The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established by Joseph Smith Jr. (1805–1844) of New York. He described an encounter with an angel who gave him the text that would become the Book of Mormon, which, together with the Bible and other texts, forms the Mormon scriptures (Mormon is an ancient American prophet noted in the book). Smith organized a church in 1830; due to persecution, church members searched for a place to practice their faith, finally settling in Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah, is home to institutions such as the Family History Library, the world's largest collection of genealogical information. Mormons believe that the Godhead consists of three separate personages (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), that souls preexist this life, and that the faithful will gain eternal life as gods. These rites can be undertaken by proxy for one's dead forebears. In the Mormon view, the second coming of Christ will lead to a chain of events culminating in a final resurrection, after which earth will become a celestial home for all people.
See also Encyclopedia: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
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