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Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Official Answer

In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, New York, and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him, just as heavenly beings had appeared to prophets like Moses and Paul in biblical times. Joseph learned that the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth.

Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. During the next 10 years, Joseph was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God, and received divine authority to organize the Church. The Church was organized in Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. It has grown to an organization with members and congregations throughout the world.

  • In times of old, God would call prophets to restore or reorganize his Church on earth. Adam was the first to receive Priesthood Authority (the authority to act in God's name on earth) and to found God's church on earth. Soon, people became wicked and lost tyhe priveledge of the Priesthood. The Lord would then call prophets to restore this Priesthood, such as Noah. After Noah, the people once again became wicked and fell into apostasy, which means the earth no longer contained the truth of the full gospel. The Lord would then call other prophets like Abraham, and the cycle would continue. After the death of Christ and his apostles, the earth had once again fallen into apostasy, where no one had the Priesthood Authority of God. Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. During the next 10 years, Joseph was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God, and received divine authority to organize the Church. The Church was organized in Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. It has grown to an organization with members and congregations throughout the world. Just as in times of old, the Lord called upon one humble man to restore his truth. Show more

  • To quote our textbook, Church History in the Fulness of Times, "At the appointed hour on April 6, 1830, close to sixty people assembled to witness the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ...The meeting was simple. Joseph Smith...called the group to order and designated five associates-Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith, and David Whitmer-to join him to meet New york's legal requirements for incorporating a religious society." Show more

  • Jesus Christ organized His church in New Testament times, on a "foundation of Apostles and Prophets, [he] being the chief cornerstone." In 1820, Joseph Smith sought for that church - the one organized by Jesus Christ with the fulness of His gospel. The First Vision occurred, Angels came and ministered, and that church - created and lead by Jesus Christ himself - is now again restored to the Earth. Show more

  • Joseph Smith, Jr. As a 14 year old boy living on a farm with his family in Palmyra, New York, he was confused as to why there were so many churches proclaiming to have God's word. Joseph wanted to join the right church, so he decided to ask God through prayer which church was the right one. In a miraculous vision, Joseph was visited by Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father -- and was told by Christ to not join any of the churches because none of them had the full truth of His Gospel. A few years later, the Lord showed Joseph Smith where the record of the Book of Mormon was kept, and he translated it into English. Joseph was given the true authority of the priesthood by Peter, James and John in another heavenly visitation. With that power restored to the earth, Joseph could baptize people with the true authority of God. Joseph passed the priesthood on to other worthy men as well. In the year 1830 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was formally organized by Joseph Smith, and it has grown from a membership of 6 to nearly 14 million worldwide! Show more

  • In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, New York, and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him, just as heavenly beings had appeared to prophets like Moses and Paul in biblical times. Joseph learned that the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth. Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. During the next 10 years, Joseph was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God, and received divine authority to organize the Church. The Church was organized in Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. It has grown to an organization with members and congregations throughout the world. Show more

  • Jesus Christ. The name of our curch is the Curch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Christ was on the earth He started a church and it was organized by apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers. Of course the organization that he set up later fell because people didn't want to hear from them. So later on, in the 1800s, Christ and Heavenly Father found it to be the right time to bring that same organization back to the earth. And they then called another prophet, the same way Christ did when he was on the earth. And that Prophet's name was Joseph Smith. Show more

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a restoration of the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ. In 1820, a young man named Joseph Smith prayed for help and revelation to know what church he should join. When he prayed, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to teach and instruct him, just as they appeared to prophets in biblical times. Joseph was told that the Church, as Christ had organized it, had disappeared from the earth and needed to be restored. As the prophet chosen by God to help fulfill this task, Joseph Smith spent the next ten years engaged in the work of restoration. During this time, he was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon, and was given authority by God to organize the Church. Officially, the Church was organized in Fayette, New York on April 6, 1830 under the leadership of Joseph Smith. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, and through prophets like Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded and continues to function throughout the world today. Show more

  • Jesus Christ. He founded this church the same way he founded it through Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses: by calling a prophet and giving them authority to carry out ordinances in His name. Each time He founded it through one of them (His prophets) the church thrived for a while and then fell into apostasy, or in other words, the people lost the true teachings and authority that He had granted them. And so, years after the apostasy, when the world was ready, Jesus Christ would once again organize His church on the earth. This pattern continued for ages. After the apostasy that followed Moses' dispensation, Christ Himself came to Earth to reorganize His church. And after the apostasy that followed His dispensation, He restored that very same church through Joseph Smith, just like He did with past prophets. After all, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We are now in the dispensation of the fulness of times and the truth will not be lost from the face of the earth again. Show more

  • The most direct answer to the question is a group of six men who signed their names to a founding document on April 6, 1830. The room was filled with believers, but six signed to fulfill New York state law. Preeminent among them was Joseph Smith, Jr. who was designated the first elder and apostle by revelation. It is Joseph Smith, Jr. who is most often referred to as the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph, as a young man of eighteen years of age, was visited by an angel, the one mentioned in Revelation 14:6, who told him where an ancient record was buried which contained a history of a group of ancient, American Christians, and which also contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This record was translated by the gift and power of God by the young man with the aid of others as scribes and witnesses of the translation. During translation they learned of the need of further organization, and this tiny group sought out God who sent additional angelic messengers which conferred authority from God to organize His Church again upon the earth, as it was in Biblical times. This group and those who believed their stories of miraculous events met in a farmhouse on April 6, 1830 in upstate New York to create an officially recognized organization that could hold the copyrights to the record that was translated as the Book of Mormon as well as other rights granted to religious societies. It is called the Mormon church because of the book revealed from heaven, which is unique from all other Christian churches. Show more

  • I went on a bicycle ride one day with a friend of another faith. He was a believing Christian but told me as we rode that he believed churches and organized religion are unnecessary and that the best way to find truth is to look everywhere. He bought into the notion that there are "many ways to the top of a mountain." I think there's truth in that view, too. I believe that God wants us to find truth everywhere we can get it. And yet something nagged at me about his view. As we hit the steeper part of our ride, I said, "I think that's a cop out." (We have a pretty comfortable relationship - we talk pretty bluntly with each other). "If there is a God, don't you think He'd have an opinion about what's right and what's wrong? And don't you think He would have a plan for His children? And finally, don't you think He'd want us to know the truth about that plan? If so, how can you believe He would not create some credible and organized way to help us figure out what is true?" Throughout history that way has been to reveal the truth through prophets. As my friend and I spoke he saw more clearly that there was no reasonable argument for why God would say, "2000 years ago prophets were a really good idea. But today I changed my mind." Joseph Smith did what prophets always do. He revealed new scripture that confirms all that we had before. He restored God's full Gospel. And he pointed us to Christ. I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. And now my friend does, too. Show more

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