Today I will be reviewing my recent research into the topic of how the pirate Captain William Kidd and the practice of New England treasure digging that followed Kidd directly inspired Joseph Smith to create the Book of Mormon.

I’ve been doing this research in preparation for a new Youtube channel I’m launching called “Understanding Mormonism with Dr. John Dehlin.”

I need your help in the following ways:

1) I’d love to know if there are any important errors or omissions in my research.
2) I’d love to know if you find the research interesting/worthwhile overall.
3) I am making a call for listeners to submit their own essays/PowerPoint presentations for future videos in this project.

Any feedback, questions, or any submissions can be sent to:

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  1. Terry September 14, 2020 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Listened to this on my walk this evening. Excellent! So many people I would love to share this with if they ever open their mind.

  2. George Lucy September 15, 2020 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Once again you knock it out of the park. I was wondering if anyone has done any research into how Joseph Smith would have become aware of Kohr Karfort, in Oman, which was supposed to be the land Bountiful.

  3. VFanRJ September 19, 2020 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Another exceptional podcast.

    I do think that we need more discussion about our 15 ordained seers who make no attempt to fulfill their stewardship as such. I’ve never heard of a any Q15 member make any statements or claims that they have a seerstone and are learning how to use it as described in the Book of Mormon. With the return of the papyrus in 1967 the Church gained the Book of Joseph along with the Book of Abraham. The leadership’s disinterest in translating it as part of our scriptures is appalling.

  4. Ryan December 31, 2020 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Hey John,

    This is very interesting stuff as always. This would be a fascinating period of history, even if it didn’t intersect with the entire world I came up in.

    I see a lot of promise in these kinds of presentations.

    One criticism submitted with gratitude to be constructive:
    I noticed far more ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ than I usually experience in your podcast interviews. It could very well be a matter of the solo dynamic. I’d explore strategies to get the ‘ums’ out. I had started taking discussions with the Toastmaster missionaries (so to speak) before the world shutdown. That’s one possible tool.

  5. John Miles June 4, 2022 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    You better repent! Face it, The doctrines of the LDS Church make more sense than any other Christian religion. It has the best answers about the big questions–where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. You have many (most) irrelevant things right, but you miss the big picture..

    I would be happy to a public debate with you. I have believed for many years that the Church should begin admitting the many things they have hidden. For example, they need to admit that the first vision did not actually happen. A BYU studies article virtually does admit this fact. Four prominent Mormon historians spent several months researching every record to learn more about the 1820-1830 period, concluding that NONE of the first 75 members of the Church of Christ knew anything about the first vision. So, if Smith really wrote the account in the PofGP in 1838, he was a liar. But, I think it was written by Orson Pratt, who is also responsible for my favorite scriptures in the PofGP. How did JS know there are more than 110 trillion suns? He did not. Only Pratt knew there were worlds without number, and Pratt, in1981, finally was able to get the PofGP accepted as a standard work!

    Your hate for the Church is obvious, and makes you a liar as well when you claim your only motivation is for the truth. I believe the Church is the most correct one on earth, that God exists, that Jesus is the Christ AND that Joseph Smith was a fraud about many things, and a criminal because as Mayor of Nauvoo he called an emergency meeting of the Nauvoo council and had them declare the Nauvoo Expositor a public nuisance (that much was ok), but as the Commander of the Nauvoo Legion he ordered his men, in violation of the first amendment of the Constitution, to break into the building housing the printing press, drag it into the street, and smash it to bits, all while he was a declared candidate for President of the United States in 1844. After all, he was mostly a man, and only a prophet a little.

    I, too, had many logical, scientific, etc. reasons for why the BofM could not be accurate, but then I realized God could not allow the evidence of the BofM to be found because that would destroy FAITH. Faith is the power the Gods used to organize the universe. Both Genesis and the New Testament tell us this fact that is missed by everyone. Didn’t Jesus say to his followers, Oh ye of little faith. If you had the faith of a tiny grain of mustard seed, you could move mountains? And didn’t God say “Let there be light,”? Therefore, the entire BofM happened in a wormhole. Just ask Stephen Hawkins. Oops! since he is now dead, study his theories.

    Fawn Brodie suggested that when JS was asked by prominent people who came to talk or interview him, and asked him what great spiritual event happened to him, that Smith began to think about it and made some attempts to write about it, beginning in 1831-2. Dean Jessee, a BYU religion professor, was given access to the Church historians records and wrote a pamphlet I once had (the church may be trying to suppress this right now), and that Smith wrote his 1838 account (or had help, or it was written by Pratt) as an answer to those inquiries. Brodie says JS first had to ex-communicate his 3 witnesses who never heard about the first vision, so if they said they never heard of such a first vision, JS could just say that’s only “sour grapes” for being kicked out of the church.

    So, you may say to me, if Smith lied about this first vision, why do I still defend the Church? Answer: Because it is the most correct Church on earth because of the time in history it came forth, with men who were free to think, argue, discuss without being forced to adhere to any dogma.. In Kirkland, Ohio they had the school of the prophets where, I am sure, JS got the ideas for his revelations.

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