Patheos Watermark

You are running a very outdated version of Internet Explorer. Patheos and most other websites will not display properly on this version. To better enjoy Patheos and your overall web experience, consider upgrading to the current version of Internet Explorer. Find more information HERE.



Mormonism developed in early 19th-century America as a response to revelations to its founder, Joseph Smith.


Mormonism developed within the context of American Christian revivals and the prevalent desire to recover earlier forms of Christianity. Its development included the moral renewal more widely experienced in the newly formed United States.


Joseph Smith, Jr., founded the Mormon Church in response to a vision from God the Father and Jesus Christ and under the direction of other visions and revelations.

Sacred Texts

Mormonism acknowledges a fourfold corpus of authoritative writings—including the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—yet teaches that no written scripture is ever final or complete. Ongoing revelation to Church leaders is equally authoritative.

Historical Perspectives

Mormon studies have largely been divided between scholarship that embraces Mormon history, including Smith's accounts of revelation, and those who reject it.