Joseph Smith founded the Mormons in the early 1800s. His father was a fortune teller who moved his family from town to town. In keeping with the family business Joseph set out to do some fortune telling of his own. He would throw crystals into a hat and claim they could tell him where gold or silver deposits were. His career came to a screeching halt when he was arrested for fraud. A year and a half later he suddenly had a “vision” where the word of God appeared on two golden tablets. These words became the Book of Mormon.
Smith had a fondness for women. Another vision miraculously told him that plural wives was the word of God. Polygamy was born. Mormons believe that native Americans are actually descendants of the lost tribe of Israel. They taught that their skin was darker because they were not “pure”, African Americans were viewed the same way. Smith and his followers moved to Missouri, where they were persecuted, eventually Federal troops marched on them. Property was destroyed, several dozen Mormons killed. In response the “Mormon massacre”, 120 pioneers, men, women, and children were attacked and killed by Mormons who believed there were those among them who had taken part in attacks on their settlements.
Joseph Smith was murdered, Brigham Young took over. He struck a deal to leave the country, taking his people to Utah, at that time not part of the United States.
Mormon banks are reported to have financed the Mafia in the building of Las Vegas. Per capita Mormons are the richest religion in America.
Photo from josephsmith.net