SL09214 A Currency of Faith: Taking Stock in Utah County’s Dream Mine [Partial]

In 1894, John Hyrum Koyle began digging the Dream Mine on a mountaintop in central Utah. Koyle, who was a Mormon bishop at the time, claimed he had been shown where to dig by Moroni, the same heavenly messenger who had led Mormon founder Joseph Smith to unearth the golden plates. Moroni visited Koyle in a dream and showed him nine enormous caverns inside the mountain containing countless piles of gold. Moroni told Koyle that the gold would remain hidden in the caves until an unspecified time preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. At that moment of chaos, Koyle and his followers would unearth the gold and it would support the financially-troubled LDS Church through the Last Days. This paper investigates the nature of belief in the Dream Mine, which remains fervent more than one hundred years later. Although shareholders’ dreams are perpetually deferred, believers tap into a rich vein of folklore that runs through Mormon cosmology. This presentation will consider how Dream Mine belief has evolved in a changing economic, political, and religious landscape and demonstrate that the faithful find sustenance in the Mormon past while simultaneously embracing modern worldviews that extend beyond mainstream Mormonism.

Kevin Cantera