“Introducing ‘An Introduction to the Book of Abraham'”

 

Xmas lights at Temple Square SLC
Christmas on Temple Square, in Salt Lake City, Utah (Wikimedia Commons)

 

It’s been a busy day, and I’m a bit late.  But here’s the column that I wrote for Thursday’s Deseret News:

 

“Introducing ‘An Introduction to the Book of Abraham'”

 

***

 

I encourage you to participate in the 2017 “Light the World” campaign sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You can do it in one or more languages; the materials have been prepared in a variety of different tongues:

 

https://www.mormon.org/download

 

***

 

Have you ever heard of the “Spalding Theory,” or the “Spaulding Theory,” or the “Spaulding-Rigdon Theory,” or the “Spaulding Manuscript Theory,” or the . . .  well, you get the idea . . . of the origin of the Book of Mormon?  It’s the allegation that the actual author of the Book of Mormon was Rev. Solomon Spaulding (or Spalding), that Joseph Smith and/or Sidney Rigdon stole his manuscript and used it to create the text that lies at the heart of Mormonism and the Restoration.

 

Well, if you want to read Rev. Spaulding’s manuscript for yourself, you can access the whole thing (at no charge) here:

 

“Manuscript Found: The Complete Original ‘Spaulding Manuscript'”

 

And here’s an article by Matt Roper about the Spaulding Theory that he published in the late, lamented FARMS Review:

 

“Myth, Memory, and ‘Manuscript Found'”

 

***

 

Finally, a remarkable 1912 quotation from Nephi Anderson, the clerk of the Genealogical Society of Utah (which does business today under the title of Family Search):

 

Let me suggest the future of this work. I see the records of the dead and their histories gathered from every nation under heaven to one great central library in Zion—the largest and best equipped for its particular work in the world. Branch libraries may be established in the nations, but in Zion will be the records of last resort and final authority.

Trained genealogists will find constant work in all nations having unpublished records, searching among the archives for families and family connections. Then, as temples multiply, and the work enlarges to its ultimate proportions, this Society, or some organization growing out of this Society, will have in its care some elaborate, but perfect system of exact registration and checking, so that the work in the temples may be conducted without confusion or duplication.

And so throughout the years, reaching into the Millennium of peace, this work of salvation will go on, until every worthy soul that can be found from earthly records will have been searched out and officiated for; and then the unseen world will come to our aid, the broken links will be joined, the tangled threads will be placed in order, and the purposes of God in placing salvation within the reach of all will have been consummated.

We live in a day of small beginnings, as far as this is concerned. We are still pioneers. We are but helping to lay the foundation of the ‘marvelous work and a wonder that is about to come forth among the children of men’.

Nephi Anderson, “Genealogy’s Place in the Plan of Salvation,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine3 (January 1912): 21-22.

 

Posted from Park City, Utah

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