Egypt, Joseph Smith, papyri, Book of Abraham


In a general presentation, Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that "throughout all the ages of history the hand of God has overruled the actions of mankind, that nothing is done except as the Lord may use it for the accomplishment of his mighty purposes. The things accomplished by humanity become in the end God's accomplishments, as he makes use of them in working out his infinite purposes. Even the great movements of nations and armies often serve to accomplish the workings of the Lord, such as when the empire of Assyria rose to great heights in order that the Lord could "end him against an hypocritical nation [Israel]" (Isaiah 10:6). While Isaiah prophetically informed us of such divine involvement, we are frequently unable to see how the Lord has shaped human affairs to further His work until sufficient time has passed to give us a more keen hindsight.

Original Publication Citation

Sperry Symposium (33rd : 24 : Brigham Young University). Prelude to the Pearl: Sweeping Events Leading to the Discovery of the Joseph Smith Papyri,†in Prelude to the Restoration: from Apostasy to the Restored Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book/BYU Religious Studies Center, 24), 13-141.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Deseret Book/BYU Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture