Mormonism--How Did It Begin?
Mormonism stands or falls on the testimony of Joseph Smith, a New England farm boy. He claimed an angel named "Moroni" had visited him, leading him to ancient plates which said the American Indians were descended from immigrants from Jerusalem.
These immigrants were supposed to have been fair skinned. However, because of wickedness, many became darker skinned. The dark-skinned men eventually killed all the light-skinned (righteous) men, with only Moroni surviving.
Before his death, Moroni is supposed to have buried the records of his people, written by his father "Mormon," in the ground in what is now New York state.
These records were reportedly written in "Reformed Egyptian" language, buried with two transparent stones. If one looked through these stones, one could read the "Reformed Egyptian" in his own language and translate "without error."
Mormons today have little to say about the thousands of "corrections" made to their book since Smith's first edition. In addition to the "historical" matter, The Book of Mormon contains much material quoted from the King James Bible.
Smith's Book of Mormon was first printed in 1830. On April 6, 1830, the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) was formed with six members at Fayette, New York.
Leader Contradicts The Book of Mormon
Although claiming that The Book of Mormon was the inspired Word of God, more perfect and complete than any other, Joseph Smith later began teaching doctrines which were contrary to his own book.
By 1844, Smith had thousands of followers. He found himself in jail at Carthage, Illinois over the destruction of William Law's print shop after Law had printed a paper revealing Smith's polygamy.
An angry mob attacked the jail and Smith, using a pistol which had been smuggled to him, began firing into the crowd. Smith died in the blazing gunfire which ensued.
Although the Mormons broke into many factions, Brigham Young became president of the largest group. He led them to what is now Utah, arriving in the summer of 1847. Young was a brilliant colonizer who was able to organize the Mormons into a powerful group in Utah.
Married to 53 wives, Young added many new teachings to Mormonism. Among these was the concept of "blood atonement," writing that there are sins which the blood of Jesus Christ cannot atone. Young claimed that the culprit's only hope was to have his own blood shed to atone for his sins.
It is possible that this doctrine was responsible for the infamous Mountain Meadow Massacre, in which 117 men, women and children, ages 8 and up, were slaughtered without warning.
Mormon Bishop John Lee, having led the attack, died at the hands of a United States firing squad claiming that he had simply followed orders from his Mormon superiors.
Mormonism has since grown into one of America's largest religious movements, with tens of thousands of "missionaries" recruiting more members each year.
Most of their "proselytes" come from other churches. Led astray by the false Mormon "prophets," they find themselves in a cult from which few escape.
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