Mormonism began when Joseph Smith Jr. received a vision from God. Mormonism is was founded on the idea that in order to have a restoration from the church, a divine intervention must occur. Guided by an angel (Moroni), Joseph Smith Jr. found the Book of Mormon in the forest. Smith purportedly had a vision of God and Jesus, establishing Mormonism as a nontrinitarian religion. Although Mormons believe in the Old and New Testament, they also believe in expanded scripture that was discovered by the Joseph Smith. Mormonism began as a response to the Great Awakening, which was based on the new thinking of humans, rather than the divine word of God (according to the Mormons). Mormons established the Nauvoo temple in Illinois and created other reform organizations such as the Relief Society. The largest sect of Mormonism, the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints, was led west to Utah by Brigham Young. Mormons have established themselves as a legitimate religion despite some outside criticism of its origins.
This is a political cartoon created by Thomas Nast in the 1870's. It depicts the Mormons as a turtle and the Irish catholics as a crocodile climbing on top of a government building. He posed the question about the foreigners rights to "crawl all over the US." It shows the controversy regarding the introduction of the Mormons as a group into the US.
This is a picture of Brigham Young, who was very instrumental in the Mormon community as well as an American settler. Not only was "Modern Moses" the president of the LDS Church, but he was also the founder and governor of Salt Lake City. He helped to create BYU University in Salt Lake and convert many people.
"The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching."
- Joseph Smith Jr.
This quote shows the ideals behind the second great awakening and mormonism - a steadfast devotion to the faith and education through study of the bible, contrary to the knowledge gathering techniques of the Enlightenment. Mormons believed that the word of God was the only thing necessary, and that outside knowledge paled in comparison to the holy revelations in the Book of Mormon.
By 1848, the Mormons had overcome pioneer hardships and made the desert bloom by means of innovative and cooperative methods of irrigation. The crops, threatened by hordes of crickets, were saved when flocks of gulls appeared, as if by a miracle, to eat the crickets. A monument to the sea gulls stands in Salt Lake City today.
Mormons are supposed to tithe 10% of their income to the church.
The Word of Wisdom states that Mormons not drink alcohol, coffee, or tea.
The president of the LDS church is considered to be the prophet.