We’d especially like to thank Derrick Duncan for volunteering his time and talent to narrate it.
Book of Abraham
I am a white male. Well, I really have more of a ruddy complexion that looks red most of the time, but that still counts as “white.” I have found no one in my family history who owned slaves. One family line came from Scotland after the Civil war, and the other family line was simply too poor to be participating in anything like that. So why am I writing about black history? The Church is often criticized for having a “racist past” because of the priesthood ban, plus I think that we currently participate in a lot of unconscious racism and dismissive behavior that doesn’t help welcome our brothers and sisters into the Church.
So, let’s step away from the political rhetoric, tightly held positions, and defensiveness just for a moment. Let’s agree that black lives matter (of course they do – we aren’t talking about the political group), and we aren’t going to talk about Critical Race Theory (CRT) in this article. Let’s breathe deeply and step into this. [Read more…] about Answers to a Few Questions for Black History Month
Can the Book of Mormon be the Word of God and inspired fiction? Did Joseph Smith’s cultural worldview influence the way he understood the relationship between New World people and the 10 Lost Tribes? How might have Joseph’s worldview influenced his understanding of both the Nephite Interpreters and his own seer stone? What did the Nephite Interpreters look like and how did they resemble “spectacles”? Did Joseph use a seer stone, Interpreters, or the Urim and Thummim to translate the Nephite records? Discussions on these issues begin (to a great degree) in Chapter 23 of my book, Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture: A Prophet’s Role as Creative Co-Author.
Chapter 23 is entitled, “‘Translating’ Restoration Scripture,” and is currently available as a FREE pdf file to download here (for a limited time). Meanwhile, my book, Rethinking Revelation, is available in print in the FAIR bookstore, or in print and Kindle format from Amazon. [Read more…] about FREE BOOK CHAPTER: “‘Translating’ Restoration Scripture”
Abraham 1:1–19 God will bless me for my faith and righteous desires.
by Jennifer Roach
In my day job I’m a mental health therapist. My specialty is helping people recover from trauma. I sit with the loveliest people who’ve been through the very worst things. Abuse, neglect, betrayal, horrific accidents, loss that would make your heart almost stop beating. Sometimes trauma happens unexpectedly. The person wakes up one morning and has no idea how the day will end. I’m reminded of a client many years ago who was in a boating accident. He and his family planned a wonderful day on the lake. Everything started out well but by evening he was in the hospital where he would stay for three weeks recovering from an accident he inadvertently caused. When I first meet clients like this and they start to tell their story, “It was such a beautiful day and we loved taking the boat out…” I can feel myself start to cringe, waiting for the trauma to drop. That’s what it feels like to read the first part of Abraham 1. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 7 – Genesis 12–17; Abraham 1–2
The Abrahamic Covenant, Its Influence on Scriptures, and What that Has to Do with Us
by Kerry Muhlestein, author of God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel
The Abrahamic covenant is a central theme of the Old Testament, and really of all scripture. Every prophetic writer, whether in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon, or the Doctrine and Covenants, assumes that you know and understand the Abrahamic covenant, and writes based on that assumption. As a result, when we are not familiar with this covenant, there are a number of things in every book of scripture that we miss. We lose some of the message and the rich power in the scriptures without even realizing it. Studying the Old Testament is an excellent time to rectify this situation. This year we are afforded the opportunity to read about the establishment of the covenant and to study some of the places where it is most fully explained. This will allow us to start to understand the covenant the way President Nelson has been asking us to. President Nelson certainly realizes the significance of the covenant, and has been energetically teaching about it throughout his apostolic career, and has even asked us to study the blessings promised to Israel in the covenant. There is no better time than this Come Follow Me year to come to more fully share President Nelson’s desires for us to better recognize, understand, and appreciate what it means to be heirs to the Abrahamic covenant. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Thoughts to Keep in Mind – The Covenant
How did we get the books of Moses and Abraham?
The Come, Follow Me manual poses this question and gives links to articles on the Church’s website about the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible and the Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham. For further information, the following resources are available from FAIR and other trusted sites:
An Introduction to the Book of Abraham – the full text of this book by John Gee is available online for free from the publisher. (Click on the chapter titles to go to the text. You can also download PDF files from within each chapter that include photos and illustrations, which are very helpful.)
YouTube playlist of videos from FAIR on the Book of Abraham
Book of Abraham section of our website with common questions and answers
Book of Moses section of our website with common questions and answers
Interpreter Foundation 2021 Book of Moses Conference videos – Kent P. Jackson’s “How We Got the Joseph Smith Translation, the Book of Moses, and Joseph Smith—Matthew” is a good place to start.
More Come, Follow Me resources here.
by Michael R. Ash
Those who have read any of my writings in the past several decades will know that I’ve been a volunteer for FAIR for more than twenty years. I’m an active Latter-day Saint who accepts prophets as the divinely called and authorized agents of Christ’s church on earth. And, like many other believing members, scholars, and LDS-scientists, I also try to think rationally and logically, and I embrace the general conclusions of secular science and “objective” history.
In the more than forty years that I’ve been reading and writing about LDS scholarly issues (including the twenty years I’ve been volunteering for FAIR), I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing the intellectual reasons people leave the faith. Obviously, there are many reasons that people leave the Church, but I’ve always been interested in the historical and scientific issues that unseat some LDS testimonies. [Read more…] about Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture
by Michael R. Ash
Inspiration and Intellect are two sides of the same coin in how Latter-day Saints believe that God communicates with His children. We know that the Spirit testifies to eternal truths, but we often forget (or neglect) the role that intellect plays in uncovering truth. The late Apostle Hugh B. Brown said, “revelation does not come only through the prophet of God nor only directly from heaven in visions or dreams. Revelation may come in the laboratory, out of the test tube, out of the thinking mind and the inquiring soul, out of search and research and prayer and inspiration.”[i] Likewise, the Lord instructed the Saints to “seek learning… by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118). This counsel was repeated several more times in modern revelations (see D&C 11:22, 90:15, 93:53; and 109: 7, 14), and the admonition led Joseph to establish the “School of the Prophets” (D&C 88:127).
The dual-nature or dual-sources for discovering truth presents some challenges, however. The first challenge is that neither source—neither inspiration nor intellect—can provide infallible and inerrant data.
The Challenge of Inspiration [Read more…] about Inspiration, Intellect, and Rethinking Revelation
The Book of Abraham is an incredible book that contains many truths about the gospel. But there are often questions about the Book of Abraham that can be difficult to understand or answer. There is a feeling among some critics that the Book of Abraham is evidence that the Church is not true.
With this in mind, we are pleased to announce a video streaming fireside “Ask the Egyptologist” with Dr. John Gee. Dr. Gee has a Ph.D. in Egyptology from Yale University and has been prolific in academic publication. The fireside will take place on December 1st at 7 pm Mountain Time. For those in other time zones where it’s not convenient to watch it live, it will be recorded for later viewing.
Please submit your questions to him now, and then he will do his best to answer as many of the questions as possible.
This is, however, an exclusive event that is only available to our sustaining members and to our larger donors. To become a sustaining member you can sign up here for an annual membership, or here for a monthly subscription.
We hope to see you there!
About John Gee:
John Gee is the William (Bill) Gay Research Professor in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. He has authored over one-hundred and fifty publications including three books and editor of eight books and has edited a peer-reviewed international professional journal. He has served on the board of trustees of national and international organizations.
The FAIR Bookstore is currently carrying two of John’s books: An Introduction to the Book of Abraham and Saving Faith: How Families Protect, Sustain, and Encourage Faith
This podcast series features past FAIR Conference presentations. This presentation is from our 2021 conference held in August. If you would like to watch the presentations from the conference, you can still purchase the video streaming.
Mike Ash, Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture: The Prophet’s Role as Creative Co-Author
Mike’s book is available from the FAIR bookstore.
Michael R. Ash, a FairMormon member for more than twenty years, has been featured in nearly 90 podcasts and 30 videos. In more than two decades of writing LDS-themed material, and as a former weekly columnist for Mormon Times (owned by the Deseret News), his works include over 160 on-line articles, as well as articles in periodicals such as the Ensign, Sunstone, Neal A. Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.
Michael is also the author of four LDS books. In 2008 FAIR published his book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt (which is available in English, German, and Italian). Mike quickly followed this publication with his second book, Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith. In 2015 Michael published Bamboozled by the CES Letter: An honest response to the .pdf pamphlet entitled “Letter to a CES Director”, and this year he has introduced his newest book, Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture: The Prophet’s Role as Creative Co-Author.