Joseph Smith, one of few well known American religious leaders. He is known for starting the movement of the Mormon church. Actually, he was a leader of many created churches, but they are all labeled under Mormon. Many may call him a genius and prophet, but in reality he started a movement of a dark cult. He was born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. I am skipping to one of the highlights, which is when he claimed to have seen God and Jesus. During the time in 1820, he was 14 years of age. This is when Jesus came to him as so he says in the woods with a message. The voice said to him, "This is my beloved son. Hear him." This happened during his stay in New York. It says Joseph Smith couldn't comprehend his religious beliefs entirely, as he was reading the new testament. I guess that is why he formed his own doctrines? Also picked from the old testament.
In the 1830's, he and those who was assisting with the movement faced ridicule and attacks from mobs. This had been throughout Joseph's mission when I read about it. Worth it? Well, at the time they would believe so, but at the end, no. Many do not mention this name, but Brigham Young was the second president for the Mormon church movement. Born June 1, 1801, Whiting-ham, Vermont, I believe he was the man to take it over after Joseph's death from 1847.
Joseph along with his assistants spread an unusual and dark practice in the US, which eventually spread to different countries. Joseph was also the earliest to have cult leader type traits. I do not know, but he seems to be an inspiration for many cults. They take after the Mormon church. First, he introduced the practice of polygamy, the marrying of many women, however also marrying many young girls, as young as 14. There has been times where they were the age of 12. It was said that the founder himself had 40 wives, some young girls. Joseph picked and chose which elements of the bible to follow. I have heard that he says yes thou shall not kill, but then God says destroy.
1844, his brother was killed along with the prophet Joseph by a mob, shot to death. It was actually a mob of 155.
Today there is a Joseph Smith historic site located in Nauvoo, Illinois, among other historic locations. http://www.cofchrist.org/visit-nauvoo