If there was anything to the "Dartmouth connection," don't you think Dan Vogel or Don Bradley would have found it by now? Serious question.Kishkumen wrote: ↑Sun Nov 05, 2023 1:31 pmIf Bell and this Behrens person are correct, John Smith taught so many doctrines that later appear in Mormonism that it cannot possibly be a coincidence. The Dartmouth connection is one of the most important discoveries about early Mormonism in recent memory. Mark my words: further work in this area will transform how we think about Mormonism's beginnings.
The "research" that Randall Bell, PhD, presented on the Mormonism LIVE! podcast was laughably bad. (In fairness, he did at one point tell viewers, "Don't believe what I say.") Apart from supplying a photo for an individual who died in 1809, and claiming that the Church denied Joseph Smith's polygamy until 2014, he also tried to argue that Hyrum had an "Ivy League background" and was one of the "intellectual elite... a big deal" — based on his brief attendance at Moor's Indian Charity School. (Evidently, Bell hasn't read Hyrum's missionary diary.)
Supposedly Hyrum brought 7-year-old Joseph up to speed on the unpublished 18th-century theological lectures of Dr. John Smith during Joseph's convalescence from leg surgery. And that is how we got the Book of Abraham and the temple endowment, or something like that.
Weirdly, Bell shows images of Dr. John Smith's theological writings and says he has read through a transcript of them twice, but he never actually quotes any of them. If these lectures are the smoking gun, as Behrens's article suggests and Bell affirms, why don't we ever see anything from them? Behrens doesn't quote them either. This evidence is about as compelling as the secret contents of L. Tom Perry's briefcase.
You may be right that further work on the Dartmouth connection will transform how we think about Mormon origins, but based on what I've seen so far, I'm not optimistic.