Joseph Smith: The Founder of Mormonism article summary
In 1830, Joseph Smith founded the LDS Church and published the Book of Mormon, which he claimed was ancient scripture that he translated from gold plates by the gift of God. In the 1840s, Joseph practiced polygamy and taught polytheism. He was killed in mob violence in 1844. Mormons consider Joseph to have been a prophet and the greatest man who ever lived besides Jesus Christ.