The Beginning And Spread Of Mormon Religion

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During the 1820’s, the time of a religious movement known as the Second Great Awakening, a boy by the name of Joseph Smith Jr. received divine revelations from God in the form of visions. As a mature man, Joseph was convinced he had received the final revelation from God to restore the true church of Christ. Guided by an angle, Joseph uncovered ancient books in which he translated into the Book of the Mormon and published it in 1830. The Book of the Mormon outlines a story in which Jesus Christ came over to North America to spread the gospel quickly after his resurrection in Israel. During this time period, Jesus had instituted a church to the locals. Nevertheless, Joseph still believed no text or book was sufficient enough to replace the true gospel of Jesus in the Bible. Josephs newfound Mormonism was initially met with skeptics, but many quickly became believers that this was the true church of Christ ordained by priesthood. As the new religion began to quickly grow, Mormonism first established its headquarters in Kirkland, Ohio. This was prompted by Sidney Rigdon, who converted his entire congregation which led Joseph and his New York followers to Ohio. In Kirkland, Joseph organized the theological principles into a broadened view, in which the Book of Commandments was published in 1833. This book was later expounded on and enlarged into the Doctrine and Covenants. As Mormonism began to expand, it was quickly met with opposition.

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For example, books and literature published by the Mormons lead to many radical initiations, such as Old Testament traditions and kingdom of God became indistinguishable under Mormon doctrine. These new ideologies and practices taught by the Mormons outraged many other protestant groups, ultimately leading to the prosecution of Mormons. Despite this, there were still large number of converts entering the Mormon church. However, the Mormon settlement in Jackson county Missouri had to be abandon due to persecution. The Mormon followers were completely driven out of Missouri in 1839, but that did not stop them from losing hope. Many followers believed if it was Gods will, they would find land to prosper. However, as external conflicts continued to intensify, so did internal conflicts. Many soon began viewing Smiths actions as moving away from initial church restoration impulses in favor of Gods kingdom. Soon, the refugees mad their way up to Nauvoo Illinois, which was founded in 1839, and quickly became the states largest city. Nauvoo was under complete economic and political control of the Mormons, which prompted Joseph to run for the presidency of the United States. Many saw his attempt for the presidency as overreaching, but Joseph saw it as if God willed it so, it will be. Picking a political party became difficult, as unorthodox Mormon practices began to hinder his political standing.

For instance, as Mormonism began to expand, many practices could hardly be considered Christian. Many of Josephs closest followers began to marry several wives, practiced baptism for the dead, preexistence of humanity, denial of creation, plurality of gods, and even human divinity through obedience. These unusual doctrines not only turned many nonbelievers away and against Mormonism but tested the faith of many believers. However, in the face of incredible internal and external odds, Joseph Smith kept this young religion alive and well. As many believed killing leaders with this church or kingdom would create a detrimental blow, inadvertently helped keep this religion expanding. History of Mormonism tells us that no matter the odds, Mormonism continued to expand. Many believes, practitioners, and church leaders describe this as Gods will for the true church of Christ to prosper. In July of 1847, Mormons began surveying a potential site in Salt Lake City, which became the capital of Mormonism. Joseph Smith Jr.’s son, Joseph Smith, also become president of the Mormons during this time. The settlement in Salt Lake City Utah quickly paved the way for modern Mormonism.

Today, there are approximately twelve million members of the Mormon faith worldwide according to the latest church census taken in 2003. Mormonism is divided into many denominations and sections, the largest being the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints headquarter in Salt Lake City Utah. Modern Mormons keep a code of behaviors much stricter than traditional protestant denominations. Some of these include sexual mortality; drinking of tea, coffee, or alcohol; and not to mention tobacco is prohibited. However, as younger generations continue to grow up in the Mormon church, they are continually adapting to society. Some older traditionalist even worries the foundational beliefs and practices of the church are being lost in the modern day. Nevertheless, Mormonism has always been attractive to those who want to express individuality, and even attracts a diversity of people and races. Mormonism still contains strong family ties and strong cultural identification. 

16 December 2021

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