LDS: What is the Promise of the BoM, the BoA, and the Historical Record?

Hello LDS friends -

Can you please explain what these promises are and what they mean for Mormons?

(for those who do not know what the abbreviations stand for, BoM is for the Book of Mormon and BoA is for the Book of Abraham).

Thank you.

Former LDS, or those who are in the know, can answer as well.


The Promise of the Book of Mormon is found in Moroni 10:3-5 (it’s about receiving a testimony of the BoM after prayerfully reading it)

**** 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.****

I am not familiar with a promise associated with the Book of Abraham, however.

The promise of the BoA is surrounding the Priesthood, basically stating that all who receive the priesthood will benefit from the covenant between God and Abraham regarding his seed. Which can be viewed here: linkified!

[quote=President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:160–61]The order of this priesthood which was established in the beginning was patriarchal. The authority descended from father to son, and those who held it were high priests. This order of descent from Adam to Noah is given in the Doctrine and Covenants. Noah, who stands next to Adam in authority, brought this priesthood through the flood, and it continued from generation to generation. Abraham, the 10th from Noah, received special blessings from the Lord, and the priesthood continued through him and his seed with the promise that all who received the gospel should be counted as Abraham’s seed and partake of his blessings.

The in depth and complete LDS explanation of the BoA Promise can be found here: Linkified! Try not to gouge your eyes out or slam your face to hard against the table while reading it. :banghead:

Oh. My. :banghead:

I really loved the following from your link (bolding mine):

In 1966 eleven fragments of papyri once possessed by the Prophet Joseph Smith were discovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They were given to the Church and have been analyzed by scholars who date them between about 100 B.C.and A.D. 100. A common objection to the authenticity of the book of Abraham is that the manuscripts are not old enough to have been written by Abraham, who lived almost two thousand years before Christ. Joseph Smith never claimed that the papyri were autographic (written by Abraham himself), nor that they dated from the time of Abraham. It is common to refer to an author’s works as “his” writings, whether he penned them himself, dictated them to others, or others copied his writings later.

And compare that to this (bolding mine):

A Translation of some ancient Records that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt. The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus.

But I guess that “written by his own hand” has a completely different meaning than what we would ordinarily understand simply because it was written by Joseph Smith.

I’ve been saying it for a couple years now, but if I were a much younger man with more time and energy on my hands I’d author the first Mormon-English Dictionary as it seems this endeavor has never been attempted. I’d probably follow up a few years later with 501 Mormon Verbs. Maybe revive the Deseret Alphabet and see if any major university’s foreign language department would allow for the inclusion of courses in Mormonish. Probably wouldn’t get rich quickly, but I’d imagine there’s a couple shiny pennies to be made.

Thanks for the link. I read through it and most of it is pretty familiar to me as far as eternal marriage and priestly ordinances.

But…I thought Mormons do not view the BoA as a valid text. Doesn’t everyone know (by now) that it is a well-known forgery?

This is even more surprising than people believing the BoM is a historical text.

The in depth and complete LDS explanation of the BoA Promise can be found here: Linkified! Try not to gouge your eyes out or slam your face to hard against the table while reading it. :banghead:

:dts: I feel sorry that some Mormons do not know that the BoA has been completely debunked and they believe it is scriptural. Wow. No wonder so many former LDS become atheists or at the very least, extremely angry.

The BoA is still considered scripture by the LDS and their Church. It is bound in the PoGP along side of the Bible, BoM, and D&C. This link will testify to that: Linkified!

Right?! Mormon speak at it’s absolute finest. Their own website, which is considered official information, contradicts itself. It is no wonder that the membership is so confused.

LOL! This is brilliant! You could also do a text book on Mormon Logic. A thesis on why logical fallacies apply to everyone except them! :rotfl:

The following sentence from your link honestly sums up mormon thought fairly well, as well as mormon faith:

“The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its content and power.”

Just replace “book of Abraham” with just about everything mormons teach that falls outside mainstream Christianity (about 40% of what they teach I would say, but a BIG 40%) and it would sum up mormon thought.

Hi Stevenrushing - is it fair to say that most Mormons are unaware that the BoA is …um…not what they think it is?

I agree! Brandon, I think you would have a few customers! :smiley:

People who would call themselves faithful mormons, but “thinkers” or mormon “intellectuals” generally consider the BoA to have been given to JS via vision or inspiration after having hefted and seen the papyrus. So basically, JS saw something really old, imagined what it could be, and HF (Heavenly Father, God in mormon-speak) inspired him to write what was written. Some of these intellectuals will say that it is literally true and for our benefit spiritually, while other will say that it is strictly to be read for its spiritual benefit to us. (This has more and more become true even of the BoM among mormon intellectuals.) The church (sorry, I still think of the LDS church first when I say “the church”, it takes time folk) has even opened up this as a possibility in their most recent revision of the scriptures, where the heading now reads “an inspired translation” where it used to read something like “a translation of the papyrus”. Before anyone goes crazy, the regular revisions of the scriptures the LDS church makes does not revise the actual scripture, only footnotes and chapter headings. The LDS bible is actually strictly the KJV, although there are interesting headings and JST footnotes, but the text is actual strictly KJV.

Ok, so that is mormon intellectuals, maybe 5% of mormons. The rest are split between “Anti-mormons are just trying my faith, but I will stand strong” and “only a small part of the papyrus have been found, perhaps the translation comes from the other parts” (which is true, kinda, don’t really want to get into it, but it is a mostly fair arguement).

Yup - and the largest segment of the 95% falls into the “Anti-mormons are just trying my faith, but I will stand strong” camp. Because, they have their “it feels good testimony” or worse, because they have faith in “The Church” they blindly accept anything it puts in front of them as true.

There is probably a more charitable way of saying it, but this is pretty much the sad truth.

I see. But do any Mormons know that the BoA is actually a funeral text and not what JS claimed?

I’m really confused about this. I thought the cat was out of the bag? :shrug:

The BoA is a book either written or translated by JS (or one of his scribes perhaps) and found in the PoGP in LDS scriptures. But I know you meant the papyrus. =)

Most LDS folk know that SOME of the papyrus (certainly not even most) has been recovered, probably not most. Most of it was lost to the great Chicago fire and history. Many LDS folk would say that the BoA was translated from parts that have been lost (convenient huh?). Of course, the Facsimile number 1 (but not #2) has been recovered, and JS’s explanations are very very different than expert explanations.

Others either don’t know, or know but believe it to be false, that JS’s interpretation is better than experts. From Boyd K Packer: It is an easy thing for a man with extensive academic training to measure the Church using the principles he has been taught in his professional training as his standard. In my mind it ought to be the other way around. A member of the Church ought always, particularly if he is pursuing extensive academic studies, to judge the professions of man against the revealed word of the Lord.

That is from a talk entitled “the mantle is greater than the intellect”, and mormons are encouraged to judge what is taught by the world, wherever it is taught, against what the church teaches, rather than judging what the church teaches against what is taught by the world.

Yes, and the camps are split into the three groups. Those minority who know but assert that the scripture they read was given via revelation (much like the BoM which was not translated in the traditional manner as we think of translation, rather by visions/revelation by viewing a “seer stone” in a hat behind a curtain, hidden from the scribe. See here for details: linkified!) This group is seemingly in line with the official church position and teachings (source: linkified! and that the papyrus served only as inspiration.

The second, larger minority group go on to assert that the proof is “no proof” because most of the papyrus was destroyed in the Chacago fire, and that the only way to disprove a translation would be to have the text translated by an Egyptologist - which of course can’t be done because the scrolls don’t exist in their entirety. An as long as their are missing parts the claims will be that the BoA as known to Mormons was in the missing part. However if, it could be translated and found to be something other than what is found in the BoA, thier position would shift to the first minority.

The majority of Mormons simply don’t care. Some believe the claims are fabricated by"the adversary" or by anti-mormons. Most of the majority believe that “the church is true” and therefore any thing it does or teaches or uses to teach from is above questioning. There are called “sustaining members.” To understand sustaining you have to understand the “Law of Consecration (LoC)” and the extension of it, United Order, as they are related. While United Order is not practiced in the same form as it’s inception, the mentality it created is applied directly to the “LoC” in contemporary times. Any non-sustaining member, who doesn’t give all their time, talents and relevant resources towards sustaining “the church,” or"magnifying" their “calling” are found to be “transgressors” of the “LoC” and “not united.” D&C 104-105 discuss this to include the consequences of not being “united” or being a “transgressor.”

So the mere idea of questioning or doubting (not “sustaining”) anything the “The Church” puts forth is unreasonable to most LDS. They are afraid of the spiritual repercussions of it. They are unquestioning be cause that is what it really means to “sustain.”

Then, there is the growing minority who know it to be false, are not believing or “sustaining” members because they are socially coerced to stay. It is very hard to leave because you will lose all or most of the LDS friends you thought you had. If your family are “sustaining” members, you will be disowned or treated like a pariah. If you’re married to a “sustaining” member you risk divorce. If you have children you risk losing them in the divorce and having them poisoned against you. It is very difficult to leave.

here is the link for the talk, The Mantle Is Greater Than The Intellect: linkified!

This talk is widely referenced within the LDS church. My favorite quote from it, that I have heard over and over again is:

Some things that are true are not very useful

I was told this when I asked for a reconciliation regarding the facsimile of the BoA being proven a false translation. In other words I was told: it’s true that the translation of the facsimile is false, but that is not very useful to the Church, your “tesimony,” or your walk with God. Of course then I was reported. I know this because I was called into a meeting with the Bishop and then eventually a meeting with the Bishop and the Stake President to “address” my “concerning behavior” and “questioning spirit.” This is where I was told that using academics to question the “scriptures” like this was a “rebellious spirit” and that I was being manipulated by “the adversary.” :rolleyes:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit