Mormon historical scholarship has not yet provided answers to some questions regarding Mormonism’s origins. Such information would give us clues regarding the real appeal of the Mormon message to prospective converts. This article reviews data from a few publications which are essential to the understanding of this topic. Further, a preview of research on the backgrounds of the early rank-and-file converts to the Church is also included.
The Mormon converts from the period under consideration seldom came from society’s highest or lowest levels, neither economically, socially, religiously nor geographically. They were, since becoming Mormons, often called extremists, but the items in their background considered here seem to suggest that Mormonism had its roots in the average and unobtrusive segments of society.