Growing up in Salt Lake City, I share a part of my life with the Mormon culture. No matter where I am in the state, I am surrounded by believers. Even hotel rooms store “the Book of Mormon” instead of the “Holy Bible.” However, being a non member of the church, it is hard to be informed with LDS knowledge. The following several posts will be my journey on trying to understand the people around me the best I can.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the Mormon Church, was founded by Joseph Smith. Smith was born under Joseph Smith Sr. (father) and Lucy Mack (mother) and was raised in an unfortunate family due to a series of rop failures. Growing up, his family was religious, although they rarely attended church. The family was rather involved in magic and myths. Religious rivalries in his hometown Palmyra left Smith looking for a Church. Smith ended up praying to God at the age of 14, when he encountered God and Jesus. According to Smith, God said there was no right Church. Later in 1823, Smith had his second revelation when an angel called him “Moroni” and told him about a set of golden plates containing a record of the ancient inhabitants of America. Later, Smtih found the plates buried near his father's farm. Four years later, the angel told him to remove the plates and transcribe the characters using “interpreters.” Completing the work in less than 90 days, he published it in March 1830 as a 588-page volume called the Book of Mormon. A month later, Smith organized people into a church who later were sent to convert people. These members were referred to as Saints and gathered into settlements called “Cities of Zion.” However, Mormons were constantly expelled because the rapid reproduction of Mormons threatened political parties. Due to arrests and charges, Smith fled to Illinois. In Illionis, Mormons settled in Nauvoo, and grew successfully with members internationally. However, because of reasons later discussed, Mormons left Nauvoo in 1846, and migrated to Utah where Brigham Young constructed Salt Lake City.