Joseph Smith was a significant figure for the Mormon Church. His personal history of being a Mormon leader developed a wide range of believers and greatly influenced the next generation of Mormons to come.
Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont. Joseph Smith came from a wonderful family from New England. Joseph Smith’s grandfather lost his property in Massachusetts during an economic downturn in the 1780s, causing them to move to Vermont. Joseph Smith Sr. became a farmer and after the birth of Joseph Smith Jr., Smith Sr. produced a series of harvest failures, causing the family to move back to Palmyra, New York. Joseph Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack, came from a family that had released themselves from a local church that was self-governing, known as Congregationalism. The Smith family was religious, but the only family member that attended church was Lucy. Joseph Smith prayed at the age of 14, wanting to know what church to go to. Smith declared God and Jesus appeared in front of him and told him none of the churches were right.
A local minister did not believe Smith, but he kept on believing what he had seen. in 1823, Joseph Smith had another encounter while praying. An angel by the name of Moroni told Smith about the golden plates of Nephi telling about the American settlers. Smith found the plates of Nephi on mount Cumorah, close to his father’s farm. Joseph Smith was not given permission to translate the plates, so he went on to provide family needs. In 1825, Smith traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania to work on a farm for Josiah Stowell. While working at the farm, he stayed with the family of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale.
Smith became great friends with them, and he met their daughter, Emma, a tall dark-haired schoolteacher who would soon be his wife. On January 18, 1827, Joseph and Emma were married in Southbridge, New York. Four years later, Joseph Smith was permitted access to the plates of Nephi according to what the angel Moroni told him to do. Joseph Smith had trouble with the plates because a local mob made vigorous efforts to get the plates in their possession. To avoid this problem, Smith and his wife moved back to Harmony, Pennsylvania, where Emma’s parents live. Smith soon began to translate the plates. Another farmer named Martin Harris helped him along the way. When they finished, there were 116 pages translated. The plates told the story of the Nephites and the promised land of America from 600 BC until 300 AD.
The Nephites were the history keepers and were overthrown by the Lamanites, ancestors of the American Indians. In 1828, Martin Harris asked the Lord if he could carry the translation home to show his family members in Palmyra, but He did not give consent. Martin asked the Lord two more times, and the Lord finally let him take the manuscript to his family. Martin then lost the manuscript, never to be found again. On April 5, 1829, a schoolteacher named Oliver Cowdery came to Smith’s home. Two days after he arrived, they began translating the plates for the second time. In 1830, Joseph Smith (and Oliver Cowdery) published the plates to be what is known today as the Book of Mormon.
The Mormon religion, or what is known today as the Latter-Day Saints, is established in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Latter-Day Saints are composed of over 15 million believers, and it is the most prevalent in the United States, Latin America, Canada, Europe, the Philippines, Africa and parts of Oceania. (History) Some Mormon beliefs are the same as Christian beliefs, but Mormon practices and values are different. Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, but Christians do not because Mormons do not believe in the Trinity. The Trinity consists of three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.