Facsimile 3In our look at Facsimile 3 from the Book of Abraham it’s important to keep in mind its original purpose.

Funerary documents have been found in tombs of the pharaohs all throughout Egypt. They were inscribed for a few purposes, one of which was to provide the deceased pharaoh instructions on how to get to heaven. The scrolls were also produced to provide instructions on how to mummify people after death and they also provided a great pictorial of their gods and the ceremonies they believed would happen once they reached heaven.

As with Facsimile 1 and 2, there’s ample evidence to show that Smith didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing when he tried to translate this vignette. In his limited life experience and ignorance of the Egyptian language and lifestyle his interpretation of this vignette was all wrong.  We also know the Facsimile 3 scroll is part of Facsimile 1 because they both contain the name of Osiris Hôr, the deceased person this vignette was for. In addition to all those clues it was carefully noted by Klaus Baer, a well respected Egyptologist, the Facsimiles and scrolls were the same size indicating they were meant to be one.

One of the key components of knowing Facsimile 3 isn’t a correct interpretation is the appearance of anachronistic words in its text. In the text from the Book of Abraham we see a handful of words that Smith claims were used in Abraham’s timeframe, but in reality these words weren’t part of the Chaldean or Egyptian language until well after the time Abraham lived.

Another clue this is false comes from his interpretation of the vignette.  Most Egyptologists believe this was a ceremony of the gods welcoming pharaoh into heaven after he completed his journey in the afterlife.  You’ll see in the side by side comparison below how Smith’s version once again tries to insert the theory Abraham was living with or around the pharaoh.

The scene in Facsimile 3 actually comes from chapter 125 in the Book of the Dead. We know this because of Egyptologists’ interpretation of the hieroglyphs above and under the gods and pharaoh in the scene.

Smith’s interpretation also shows his limited knowledge about the gods of Egypt, in particular Anubis.  As you’ll see Smith allowed his disdain for blacks to bleed into his interpretation of this Facsimile. His reference to the last figure on the vignette serves as a good example of how he automatically assumed this man had to be a slave because of his skin color.

The truth is that it’s the Egyptian god Anubis. Again, Smith’s interpolation of his experiences in nineteenth century America shows his inexperience and untrustworthiness for being a prophet of God.

The hieroglyph of each figure’s name is in the bottom right side of each explanation. These can also be seen in the hieroglyphs above each figure in the facsimile.

The information I’ve provided here is just a microcosm of the amount of info out there on this subject.  Once you Google something into your browser you’ll see a plethora of available info to study!

I retrieved the interpretations of these gods and the history of this facsimile from a few sources:

Dialogue, A Journal of Mormon Thought, Volume 3, Autumn 1968, pgs 125-127

Ancient Egypt Online

Joseph Smith As a Translator by Reverend F.S. Spaulding

Egyptology and the Book of Abraham by Stephen Thompson

As always we pray diligently for the salvation of each and every Mormon.  I’m absolutely convinced if God could save someone like me He can save anyone!

If you’re LDS please take a look at these things and ask yourself if the Lord would allow false interpretations of something so important be in the scripture you need to follow to spend eternity with Him.  I have to say that’d be a strange thing.

With Love in Christ;


1 Cor 1:18








1 Abraham sitting upon 

Pharaoh’s throne,

by the politeness

of the king,

with a crown

upon his head,

representing the

Priesthood, as

emblematical of the

grand Presidency

in Heaven;

with the scepter

of justice and

judgment in his



Gods of Ancient Egypt 

were represented by their

various headdresses as

well as writings surrounding

the figure. While they sometimes

had different figures representing

the same god the

differences also gave

information about the nature

of that god and the circumstances

they used it for, i.e. strength,

fertility, knowledge,

power, et al.

The first figure is the god Osiris.

His power and popularity has

been well established from

the earliest dynastic

periods in Egypt.

He’s the only god referred

to as simply “god” and is known

as the king of the underworld.

He can also be referred

to as other gods such as

the god of agriculture.

He’s typically seen wearing

a white Atef

crown with plumes of red

feathers on either

side of his head. The feathers

represent Djedu (Busiris),

the cult center of Osiris.

Also make note of the

Inscriptions above his head

defining what is going on.

It says; “Recitation

by Osiris, Foremost

of the Westerners,

Lord of Abydos(?),

the great god forever

and ever(?)”.  Facsimile 3 Osiris - 2

2 King Pharaoh, 

whose name is

given in the

characters above

his head.

This isn’t the pharaoh 

or even a man. This

is the goddess Isis,

the wife of Osiris!

The object in her

hand is an ankh.

The ankh is the

symbol of life and

appears in hieroglyphic

texts all over Egypt.

Many Egyptian gods

are seen in hieroglyphs

holding them which

represented their immortality.

The symbol and message

is also extended

to the pharaohs as well.

The inscription above

her head reads

“Isis the great,

the god’s mother”.

In this hieroglyph she’s

wearing a vulture headdress

with the horns of a

cow and a sun disk.

She absorbed many other

goddess identities in Egypt. Facsimile 3 Isis - 2

3 Signifies Abraham in 

Egypt (as given

also in Figure 10

of Facsimile

No. 1)

The offering of a libation 

for Osiris is also

found in Facsimile 2,

figures 2 & 3. This

is present in

nearly all drawings with

other major gods. It’s

topped with papyrus

blossoms and lotus.

“Altar, with the offering

of the deceased,

surrounded with

lotus flowers, signifying

the offering of the

defunct.”—Theodule Deveria

4 Prince of Pharaoh, 

King of Egypt,

as written above

the hand.

This isn’t a prince 

or a pharaoh or a king

or even a male.

This is the female goddess

of justice, Ma’at.

She’s identified by the

feather on her head

and the inscription

above her hand. Although

personified in many

hieroglyphs she’s actually

an idea representing

balance and the

divine order of Egypt.

The inscription says;

“Ma’at, mistress of the gods”.

In this hieroglyph

she is seen leading

figure 5 who is

deceased into the

presence of Osiris.  Facsimile 3 Ma'at

5 Shulem, one of the king’s 

principal waiters, as

represented by the

characters above

his hand.

This isn’t a waiter. 

This is Hôr who is being

led by the goddess Ma’at

(figure #4) into the presence

of Osiris (figure #1)

who is sitting

on the throne.

The inscription above

his head gives us his

name as well as a

message that says;

“The Osiris Hôr being

justified forever”.

Klaus Baer said this

about Figure 5;

“Facsimile No. 3: shows

a man (5) his hand

raised in adoration and

a cone of perfumed

grease and a lotus

flower on his

head (ancient Egyptian

festival attire),

being introduced by Maat (4),

the goddess of justice,

and Anubis (6), the guide

of the dead, into the

presence of Osiris (1),

enthroned as king

of the Netherworld…”Facsimile 3 Hor


6 Olimlah, a slave 

belonging to the


Again, Joseph has 

this one wrong too.

Figure 6 in this

vignette is none other

than the god Anubis.

He’s shown here as

supporting the deceased

which is Hôr.

Anubis helped guide Hôr

with the spells in

the funeral book and

helped lead him into

the presence of the god Osiris.

We know this is Anubis

because he’s always black

in addition to having

a jackal head –

the point on the top

of his head is

part of a jackal’s ear.

The inscription above

his head reads;

“Recitation by Anubis,

who makes protection(?),

foremost of the

embalming booth,…”Facsimile 3 Anubis -2



“O gods of…gods of 

the Caverns, gods of

the north, south, west and east,

grant well-being to

Osiris Hôr, justified…”

– Klaus Baer



“Over the whole scene 

is a canopy with stars

painted on it to

represent the sky.

The whole scene comes

from a mortuary papyrus…”

– Klaus Baer

Facsimile 3