Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
In the early 1820’s, a young man in Palmyra, New York, had visions that led him to believe himself a prophet of the Lord. The young man was Joseph Smith and his visions were the basis upon which he built the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Church. In those days, his followers were few, being only his family and a handful of friends.
In March of 1830, the BOOK OF MORMON was published. Shortly after it appeared, Joseph Smith ordained his brothers and the men of the Whitmer family as Latter-day Saints. After Joseph was reported to have cast out the personal devil of a man called Newel Knight, word of the miracle spread about the country near Palmyra and many people were converted.
With success came trouble, however, as on one occasion a mob of men almost lynched the new prophet. On another, he was taken to court for trial. He realized that his life was no longer safe in the state of New York.
Joseph’s three hundred followers left New York State for Ohio. Meanwhile, Joseph sent two men, one of them Oliver Cowdery, his first convert, to travel beyond the Mississippi River for the purpose of converting the Indians and locating the place where the Saints were to build their Zion. In Ohio, Joseph Smith was again persecuted. One winter night, a mob abducted him from his house and tarred and feathered him. Shortly afterward, Joseph decided to take his flock to Missouri, and he went...
(The entire section is 1199 words.)
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