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Mormonism comprises the religious, institutional, and cultural elements of the most populous branch of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr., in the 1830s and 1840s, and Mormonism represents the branch of that movement led by Brigham Young after Smith's death. This was sometimes called the "Brighamite" branch of the faith. Mormonism is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which is by far the largest denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement. Mormonism also includes Mormon fundamentalism, a tradition that continued to practice plural marriage after the LDS Church discontinued the practice around the turn of the 20th century.[1] Mormonism further includes a few small sects that broke from the LDS Church in order to pursue a more liberal religious path. Non-"Brighamite" traditions within the Latter Day Saint movement, such as the Community of Christ, generally disavow the term Mormonism.

The term Mormonism derived from the Book of Mormon, one of the faith's religious texts along with the Bible. Based on the name of that book, early followers of founder Joseph Smith, Jr. were called Mormons, and their faith was called Mormonism. The term was initially considered pejorative,[2] but is no longer considered so by Mormons.

Mormon theology is a form of restorationism that shares a common set of beliefs with the rest of the Latter Day Saint movement, including use of, and belief in, the Bible, as well as other religious texts including the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. It differs from other Latter Day Saint movement traditions in that it also accepts the Pearl of Great Price as part of its canon, and it has a history of teaching eternal marriage, eternal progression, and plural marriage (although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had abandoned the practice by the early 20th century). Cultural Mormonism includes a lifestyle promoted by the Mormon institutions, and includes cultural Mormons who identify with the culture, but not necessarily the theology.


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