Colesville, Nov: 18: 1830. Rev & Dear Sir ... I will relate a circumstance that has given me pain. A member of the church in Sandford, a young female, has renounced her connexion with the church, and joined a church <<another>> in Colesville founded by Joseph Smith. This man has been known, in these parts, for some time, as a kind of juggler, who has pretended, through a glass, to see money under ground &c, &c. The book, on which he founds his new religion, is called the "Book of Mormon." It contains not much, and is rather calculated to suit the marvelous, and unthinking. part of the world. No man in his right mind can think the Book or the doctrines it contains, worthy of the least notice, yet there are a number who profess to believe in it. Since the church was formed, which was some time in July, about twenty have gathered around their standard, and have [p. 2] subscribed themselves to be the followers [of] Christ; for they call themselves a church of Christ, and the only church of Christ. All professing christians who do not adhere to their system, they consider as formalists; "having the form of Godliness, but denying the power." They have pretended to work miracles, such as casting out devils, and many other things, too blasphemous to mention.--It is believed, however, they have [atta]ined to about the zenith of their glory in this place. Their books remain unsold; <<; except>> [-] here and there an individual, none will buy them. It is thought the great speculation, which they probably anticipated, will prove a losing busi=ness. ... Yours in Bonds of christian Affection.
[John Sherer to Absalom Peters, 18 November 1830, American Home Missionary Society Archives, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana., as cited in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents: John Sherer To Absalom Peters]