. . . "When Joseph Smith," says our informant, "was digging for the Golden Bible, he ran short of provisions, and in order to obtain some mutton from a somewhat simple-minded neighbor, Joseph prevailed on him to furnish a fat sheep, the best he had[,] to be offered as a sacrifice to God. The farmer who at first appeared unwilling, at last consented, and consequently the sheep was brought into a shed back of the Smith family residence. (By the way the identical hill was pointed out to us). But while the Prophet was going through a lengthy ceremony preparatory to offering the sacrifice, one of his boys, as previously arranged carried off the sheep, weighing 200 pounds which was needed by the family for food."
If one of the Prophet Joseph Smith's boys (his eldest son being born in 1832) could carry off a sheep weighing 200 pounds as early as 1827, five years before birth, it is no wonder that Joseph Smith has made such a great stir in the world. This is a fair specimen of several other stories put in circulation about Joseph Smith and the "Mormons."
[Andrew Jenson, Edward Stevenson, and Joseph S. Black to Deseret Evening News, 2 October 1888, Fayette, Seneca County, New York, Deseret Evening News, 11 October 1888., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: Palmyra Resident Account]