“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”, known as “Mormonism” (with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah — a state that is now 70% Mormon), was an offshoot of the original religion officially founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844). Smith claimed to have had a personal visit from God the Father at the age of 15, who introduced him to Christ. Jesus then told him not to join any church because they were all wrong and all the Christian church’s doctrines “were an abomination” (Joseph Smith — History 19, Pearl of Great Price). After Smith’s assassination in 1844, Joseph Smith, III took his place, but one of the “12 Apostles”, Brigham Young, refused to accept Joseph Smith, III as the true next Prophet and crowned himself “The Prophet” instead. A division took place, with Joseph Smith, III and his followers going one way, creating the “Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” keeping with the original teachings and traditions, and power-hungry Brigham Young taking his followers and newly formed “Mormon Church” to Utah, where there is now a major University named after him, and the number of Mormons exceed one million. The Mormon Church currently claims about 11 million baptized members worldwide (5.2 million U.S., ranking it 5th among the largest 25 U.S. denominations), up from about 2.5 million in 1970. 1970. Over the last decade, nearly 300,000 individuals over the age of eight have joined the Mormon Church every year. Membership is expected to grow to over 23 million over the next two decades. It is growing fastest in Latin America and Asia. Official publications include Church News, a weekly 16-page newspaper, and the Ensign, a monthly magazine. The original church carried on by Joseph Smith, III is still in existence as the “Reorganized Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”. It has been led by direct descendants of Joseph Smith, Jr and continues and prospers to this day. They are headquartered in Independence, Missouri, where they believe Jesus will appear upon his Second Coming. Although they are misunderstood to be Mormons, they are not. They do not believe in or practice the traditions brought in by Brigham Young, such as polygamy, sacred undergarments, temple rituals, etc. Many people are not even aware of their existence, being far outnumbered by their Mormon offspring.