I applaud City Weekly for its attempt to present its readers with something that might be of interest to them. I cannot, however, in good conscience claim that the article is a fair representation of the real truth. It is wittingly slanted with an adroit journalistic touch in an effort to provide its readers with yet another example of what can and should be viewed as religious extremism—another man claiming to be a prophet associated with Mormonism.
To begin the article by presenting “the sealed portion of The Book of Mormon” as being “fabled” sets its intellectual tone. Why would anyone be interested in a “fable”? The interest is gained, however, from the implication that The Book of Mormon itself is a “fable,” because this book (which was the unsealed part of the “fabled” gold plates) is largely responsible for the deep-seated belief system of one of the wealthiest and most powerful churches in the world—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon). The LDS Church’s influence in business and politics is well-known and documented. Therefore, the implication that those with such power are capable of being deceived by a “fable” should definitely interest and concern City Weekly’s readers.
If Ida Smith and Julie Taggart are my followers, then so is Stephen Dark—the City Weekly reporter who wrote the story. The former followed my work and believe its claims to be true, while the latter followed my work and does not. Regardless, they all follow what I have done and am doing. I did not seek out Smith, Taggart or anyone else and convince them to follow me. They found the Marvelous Work and a Wonder (the work) on their own. What became of their lives because of their personal choices is their, not my, responsibility. There is no church, religion or group that I lead or instruct, nor any missionary effort associated with this work. The purpose of the work is to disseminate information.
I personally contacted City Weekly and asked it to investigate what occurred in Ida Smith’s life as a result of her finding and embracing this work, knowing full well that I would be presented and blamed as a con man, deceiver, liar and manipulator. I was willing to take that chance for the sake of millions of LDS people who have no clue that the sealed part of the gold plates has been translated. I know the power of this work, and especially the convincing power of The Sealed Portion in changing one’s religious beliefs, just as The Book of Mormon was/is responsible for changing millions of people’s beliefs throughout its nearly 200 year history.
Throughout the article, there are innuendos that support City Weekly’s journalistic slant. I have no interest in addressing each one. If the reader accepts as his or her truth that The Book of Mormon is a fable, then nothing about The Sealed Portion or my personal integrity is going to change one’s mind.
I can only make a plea to the intelligence of readers and impress upon their minds the importance of objective and open-minded thinking. If the story is of any interest, then honest intelligence demands one consider why he or she is reading City Weekly in the first place.
Ida Smith knew nothing about me when she read The Sealed Portion. And when her concerned family and friends confronted her with my “checkered past”—the court documents, criminal complaints and everything else this story alludes to, most of which is slanted with purposeful innuendo—she was not bothered in the least. She read the books.
Kudos to City Weekly for publishing the story and bringing to the public’s attention what many did not know existed. As for what the public thinks about me, I am what I am, and that will be determined by the intelligence, or not, of each reader.
Via the Internet