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Although Smith and some of his closest followers practiced polygamy in Nauvoo, the church did not publicly announce the doctrine until 1852, after the Mormons moved to Utah.Some Mormons who knew of the doctrine opposed the practice and in June 1844 published a newspaper expressing their views of Smith as a fallen prophet.Members accept the Book of Mormon as a religious history of a people who saw the United States as a land of promise where Christ's church could be restored before His second coming.As historian Dean May explains, "The Mormons have been influenced subsequently by ritual tales of privation, wandering, and delivery under God's hand, precisely as the Jews have been influenced by their stories of the Exodus.
Using survey results, sociologist Armand Mauss shows that Mormons are typical Americans.Its 8,000,000-person membership in 1991 nearly covered the world and only half (4,336,000) lived in the United States.Of the one million converts in 19, 60 percent of them were from Mexico and Central and South America.The Mormons received a liberal charter from the state that allowed them to have their own militia and courts.From here Smith continued to send out missionaries. One of Smith's revelations, plural marriage, caused special problems for the Mormons.
One of the first groups went to share the Book of Mormon with the Native Americans.