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Where Did Mormonism Originate?


Mormonism originated in upstate New York in the early 1800s. During this time, religious revivals were rampant in upstate New York and other areas of the United States.

What Significant Events Happened in Upstate New York?

Because the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, many people think the Church originated in Utah. Early Mormon pioneers also spent time in the Midwest, so some think that’s where the religion began. But actually, the Church originated in New York.

It all began with a young, 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith, who felt confused about religion and which church he should join. In the early 1800s, religion was a heated topic in New York. Numerous churches and preachers were claiming their church was preferable.

Joseph wasn’t sure which church God would approve of, so he turned to the Bible. While reading the Bible, he came across James 1:5, which reads, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

That verse inspired Joseph to pray and ask God which church was right. While praying, Joseph receive his answer directly from God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus told Joseph not to join any of the existing churches and that the fullness of His gospel would be revealed to him. Over time, the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ were restored to the earth through Joseph Smith.

Through faith and divine guidance, Joseph went on to translate the Book of Mormon and restore Jesus’s original Church. On April 6, 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized in Fayette, New York.

What about Jesus Christ’s Original Church?

So why did the Church need to be organized in the first place?

When Jesus Christ was alive, He organized His Church in Jerusalem. Jesus was the perfect teacher, and His Church was one where people could learn about and live His teachings. Jesus selected Twelve Apostles, or leaders, giving them His authority to guide His Church after He died.

During the lives of the Apostles, after their martyrdom, and throughout the following centuries, people split off and formed their own churches. For hundreds of years, these churches did not have authority given to them by Jesus Christ, although they taught portions of His gospel from the writings of the Apostles and other leaders. It wasn’t until Joseph sincerely asked God which church to join that Jesus began the process of restoring His Church to the earth again—with all of its true teachings.

Jesus’ Church existed anciently, and it exists today. It was restored as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known by many people outside the Church as the Mormon Church.