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One of Joseph Smith's scribes takes down his dictation of the Book of Abraham translation.
Joseph Smith examines papyrus scroll.


Translating Egyptian

Listen and watch as Joseph Smith describes translating a lost book of Abraham from an Egyptian papyrus scroll he purchased from a traveling antiquities dealer.

The Facsimiles

Mormon founder Joseph Smith included illustrations from an Egyptian scroll in his Book of Abraham translation. But discrepancies in the copied illustrations were an early clue to Egyptologists that the Mormon prophet may not have understood the ancient Egyptian language.

A Dramatic Discovery


In 1966 the Metropolitan Museum in New York City quietly approached the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with news that it had in its archives ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscripts that once belonged to Mormon prophet Joseph Smith manuscripts long thought to have been destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871!


The Critical Link

Were the ancient Egyptian papyri found at the Metropolitan Museum pieces of the actual scroll from which Mormon founder Joseph Smith produced a lost book of Abraham? Two top Egyptologists examine the papyri and give their verdict.

Dr. Robert Ritner, associate professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago was commissioned to do a complete translation of the scroll Joseph Smith identified as a lost book of Abraham.  He explains what he found.

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