Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized by Joseph Smith in
Western New York on April 6, 1830, and by 1978, spread to more than seventy nations. One
uniqueness of the Mormon religion is that it was the first church to have begun in the United
Following the revivals of the 1800's, religion entered a temporary decline in Western New York,
reawakened in 1807-1808, then declined again because of the military excitement The Chnts of
After this time, a new wave of revivalism began, in liberal churches such as the Unitarians and to
conservative churches such as the Congregationalists. Not surprisingly, as all of these churches
participated in revivals, there was plenty of squabbling to go around.
Joseph Smith Jr. was born in Sharon, Vermont, on December 23, 1805, and as a boy moved with
his family to New York. His family by no means had it easy, in their first two years in New York
they ran a small shop in town and hired themselves out as laborers to more prosperous citizens.
Joseph Smith Jr. was taught at home, and he was literate.
Joseph Smith had his first "vision" when he was between fourteen and sixteen years of age. He
reported this to his parents and of course the claim that God and Jesus Christ actually appeared to
a modern man was somewhat doubted. "Faced with Joseph Smith's account of a subjective
religious experience in a literal historical setting, writers of the past have either accepted it as fact,
or more commonly, rejected it as falsehood or delusion." (Arrington p.5) There seemed to be no
middle ground on the issue.
The account of the first "vision" describes Joseph Smith's confusion as a boy over the many ...
... middle of paper ...
...ified documents. He said the
characters were of some Egyptian, Caldiac, Assyrian and Arabic languages, all put together. He
claimed to have these characters authenticated by Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia
University. Well, the professor says (on the record) that one of Smith's men came to him and gave
him the documents. The professor told him that it was nothing but garbage characters and to
beware of "rogues" and liars. The language was supposed to be a "reformed Egyptian" but
linguists have refuted it as mythical. These tablets are supposed to be telling stories of ancient
civilizations, which never existed. I just find that such a falsehood could be found with one of
their documents, how can I believe anything else they have to say. I did learn a lot about the
Mormons, but I think for the most part it has helped to strengthen my Christian beliefs.
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