What's new: BYU scholar shares latest research on book of Abraham

By Kurt Manwaring

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Oct. 13 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"Understanding the Book of Abraham" is Kerry Muhlestein's new talk on CD.

Covenant Communications

"UNDERSTANDING THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM: A Guided Tour," by Kerry Muhlestein, Covenant Communications, $17.99, about 3 hours

The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price is one of the most fascinating books in the Latter-day Saint cannon — in large part because of its history.

In this set of three CDs, Kerry Muhlestein discusses some of the latest research surrounding the history of the book of Abraham.

The first CD traces the records of Abraham over several thousand years. Muhlestein sets the eventual possession of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith in an overall context of world history in a convincing manner, suggesting the Lord had a hand in the provenance of the records.

The second CD addresses how Joseph Smith came to possess the records and what he did with them. Rather than avoid difficult questions about the Book of Abraham, Muhlestein addresses them head-on. He does not hesitate to acknowledge there are questions we do not have answers to while simultaneously informing listeners about much of the latest research on the subject of which we do have answers.

The final CD addresses in detail the facsimiles (No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3) found in the Book of Abraham.

"Understanding the Book of Abraham" is an informative experience delivered from an expert wise enough to admit what we do not know, and skilled enough to present what we do know in a manner mostly satisfactory to layman and scholar alike.

Muhlestein is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is an associate professor and associate department chairman in BYU’s Department of Ancient Scripture. He holds a doctorate in Egyptology from UCLA as well as two degrees from BYU. A prolific author and presenter, Muhlestein adroitly condenses much of the latest research on the Book of Abraham into three CDs presented in a tone both conversational and informative.

Kurt Manwaring has a deep and abiding love for the scriptures. He currently works as a Capital Campaign Manager for a nonprofit organization in Utah and maintains a personal blog at www.kurtsperspective.blogspot.com.

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