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About The Mormons Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

About the Mormons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also called the
Mormon church) was founded at Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830, by
Joseph Smith, Jr. Smith, the recipient of dreams and heavenly
manifestations in the 1820s, dictated to scribes the translated text
of a holy book he said had been engraved on gold plates by an American
Indian historian about a.d. 400. The six-hundred-page Book of Mormon
was published in the spring of 1830.

The Latter-day Saints church, as it is more accurately called, was
intended to be a restoration of the primitive church established by
Jesus and his apostles. God was a personal being, Jesus his literal
son, and at the head of the church was a prophet, functioning under
divine leadership and through an appointed, male, lay priesthood. The
church accepted the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and
revelations of the prophet as sacred Scriptures.

Missionaries preached throughout New England, the Old Northwest,
Canada, and England, and within five years there were more than eight
thousand converts. The religious beliefs of the Mormons and their
attempts to institute a government in which the godly ruled, however,
ran counter to the democratic pluralism of American society, and the
Mormons experienced repeated difficulties with their neighbors. Mormon
settlers were driven by hostile mobs, in succession, from New York to
Ohio, to Missouri, and to Nauvoo in Illinois. In these moves, the
Mormons lost most of their property, and many were killed or died from
illness.

In Nauvoo Mormons established a well-planned city and began building a
temple, the University of Nauvoo, and a number of mills and shops. But
once more the Mormons had difficulties with their neighbors, and in
1844 a mob, including members of the state militia, stormed the jail
where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were being held on the charge
of inciting a riot and murdered them.

Within a few weeks, Brigham Young, leader of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles, was "sustained" as the new prophet. Under his leadership
preparations were made for removal of the church to the Great Basin in
western America. Nauvoo was abandoned in 1846. A pioneer company of
148 persons reached the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, where they made
preparations for those to follow. About 2,000 wintered in the Salt
Lake Valley in 1847-1848, and the remainder of some 16,000 exiles
migrated to the Great Basin at a rate of about 3,000 per year.
Meanwhile, the 30,000 or more converts in the eastern United States,
Great Britain, and Scandinavia were arriving at a similar rate. By
1860 there were 40,000 Latter-day Saints in Utah; by 1900, more than
200,000.

Some believers who chose not to follow Brigham Young founded the
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day...

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