Kirtland the Holy Land – 1831
The Geauga Gazette - February 1, 1831
THE GOLDEN BIBLE, OR THE BOOK OF MORMON.
The believers in the sacred authenticity of this miserable
production, are known by the name of "Mormonites," and their book is commonly
called "the book of Mormon." It is asserted by them that their number in this
vicinity is four hundred. In a conversation a few days since with a gentleman
[from] Kirtland, well informed, and every way concerned to give us the truth, we
are assured that their numbers in the [family] in that town were two hundred
souls. We doubt not then, that their whole number in this county and Cayahoga
are at least four hundred.
They have recently received an additional revelation from the prolific prophet Smith, which is generally understood to say that Kirtland is within the precincts of the holy land; but by others is said to mean only, that in that town will be a great gathering of mighty multitudes, preparatory to their westward general migration. They are therefore admonished to sell no more of their possessions but rather purchase, lest there [should] not be room for the faithful. The admonition however arrived too late, as they have but fifty acres left, and the land holders refuse to sell to them.
They profess to receive sensible demonstrations of the presence of the Deity. A few days since, a young man gave information to some of his brethren that he was about to receive a message from heaven. They repaired to the spot designated, and there, as they solemnly assert, a letter descended from the skies, and fell into the hands of the young man. -- The purport was to strengthen his faith and inform him that he would soon be called to the ministry. They declare their solemn belief that this letter was written by the finger of God. The style of writing was the round Italian, and the letters of gold. The favored youth immediately attempted to copy the communication, but as fast as he wrote, the letters of the original disappeared [until it entirely vanished].
It is alleged that some of them have received white stones. promised in the second chapter of the Revelation. Such of them as have "the spirit" will declare that they see a white stone moving about the upper part of the room, and will jump and spring for it, until one more fortunate than the others catches it, but he alone can see it. Others however, profess to hear it roll across the floor. These two stories, and others of a similar character, are told by them with solemn asseverations of their truth.
Among them is a man of color, a chief man, who is sometimes seized with strange vagaries and odd conceits. The other day he is said to have jumped twenty-five feet down a wash bank into a tree top without injury. He sometimes fancies he can fly.
In Chardon, one man has torn away all the partitions of the lower part of a good two story dwelling house. Here a large number live together. The food consisting of meat and vegetables, it is said, [is] placed on the table in a large pan, which is the whole table furniture. From this every inmate takes a piece of meat and potatoe in his hand, and devours them as he walks about the room. As to matters of apparel, and indeed other things, when any one wants what he has not, he takes it any where in the family where he can find it unoccupied. All things are common.
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