Genesis 12-17; Abraham 1-2 – “To Be a Greater Follower of Righteousness”

February 7, 2022 to February 13, 2022

Abraham the Patriarch was blessed with divine promises for himself and all people. The resources listed for study of Abraham 1-2 look at the Abrahamic covenant, the life of Abraham, and the history of the Egyptian artifacts studied by Joseph Smith. 


“The Abrahamic Covenant,” S. Michael Wilcox, Ensign, January 1998 

The Abrahamic covenant actually began with Adam. Abraham was promised innumerable posterity both as literal descendants and as those who would accept the gospel. Modern revelation, namely in the Doctrine and Covenants, describes how we should do the works of Abraham today.  

“Abraham,” E. Douglas Clark, Encyclopedia of Mormonism 

Abraham was foreordained as a prophet and received divine promises for himself and all people. This short article outlines his life and the sources about him and the covenant. 

“The Book of Abraham, Revelation, and You,” Kerry Muhlestein, Ensign, December 2018 

Two examples show that academic information related to the book of Abraham has improved recently: that the Egyptians did practice human sacrifice, and that there were writings by Egyptian priests about Abraham and Moses. The author tells that he has unanswered questions about the book, but personal revelation has led him to conclude that the book of Abraham is inspired.  

‘In the Land of the Chaldeans’: The Search for Abraham’s Homeland Revisited,” Stephen O. Smoot, BYU Studies Quarterly 56, no. 3

Stephen Smoot examines Genesis and the book of Abraham regarding Abraham’s journeys. Abraham’s homeland may have been in southern Iraq, but Syria or northern Mesopotamia should also be considered. 

“Joseph Smith and Egyptian Artifacts: A Model for Evaluating the Prophetic Nature of the Prophet’s Ideas about the Ancient World,” Kerry Muhlestein, BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 3

This article grapples with the content and history of the Egyptian drawings that Joseph Smith possessed, acknowledging that Joseph believed several things about the artifacts that are not fully congruent with modern academic Egyptology. 

“Antonio Lebolo: Excavator of the Book of Abraham,” H. Donl Peterson, BYU Studies 31, no. 3

Antonio Lebolo, an Italian man, went to Egypt to excavate artifacts and then sold them. Ancient papyri with writings ascribed to Abraham and Joseph that Lebolo excavated arrived in the United States in 1833 and were brought to Joseph Smith in 1835. This article examines Lebolo’s life and legacy.  

“The Joseph Smith Hypocephalus…Twenty Years Later,” Michael D. Rhodes, FARMS Preliminary Report (1997)

A detailed examination of the characters in Facsimile 2 of the book of Abraham. 

“Teaching the Book of Abraham Facsimiles,” Michael D. Rhodes, Religious Educator 4, no. 2

Here are basic answers for questions raised about the book of Abraham papyri, specifically the three facsimiles.  

“The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources,” Kevin Barney, in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant

This article reviews the origins and history of the book of Abraham text. They suggest that the book may have had its origin as a Semitic text that experienced the normal transmission processes of copying, translation, and redaction from the time of Abraham until the Greco-Roman era. The facsimiles may have been Egyptian religious vignettes that were adopted or adapted by an Egyptian-Jewish redactor. 

“Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Abraham,” E. Douglas Clark, BYU Studies Quarterly 53, no. 2 

Medieval Armenian texts contain traditions about the Patriarch Abraham. This article points out content that is of significance to Latter-day Saints.