A Mormon is a member of a religious organisation, formed in 1830 in the US by Joseph Smith. The group is officially called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The largest groups of Mormons in the W and NW states of the US, and esp. in Utah, where most of the people are Mormon. They have strict moral rules and do not drink alcohol or coffee. many people associate polygamy with Mormons, although most of them no longer practise this. Young Mormons often are sent abroad and go from house to house to persuade people to join their church.

A short history of the Mormons:

1830:Joseph Smith (born 1805 in Vermont) publishes the Book of Mormon in Palmyra, New York, claining the manuscript is based on ancient golden plates revealed to him by the angel Moroni.

1839:Smith escapes from a Missouri prison, the Mormons leave Far West, and start buying land for new settlement in Nauvoo, Ill.

1850:Brigham Young appointed governor of the Utah territory.

1831:Early followers of Smith merge with a communal Christian sect and relocate to Kirkland, Ohio.

1844:Smith and his brother, Hyrum, imprisoned again, are killed by a mob that storms the Carthage, Ill., prison.

1851:Mormon pioneers found San Bernadino.

1832:Mormons preach in Canada, first missionary effort outside the USA.

1846:Brigham Young, Smith's successor, leads legendary overland trek to the Great Salt Lake Valley, while Mormon pioneer Sam Brannan gathers some 250 Mormons aboard the ship, the Brooklyn, and sails from New York to San Francisco.

1852:For the first time, Mormons publicly concede that many of them practise polygamy, or 'plural marriage'.

1837:First overseas converts baptized in England, where church grows rapidly.

1947:San Francisco, then known as Yerba Buena, has only 459 residents, and is known as 'largely a Mormon town'.

1885:To escape a federal crackdown on polygamy, hundreds of Mormon families flee to Mexico, establishing the first five Mormon colonies in the state of Chihuahua.

1838:Amid rising debts and first runours of polygamy, the increasingly controversial and persecuted Mormons move from Ohio to Far West, Mo., where they clash violently with other settlers

1848:Sam Brannan, soon to become California's first millionaire, and other Mormons, including from the Mormon Battalion, are the first to profit from the Gold Rush, which puts SF on the map.

1890:Ending a decade's-long battle with the US government, the Mormon church renounces the practice of polygamy, paving the way for Utah to become a state.

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