Written on December 30th, 2006 by Shawn Anthony
A 24-year-old Joseph Smith published the now famous “The Book of Mormon.” Smith’s mission was to restore original Christianity. The Christianity Smith witnessed was not the original, but a form corrupted by what was called “The Great Apostasy” (the apostasy began soon after Jesus’ ascension and remained until Smith’s First Vision in 1820). Smith says that while a teenager he was visited by an angel named Moroni. Moroni directed him toward a hill where he discovered numerous artifacts and most importantly a book of golden plates upon which strange writings were etched. He returned to the hill over a period of years because he was not permitted to take the book of golden plates. The golden plates were translated over time with the help of friends and later became known as the “Book of Mormon: An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the Plates of Nephi” (the title was translated directly from the title page, according to Smith). Smith had baptized several followers by the time The Book of Mormon was published. Kirtland, Ohio served as the location of the world’s first Mormon temple. Smith’s many, many followers consider him to be an “American Prophet” (the first latter-day prophet). Joseph Smith also thought that God approved of polygamy.