Joseph Smith, Jr.

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Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader. He started the Latter Day Saint movement (also called Mormonism). Latter Day Saints believe that Smith was a prophet.

Book of Mormon[change | change source]

According to Joseph Smith's own story, when he was 17 years old, he was visited by an angel named Moroni.[1] Moroni told him about a really old book written upon Golden Plates. It was buried in a hill. A few years later, Joseph said that he received those plates and translated them into the book that today is call The Book of Mormon. He instructed a man named Martin Harris to write down the words that he said was a translation of the plates. He said Moroni gave him seer stones which would help him translate the golden plates. Harris took home the pages and told his wife all about what had happened, but she did not believe him. Those pages were lost, and Joseph told Martin that God was very angry with them.[2] Eventually, Joseph was allowed to translate the rest of the book, with help from Oliver Cowdery instead of Martin Harris.

Mormon Church[change | change source]

On April 6, 1830, he started The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is often called the Mormon Church. Joseph Smith said that God wanted him to be a prophet and teach other people the things that he learned from God. This church still exists today, with millions of members around the world.

Joseph Smith taught some things that some people did not like. He said that other churches were only partly true. He also said that men could have more than one wife if God commanded them, just like was taught in the Old Testament of the Bible.[3][4]

Death[change | change source]

On June 7, 1844, some people who were upset with Smith published a newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois called the Nauvoo Expositor[5] This newspaper was filled with bad things being said about Smith, such as how some men claimed that Smith tried to take their wives. Smith had the printing press that made the newspaper destroyed, and had the city declare martial law. Smith was arrested after being accused of trying to start a riot, and was put in jail in Carthage, Illinois as he waited for his trial to start. On June 27, a group of angry men entered the jail and killed Smith and his brother, Hyrum.

References[change | change source]

  1. Jackson, Andrew The Mormon Faith of Mitt Romney: What Latter Day Saints Teach and Practice Kudu Publishing 2012 page 23
  4. "The Bible does not forbid plural marriage. In fact, many of the most noble Biblical figures (e.g., Abraham) had more than one wife. Furthermore, Biblical laws quoted by critics forbid kings from being led astray by plural spouses, or entering relationships not sanctioned by God's authority. However, the same Biblical laws provide guidelines for legitimate plural relationships." 'Is polygamy not biblical?' FairMormon.