First things first. It all started in the 1820s, when Joseph Smith, back then, just a 14-year-old boy, wandered which sect of Christianity was the correct one. He then claimed to have seen a vision from God. In this vision, Jesus told him none of them were truly right.
Three years later, he claimed to have seen an angel named Moroni who was sent to him with a mission from God. The work was to find a book written on golden plates which contained the complete gospel of an ancient group of people who used to inhabit the area. Based on that, Smith established his teachings. He officially founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (known as the Mormons) in 1830.
Their Favorite Play
Those who have seen “The Book of Mormon” and aren't part of the faith might think that followers aren't fans. However, it turns out the Church of Latter-Day Saints is a big fan.
Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the “South Park” guys), the play is all about Smith's religion, done in the Parker/Stone signature make-fun-of-everything style.
There Is Something Out There
There are lots of people that believe there are aliens somewhere out in space, whether it's because you saw some strange lights at night or you're going off of the Fermi paradox. Mormons also believe in the extraterrestrial but in a somewhat different way.
The Church of Latter-Day Saints believes that God created several planets that are inhabited by other beings (Earth is only one such planet). It is His grand plan that all the creatures of these planets learn about his plan for salvation through their own prophets. Each planet has its own Joseph Smith, and each planet has its own version of Mormon Christianity.
Protection Against Evil
There are a number of tales of Mormons surviving car wrecks, fires, and natural disasters thanks to their faith-specific undergarment, but adherents are split about their physical properties. Some believe that the garments provide spiritual protection, as well as encouragement to keep their covenants.
Joseph Smith said that, next to their own virtue and purity of life, the garments were the most sacred of all things in this world. For this reason, many members of the church are unhappy with discussions about the garments in casual manners.
Do You Know the Handshake?
Similar to many other faiths, Mormons have a rite of passage that inducts them into a new stage of the faith. It's called a “holy endowment ceremony,” and it takes place in the Temple.
In many other faiths, there are sayings said and motions made, but for the Church of Latter-Day Saints, there's more to it. They have their own handshakes and hidden phrases, both of which allow them to get into heaven. The handshakes are done through white curtains. They are done with the belief that they must be given in order to pass through “the veil” of heaven.