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] The Mormons also did not always get along with their neighbors.

Death[change | change source]

On June 7, 1844, some people who were upset with Smith created a newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois called the Nauvoo Expositor[5] This newspaper was filled with bad things about Smith, such as how Smith secretly had many wives. Some men even said that Smith tried to take their wives. Smith did nothing about it. 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
  2. "Doctrine and Covenants 10".
  3. "Polygamy book/Initiation of the practice - FairMormon".
  4. "Some people in the Bible (for example, Abraham) had more than one wife. 'Is polygamy not biblical?' FairMormon.
  5. "Utah History to Go".