Joseph Smith eBooks
Joseph Smith was an American religious leader and the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, which gave rise to Mormonism. Smith is regarded by his followers as a prophet. Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, the fifth child of Joseph Smith, Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. Smith family members held divergent views about organized religion, but they believed in visions and prophecies and engaged in folk religious practices typical of the era.
Beginning in the early 1820s, Smith said he had visions, in some of which he said an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates, inscribed with a Christian history of ancient American civilizations. In 1830, he published what he said was an English translation of these plates as the Book of Mormon, and organized branches of the Church of Christ, saying he had been chosen by God to restore the early Christian church. Church members were later called Latter Day Saints, Saints, or Mormons.
Smith's followers regard many of his publications as scripture. His teachings include unique views about the nature of God, cosmology, family structures, political organization, and religious collectivism. He is seen as one of the most charismatic and inventive figures of American history, and his followers regard him as a prophet of at least the stature of Moses and Elijah. Smith's legacy includes a number of religious denominations, including the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Missouri-based Community of Christ, which collectively claim a growing membership of more than 14 million worldwide.