Joseph Smith explained his approach to multiple working hypotheses, as reported by Willard Richards:
The enquiry is frequently made of me, “Wherein do you differ from others in your religious views?”
In reality and essence we do not differ so far in our religious views but that we could all drink into one principle of love. One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may. We believe in the great Eloheim, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens: so do the Presbyterians. If as a skilful Mechanic, in taking a welding heat, I use borax, and alum &c, & succeeds in welding together iron or steel more perfectly than any other mechanic, is he not deserving of praise?>
and if by the principles of truth I succeed in welding <uniting> you all <denominations> together <into one family of <in the bonds of love>> shall I not have attained a good object?
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down?
No; I will lift them up, and in his <their> own way too if I cannot persuade him <them> my way is better; and I will <not seek to compel any> ask no man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning; for truth will cut its own way.
The original version:
one [of] the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism <is> to receivee thruth [truth] letit come from where it may.—
we beli[e]ve in the great Eloheem. who—sits enthrond in yonder heavens.— so do the presbyterian. If as a skillful mechanic In taking a weldi[n]g heat I use a borax & allum. &c—— an[d] succe[e]d in welding you all together shall I not have attaind a good object.
if I esteem mankind to be in error shall I bear them down? no!
I will will lift them up.— & in his own way if I cannot persuade him my way is better?
& I will ask no man to believe as I do.