As part of the Mormon Stories “Truth Claims” initiative, in this episode I will be reading the essay on Joseph Smith’s involvement in Folks Magic and Treasure digging found here:…/treasu…/

This is the first of several essays we will be releasing, with an accompanying billboard and series of interviews with historians.

If you want to support the billboard campaign, please do so here:



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  1. steve jarvis February 27, 2019 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    how about an essay reading with NO intro? would be better for sharing and reposting. This one has 9 minutes of intro/announcements before getting to the content.

    • Amy February 27, 2019 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Yes, the announcements seem to get longer and longer with each episode. I wish they would go back edit them completely out of old episodes!

  2. Peter February 28, 2019 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Since, I’ve read most of the new essays, I actually really like hearing John’s updates over the readings. Maybe “Part 1” could br an update and “Part 2” could be the reading.

  3. VFanRJ February 28, 2019 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Although I’ve bookmarked the page, thanks for providing a read through of it. As such, I was able to listen to all of it while commuting.

  4. James March 1, 2019 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Interesting. Every one seems to have a different story. This is very Vogel and Quinn, obviously, given the recent Vogel interviews. If this is even half true, then I have to come to the conclusion that Richard Bushman is probably THE worst mormon historian out there. John, he may not be willing nor have the time, but you really should get Bushman on here for a serious discussion. Not some 50 minute shallow phone call.

  5. James March 2, 2019 at 10:29 am - Reply

    The trial was a preliminary hearing. There is no first hand reliable evidence that he was found guilty. Looking at sources beyond Vogel and Mormon Think, such as Bushman himself, shows there is no good evidence to indicate that this was a trial or that Neely himself found The Prisoner (defendant?) guilty

    • Dan Vogel March 11, 2019 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      The trial was a preliminary hearing, but the published record indicates JS was found guilty. There is good reason for that. There was enough evidence to proceed with a formal trial, which is indicated by the bills including a charge for notifying two other justices. The trial wasn’t held, but if it was JS would have been found guilty because he confessed to breaking the law and his two witnesses (Josiah Stowell and Jonathan Thompson) confirmed that he had “pretended” to find lost objects. The trial wasn’t held probably because of an off the record deal was made. Another charge on the bills lists: “10 miles travel with Mittimus to take him.” Apologists have no answer for this. This could be a re-arrest of JS to bring him back to South Bainbridge, or it could refer to a warrant to escort JS out of the county. A guilty verdict could bring a fine, jail, or banishment from the county for six months. It’s possible JS was given a suspended sentence and agreed to leave the county for six months. However, the verdict is less important than the testimony that was given at the trial.

      • James April 2, 2019 at 11:44 pm - Reply

        In RRR, in an endnote, Bushman accuses Vogel of mostly conjecture and speculation with myriad “could be” “maybe” etc. I then read and watched a lot of Vogel, and this quickly became apparant. Now his above comment confirms it again.

      • James April 3, 2019 at 12:01 am - Reply

        And even in 1826, one did not get found “guilty” after a preliminary hearing. The burden of proof was not beyond reasonable doubt, as it would have been at trial, but something significantly lower. Being bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing is no indication that one is likely to be found guilty. Josiah still believed Joseph was a seer. And Joseph never admitted that he “pretended” to divine using a seer stone. Mr. Vogel, is Mr. Bushman a liar, or just a bad historian?

  6. Mw. Adrie de Jong March 6, 2019 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Thank you, John, This is very helpfull ! I started reading, but eyes got tired, had other things to do, and never reached the end of page, so, It was so great to hear it ! I also like the comments here: I found Richard Bushmann (went to the beginning and he was already on the next page, than learned he was in the Top 10, next time I’d better check that out ! lol ) (See comment march 4, 2019 at ‘Contact”). I like to hear all different views and enjoy them very much, each give a way to see Joseph Smith from different sides and learn from him. I don’t know if Richard Bushmann could be interviewed, we got 5 pieces and you wanted to add 5 more way back than (047-051: Richard Bushman — Maybe it’s time for the next 5 pieces ? I really liked how he talked about Joseph Smith, it’s closer to my heart. Thank you for all you do ! Peace, Adrie

  7. Fatfinger March 8, 2019 at 11:51 am - Reply

    John, I’m confused by your reference to Oak Island being somewhere around New York. I believe that is Nova Scotia.

    • John Dehlin March 8, 2019 at 11:58 am - Reply

      Will let the authors/editors know. Thanks, Fatfinger!

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