Lectures on Faith
- An entire book available online on the Lectures on Faith in Historical Perspective
- Encyclopedia of Mormonism article on the Lectures on Faith
- Van Wagoner, Richard S.; Steven C. Walker; and Allen D. Roberts. “The “Lectures on Faith’: A Case Study in Decanonization.” Dialogue 20 (Fall 1987):71-77.
- Gentry, Leland H. “What of the Lectures on Faith?” BYU Studies 19 (Fall 1978):5-19.
- Encylopedia of Mormonism article on the King Follett Discourse
- Larson, A Newly Amalgamated Text of the King Follett Discourse
- Cannon, Donald Q. “The King Follett Discourse: Joseph Smith’s Greatest Sermon in Historical Perspective.” BYU Studies 18 (Winter 1978):179-92.
- Hale, Van. “The Doctrinal Impact of the King Follett Discourse.” BYU Studies 18 (Winter 1978):209-225.
- The King Follett Sermon in the 1971 Ensign, Part 1 and Part 2.
- Ensign article: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1981/08/kinderhook-plates-brought-to-joseph-smith-appear-to-be-a-nineteenth-century-hoax?lang=eng (See Rough Stone Rolling pp. 489-490)
Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!
Thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his timely efforts with post-production.