… At the age of 18, Electa followed her father to western New York, where he had remarried. Within a year, she married an older man who died before her their first child was born.
Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was one of several religious leaders competing for converts in New York at this time, and Electa heard of him, but did not become involved with the Mormons until later.
That would come at her next stop, in Michigan, where her half-sister introduced her to the religion.
“She’s going to meetings, but she’s not necessarily sold on it yet,” Doran said.
Joseph Smith was nearby visiting his cousin when Electa’s daughter took ill. Electa asked him to lay hands on the girl.
“He shows up and prays and does whatever prophets do,” Doran said. “The little girl becomes better the next day.”
When a “Mr. Williams” proposed marriage to her, Electa wrote she accepted on the condition he bring her to the Mormons.