WALKING A MILE IN THEIR SHOES

A LAPSED MORMON TAKES A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY TO THE HOLY SITES

The best way to reach the garden of Eden, I found, was to fly into Kansas City, Mo., rent a car and drive north on Interstate 35 for two hours, exiting at a town named Cameron and following the signs to Adam-ondi-Ahman. The place was marked on my atlas merely as a "Mormon shrine," but having grown up as a Mormon, I knew better. According to Joseph Smith, the farm-boy prophet who at 14 felt his first heavenly inklings and by 30 had attracted thousands of followers, this was where God created humankind and where Christ would return to rule the...

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