The early life of Joseph Smith, Jr. covers the period from his birth
to the end of 1827, when Smith claimed to have located a set of Golden
Plates engraved with ancient Christian scriptures, buried in a hill
near his home in Manchester, New York. Joseph Smith, Jr. was the
principal founder and leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, which
includes such denominations as The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ. This early period of
Smith's life is significant within Mormonism because it represents the
time when Smith first claimed to act as a prophet, and when he claimed
to obtain the Golden Plates, purportedly the source material for the
Book of Mormon. During this period, Smith was influenced by numerous
religious and cultural trends in early United States history. Chief
among these trends, the nation at the time was undergoing a cultural
reaction against the secularism of the Age of Enlightenment, called
the Second Great Awakening.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
A Visit From St. Nicholas, attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, was
The transistor, invented by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William
Shockley, was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.
The first successful human organ transplant: Drs. Joseph Murray and J.
Hartwell Harrison transplanted a kidney to a patient from his twin
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris made the Immaculate
Reception of the football passed "to" him by quarterback Terry
Bradshaw near the end of a playoff game.
The Republic of Slovenia voted to secede from the Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for
the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon
him, I realized there had to be another way . . . out of that a new
holiday was born . . . a Festivus for the rest of us!" -- Jerry
Stiller as "Frank Costanza" in Festivus.