Church spokeswoman Kim Farah says the purchase was important because the parcel is “near a site of historical significance to the founding of the faith.”
The area was home to the religion’s founder, Joseph Smith, and his wife, the former Emma Hale, from 1827 to 1830. The church believes it was there that most of the Book of Mormon was translated in 1829.
The Boughton parcel is adjacent to 147 acres already owned by the church.
One local says church officials told him of their desire to build a replica of the Smith home, which burned in 1919, as an interpretive center that could speak to the origins of the faith.
In December, there were more than 13.8 million Mormons worldwide. More than 6 million live in the United States.
Christians consider the Mormon Church to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity — since the teachings and practices of the Mormon Church violate or otherwise contradict many of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Hence Mormons are not Christians — even though their church teaches that Mormonism is the only true form of Christianity.