If I had to endorse any piece of anti-Mormon material, it would be “The Lost Book of Abraham“. It’s produced with excellent production values and doesn’t try too hard by trying to imply more than it should. I think it’s real excellence comes with the fact that it sticks to ONE issue. It explores one topic and takes the time to do it well rather than going for the shotgun approach.
I recently discovered that the Ensign brought up these issues long before the video was made. This article comes from July of 1988. Ensign Link
Part of the article is quite Clintionian by asking everyone to question the definition of the word “translation”. But I think Joseph Smith made it quite clear what he meant by claiming it was a translation. The fact that he started to write out a Egyptian alphabet to aid him in translating the papyrus seems to indicate that the papyrus wasn’t just a source of spiritual inspiration for him.
The other issue the article brings up is the “missing scrolls”. There in fact could be missing scrolls, but it seems obvious that facsimile #1 matches up with the scrolls that we do have. So claiming that some of the scrolls are missing doesn’t really solve why Joseph’s attempt to fill in the gaps on the facsimile are so wrong. Nor does it explain what ancient Jewish scripture is doing in the middle of a funerary script.
Thoughts? Am I way off base here? Does it matter?