Egypt has always held mysteries in its history, concealing the records of time bound in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Historians had to wait until M. Boussard, a French Officer of Engineers, would discover the famous Rosetta Stone in August of 1799 before deciphering many of the ancient Egyptian texts. Who would have known that this discovery, besides unlocking the mysteries of Egypt, would have helped to show Joseph Smith's fraudulence.
Joseph Smith, Jun. wasn't an Egyptologist. He was however a religious leader, claiming to be a prophet, seer, and revelator - translator of Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Arabic characters. Parts of the golden plates were claimed to be written in Egyptian characters (History of the Church, Vol. 1, pg. 20). Joseph claimed the characters were translated by the power of God to produce the Book of Mormon in 1830. This same power Joseph claimed he possessed would be called upon to translate other Egyptian texts, which we are very lucky to have to compare to his translation (unlike the case for the so called, Book of Mormon "Plates").
On July 3, 1835, Michael H. Chandler arrived in Kirtland with an exhibit of Egyptian mummies. Joseph describes in his journal:
Kirtland, July 6, 1835
This is to make known to all who may be desirous, concerning the knowledge of Mr. Joseph Smith, Jun., in deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics characters in my possession, which I have, in many eminent cities, showed to the most learned; and, from the information that I could ever learn, or meet with, I find that of Mr. Joseph Smith, Jun., to correspond in the most minute matters.
Michael H. Chandler,
Traveling with, and proprietor of, Egyptian mummies.
(History of the Church, Vol.2, pg. 235)
Soon after this rich source of Egyptian hieroglyphics arrived in Kirtland
the Saints purchased them from Michael H. Chandler. Joseph writes in his
I do agree with Joseph, that through those papyri, the world will be shown an abundance of truth - Joseph's own failure at translating.