Mormon

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A Mormon is an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement. Most commonly, the term Mormon refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which is commonly but imprecisely referred to as the Mormon Church. In addition, the term Mormon may refer to any of the relatively small sects of Mormon fundamentalism, and any branch of the Latter Day Saint movement that recognizes Brigham Young as the successor to founder Joseph Smith, Jr. The term Mormon applies to the religion of Mormonism, as well as its culture, texts, and art.

The term derives from the Book of Mormon, a sacred text published in 1830 regarded by the faith as a supplemental Testament to the Bible. Dictated by Joseph Smith, Jr., the text claims to be an ancient chronicle of a fallen and lost indigenous American nation, compiled by the prophet–warrior Mormon and his son Moroni, the last of his Nephite people. The term Mormon was initially a derogatory term applied to Latter Day Saints in the 1830s, but soon was embraced by the faith. Because the term became identified with polygamy in the mid-to-late-19th century, some Latter Day Saint denominations who never practiced polygamy have renounced the term.

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Origin of the term

The term "Mormon" is taken from the title of the Book of Mormon, a sacred text adherents believe to have been translated from golden plates revealed by an angel to Joseph Smith, Jr. and published in 1830. According to the text of the Book of Mormon, the word Mormon stems from the Land of Mormon,[1] where the prophet Alma preached the gospel and baptized converts. Mormon—who was named after the land—was a 4th-century prophet–historian who compiled and abridged many records of his ancestors into the Book of Mormon.[2] The book is believed by Mormons to be a literal record of God's dealings with pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas from approximately 2600 BC through AD 420, written by prophets and followers of Jesus Christ. The book records the teachings of Jesus Christ to the people in the Americas as well as Christ's personal ministry among the people of Nephi after his resurrection.[3]Mormons believe the Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ, "holy scripture comparable to the Bible".[4]

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