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Kerry Muhlestein is a professor and director of research in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University, and also the director of the BYU Egypt Excavation Project. He has taught in the history department of three universities and has been part of award-winning history publications. He received his BS in psychology with a Hebrew minor from BYU, his MA in Ancient Near Eastern studies from BYU, and his PhD from UCLA in Egyptology. He and his wife, Julianne, are the parents of six children. His latest book, Let’s Talk about the Book of Abraham, is for people who have sincere questions and are seeking answers.
3:30 Kerry has a new book out with Deseret Book called, Let’s Talk about the Book of Abraham. His book is designed to be very readable and understandable.
7:00 Summary and background of the Book of Abraham.
11:45 There are two main theories surrounding the papyri.
- The missing papyrus theory
- The catalyst theory
18:45 Kerry’s advice on how to address member concerns about the Book of Abraham.
20:00 Methods of learning
- The academic method
- The revelatory method
22:00 The academic method of learning is not reliable. Academics are always changing. We are always finding out that we were wrong. The revelatory method is much more reliable. Both methods should be pursued.
26:00 Leaders should not discourage people from studying through academic books. However, they also must spend equal time searching the scriptures and seeking revelation.
28:00 Write down your revelatory experiences. Write down your testimony and how you know Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is true. If you have a testimony of those core beliefs then it can help you remember when you have times of doubt on other controversial topics.
31:45 It’s ok for people to have questions and to wrestle with their faith. Leaders need to validate people that have questions and guide them on their journey. It’s not about telling them that they are wrong.
34:45 What do people struggle with when it comes to the Book of Abraham?
37:45 What connection did Abraham have with Egypt that his writings would end up with a mummy?
49:30 Let’s not get waylaid by the complicated issues that we find with the Book of Abraham but continue to be open and seek revelation.
51:45 God really wanted us to have the Book of Abraham. It was miraculous how it ended up in the hands of Joseph Smith.
52:40 How to approach the Pearl of Great Price this coming year in your Come Follow Me study.
- What can or should I get out of this book?
- What is the restoration perspective that I gain from this?
- What wouldn’t I understand without these books?
- What do these books teach me about my relationship with God?
Let’s Talk About the Book of Abraham
Leading People into the Abrahamic Covenant | An Interview with Kerry Muhlestein
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