Parley P. Pratt gives overview of discovery and translation of the BOA.

Jul 1842
Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt, "Editorial Remarks," The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 3, no. 3 (July 1842): 46–47

The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star
Joseph Smith, Jr., Parley P. Pratt
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public

We have much pleasure this month in being able to give an illustration and extract from the BOOK OF ABRAHAM; a book of higher antiquity than any portion of the Bible. Singular is the providence by which this ancient record fell into the hands of the servant of the Lord, JOSEPH SMITH. A gentleman, travelling in Egypt, made a selection of several mummies, of the best kind of embalming, and of course in the best state of preservation; on his way to England he died, bequeathing them to a gentleman of the name of CHANDLER. They arrived in the Thames, but it was found the gentleman was in America, they were then forwarded to New York and advertised, when Mr. CHANDLER came foreword and claimed them. One of the mummies, on being unrolled, had underneath the cloths in which it was wrapped, lying upon the breast, a roll of papyrus, in an excellent state of preservation, written in Egyptian character, and illustrated in the manner of our engraving, which is a copy of a portion of it. The mummies, together with the record, have been exhibited, generally, through the States, previous to their falling into our hands. Mr. CHANDLER was, of course, anxious to find some one who could interpret or translate this valuable relic of antiquity, and, we believe, on one occasion, met with an individual who was enabled to decipher a small portion, or, at least, to give an opinion of what he supposed its meaning to be. He every where heard mention of JOSEPH SMITH and the Book of Mormon, but so generally associated with something slanderous, that he could scarcely think seriously of applying to him. But at length, however, he called upon Mr. SMITH, to inquire if he could translate the ancient Egyptian. Mr. SMITH retired into his translating room, and presently returned with a written translation in English, of the fragment, confirming the supposed meaning ascribed to it by the gentleman to whom it had been previously presented. An event, of the nature so extraordinary, was of course soon noised abroad, when a number of gentlemen in the neighborhood, not connected with the Saints, united together, and, purchasing the record together with some or all of the mummies, made Mr. SMITH a present of them. The record is now in course of translation by means of the Urim and Thummim, and proves to be a record written partly by the father of the faithful Abraham, and finished by Joseph when in Egypt. After his death, it is supposed they were preserved in the family of the Pharaohs and afterwards hid up with the embalmed body of the female with whom they were found. Thus it is, indeed, true, that the ways of the Lord are not as man's ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts

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