Portal:History of the Latter Day Saint movement

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History of the Latter Day Saint movement

An 1893 engraving depicting Joseph Smith's description of receiving artifacts from the angel Moroni.

The History of the Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement within Christianity that arose during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century and that led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism and to the existence of numerous Latter Day Saint churches. Its history is characterized by intense controversy and persecution in reaction to some of the movement's doctrines and practices and their relationship to mainstream Christianity (see Mormonism and Christianity). The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the different groups, beliefs, and denominations that began with the influence of Joseph Smith.

The founder of the Latter Day Saint movement was Joseph Smith, who was raised in the Burned-over district of Upstate New York. He claimed that, in response to prayer, he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, as well as angels and other visions. This eventually led him to a restoration of Christian doctrine that, he said, was lost after the early Christian apostles were killed. In addition, several early leaders made marked doctrinal and leadership contributions to the movement, including Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Brigham Young. Modern-day revelation from God continues to be a principal belief of the Mormon faith.

Selected article

Brigham Young led the LDS Church from 1844 until his death in 1877.

The History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is typically divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, Jr. which is in common with all Latter Day Saint movement churches, (2) a "pioneer era" under the leadership of Brigham Young and his 19th Century successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century as the practice of polygamy was discontinued.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traces its origins to western New York, where Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement was born and raised. Joseph Smith gained a small following in the late 1820s as he was dictating the Book of Mormon, which he said was a translation of words found on a set of golden plates that had been buried near his home in western New York by an indigenous American prophet. On April 6, 1830, in western New York, Smith organized the religion's first legal church entity, the Church of Christ. The church rapidly gained a following, who viewed Smith as their prophet. The main body of the church moved first to Kirtland, Ohio in the early 1830s, then to Missouri in 1838, where the 1838 Mormon War with other Missouri settlers ensued, culminating in adherents being expelled from the state under Missouri Executive Order 44 signed by the governor of Missouri. After Missouri, Smith built the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, near which Smith was assassinated. After Smith's death, a succession crisis ensued, and the majority voted to accept the Quorum of the Twelve, led by Brigham Young, as the church's leading body.

Selected biography

Parley P. Pratt (April 12, 1807 – May 13, 1857) was an early leader of the Latter Day Saint movement whose writings became a significant early nineteenth-century exposition of the Latter Day Saint faith. Named in 1835 as one of the first members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Pratt was part of the Quorum's successful mission to Great Britain from 1839 to 1841. Pratt has been called "the Apostle Paul of Mormonism" for his promotion of distinctive Mormon doctrines. Pratt explored and surveyed Parley's Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah (named in his honor), and subsequently built and maintained the first road for public transportation in the canyon. Pratt practiced plural marriage. He was murdered in 1857 by the estranged husband of his twelfth wife. He had a total of 30 children, and his living descendants in 2011 were estimated to number 30,000 to 50,000. He was the great-great-grandfather of Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate for President of the United States and the great-great-great-grandfather of Jon Huntsman Jr., a one-time governor of Utah and American diplomat.

Selected Location

Kirtland Temple

The Kirtland Temple is a National Historic Landmark in Kirtland, Ohio, USA, on the eastern edge of the Cleveland metropolitan area. Owned and operated by the Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), the house of worship was the first temple to be built by adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement. The design mixes Federal, Greek Revival and Gothic Revival architectural styles. Beginning in 1831, members of the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints) under the direction of church founder and president Joseph Smith, began to gather in the Kirtland area. In December 1832 Smith reported to have received a revelation that called for the construction of a house of worship, education, and order. On May 6, 1833, Smith reported that he had received a revelation from God, directing members of the church to construct "a house... wholly dedicated unto the Lord for the work of the presidency," "dedicated unto the Lord from the foundation thereof, according to the order of the priesthood." Directions were given to build a "lower court and a higher court," and a promise given that the Lord's "glory shall be there, and [his] presence shall be there." (LDS Doctrine & Covenants D&C 94:3-9 RLDS Doctrine and Covenants Section 91:3). This building which would have sat next to the Kirtland Temple was never started, nor the third building which was to be a house for the printing operations of the church. Instead the functions of this office building ended up in the attic of the Kirtland Temple. The date of this document is also in question as it makes reference to the Kirtland Temple which is described in the following section of the Doctrine Covenants and dated June 1, 1833.

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