The Future of the Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham has an odd and interesting history in the Church, from the arrival of the mummies in Kirtland to the final publication of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.

But in recent years, the true nature of the book (and Joseph Smith’s translation) has come into question by believers and critics alike.  While most believers defend the translation (sometimes with the caveat that Joseph Smith was translating something else and not that papyri that the Church has today), it isn’t inconcievble that the Book of Abraham could continue to fall into scholarly disrepute and eventually become a liability to the Church.

What then?

While some might foresee (or just wish for) a dramatic removal of the Book from the LDS Canon, if Church leaders decided it was time for the sun to set on that particular book, I suspect it would be done much more subtly.

Basically, the Church would, if needed, gradually remove the Book of Abraham from the “canon” over the course of a few decades.

I’m not referring to an actual physical removal, but a spiritual removal, where it is left in the Pearl of Great Price but it is de-emphasized in talks and lessons, and it gradually becomes forgotten and irrelevant. Kind of like the last 38 verses of Section 132.

There would be no public pronouncement or retraction. Within a few generations, only a small percentage of Church members would be aware of the BoA and its history, and it would be looked at as nothing more than an obscure curiosity. Kind of like the last 38 verses of Section 132.

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One Response to The Future of the Book of Abraham

  1. Sophocles

    I could see this happening. During a future revamping of the CES curriculum, for example, we might notice that Abraham 3:22-23 is no longer a scripture mastery verse. Maybe hymn no. 284 doesn’t make the cut the next time the hymnal is redone.
    Of course, it will never completely fade away until they remove the facsimiles. As the only volume of LDS scripture with pictures, it really stands out.

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