Mormonism began in 1830 in a sleepy township in upstate New York. After Mormon missionaries realized great success gaining converts in Ohio, the religion’s founder, Joseph Smith, moved his fledgling church 250 miles west to the little town of Kirtland. Within months, Joseph sent a number of Church members farther west to Missouri to begin to establish the Church there as well. Though this division of resources resulted in two centers of Mormon activity, the LDS Church headquarters remained in Ohio. With few laborers and little money in Kirtland, the Mormons completed their first temple in 1836. Just two years later the Mormons abandoned their homes and their temple and moved west to Missouri.