FAIR conference: Secret Mormon codes and Egyptian papers

The applause was loud and sustained when William Schryver finished his presentation at the FAIR conference on Friday. "I guess some people really liked that," one man said after the clapping. "I couldn't understand what he was talking about."

What Schryver was talking about was how he solved part of a mystery that involved ancient Egyptian papyri, secret codes and the Knights Templar. It was nothing less than a paradigm shift in how scholars could approach the 1835 Kirtland Egyptian Papers.

The papers are a puzzling hodgepodge of hieroglyphics, speculative definitions, tables, charts, notebooks and documents that apparently deal with the Book of Abraham, part of the canon of scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Kirtland Egyptian Papers date from the same time in Kirtland, Ohio, when LDS Church members purchased a collection of Egyptian papyri from a traveling exhibition. Joseph Smith then claimed to have translated by revelation the ancient record of Abraham.

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