The DNA profile of Joseph Smith
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The DNA of a Religion Founder
Joseph Smith Jr, born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, was the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. In his biography, Smith offers insight into his humble beginnings, his search for spiritual truth, and the controversial events that eventually led to the birth of a new religious movement.
Smith's roots can be traced back to England. His paternal line, represented by progenitor Robert Smith, immigrated to America from England in the 17th century and eventually settled in Massachusetts. Smith's maternal line, represented by Mary Duty, has roots in Scotland and England.
Thanks to modern genetics, we know more about Smith's paternal lineage. By analyzing his Y chromosome, which is passed from father to son, it was determined that he belongs to haplogroup R1b. This haplogroup is very common in Western Europe today, especially in areas that were settled by the Celts. In his teenage years, Smith began to become deeply involved in religion. In the midst of the strong religious movement known as the Second Great Revival, Smith felt increasingly confused by the different religious views. According to his own account, this inner turmoil led to a mystical experience in the spring of 1820 that became known as the "First Vision." He may have encountered God personally and recognized a direct revelation truth.
Three years after his First Vision, Smith is said to have been visited by an angel named Moroni, who after a few years led him to golden plates on which was inscribed an ancient Christian history of America. Smith is said to have translated these plates into a new scripture, the Book of Mormon, which was published in 1830. That same year, Smith founded The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A few years before his death, Smith instituted a practice called sealing, which spiritually bonded him to women he had made his wives. Smith's polygamy sparked controversy and led to his arrest and later murder by a mob in 1844.
After Smith's death, Brigham Young led Smith's followers west and eventually founded what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. Smith is revered today as a prophet by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Despite the controversies surrounding his life and teachings, his spiritual legacy remains a driving force in a worldwide religious movement that now numbers more than 16 million members.
In addition to his obvious religious significance, Joseph Smith has also played an important role in American history. His founding of a new Christian denomination, his role as mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, and his presidential candidacy shortly before his death made him an important political figure in 19th century America.
Through the interplay of Smith's genetic and spiritual heritage, his life story also offers unique insights into the heritage, culture, and social fabric of early America, particularly the religious movements of the 19th century. The story of Joseph Smith remains an important, if controversial, component of American religious history and an enduring social and spiritual force in the world today.
Joseph Smith belonged to haplogroup R-M343 (subgroup R-M222) in the paternal line.
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