Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Noel Reynolds and authorship

LDS Living published an article about Noel Reynolds and his article that explains Joseph Smith did not write the Lectures on Faith. You can see it here:

I agree with Reynolds' assessment. I've always liked his work.

Here's a key passage from the LDS Living article:

Reynolds says there's evidence to suggest that [Sidney] Rigdon was the book's author. 
For instance, Reynolds's asserts there is no proof Joseph Smith ever even looked at the lectures, the only statement that he did so was made by a secretary trying to fill 18 months worth of missing daily records from Joseph Smith's life, with no first-hand accounts of Joseph Smith actually looking at the lectures or writing them. 

"The second thing we can look at is did Joseph use the lectures, did he claim them, did he quote them, did he teach from them, did he ever repeat these teachings? The answer to that is no, not once," Reynolds says. 

Though the author for Lectures on Faith remains to be known on the book cover as Joseph Smith, Reynolds holds to the evidence he has brought forward that it may, in fact, be Rigdon. 

This is fascinating for three reasons.

First, the methodology Brother Reynolds used--comparing the Lectures on Faith with the respective writings of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon--is the same methodology I used to figure out who wrote the anonymous articles in the 1842 Times and Seasons that were the origin for the Mesoamerican theory. That methodology led me to Benjamin Winchester, as I explained in my books The Lost City of Zarahemla, Brought to Light, and The Editors: Joseph, William and Don Carlos Smith.

Second, Brother Reynolds looked at Joseph's use of the lectures. His conclusion, which I bolded above, applies equally to the anonymous Mesoamerican articles. There is no proof Joseph Smith ever even looked at these articles (or the Stephens books they quoted), he never claimed them, he never quoted them, he never taught from them, and he never repeated them. In fact, not once did Joseph Smith ever link the Book of Mormon to any geography outside of North America.

Third, I'm informed that Brother Reynolds is a strong supporter of the Mesoamerican and two-Cumorahs theory. Maybe I'm wrong and I'd like to know if I am.

This is especially ironic because the exact same misattribution that took place with the Lectures on Faith also took place with the Mesoamerican articles upon which the Mesomania scholars and educators rely.

If Brother Reynolds and other Mesomania scholars and educators applied the same methodology to the Times and Seasons as they applied to the Lectures on Faith, no one would be promoting the two-Cumorahs and Mesoamerican theories any more.

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