Author(s): MAFFLY-KIPP LAURIE F
"The Book of Mormon" is one of the most influential - as well as controversial - religious documents in American history, and is regarded as sacred scripture by followers around the world, including members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the fourth-largest religious body in the United States. According to Mormon belief, "The Book of Mormon" was inscribed on golden plates by ancient prophets. It contains stories of ancient peoples migrating from the Near East to the Americas, and also explains that Jesus Christ appeared to the New World after his resurrection. The golden plates were discovered in upstate New York and translated by Joseph Smith Jr, under the guidance of an angel, Moroni. Following this divine revelation, Smith founded the Mormon religion, which now comprises more than 12.5 million members worldwide.
Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805 - June 27, 1844) was the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, also known as Mormonism, and an important religious and political figure during the 1830s and 1840s.