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 States.
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 exciteme The Chnts of 1812.
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 different religious expressions going on. Inspired by the...