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Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:4–2:2]

Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:4–2:2]

Hsign of the fifth degree of the first <second> part
H  <S>I sought for the <mine> appointment where unto unto the priesthood according  to the appointment of God unto  the fathers concerning the seed
Hmy fathers having turned from their  righteousness and from the holy  commandments which the Lord  their God had given unto them  unto the worshiping of the gods  of the heathens.
Hutterly refused to hearken to my  voice for their hearts were set to do  evil and were wholly turned to the  God of Elkkener and the god of  Zibnah and the god of mah machrah and the god of Pharo ah King of Egypt.
Therefore they turned their hearts  to the sacrafice of the heathens  in offering up their children unt[o]  these dumb Idols, and harkened  not unto my voice, but endeav oured to take away my life, by  the hand of the priest of Elkken[er]
Hthe priest of Elkkener was also the prie st of Pharaoh now at this time, it  was the custom of the priest of Pharao[h]  the King of Egypt to offer up, upon the  altar which was built in the land
[p. 1]
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As discussed in the general introduction to the Book of Abraham manuscripts on this website, JS and his scribes Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps, Frederick G. Williams, and Warren Parrish spent considerable time in the second half of 1835 engaged in two separate yet related endeavors: the translation of the Book of Abraham, which yielded several Abraham manuscripts; and a language-study effort that produced a number of Egyptian alphabet and grammar manuscripts. Both types of manuscripts exhibit connections to the papyri in JS’s possession and, according to the historical record, both projects occurred roughly concurrently. However, there is presently not enough information to definitively ascertain how these two projects are related to each other or to the revelatory process. The particular text featured here, containing a draft of the current Abraham 1:4−2:2, is in the handwriting of Warren Parrish, who served as JS’s scribe in Kirtland, Ohio, from 29 October 1835 until spring 1836.
Parrish likely produced this document between 29 October and 25 November 1835, the period of time during which JS and his scribes were most actively engaged in studying the Egyptian materials in their possession. He may have copied it from an earlier Frederick G. Williams draft, or from another intermediate source. The manuscript is both paragraphed and punctuated, suggesting that it was produced after an initial dictation phase in the development of the Book of Abraham text. Nineteen Egyptian hieratic characters appear in the left margin.
Later, Parrish apparently recopied this transcript, prefacing it with an earlier twenty-one-line William W. Phelps manuscript containing a draft of passages now designated Abraham 1:1−1:3, thereby creating a document which combined the two manuscripts into one running consecutively through today’s Abraham 1:1–2:18.
Parrish’s document was likely part of the “Egyptian Grammar” that was listed on a manifest compiled by Willard Richards and Thomas Bullock as they prepared to transport church documents westward in 1846 (“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” [1]; “Historian’s Office Catalogue 1858,” 1, Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL). For more information on this document, see Hauglid, Textual History of the Book of Abraham, 22, 84–85.
Note: When an Egyptian hieratic character appears on the manuscript, it is represented by a stylized “H” in the transcript. The transcript of the Book of Abraham manuscript presented here is used with permission of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. It was published earlier, with some differences in style, in Brian M. Hauglid, A Textual History of the Book of Abraham: Manuscripts and Editions (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2010), 86–107.

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