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So the logical question that many Latter-day Saints, living in more modern times, have had is 'why don't we let Egyptologists, who now understand Egyptian, look at the papyri and see if Joseph was correct in his translation?' The answer usually given is that the papyri were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.The book contains a narrative about some of Abraham's life as well as visions he had concerning the pre-mortal life and the creation.

The Book of Abraham was canonized in 1880 and is part of the Pearl of Great Price.

The papyri were believed to have been destroyed until they were rediscovered in 1966.

Thus when the saints headed west to Utah under Young's leadership, they went without Emma, and without the papyrus.

Emma's son Joseph Smith III later became the first Prophet of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS).

Since it contains teachings about the pre-mortal life, some of the mysteries of God, and the eternal nature of spirits, it is a vital part of LDS canon.

Most active Latter-day Saints are unaware of any controversy surrounding the book.

It would also date the record of Abraham (about 2,000 B.

C.) to some 500 years prior to the Book of Genesis authored by Moses, between 1440-1400 B. "THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM TRANSLATED FROM THE PAPYRUS, BY JOSEPH SMITH A Translation of some ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt.

This 23 minute video is one of the best, most concise and neutral overviews of the Joseph Smith papyri.

He gives an excellent summary of the history of the Book of Abraham, the problems and the apologetic explanations.

After Smith's death in 1844, the papyrus became the property of his first wife, Emma.

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