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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized by Joseph Smith in Western New York on April 6 1830 and by 1978 spread to more than seventy nations One uniqueness of the Mormon religion is that it was the first church to have begun in the United States Following the revivals of the 1800s religion entered a temporary decline in Western New York reawakened in 1807-1808 then declined again because of the military exciteme The Chnts of 1812 After this time a new wave of revivalism began in liberal churches such as the Unitarians and to conservative churches such as the Congregationalists Not surprisingly as all of these churches participated in revivals there was plenty of squabbling to go around Joseph Smith Jr was born in Sharon Vermont on December 23 1805 and as a boy moved with his family to New York His family by no means had it easy in their first two years in New York they ran a small shop in town and hired themselves out as laborers to more prosperous citizens Joseph Smith Jr was taught at home and he was literate Joseph Smith had his first vision when he was between fourteen and sixteen years of age He reported this to his parents and of course the claim that God and Jesus Christ actually appeared to a modern man was somewhat doubted Faced with Joseph Smiths account of a subjective religious experience in a literal historical setting writers of the past have either accepted it as fact or more commonly rejected it as falsehood or delusion Arrington p5 There seemed to be no middle ground on the issue The account of the first vision describes Joseph Smiths confusion as a boy over the many different religious expressions going on Inspired by the words of James he was
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