The topic of my research paper is the Mormon religion. Particularly the original form of the religion as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this paper I will answer the following questions as to where did the religion started, who were/are the main leaders and places of worship for the religion, are there any divisions or sects that are associated with the religion, how has the religion changed over time, and what does the future hold for this religion? To find my answers I searched many online articles, books, and magazine articles. I found that the Mormon religion is a lot more complex than I believe many people think it is and there are many misconceptions made about the religion.
Mormonism is not only a religion but a way of life for the people that call themselves LDS (Latter Day Saints). The religion was founded by Joseph Smith Jr. and has devout followers worldwide. “Mormonism, is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ; of which I myself am not ashamed.” This quote by Joseph Smith summarizes how true and pure the follows of this religion believe it is. With this paper I will give a brief history of the Mormon religion and try to address key issues and topics surrounding this controversial religion.
Joseph Smith established the Mormon religion in 1830 after a vision from God. He said that while praying in the woods God came to him in a vision and instructed him to start a new true religion. When God appeared, Joseph asked him what was the right religion to follow. “The Lord answered that he must join “none of them, for they were all wrong” and “all their creeds were an abomination in his sight.” He said that they had a “form of godliness,” but they denied “the power thereof” (Ingleton,2005). With this new found understanding and the power of God’s words Joseph started The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church was founded with just six followers to start; many of which were Joseph’s family members. (Ingleton, 2005)
Three years after the First Vision, God sent Joseph a messenger to instruct him. The messenger, Moroni told Joseph of gold tablets that had the word of the Lord, the everlasting gospel written on them they were buried in the hills. Joseph found the templates and began translating them. The finished product would be known as the Book of Mormon. (Joseph Smith, Jr. Wikipedia) Joseph used the Book of Mormon as a secondary Bible. He still believed the words of the Bible but this was what came after the times described in the Bible. He did believe although that this was a better version of the Bible from God. He states, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (McConkie, 1959) He began to preach to people using the Book of Mormon as his basis. Many were not happy with Joseph’s ideas and they drove him and his people out of the east. Joseph claimed the only place the Mormon faith would survive is in the mountains. He said he had a vision of a place they would call Zion and he would lead his people there. With his teachings he drew the attention of a man named Brigham Young. Brigham Young studied the Book of Mormon for two years before he was convinced that this was the one true book and religion. Therefore, after Joseph Smith died Brigham felt compeled to carry out the vision of Joseph Smith. Young was the one who lead the people to find the Zion in what is now Salt Lake City, UT in search of religious freedom. This is where the Mormon religion has been based since July, 1859 when the settlers petitioned for statehood. (Joseph Smith Jr. Wikipedia) Joseph Smith had visions of a Holy Temple that would be built at the Zion where his people could worship without religious persecution and God had commanded he build the House of God. “Four days after entering the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847,...
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