FINAL Research Paper

FINAL Research Paper - Introduction The United States of...

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Introduction The United States of America is perhaps best known for its gripping tales of endearing survival and exploration. Since its discovery by the Western world, the U.S has become home to countless outcasts, adventure-seekers, and entrepreneurs seeking a new life. The treacherous journeys of the first European settlers, the Ellis Island immigrants, and the bold pioneers of the Great Frontier tell stories of hope and determination to find home in this land of opportunity. There were those who survived their great ordeals and lived their “American Dream”—many others, however, were doomed to the relentless hardships of primitive travel and the precarious nature of an unknown wilderness. One of the greatest and most unlikely success stories of American history is that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the story of a troubled young boy whose holy revelation would trigger a revolution; it is the story of a persecuted people bound together by a radical new faith that would lead them to their New Zion; it is the story of a small group of pioneers who would rise to transform the face of religion forever.
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When the Mormon Church was established in 1830, it consisted of only six members. 1 Since then, the Church has expanded to over 12.5 million members worldwide, 2 over half of whom are non-U.S. citizens, and it is now the fastest growing religion in the Western Hemisphere. 3 There are 27 thousand LDS congregations worldwide, with basic Church curriculum texts written in 157 different languages. Nearly 129 million Books of Mormon have been published since 1830, and over 4.5 million copies were distributed in 2005. 4 Within the United States, there are now more Mormons than Presbyterians or Episcopalians; worldwide, there are more Mormons than Jews. Many respected scholars predict that Mormonism is destined to be the next major world religion. 5 Mormonism is a religion of divine revelation. Characteristic of the Mormons is their incredibly intimate relationship with the Lord—they hold true that their leaders, or Prophets, regularly receive direct messages from God. 6 They believe that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God with a mission to reestablish the Lord’s One True Church to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. 7 In addition to the Bible, the Saints hold The Book of Mormon , The Doctrine and Covenants , and The Pearl of Great Price as the most sacred of texts. 8 With Jesus as their Savior, Mormons consider themselves Christians and followers of the one true religion. 9 History and Origins 1 Sackett, “Beginnings” 2 “Key Facts and Figures” 3 Krakauer, 4 4 “Key Facts and Figures” 5 Krakauer, 4 6 Krakauer, 72 7 Ibid. 8
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course REL 101 taught by Professor Guffin during the Spring '07 term at Denison.

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FINAL Research Paper - Introduction The United States of...

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