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Early Developments

Mormonism emerged in 1830 as a result of the revelatory experiences of Joseph Smith and continued to develop theological and cultural ideas and practices that put the movement at odds with the broader American culture until 1890.

Schisms and Sects

Mormonism, which developed as a sectarian response to the turbulent religious developments of the early 19th century, has been particularly prone to schismatic fragmentation throughout its history.

Missions and Expansion

Although the LDS Church has maintained a vigorous missionary program for nearly two centuries and has spread throughout the world, it maintains a highly centralized system that discourages local adaptations.

Exploration and Conquest

Early Mormons moved about in response to religious persecution until the late 1840s when the group established a religious, social, and cultural stronghold in the American west.

Modern Age

Since 1890, Mormonism has evolved from a culturally despised sect in the 19th century, to a fast growing, institutionally sophisticated, and mainstream American group today.