As it turns out, however, the papyri (which resurfaced in a Chicago museum in 1968), have nothing to do with either of these Old Testament prophets. You can't even really say that Joseph's translation was poor, because it wasn't really a translation at all.
I had heard whispers of this on my mission from a missionary whose father had left the church. I asked my mission president about it, and he told me not to worry, that scholars at BYU had studied this out and there was no reason to worry about it.
However, once I was home and had access to things like, oh, I don't know . . . the internet, it became abundantly clear that this was in fact a problem. I tried talking to my father about this particular issue. He has been a true believer ever since his mission days. I explained that since the time of Joseph's "translation," scholars had used the Rosetta Stone to learn Egyptian, and that the actual Egyptian does not match up with the what we find in the Books of Abraham and Moses.
My Dad, for a moment, suddenly became a pure skeptic.
"Well, how do you know you can trust these guys, I mean, you don't know where they came from or what their motives are."
"Dad, they're college professors."
"Well where did this 'Rosetta Stone' come from? I mean, how do you know that's not fake?"
"Uuuuuh . . . "
My father had lived the last forty-plus years without applying a single critical thought to his religion. Have food storage? Ok! Pay tithing? Sure thing! Accept this position or that? No problem! There was no room for doubt or questions in his mind. But when it comes to things that cast a shadow of doubt on his world of faith, suddenly there are questions to be asked, motives to be questioned.
My Dad and I argued for a bit. I was still trying to rescue my testimony at the time, and I was genuinely hoping for some answers to these questions. He grew tired eventually, however, and finally admitted, "Son, I'm getting to old to give a crap about this stuff. I have a testimony, and I'll believe until I die."
I haven't talked to my Dad about the Church since.