FOUNDED: 1830 C.E.
RELIGION AS A PERCENTAGE OF WORLD POPULATION: 0.19 percent
The Latter-day Saint movement began in the late 1820s during a time of religious ferment in the United States. It shared with other "restorationist" movements the conviction that existing churches had strayed so completely from early Christianity that they were incapable of reform from within. But unlike other groups at the time who organized new churches based on close readings of the Bible, the Latter-day Saints believed in the immediate revelation of God and in the prophetic authority of its founder, Joseph Smith. Though a variety of faith communities trace their origins to Smith, by far the largest and best known is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), founded in 1830 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to Joseph Smith (1805–44), in 1820, at the age...