“The Mormonites.” Christian Intelligencer and Eastern Chronicle (Gardiner, Maine) (18 November 1831): 184. Reprinted from Illinois Patriot (Jacksonville, Illinois) (16 September1831).
A Preacher of this sect visited us last Saturday. We heard a part of his lecture, which occupied more than two hours.—From his account this sect came into existence a little more than a year since in the following manner. A young man about 23 years of age, somewhere in Ontario county, N. Y. was visited by an angel! [here the preacher looked around him apparently to see if the credulity of the people in this enlightened age could be thus imposed upon] who appeared to him three times in one night that by visiting a certain place in that town he would have revealed to him something of importance. The young man was disturbed but did not obey the summons until the following day, when the angel again visited him. At the place appointed he found in the earth a box which contained a set of thin plates resembling gold, with Arabic characters inscribed on them. The plates were minutely described as being connected with rings in the shape of the letter D, when facilitated the opening and shutting of the book. The preacher said he found in the same place two stones, with which he was enabled by placing them over his eyes and putting his head in a dark corner, to decypher the hieroglyphics on the plates! This we were told was performed to admiration, and now, as the result, we have a book which the speaker informed us was the Mormon Bible—a book second to no other—without which the holy bible, he seemed to think, would be of little use.
It appears from his statement, that three of the offsprings of Joseph, by his youngest son Ephraim, whose names were Laman, Nephi, and Lehigh, as near as we could understand, were the persons from whom sprang Mormon. Laman and Nephi rather declined from walking in the right way, but Lehigh was firm in the faith—Mormon was a prophet, led them eastward until they came to the sea, as we suppose, where they built a ship and came to this western world. To prove this, the preacher referred us to Genesis,10th chapter and 22d verse, and said the branches running over the wall was further more nor less than the progeny of Joseph leaving their own and coming to this country! He went into a detail on the readiness which induced him to join this people—that on account of so many sects being in the world, and the discrepancies in their opinions, he became sceptical—that hearing of these people in July last, he joined himself to them, believing them to constitute the true Church—and that he came this way to meet a convocation of elders in Jackson county, Missouri, which is to be their New Jerusalem, but was disappointed to not seeing them there. He insisted on the Bible being joined with his book, by quoting the 16th and 17th verses of the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, and comparing the Bible and Mormon’s book to the two sticks there spoken of. We thought this part of his subject too ludicrous to be refuted by any man in his right mind. We cannot now enter into the merits of his discourse, nor should we have given this hastily written sketch, had we not been requested to say something on the subject. Some of these men may be sincere, but does this prove they are in the right? The worshippers of Juggernant are sincere, or they would not sacrifices their lives by throwing themselves under the wheels of its life-destroying car.