“Be Wise as Serpents” (D&C 111:11) “Don’t be a Victim”

D&C 11:11 warns: “Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents and yet without sin.” The Lord is alerting us to the dangers of being naïve, gullible, and too trusting. “There’s a sucker born every minute.” (P.R. Barnum, 19th Century American showman.) Sadly, not every enough Latter-day Saint follows this counsel. For example, Utah has the … Continue reading “Be Wise as Serpents” (D&C 111:11) “Don’t be a Victim”

“Personal Revelation” Used as Evidence to Convict and Execute a Man for Murder

Peter Mortensen, husband of my 2nd great aunt, was tried, convicted, and executed for the murder of James Hay. The personal revelation of a witness played a role in his arrest and conviction. The Crime In 1901, Peter Mortensen owed the Pacific Lumber Company $3800.  His Ogden, Utah neighbor, James Hay, was an officer in … Continue reading “Personal Revelation” Used as Evidence to Convict and Execute a Man for Murder

The Greatest Modern Missionary -Joseph “Billy” Johnson of Ghana

Divine miracles abound in missionary work. Divine intervention accompanies the great miracle of conversion. The Lord performs miracles as his servants strive to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) Joseph "Billy" Johnson -- the Great Missionary Joseph William “Billy” Johnson may be the greatest missionary of this dispensation.  He … Continue reading The Greatest Modern Missionary -Joseph “Billy” Johnson of Ghana

The LDS Juror and The Clueless Lawyer

Just about everyone who knows me well, knows that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most Orange County attorneys who regularly appear in my court know I’m LDS. I was presiding over a driving under the influence (DUI) jury trial. We were selecting the jury. The clerks, bailiff, reporter, … Continue reading The LDS Juror and The Clueless Lawyer

Jury Trial of the Nervous LDS Drunk Driver

I was in a jury trial prosecuting a drunk driver. My expert criminalist testified that the defendant would have needed to consume about seven drinks in order to get reach his blood alcohol level. After finishing with the criminalist’s testimony, I rested my case, and the judge announced a noon recess.  The judge was delayed coming … Continue reading Jury Trial of the Nervous LDS Drunk Driver

The Threat to Murder a Mormon Judge

Years ago, I received a phone call in the middle of the night from the Lieutenant of the Orange County Sheriff’s Judicial Protection Unit (JPU). A jailhouse informant told a jailer that the informant’s associate was going to murder a judge because he was Mormon. The threat was considered credible.  It is widely known among law enforcement … Continue reading The Threat to Murder a Mormon Judge