I took a directed readings course for one of my last classes at BYU, and one of the books was about colonial New Englanders? notions of America as a promised land. While that may seem rather innocuous, I was struck by the similarities to Mormon notions and the fact that JS would have been immersed in that culture (no getting around the fact that he would have been influenced by such ideas). When I met with the professor to discuss the book I mentioned my concern and I think he sort of made a joke. But then seeing that I still looked concerned he simply said, ?it?s in the Bible.? That made me feel better.
In the process of getting comfortable with finding Mormon-looking ideas in JS?s environment, I’ve wondered why I felt this way. I think the impulse derives from the feeling that the Bible is a legitimate source, whereas other sources may not be. This is a very Protestant approach.
JS seemed to have a different approach though. I want to look at two quotes.  The first comes from the heading to D&C 76: ?From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.? Here JS goes beyond the idea that important truths were taken from the Bible: he asserts that his revelations suggest that important truths might have never made it into the Bible.
The second comes from the King Follett Discourse: ?I suppose I am not allowed to go into an investigation of anything that is not contained in the Bible. If I do, I think there are so many over-wise men here that they would cry ?treason? and put me to death. So I will go to the old Bible and turn commentator today.? [HC 6:307] I now wonder if JS might have been referring to some text rather than his own revelation. What was it that he wanted to investigate? Furthermore JS seemed to be irritated by having to ?go to the old Bible.? He wanted to investigate something ?not contained in the Bible.? Does the impulse to be biblical put us in the role of the ?over-wise men??
 I have not looked them up in the official sources so if they are problematic, let me know.