I gathered from this man’s conversion experience and from their talk about experience and the book of Mormon that the “religious” basis of their being Mormon is this inner experience. Of course, there are other sociological causes of their being Mormon – their tight family and religious and societal connections. But a large part of the draw on the “individual” as a religious agent is this inner experience. I asked whether there were any external signs. They never really came round on this question. Except for two things. First, they pointed to the very translation of the golden tablets. This translation was, they said, a miracle. Second, they pointed to the number of Temples they had built and the number of Mormons worldwide. I did acknowledge that the second item was phenomenal. The first, however, I think begs the question. And the second presupposes the very success it points out. I wanted a miracle from Joseph Smith, and they only gave me his translation.
Now, there were some other remarkable beliefs they had, on which I will spend the last few posts.