by Matt Slick
Joseph Smith (12/23/1805-6/27/1844) is the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. Joseph was born in Sharon, Vermont, in 1805. His family moved to Palmyra, New York, in 1816. In 1820, he claimed to have received a visit from God the Father and Jesus who told him that all churches were wrong. Then in 1823, he received a visit from the angel Moroni and was told about golden plates. He received them in 1827. Smith was given the supernatural ability to translate the plates (which were supposedly written in Reformed Egyptian) into what is now known as the Book of Mormon--which is supposed to be a history of the Nephites and Laminites who inhabited the Americas about 2,000 years ago. Smith formed the Church of Christ in 1830, the same year the Book of Mormon was printed. In 1834 the name was changed to "The Church of Latter-day Saints." It was changed again in 1838 to "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
He and his followers were persecuted and moved from Kirtland, Ohio, to Zion, Missouri, and Navoo, Illinois. When bad publicity about him was printed, he destroyed the printing press, was arrested, and later was murdered in his jail by an angry mob in 1844.
The Book of Mormon was first published in 1830 and considered to be "Another Testament of Jesus Christ."