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“It's like Methodism, only more”: Mormon conversion stories then and now

A couple of weeks ago in Sunday School, a middle-aged woman shared her conversion story to Mormonism. Born and raised a Methodist, she noted that she always felt like something was lacking. When she discovered Mormonism, she explained, “it was like Methodism, only more.”

I smiled to myself as she said this, recognizing in her own conversion narrative a common refrain that dominates the autobiographical writings of her 19th century predecessors. Among the first generation of converts to Mormonism, roughly one-third of them came from Methodist backgrounds, including Emma Smith, Brigham Young, and John Taylor.

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