What was the atmosphere before the Internet?

how was it?

Magical! My parents were converts. They possessed only a high school education. We lived in a part of the country where education isn't valued. The highest and most noble thoughts and education came from our religious experiences.

My parents converted to Mormonism and dedicated all of their hopes and dreams to its ideology. Those outside our faith were suspicious of us (for good reason) but they didn't know much more than we did about our faith. The only book on Mormonism at our local library was the Book of Mormon that our family donated to it.

Without important critical thinking skills, our little family was very spiritual. Our decisions were based on what felt right according to the Spirit. Everything we knew about the big questions in life came from the publications from LDS Headquarters.

We accepted LDS claims at face value; every single one. We were insulated and protected by the LDS system. Everyone that mattered to us we knew from church. Sadly, we discounted close relatives and friends for not believing like we did. We made every effort to have the missionaries teach them, but in the end their hearts were too hard to accept the obvious truth.

Because we were so far away from Utah, studying the inaccuracies of the claims was nearly impossible. Much of the best scholarship was yet to be performed. Much of the source material hadn't become available yet.

So many of the so-called inaccuracies were presented to us from outside of the faith; from fanatics of other faiths. What little we were exposed to felt like learning a family secret from someone outside of our family. Those moments felt distasteful and the claim was so outlandish that we couldn't imagine that it was real.

Did people feel like the church was bringing more people in before the Internet age?

We did, and mainly because we were! In the decades leading up to the internet, our church was growing quickly relative to our small beginnings. There simply wasn't a great way for people to do their homework. People weren't jumping into the baptismal fonts, mind you, but conversion was much higher in those days.

In the last two decades, real scholarship coupled with the internet has made life a lot easier to navigate.

/r/exmormon Thread