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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) is one of America's fastest growing religions. The LDS Church was founded with six original members. According to LDS Newsroom, the LDS church has 14.4 million members worldwide as of December 2011.
The first seed of Mormonism was sowed in 1820 when Joseph Smith has a vision of God the Father and Jesus in response to his prayer about which church he should join. According to Smith, God’s told him to join none of them because they were all wrong. Belief in the “First Vision” remains an essential part of modern Mormonism.
Another milestone in Mormon history came in 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published. Smith claimed it was translated from gold plates given to him from God. In 1844, a judge had Smith jailed for ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor's printing press (the newspaper was severely critical of Smith and the LDS church). It was the first and only issue the newspaper printed.
Accounts of Mormons in newspapers from 1831-1835 were scarce, and are among the most desired among collectors today.
A particularly interesting period for collectors of Mormon newspapers involves the account of their westward journey from New York that ended in “Deseret”, which is present-day Utah. At the time (1847), Utah wasn’t even a territory of the United States—it was part of Mexico. Read more about Mormon history in newspapers.