Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Statement by Lucy Mack Smith that Further Proves the Sensen Papyrus to be the Original of the Book of Abraham

An important quote from Lucy Mack Smith appears on the Joseph Smith Papers site:

After we had obtained all the information we could at the Temple, we visited the Mother of the Prophet, (a respectable looking old lady) who has four Mummies for exhibition, who (she says) were a King and Queen, and their Son and Daughter, and gives the names of each. She produced a black looking roll (which she told us was papyrus) found upon the breast of the King, part of which the Prophet had unrolled and read; and she had pasted the deciphered sheets on the leaves of a book which she showed us. The roll was as dark as the bones of the Mummies, and bore very much the same appearance; but the opened sheets were exceedingly like thin parchment, and of quite a light color. There were birds, fishes, and fantastic looking people, interspersed amidst hieroglyphics; but the old lady explained the meaning of them all, as Joseph had interpreted them to her.  The stories appeared to be more particular accounts than our Bible gives us, of Noah, the Ark and the flood—of Abraham and Melchizedec—of Joseph and Pharaoh—and of various other distinguished characters. She said, that when Joseph was reading the papyrus, he closed his eyes, and held a hat over his face, and that the revelation came to him; and that where the papyrus was torn, he could read the parts that were destroyed equally as well as those that were there; and that scribes sat by him writing, as he expounded. She showed us a large book where these things were printed, which of course sealed their truth to Mormon eyes and minds; but we had not time to read them. (Friends’ Weekly Intelligencer, 3 October 1846, 211) (See http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-book-of-abraham-manuscripts; "Lucy Mack Smith on Mummies and Papyri," Compiled by H. Michael Marquardt,  http://user.xmission.com/~research/central/lucymacksmith.pdf)

This shows that Joseph Smith did indeed restore or supply the information about the parts that were missing in the lacunae not only of the text, but probably also for the reconstructions of the drawings in the facsimiles.  This is important, because it shows that Joseph Smith got revelation on these things from the Holy Ghost that were missing, and that the original papyrus of the Book of Abraham was torn and sections were destroyed, contrary to the claims of Apologists who use other quotations where they try to make it seem that the papyrus was in pristine condition, perfectly preserved to the point where there was no tears in it, etc.  This is a clear description of the state that we find the Sensen Papyrus in today, with large lacunae in it.  And again, to repeat something from a previous post, this was not necessarily to restore the Sensen Papyrus, but to restore things to a condition that was serviceable to a derived composition that was reconstituted, that contained the text of the Book of Abraham.  This also has the detail that the opened sheets were light in color, and that the DECIPHERED sheets were the ones on the leaves of a book.  The ones that are in possession of the Church are pasted on paper.

And by Original to the Book of Abraham, I mean a set of symbols used with the story of Abraham.  I do not mean that it contains the text of the Book of Abraham.