I love Paul Harvey’s the rest of the story. Here’s a tidbit along that vein. Hope you enjoy it!
Imagine you heard of a preacher in a nearby town, one that is getting really popular. So much so that people are literally flocking to him to hear his sermons. You remain skeptical and watch from afar because you know this guy not long ago was called into court for telling people he could find hidden treasure by looking into magical stones.
You are amazed though because this guy gets people, he really connects with them. He must have something going on because people listen and even do what he says. You hear about this preacher setting up a bank, one that is refused a charter, so he calls it a wildcat ‘anti-bank’ instead. They take in lots of money, you even hear of a rumor of a chest in the bank filled with sand and the top layer covered in coins that is shown to investors. A little while later you hear that the bank collapses and everyone loses their money. The preacher blames his followers for not being worthy of God’s blessings as the reason for failure.
Sometime later this preacher founds a new city, gets his followers to flock to it with him. You find out he bought all this swamp land for a song and is reselling it to the people coming to town for 10-40 times what he paid for it. You are amazed that people will buy in. But they do and this city grows fast, to nearly the size of Chicago. The preacher gets elected to be the mayor of the city. (big surprise you think to yourself). The city also forms a militia, of course the preacher is the general of them as well.
You hear rumors of something else. Word is this guy is marrying dozens of wives. Secretly, but you can’t discount the rumors. Also some of his lieutenant preachers are talking about how God is setting up the last days for Jesus to come and rule. with the preacher at the head of it all because he talks to God. They even issue threats to any that would stand in the way of their gospel. You hear that the preacher has created a group of 50 people as the ones to head up this new theo-democracy that Jesus wants in America. This group of 50 people have even ordained the preacher to be the king of this new order. The main task of these 50 people are to set up a presidential bid for the preacher to take over the white house.
There is a lot of strife in his new city though. Not everyone is ok with the polygamy the preacher has set up. Some, even those very close to him are calling foul when he marries young 14 year old girls. The preacher calls one particular opponent a liar publicly and tells everyone he has only one wife. This opponent is not pleased with this exchange so he sets up a newspaper in the middle of this city and prints a copy exposing the polygamy and naming names.
This causes the preacher much concern, as mayor, he convenes a city council and they declare the newspaper a public nuisance and issue and order to destroy it. The orders are carried out and the newspaper is destroyed. The feds hear of this happening, and they have had their eye on this preacher because he has developed quite a following, one that has created a wake of riots and problems behind it, even calls for extermination. So they issue an order for his arrest for the destruction of the press (since it is against the first amendment of the US constitution.) You also hear rumors that the next printing was going to expose conspiracies to kill people that got in the preachers way.
Interesting thing happens though, the charter of this city that the preacher founded, it was almost as legally strong as a state, so the mayor/preacher gives himself amnesty in his own city, blocking extradition proceedings from the feds. This is a bit of a problem for them to proceed with the arrest. So looking over legal options, they believe they have a case for treason and add those charges. (Remember this guy is running for president and has basically told people God wants him to take over the US. Side note, he has already crowned himself king via a council of 50 leaders. It was after all that he destroyed a printing press for exposing his secrets.)
With the charge of treason the feds are free to pursue the preacher. He starts to run for it, but his friends convince him to stay and face the charges. They believe God will deliver their beloved preacher for he always has. The preacher gives himself up and goes to jail. Along the way he issues some secret orders to the militia to come and break him out of jail and then departs for his incarceration.
Now stop and ask yourself. What do you think of this guy? What do you think of his followers? His ambitions? Think about this historical timeline and what it means. Would you trust this preacher? Does this sound like the story of Jamestown? Or maybe David Koresh and the branch Davidians? Maybe this is the story of Warren Jeffs. Who’s story do you think it is? If you know your Mormon history, you have already guessed it. This is a timeline of one Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church. 1
This is what lead to his incarceration in Carthage jail and his death at the hands of a mob not really happy with a guy declaring himself king, ignoring the second amendment and obliviously fearful he had a big enough following that he had a chance to end up as the president of the US. How would you react if this was happening in the town next to you right now?
Now that you know the rest of the story. My last question is this. What side would you be on if you saw it happen? And more importantly if that had been the story of Warren Jeffs as it very well could have been, what side would you be on? If the answer isn’t the same are you sure you are being honest with yourself? Something to ponder next time you look into the Fridge. 🙂
Oh and here is a 3 dollar bill, cause how often do you get to see one of those?