What is the story of the Mormon faith?
The Mormonism (also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) began within the context of Christian Restorationism in the early 19th century under the leadership of Joseph Smith. The religion is based on a series of revelations Smith testifies that he received as a teenager. Those teachings were eventually written down and today are found in the Book of Mormon.
The development of the LDS church in history has experienced significant trials both from its own adherents from those outside the faith. For example, some early followers of Mormonism practiced plural marriage, or polygamy. Although LDS leadership eventually outlawed the practice, residual effects of that time period in Mormon history still carry influence today. Also, some non-Mormons have taken to persecuting church members for a variety of reasons over it's nearly 200-year existence.
Mormonism cannot properly be understood without learning about its history, including its founder and early leaders, as well as the development of Mormon beliefs, all of which together have created Mormonism today.
Mormon history in-depth
Life of Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormonism
Joseph Smith was born in 1806 in Sharon, Vermont. The family wasn't well educated and had many financial struggles. His father eventually moved the to Palmyra, New York, in attempt to find more success in farming. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. See the full article for more.
The Succession Crisis of 1844
After Smith was murdered, there was great confusion in the church as to who would be its next leader. Smith didn't appoint leaders to succeed him one day - his brothers Hyrum and Samuel - but they were killed, too. Smith's son, Joseph III, was a logical option, however, yet he was only 11. Read the full article to find out what happened next.
Further Schisms and the "Mormon War in Illinois"
Brigham Young played a big role in what happened next, but not everyone submitted to his leadership, including Smith's last living brother, William. People in other states claimed to be the rightful successor to Smith as well. As a result, other branches of Mormonism were born. Please read the full article for the rest of the story.
Mormonism today is made up of the people and beliefs that have characterized the religion for the last two centuries. The LDS church contains millions of members today. See the full article for more information.