JG gives overview of the Book of Breathings text.

Academic / Technical Report
John Gee

John Gee, "Book of Breathings," in Dennis L. Largey, ed. Pearl of Great Price Reference Companion (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2017) 69

Deseret Book
John Gee
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public

Book of Breathings is a mistranslation of an Egyptian title, št n snsn, meaning something like "letter of fellowship" or "fellowship permit." This class of documents, now called Documents of Breathings, allows their possessors to fellowship with the gods after death. The specific version of the Document of Breathings in the Joseph Smith Papyri is an abbreviated version of the Document of Breathings Made by Isis. Almost all known examples of this text belonged anciently to members of the families of prophets of Amonrasonter at Karnak, which suggests the text might be particularly associated with that office. In its words, it was to cause the individual's "soul to live, to resurrect his body, to rejuvenate all his limbs again, to unite him with the horizon (or temple) with his father Re, to cause his soul to appear in heaven in the disk of the moon, to cause his body to shine as Orion on the face of the sky" (Document of Breathings Made by Isis, rubric). It consists of a number of stanzas, most of which are addressed by the gods to the individual. Two of the stanzas are quotations of Book of the Dead 125.

Hugh Nibley likened to the temple endowment this version of the Document of Breathings Made by Isis found in the Joseph Smith Papyri. The document is organized as follows:

• The purpose of the document is given.

• The individual is pronounced clean and enters the hall of justice.

• The individual enters the underworld with the setting sun and is divinized.

• The individual is resurrected and given personal permission to live among the gods.

• The individual is assured of a fully functioning body and proceeds on the way of god.

• The individual is given a name and allowed to partake of the offerings.

• The gods escort the individual to various sacred places.

• Various gods protect the individual from sickness.

• The individual is allowed to fellowship with the gods.

• The individual is inducted into a chapel in the temple to celebrate a festival.

• The individual will live by the fellowship permit he has received, and his enemies will no longer exist.

• The gods tell the individual that because he is among the followers of god, his soul will live forever.

• The gods command that all doors be open to the individual.

• An offering formula is recited.

• Different gods are addressed, and the individual states that he is free from various sins. "He gave bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and clothing to the naked."

• The individual is commanded to enter the next life with all the privileges of the gods.

• Instructions for the deposition of the document are given.

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