Mormonism, Joseph Smith, and the Latter Day Saints

Background Information
  • Mormonism is also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Mormonism began in Palmyra, New York, where a teenaged boy named Joseph Smith wondered which was the "true" sect of christianity.
  • Smith was born into a poor family, and received little formal education in his youth. His parents had switched faiths from seekers to presbyterians during his childhood.
  • In 1820, Smith was visited by God the Father, and God the Son (Jesus). They told him that all current branches of christianity have fallen off of the true faith, and advised him to not join any church, and that they would help him to restore the
    Joseph Smith
    Joseph Smith
    true faith.
  • After his vision, a magician came to palmyra, and for three dollars a day would help Joseph Smith locate water and buried treasure using magic stones. Smith spent most of his time with the man, and attempted to learn his skills.
  • Although Smith kept faith in the magician, he let him go because he could not afford his services, and they never found anything. Smith continued the practice though with magical stones of his own, which he claims to have found lost items with.
  • In 1823, Joseph Smith came in contact with the angel Moroni, who told him the history of the ancient Hebrews in America. Moroni told Joseph he was the key to telling the world about this history, and that the history was located on Egyptian dialect tablets of gold hidden in a nearby hill.
  • Joseph Smith located the tablets in 1827, and translated them using the spirit of god and two instruments that accompanied the tablet, the Urim and Thummim. The translation was published in the Book of Mormon, which along with the bible is the main Mormon scripture.
  • Smith' successor, Brigham Young, moved the Mormans to a permanent settlement in Salt Lake City, Utah after Smith was killed by an angry Anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois.

Cultural Beliefs/Theology and the Book of Mormon
  • Joseph Smith believed that all existing organized churches were corrupt and that the purity of the early Christian church had to be restored.
  • The Book of Mormon was published in 1830 by Joseph Smith.
  • The book starts with the exodus and tells that the group of people split into the Nephites and the Lamanites. It was believed the Nepihtes became civilived and were the "Chosen People" and the Lamanites became the Native Americans.
  • Mormons believe Mormonism is the "true religion" and that God told Joseph Smith that no existing religion had been the true one.
  • Mormons believe the president of the church is a prophet and that God directs the church through him.
  • Mormons believe humans are formed in the shape of God.
  • Mormons believe in life after death and in the physical resurrection of the body.
  • Mormons believe that god was once a man who lived on another planet.
  • Mormons believe the revelation of god is key to obtained knowledge.
  • Polygamy was once allowed in Mormon culture, but is now condemned in the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
  • Polygamy was added to Mormon tenets initially by Joseph Smith but this sparked controversy amongst the church, so it was taken out.

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City
Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon

The Church and Its Rules (Customs)
    • The head of the church is the General authorities which consists of the President (the Prophet) and two counselors; the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; the seven-member Presidency of the Seventy; the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy; and the three-member Presiding Bishopric.
    • The church forbids the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee.
    • Abortion and gambling are strictly prohibited.
    • Its ministry is comprised of only men, and their work is all voluntary.
    • The chuch provides religious education to high school students in seminaries.
    • A seminary is an area near a public high school which specializes in religious education.
    • A lot of members give a tithe (one-tenth of their annual income) to the church.
Links to Other Websites
Mormons(New Book of Knowledge)
Mormons (World Book)
History of Mormonism
The Angel Moroni
The Angel Moroni
Brigham Young
Brigham Young

Sources/Citations