The Mormon Church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was established by Joseph Smith in 1830. Smith claimed to have been given golden tablets that contained the Book of Mormon which recounted the early history (c 600BC – c 420AD) of American people.
He established the churchs headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio in 1831 and as his following, both in the US and abroad, grew rapidly, he prepared to make Western Missouri the permanent home of the Mormans. Gentile intolerance in the area however forced the people to move on to the Illinois town of Nauvoo where they gained autonomy, their own militia, courts and the power to pass any law which did not conflict with Federal and State laws.
The Mormon community strengthened and became wealthy but once again, violence between non-Mormons and Mormons erupted. Smith was killed and the church came under the leadership of Brigham Young.
In search of Zion, or a peaceable community, Young took his followers to the valley of the Great Salt Lake where he believed such a lifestyle could flourish. These first Mormon settlers reached what is now called Salt Lake City in July 1847 where they spent several difficult years establishing their agricultural community in what is now called Salt Lake City.
Mormon missionaries converted many people throughout the world, people who moved to Utah. Converts, primarily from European nations began arriving in massive numbers, greatly adding to the community of Mormons already residing in Utah. In fact from 1847 to 1869 some 68 000 Mormon pioneers made the journey.
Today, Salt Lake City remains the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah is the US Mormon state.