Mormons are an American religious group founded by Joseph Smith in the 1820's. Mormons, like other Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world as well as the son of God, but they also believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, just like a Moses or an Elijah. Joseph Smith founded the church after having a revelation in which God told him to re-establish the church of Jesus Christ. Inspired by this revelation, he wrote The Book of Mormon when he was 24, in which he explained the origins of this new Christian faith. By the time of his death in 1844, he had amassed tens of thousands of followers. His unofficial successor as leader of the Mormon faith, Brigham Young, decided to relocate a large group of his followers due to tensions between other Christians. He led them west, all the way to Utah, where they found their "promise land" in what is present day Salt Lake City. Today there are an estimated 14.8 million Mormons worldwide, with about half of those living outside of the United States. Mormons today live conservative and traditional lifestyles, with strong family values. The consumption of alcohol, caffeine, tea, and coffee, as well as the use of illegal drugs is prohibited. Mormons also follow a strict law of chastity, are opposed to abortion, generally don't have tattoos or body piercings, and don't gamble. Overall, the Mormon movement has been heavily influential in modern day society. Their culture and religion are very prevalent in many parts of the United States, especially in Utah, Idaho, and parts of Nevada, where it has shaped the culture and values of those areas. Mormonism has also spread to other parts of the world, with large populations in countries such as the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Even though they are a religious minority in the broader scheme of religion, and have somewhat strict views and a restricted lifestyle, their relatively large population which has spread throughout the world is a testament to the religion's importance and popularity.
“The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on this Earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book.” ― Joseph Smith Jr., The Book of Mormon
This primary source comes from the founder of the Mormon faith, Joseph Smith, and is a direct quote from The Book of Mormon. In this quote he professes his belief that his book is the most correct book on earth in both its religious teachings and its historical relevance. He states that the book is "the keystone of our religion", meaning everything the Mormons believe is written in that book, just as everything the rest of Christianity believes is written in the Bible. He also says that one, by abiding by the books precepts, would get nearer to god than abiding by the precepts of any other book. This is a rather extreme statement for its time, and this perceived extremism is probably why many of them were persecuted and forced to move to Utah.
Who is the founder of Mormonism, and what his he considered by Mormons?
Who led the Mormons on a pilgrimage to Utah?
Where are Mormons primarily concentrated in the United States?
What are some examples of the things Mormons prohibit themselves from doing?
How many Mormons are there today? How many are in the US vs the rest of the world?