Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Jessie L. Embry

In: Encyclopedia of Politics of the American West

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is a worldwide church, but historically, its greatest influence has been in Utah and the Intermountain West. Members believe that Jesus Christ revealed the church's name to its founding prophet, Joseph Smith Jr. The church is also referred to as the Mormon Church because of members’ belief in the Book of Mormon, which they accept as “another testament of Jesus Christ” and which recounts the history of a people on the American continent.

    Mormons believe that Smith, a teenager in New York State, received a visitation from God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in 1820. They told Smith that he would restore Christ's church. Smith officially organized a church on April 6, 1830. Until a ...

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