This image shows one of three magic parchments found among Hyrum Smith’s possessions. The purpose of the St. Peter Bind Them Parchment seems to be to protect its owner from supernatural beings. This parchment suggests that the Smith family had more than a passing interest in magic, and easily blended Christianity with magic. The center bottom symbol is the symbol for a demon spirit called Pah-li-Pah flanked on either side by what appear to be two seals of the earth. The other side of the parchment bears a symbol for Nal-gah, an angel of ceremonial magic.
As with the other two parchments, many of the magic symbols are copied directly out magical texts, including The Magus by Francis Barrett published in 1801, the New and Complete Illustration of Celestial Sciences by Ebenezer Sibly published in 1784, and The Discoverie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot published in 1584.
All of the parchments likely belonged to Joseph Smith Sr. and Joseph Smith Jr., but were inherited by Hyrum’s family after Joseph’s and Hyrum’s death in 1844. This parchment is in the property of a private collector and these are the only photographs available.
- Amazon.com – Early Mormonism and the Magical World View
- Utah Lighthouse Ministry – Mormonism & Magic
- Archive.org – The Discoverie of Wichcraft
- Wikipedia – The Discoverie of Wichcraft
- Archive.org – The Magus
- Wikipedia – The Magus
- Archive.org – A New and Complete Illustration of Celestial Sciences
- Wikipedia – Ebenezer Sibly
Image Credits- Early Mormonism and the Magical World View