By the time of his death fourteen years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religious culture that continues to the present. By 1817, he had moved with his family to what became known as the burned-over district of western New York, an area of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening.
According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization.
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In any event, Harris returned to Harmony in April 1828, and continued as Smith's scribe.
However, by June 1828, Harris began having doubts about the project, fueled in part by his wife's skepticism.
Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints", or "Mormons", and in 1838, Smith announced a revelation that renamed the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1831, Smith and his followers moved west, planning to build a communalistic American Zion.
After Smith was imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois, he was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse.
Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture.Between 18, there were several camp meetings and revivals in the Palmyra area.Smith said he told the experience to a preacher, who dismissed the story with contempt.He said the angel commanded him not to show the plates to anyone else, but to translate them and publish their translation.Smith said the translation was a religious record of indigenous Americans.When Smith proposed marriage, Emma's father, Isaac Hale objected, primarily because he believed Smith had no means to support Emma besides money-digging.