A Brief History of the Mormon Church
The founder of the Mormon Church (know today as 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints'), Joseph Smith, Jr., was born on December 23rd in Sharon, Vermont.
(Spring). Joseph Smith, Jr. pointed to this time when he claimed to have been visited from God the Father and Jesus Christ, who tell him that all churches are wrong, that all their creeds are an obomination, and that the professors of those creeds are corrupt.
Joseph was allegedly visited by an angel named Moroni three times. From these visits a series of lessons occured resulting in the alleged discovery of gold plates, which Joseph claimed to have found buried in the Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra, Manchester, New York.
Joseph allegedly received the gold plates from Moroni, which were supposedly written in 'Reformed Egyptian.' Joseph claimed that it was the historic records of a New World people. Joseph claimed to have translated the writings into what is now called the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Smith and his scribe Oliver Cowdery, were allegedly visited by John the Baptist. They claimed to have receive the 'Aaronic Priesthood' from him on May 15 that year as part of the restoration of God's Church on earth. Later (probably Summer of 1829), they had claimed to have been visited by Peter, James, and John, who allegedly gave Joseph and Oliver the 'Melchizedek Priesthood.'
The Book of Mormon was printed in Palmyra, New York. On April 6th, the Mormon Church (then called the Church of Christ) was organized with six members.
The Mormon Church's membership had grown to around 3,200 and moved to Kirtland, Ohio.
Mormons started settlements in Missouri.
Joseph Smith published the Book of Commandments - a collection of sixty-five alleged revelations he claimed to have received from God. (Up to that time seventy-one revelations had allegedly been given, but only sixty-five were included due to the destruction of the printing press facility in Zion - Independence, Missouri.)
The name of the Mormon Church was changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
The Book of Commandments was updated with 'new revelations' and changes were made without any indications. The title was changed from the Book of Commandments to Doctrine and Covenants.
The name of the Mormon Church was changed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Due to conflicts, Mormons were driven out of Missouri. Settlements started in what was to become Nauvoo, Illinois.
The Mormon Church grew to about 17,000 members.
God allegedly gave a revelation that polygamy is allowed to be practiced. However, this 'revelation' was not formally announced until 1852, was not included in Mormon 'scriptures' until 1876, and was not voted on until 1880. (This 'revelation' can be found in today's Doctrine and Covenants, section 132, which reveals that Joseph had known these 'doctrines and principles' since 1831).
On June 7th, Mayor Smith and the Nauvoo City Council authorized The Nauvoo Expositor to be destroyed. (The Nauvoo Expositor press had exposed the Church's practice of polygamy). On June 25th, Joseph and his brother Hyrum Smith were arrested for the destruction of The Nauvoo Expositor. On June 27th, they were attacked and killed in jail by a mob. Joseph had tried to defend himself with a six-shooter. Two men from the mob were reported to have been killed.
The Mormon Church was led by it's second President, Brigham Young, into what is now called Salt Lake City, Utah.
On September 11th, Mormon Bishop John D. Lee led a massacre known as the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre, where 120 non-Mormon men, women, and children were attacked and killed.
The Mormon Church grew to about 61,000 members.
The Edmund Act was passed by Congress which provided heavy penalties for the practice of polygamy.
On October 6th, a Manifesto issued by Wilfred Woodruff which asked Mormons to stop practicing polygamy, called Official Declaration - 1, was accepted by a Mormon Church General Conference, and is accepted today as 'authoritative and binding.'
The Mormon Church grew to about 188,000 members.
The Mormon Church grew to about 1,111,000 members.
An Egyptian Funeral text called "Book of Breathings" (written about 1500 years after Abraham's day) was discovered. This papyri was allegedly used by Joseph Smith to translate the Mormon 'scripture' Book of Abraham.
The Mormon Church grew to about 2,931,000 members.
Official Declaration - 2 was accepted which allows all worthy males to receive the 'priesthood.' Prior to this declaration, any man who had African blood were not allowed to hold any 'priesthood authority.'
The Mormon Church grew to about 4,640,000 members.
The Mormon Church grew to about 8,100,000 members.
The Mormon Church grew to about 13,500,000 members.
A number of changes made to Mormon 'scripture'
including Introduction to the Book Of Mormon, where it says the Lamanites were 'among' the ancestors of the American Indians. Prior editions said the Lamanites were the 'principle' ancestors of the American Indians. Source: https://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/scriptures/approved-adjustments_eng.pdf