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CORY - I have really enjoyed reading and pondering the "Book of Joseph" over the years.
Although you seem to have publicly concluded that it is a forgery, you took the time to provide related biblical verses that reference many passages within the document.
I have tried to imagine what would motivate someone to fake something like that... a lot of time and effort for an anonymous endeavor.
I am wondering if you have come across any more information regarding it or if you have changed your views about it.
One of the reasons I find it quite interesting is that it prophesies about a seven year period in which the wealthy will get even wealthier.
I believe that seven year period began around 07 or 08 and things seem to be getting interesting with only about a year and a half to go to complete the seven year period.
Do you have any additional information you can share?
Did you ever find out who the first known person to present this information was?
JOEL - I never found out who originally presented this document on the internet. All of the LDS scholars I contacted about the Book of Joseph seem to agree that it was never translated and that the one I show on my website is a forgery (See
(See also http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham/Book_of_Joseph).
Only a few people seem to believe that the Book of Joseph was translated but not published. One of these was Daniel
H. Ludlow (author of Encyclopedia of Mormonism).
From his book, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon:
“The record of Abraham translated by the Prophet was subsequently printed, and it is now known as the book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. However, the translation of the book of Joseph has not yet been published. Evidently the record of Joseph was translated by the Prophet, but perhaps the reason it was not published was because the great prophecies therein were ‘too great’ for the people of this day” (Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, pp. 130–31).
He died before I was able to contact him and ask him what he meant by the above statement he made. I also tried contacting his son (Victor Ludlow) about it but never heard back from him.
Another believer in the translation was Dr. Sydney B. Sperry, LDS scholar and BYU faculty member. In 1967 when the announcement was made that the Metroploitan Museum of Art had just donated 11 papyri fragments owned by Joseph Smith to the LDS Church, a faculty forum was held called "Egyptian Papyri once owned by Joseph Smith". Forum member Sperry stated the following during the radio broadcast:
"It is just possible that out of the 11 papyri we now have, there is little or nothing of the Book of Joseph. However, it would seem to me, from my study of what the Prophet did, that he had translated that record and knew what was in it. There are references in the History of the Church which indicate the Prophet told other people something about its contents. I hope within my heart that some day the Book of Joseph will be found and acquired by the Church."
Joseph Smith said:
“Soon after this. After July 5, 1835 some of the Saints at Kirtland purchased the mummies and papyrus, a description of which will appear hereafter, and with W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics. and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc (H of C Vol. 2, p. 236)
Knowing that one of the rolls contained the writings of Joseph and considering Oliver Cowdery's description of it containing doctrine relative to the creation, the fall of man, the nature of the Godhead, and the final judgment, leads one to believe that he must have translated at least a portion of it.
Since the "supposed" publshed Book of Joseph has been determined to be a forgery, I would not put any value into its contents nor believe that the seven year prophesy contained therein will actually be fulfilled. I think we should probably just forget about it until we hear further information from church leaders and historians.