One day in the mid 1980’s shortly after I began to search the scriptures a little more seriously, I was browsing through a used bookstore. While I was looking through a copy of the Old Testament the owner of the store approached me and engaged me in a conversation about the Bible.
He declared that the Bible was filled with errors and that it was not a credible religious history. I challenged him and said I believed it was.
I acknowledged that there had been some translation errors over the centuries and perhaps some intentional alterations and deletions by conspiring scribes and leaders of the great whore, but in general, I believed the Bible to be trustworthy, particularly the Joseph Smith Version which had largely corrected many of the problems.
I then I asked him to give me an example of an egregious contradiction in the Holy writ when the JST is taken under consideration.
He jumped at the opportunity even though he clearly was not very familiar with the JST.
We both agreed that the creation story in Genesis is meant to be literal, foundational and significant.
He then opened the Bible to the book of Genesis and showed me how Genesis Chapter one declared that man was created in the image of God during the sixth day. Following that, chapter 2:1 informs us that “the heavens and the earth were finished”
The account then moves forward to the seventh day in verse 2 noting that God “ended his work which he had made. And he rested on the seventh day from all of his work that he had made” yet in verse 5 informs us that during that seventh day, “there was not a man to till the ground” Verse 7 says “and the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. ”
The account goes on to tell how God planted a garden and grew every tree that is pleasant, etc. It further informs us that God only formed the man Adam out of the dust of the ground, not all men. The others would not be created until AFTER Adam has eve taken from his rib and they begin to procreate AFTER the fall.
“There you have it” declared the book store owner. “That chronology is completely inconstant and contradictory.”
Man was created on the sixth day yet during the seventh day there was not yet a man to till the ground so God created Adam from the dust of the earth????
I then asked him if he had studied the JST or even the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price very much and he admitted that he had not.
I then replied something to the effect of, “the apparent discrepancy that you have pointed out must certainly cause a dilemma for protestants that have nothing but the King James Bible to rely on, but it is clearly explained and resolved in the Book of Moses. It informs us that there were two creations. First, a spiritual creation in heaven, followed by a physical creation.”
I then obtained a Pearl of Great Price with the JST account of the creation and read him some passages of scripture. One of which I had previously to memorized for my mission-
” 5. For I, the Lord God, created all things of which I have spoken spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth; for I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth.
6. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men, and not yet a man to till the ground, for in heaven created I them, and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
8. And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul; the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also;
9. Nevertheless, all things were before created, but spiritually were they created and made, according to my word.
He looked shocked as he pondered the issue for a few minutes and then said, I hadn’t put that together.
I have since come to realize that there are an awfully lot of things that most of us have not put together which is why we need to continually study the scriptures.
Don’t Run and Hide from “Apparent Contradictions”
Over the years I have come to realize that many of the apparent discrepancies that we find in the scriptures which appear to be contradictions, actually have logical explanations that take us to the next level of understanding that we simply have not yet put together.
Something else I have learned is to never sweep uncomfortable conundrums under the table and run from them. Rather, we should embrace the apparent discrepancies as opportunities to gain greater insight. We should use them as study topics to search the scriptures.
I have had countless experiences like the one above when reading the scriptures and they almost always result in finding a pearl of great price. (no pun intended)
Many of the erroneous interpretations that we make in the scriptures are predicated upon false teachings that we have been indoctrinated with.
Does the Book of Abraham Contradict the Bible?
Recently a very astute reader of this blog that calls himself Mike brought to my attention some apparent discrepancies between parts of the Book of Abraham and the Book of Genesis.
I love the fact that he uses the foundational scriptures as the standard and doctrinal template by which all other scripture is to be judged.
He is able to read scriptures that he has had a predisposed bias, with fresh eyes and a new perspective despite the indoctrination that one is bombarded with as a member of the church. I believe God wants us to be critical thinkers while being beseeching his spirit for illumination.
I felt that the research that this brother had done would provide a great example of critical thinking and so I posted it, despite the fact that I had not taken the time to do my own critical examination of the points he made.
I am really glad I did post it.
Hopefully some of you have used the dilemmas presented in his research for your scripture study
I think I accomplished my goal by posting his observations.
However, I may have gone overboard in my diatribe regarding my ongoing learning curve and the fact that I am sure my thinking has evolved over the years. I suggested that if I were to go back and re-read all of my old posts, I would probably have to clean many things up that I now see differently.
This caused a reader to send me an email asking if I still believe in the unconditional promises referring to the return of Joseph Smith.
Of course I do.
I did not mean to imply that I no longer believe the major tenants that I have covered in this blog over the last ten years. I have not had numerous radical changes of thought during the time I have been blogging. I was only pointing out that I am always scrutinizing previous interpretations and sometimes I do need to self-correct when I find a more enlightened interpretation. .
Getting back to the critique of the Book of Abraham, I took a few minutes to re-read portions of JST Genesis and portions of the Book of Abraham last Sunday morning while sitting out by the campfire. Sadly I only had about an hour or two to ponder some of the observations and concerns that the Mike shared in his email.
Although I have still not done an exhaustive search of all the issues that the reader brought up, I did have some thoughts and even one major ah-ha! That I would like to share.
Is there One God or Many Gods?
The following is a snippet from the email I got from Mike:
I believe that the quote in D&C 121:28 is in reference to the Saints being handed over to Satan. There is no pressing question or doubt about whether there be one God or many gods. Throughout the scriptures, the doctrine of one God is manifestly clear. The scriptures highlight the oneness of the Father and the Son. The scriptures do not present them as multiple Gods. Why, in 1839, would this be such an important question to have answered?
I disagree with the assertion that 121:28 was just a smokescreen given to deliver the Saints over to Satan. I think there were many saints of the restoration that were questioning whether or not there were other independent Gods in the universe besides the God of Israel.
Section 121:26-9 says this:
26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now;
27 Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;
28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.
29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Again, I do not believe the above passages had to do with turning the saints over to Satan. Notice how the general question of whether there are other gods beside God, appears to be answered a few passages later:
32 According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest.
That passage is amazing because it confirms two things:
- There are other gods beside the Eternal God
- There was a pre-earth council of gods
Actually, the Old Testament confirms that the “Sons of God” existed in the pre-existence. Notice the follow passage in Job:
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
As I see it, the concept of there being pre-earth gods is pretty clear cut. Sons of God are obviously gods.
I believe the Book of Abraham narrative of a pre-earth council of spirits and souls is supported in the above passage from Job.
I wouldn’t be surprised if in fact the Book of Abraham narrative uses “souls” as a descriptive for “gods” and “spirits” as a descriptive for “morning stars“. Further, Joseph Smith is credited with stating that there are two types of beings in heaven, Spirits and Angels. Again, there seems to be some degree of consistency.
Interestingly, acclaimed Bible scholar Michael Heiser also interprets the above passage to prove that there are multiple gods and there was a pre-earth council. This is quite remarkable given the fact that many evangelical scholars would consider these views to be heretical.
So why does Section 121 pose the question of whether there be one God or many gods, and suggest that the question will be answered in a time to come, and then appear to answer the question a few verses later in the following verse?
I would suggest that the real question has been hidden by bad punctuation.
I don’t think the question in 121:28 was
whether there be one God or many gods
I think it was
whether there be one God or many Gods
The real question is not whether there are other lesser, sons of God than the great eternal God. That question had already been answered pretty clearly in scripture.
The question being posed is, are there other independent “G”ods like the Father who are not his offspring or his progenitors.
The answer to that was not quite as obvious to some of the saints even though God declares that there are not other Gods “BESIDE ME” (outside of my domain)
That is the great question that was to be answered in a time to come.
I believe that I have documented in past blog posts and in my book that there are no other Gods beside the great Eternal God.
Did other gods help to Create the Earth?
Something else very important is revealed in the Book of Job. It reveals that the sons of God in the council of God did NOT participate in the creation of the heavens and the earth!
They might more accurately be described as cheerleaders.
The morning stars and the sons of God shouted for joy as they witnessed the Father/Son God lay the foundations of the earth!
This narrative is completely consistent with JST Genesis account which informs us that the Father God created the heavens and the earth and He did it through his Son God.
This provides a very important part of the template and standard by which we are to judge the narrative in the Book of Abraham.
Does this mean that the Book of Abraham account of the pre-earth council is incorrect?
Does the Book of Abraham narrative actually say that the pre-earth council helped to create the heavens and the earth?
What Does “The Gods” Mean in the Book of Abraham?
The Book of Abraham uses the phrase “the gods” many times throughout its narrative. The early use of the term has reference to multiple pagan gods.
The first time the phrase is used in a positive way referring to the creation of the earth by “the Gods” is in Abraham 4:1
I have always assumed that the phrase “the Gods” in that passage was referring to a council of many gods (even the sons of God). I had been taught that they participated with the Father and Son in creating the earth:
1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.
However, since Mike has suggested that such an interpretation is not congruent with the JST Genesis account, I decided to take a closer, contextual look at how the phrase “the Gods” was being used.
Modern Chapters, Versification and Punctuation is an Abomination
Before sharing my most recent ah-ha, let me reiterate how much I loathe the modern chapter breaks, versification and punctuation with which our scriptures have been bastardized. Much of this versification and punctuation seems to break up the flow of the narrative and change the inflection of meaning. It often promotes the uninspired precepts of men and the doctrinal bias of those that have inserted them.
Because of this I usually read scripture stripped of punctuation, versification or chapter breaks. It is amazing how much these things can alter the meaning of scripture. I do this to allow the spirit to guide the interpretation.
One of the many examples of how a chapter insertion disrupts the flow of a narrative is Abraham 4:1
Lets look at the previous passages and narrative in the previous chapter that leads up to that passage speaking of “the Gods” that organized and formed the heavens and the earth to see if it is really saying what we might think it is saying.
22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
This time when I read this chapter I noticed two declarations that God made to the council as well as a declaration he did NOT make to them.
- He was going to make some of these souls “rulers“.
- He declared that Abraham and other spirits had been “chosen” before they were born.
Nothing is said about either of these groups playing a part in the creation of the world, only in discussing the creation of the world and the gospel plan of being proven and having the opportunity to be added upon.
I had previously convoluted those declarations to mean that these souls and spirits were going to help create the heavens and the earth. But that is not what the passages are saying.
It is one thing to become a ruler or to be chosen. It is quite another to be invited to create the heavens and the earth.
Continuing on with the narrative in the Book of Abraham.
24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
Again, in the past, because of my indoctrinated bias, I assumed that the “we” in “we will go down…and .. make an earth whereon these may dwell..” was referring to everyone in the council of the souls and spirits, or at least to one of those groups.
However, as I look at it with fresh eyes, having the benefit of the context provided by JST Genesis and the Book of Job, and other scriptures, I can now see how it could actually be saying that the one composite God was informing the souls who had apparently been through an earthly probation, that He and the Father were going to go down and make an earth for “these” spirits to dwell.
Why had I previously assumed that the passages were identifying the many souls and spirits as helping to create the heavens and earth?
Because I had always been taught that! Our underlying beliefs often skew how we interpret things.
Who introduced that concept into the church?
Mike has suggested that Joseph Smith Jr. might have taught this along with the “God was once a mortal man” dogma in the King Follett Sermon in conjunction with delivering the saints over to Satan:
Frankly, that makes perfect sense to me.
The tricky thing about parsing the words of Joseph Smith after the rejection of the Gospel in 1834 is that you get some amazingly profound truths mingled with some heretical teachings that are not congruent with the word of God.
The burden is on us to parse and discern every point of doctrine.
To complicate things further, we often make the same false assumptions about what Joseph Smith was saying that we make when we interpret scripture. Context is everything.
Notice the following statements attributed to Joseph Smith in one of his discourses.
“The head one of the Gods brought forth the [g]ods.” That is the true meaning of the words. Baurau signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. Learned men can teach you no more than what I have told you. Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council.
I will transpose and simplify it in the English language. Oh, ye lawyers, ye doctors, and ye priests, who have persecuted me, I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do. The head God called together the [g]ods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world.
With a predetermined bias, one might assume that the above declaration is stating that the gods in the grand council helped to create the heavens and the earth. But does it actually state that?
It says nothing about creating the heavens and the earth, it is simply saying that a council was held to discuss the bringing forth of the world… the term world often has reference to people, not land. Besides, nothing definitive about the actual involvement in the creation process by these gods is stated.
Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-
“The grand councilors sat at the head in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at the time.”
I still see no problem with the contemplation of the worlds by the council.
Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-
I have got the oldest book in the world; but I [also] have the oldest book in my heart, even the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have all the four Testaments. Come here, ye learned men, and read, if you can. I should not have introduced this testimony, were it not to back up the word rosh—the head, the Father of the Gods. I should not have brought it up, only to show that I am right.
In the beginning the heads of the [g]ods organized the heavens and the earth.
Did you catch that?
The “heads” (plural) of the “gods” (plural) organized the heavens and the earth.
The heads of the gods is the Father/Son God…. The Godhead
He (they) is/are the ones that organized the heavens and the earth, not the other sons of god.
Joseph Smith himself is making a differentiation.
There is the involvement of the council of gods contemplating the bringing forth of the “worlds”
There is also the actual organizing of the heavens and the earth by the “heads” of the gods.
Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-
“Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing.. If we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, “Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits.”—”The head one of the Gods said, Let us make a man in our own image.” I once asked a learned Jew, “If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?” He replied, “That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible.” He acknowledged I was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe them. Hear and judge for yourselves; and if you go away satisfied, well and good.
Joseph Smith is declaring the Head God to be the Head Gods. The head God is a composite being composed of the Father and the Son
Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-
“In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us; and when you take [that] view of the subject, its sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth.
Joseph Smith is proving from the Hebrew that the “head one of the Gods“, (or “heads of the Gods”) is a plural, composite God. Is this not what the scriptures teach us about the Father and the Son? The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father!
He is also using the Hebrew to show that the Heads of the Gods appointed one God for us. Is he not making a cryptic reference to the narrative in the Book of Abraham?
“whom shall I send?”
The reply from the one like unto the Son of Man-
“Here I am send me”
He sent his Son!
The Son is clearly the one that has been appointed to be our one God (who is composite with the Father)
Scripture informs us that it is only through the name of the Son that we can be saved.
17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. (Mosiah 3:17)
8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ. (Mosiah 5:8-9)
Michael Heiser Shakes Up the Evangelical Christians
Bible scholar Michael Heiser has published a book titled “The Unseen World” which would have been considered heretical by biblical Christians just a few decades ago. However his documentation is so compelling that he is getting very little flack from his peers.
He speaks of God’s “Divine Council“, even his entourage. https://www.thedivinecouncil.com/
He claims that the Old Testament teaches of a dual God at the head and also of a pre-earth divine council of gods.
In fact he makes many declarations that are quite similar to the ones that Joseph Smith made centuries ago. Instead of being shunned and branded a heretic, he is celebrated by many top evangelical scholars.
Here is a snippet from Michael Heiser’s book wherein he speaks of another passage that supports the pre-earth council of the gods:
“Several Old Testament passages describe this administrative structure existing in the heavenly realm, as well. Psalm 82 is perhaps the clearest- and perhaps the most startling. As I related in the first chapter, it’s the passage that opened my own eyes. The psalm refers to Yahwey’s administration as a council. The first verse reads
‘God (Elohim) stands in the divine assembly; he administers judgment in the midst of the gods (elohim)’
You no doubt noticed that, as I pointed out in chapter one, the word Elohim occurs twice in this verse. You also probably recognize Elohim as one of God’s names, despite the fact that the form of the word is plural.”
Heiser points out that even though “Elohim” usually means plural, it can mean singular. He then goes on to rationalize that the first use of Elohim in that passage must be singular while the second is plural.
Even Heiser struggles to shrug off the indoctrination of orthodoxy.
I am convinced that both uses of the word in that passage are plural. Here is my rendition of what is being said in Psalms-
“The Father/Son Gods stand in the divine assembly; they administer judgment in the minds of the sons of god”
If we learn anything when doing an exhaustive search into what God has told us about himself, it is that he is a composite being. The spiritual personage of the Father dwells in the physical personage of the Son making them a plural singular. The Father and the Son are ONE God, yet they consist of two Gods who can and do function individually from time to time.
Lets continue on in the Book of Abraham narrative, working our way to verse one in chapter four ..
27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.
You will notice that the above narrative switches to God and the two entities that offer to be sent [as the savior and redeemer of the world.]
God choses his only begotten Son over the would-be usurper, who kept not his first estate.
This narrows the focus of the narrative to the Father and the Son and it brings us to the original passage in question.
Sadly, the chapter heading insertion helps the reader to forget that the narrative is now down to two beings. The Father and the Son who he chooses to send.
1 And then the Lord said [to His Son]: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, [the Father and His only Begotten Son] that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.
I am suggesting that the term “the Gods” in the Book of Abraham is not referring to some pre-earth council of many Gods that all participated in the creation of the earth, rather, it is referring specifically to the Father/Son God. They are the Gods that created the heavens and the earth.
This appears to be what Joseph Smith was teaching when he said:
the heads of the [g]ods organized the heavens and the earth
Those two Gods make up the only true God. The only true God of the Bible is a composite God consisting of the Father and the Son.
This is taught in Lectures on faith and the New Testament, yet it is difficult to retain this concept when reading other texts with differing semantics.
This interpretation brings “the Gods” terminology in the Book of Abraham into conformity with the JST creation account in Genesis with informs us that the Father creates all things through His Son
1 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest. (Moses Chapter 2)
That passage appears to contain conflicting descriptives.
First the Father informs us that He created the heaven and the earth by His Only Begotton. Yet in the same breath, He declares that He created the Heaven and earth.
Which is it?
Is this a contradiction?
Not at all.
It is depicting the mysterious composite being that is the only true God.
As Colossians 2:1-10 says
The mystery of God is in understanding that in Christ, “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”
It is the Father who is a personage of spirit who dwells in the Son, who is a personage of tabernacle.
While the Book of Moses uses one form of descriptive to make a mysterious point, is it not just as illuminating for the Book of Abraham to refer to this composite being as “the Gods“?
If my interpretive supposition is correct I find it astoundingly refreshing and clarifying that the Book of Abraham would use this descriptive of “the Gods” to refer to the Father /Son God instead of the typical descriptives in scripture that assure us that the Father and Son are ONE while continuing to speak of them as being separate and distinct beings.
Again, if this radical interpretation is correct, it shows that the Book of Abraham is in conformity with the JST Book of Genesis about this point. The Father, who dwells within the Son created all things by the Son.
I remain convinced that there are other lesser gods, (with a small “g”) than the head God (or Gods) that is composed of the Father and the Son.
I believe that the lesser gods that shouted for joy were the “sons of God”, not other independent Gods.
I remain convinced that the head God(s) called together a pre-earth council to contemplate the organization of the worlds.
I am now convinced that the council of lesser gods did NOT participate in the creation of the heavens and the earth.
I am convinced that the term “the Gods” as used in the Abraham narrative is referring to the “head Gods” which is the Father and the Son (and Holy Ghost)
I am convinced that the pre-earth council narrative described in the Book of Abraham is true and accurate and very revelatory and illuminating. I believe many of those souls are among God’s rulers and that Abraham and other spirits were chosen to do a great work before this earth was created. In my mind it is not a coincidence that the Book of Abraham came forth in conjunction with the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham.
I now enjoy an even deeper understanding of the text in the Book of Abraham and a deeper appreciation for the pre-earth council and the creation of the heavens and the earth. This is because Mike challenged me to re-read and scrutinize a text that I have previously taken for granted.
Thank you Mike.
Mike made other critical observations which I will probably tackle later after I have more time to do some research.
Although I am even more convinced now than before that the book is inspired, I feel that I now have a greater understanding of how the phrase “the Gods” is used in it. Additionally, I now feel certain that the creation of the heavens and the earth was not a group effort outside of the FATHER/SON GOD.
I have a greater appreciation for God’s admonition to understand how and what He is.
Here are a few more of my personal takeaways from this most recent exercise
- Don’t take anything for granted in the teachings of modern prophets or the scriptures. We all suffer from many decades of indoctrination, but it is time to question and scrutinize everything. We have a tendency to hang on to some of the false traditions of our Fathers that need to be scrutinized
- The JST of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that God gave to Joseph Smith Jr. in the D&C, are the foundational scriptures by which all doctrines must conform. All three of these canons of scripture came forth prior during Joseph’s revelatory sweet spot. They all came forth prior to the to the rejection of the fulness by the end of 1834 . The doctrines in the Book of Abraham must conform to these three canons of scripture.
- Each of the individual doctrines in our foundational scriptures need to be congruent with the general doctrinal narrative and subjected to the law of two or three witnesses.
- While many of the inspired teachings of Joseph Smith are illuminating and essential in clarifying passages of scripture, he was also used as an instrument by God in delivering the Saints over the Satan for a little season. For that reason, one cannot categorically accept every teaching that is attributed to him as being true without scrutinizing them to make sure they are consistent with God’s written word.
Thank you, Mike, for being bold enough to challenge a sacred cow.
For now, it is still sacred to me.
This could change as I continue searching and pondering.
I welcome scripturally founded opinions on this topic from readers regardless of whether you agree with me or not.