Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Smith, Joseph

  • Matthew L. MartinichEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_593

Key Information

Joseph Smith Jr. is the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church), which was officially founded by Smith as the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830, in New York, USA. The LDS Church claims to be the restored version of the original church that Jesus Christ established during his mortal ministry.

In addition to being a religious leader, Smith was also an active participant in local government and politics. For example, he was elected as the mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, in May 1842 (Reid 2016) and launched a presidential campaign during the 1844 election although this campaign was terminated following his death in June (Poll 1968). Smith is often cited as one of the most significant religious figures in American history. Under Smith’s leadership, the LDS Church grew from 6 members in April 1830 to approximately 26,000 at his death in 1844 (Deseret News 2002). Many scholars have drawn parallels to Joseph Smith and Mohammad, the founder...


Mormonism LDS Latter-day Saint Joseph Smith 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Cumorah FoundationColorado SpringsUSA