Mormon Rationalism in the Life and Conversion of Anson Call

  • Hadyn B. Call Utah State University


In his article, “Infallible Proofs, Both Human and Divine: The Persuasiveness of Mormonism for Early Converts,” Steven C. Harper argues that Mormon conversion was a rational commitment and that Mormonism was an attractive, newly restored religion. He states that Mormon conversions did not come “from the ranks of the superstitious and gullible” but that “Those who joined Mormonism came from a band of the spectrum where contemplative belief in the Bible melded into democratized rationalism.” He explains that “converts thought about the primitive gospel, restoration of divine authority, healing, and the signs of the times,” not to mention the Book of Mormon, rationally and empirically. The purpose of this paper is to support Harper’s thesis, by illustrating, through the experience of one particular man, that early converts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became Mormons not because of irrational emotionalism or extreme spiritualism typical among the various Christian denominations of the Second Great Awakening, but because of empirical evidence (the Book of Mormon), rational thought, prayerful guidance, and a conscious decision. To elucidate how this Mormon rationalism unfolded, Harper tells the stories of sundry Mormon conversions including that of Anson Call. This short work will expound on Anson’s experience to further support the thesis of this article and that of Harper’s.

Author Biography

Hadyn B. Call, Utah State University
Hadyn B. Call is a full-time history teacher for the Davis School District. He has a BA in History from Weber State University with a minor in Art and Spanish. He has an MED in Curriculum and Instruction from Weber State University and an MA in History from Utah State University. Currently a doctoral student at Utah State University, Hadyn plans on finishing his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Social Studies in 2018 at which time he will continue to pursue educational and career goals.
How to Cite
CALL, Hadyn B.. Mormon Rationalism in the Life and Conversion of Anson Call. Utah Historical Review, [S.l.], v. 4, p. 21–30, july 2014. ISSN 2374-1570. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 oct. 2017.


Mormonism; Mormon; Rationalism; Religion; Converstion