Plan from Utah religious sect stirs concern in Fort Hall

FORT HALL, Idaho (AP) — A plan by a self-described religious sect to build a three-story dormitory in Fort Hall, Idaho, has drawn protest from residents. Roughly three dozen members of The Church of the Firstborn and General Assembly of Heaven moved to a home on Reservation Road from Utah this summer, adding a handful of trailers at the site, the Idaho State Journal reported. On Monday, more than 100 people packed the Land Use Policy Commission meeting for a hearing on the group’s plan to build an 18,000-square-foot motel-like building with as many as 38 rooms. Jennie Bloxham, whose home is just to the east of the group’s property, said she fears the influx of people to the rural neighborhood is placing too much stress on a well shared by four homes, including hers and the home used by the sect. Some residents voiced concern about the sect itself. Sect member Geody Harman declined to comment on the church or its construction proposal. The group hasn’t made any formal statement about its move to Idaho from Magna, Utah. Its Web site, http://thefirstborn.org , says the sect was started by Terrill Dalton, who was excommunicated from the Mormon church and now claims to be the Holy Ghost. The Web site also says Dalton and Harmon translated records from God. Among those records were references to plural marriage and instructions to tithe to Dalton. “Repent, repent ye wicked perverse master batters of imperfect love shelled like a wasted broom needle nut and thrown to the way side like the husk of a peanut eaten at a road side show,” reads one of the records, titled “Zodak the Prophet.” There were no public phone listings for Harman, Dalton, or for property owner Joseph Ahlstrom.

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