To A. Bert Horsley: Brother Horsley was my Seminary teacher during high school. He challenged me to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and in answer to my prayer, I learned the Book of Mormon was true.
To Dr. Rymal Williams: Dr. Williams was my family doctor during high school. While he was giving me a physical examination as I prepared to attend college, he asked me if I would be taking classes from the LDS Institute that was near the college campus. I didn’t know what Institute was, but I thought about his question and decided to take classes. Those classes, taken over a five-year period, provided a foundation for my religious life that still supports me.
To an unidentified son of a Stake President. While attending high school, I worked at a hotel as a bell hop. One afternoon, a man checked into the hotel, and I carried his bag to his room. Instead of giving me money for a tip, he gave me a pamphlet that criticized the Church. I read the pamphlet and discussed it with the room clerk. Neither the clerk or I knew how to answer the criticisms given in the booklet. A man puffing on a cigar listened to us for a few minutes and then came over to the front desk and talked with us. He introduced us to the concept of context and explained the importance of reading before and after a quoted scripture to understand what the writer was really saying. He then explained how the pamphlet was taking quotations from the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon out of context. He explained how authors use “periods” to show they have omitted portions of the text they are quoting, and he explained the difference between three periods and four periods (… and ….). He helped us understand that when authors omit portions of text, they may be doing so to help them distort the meaning of the text. He said he was quite familiar with church history and that his father was a Stake President. I studied the pamphlet at home that night and was able to read it with a new understanding, an understanding of how the pamphlet distorted teachings of the LDS Church. Since that time, I have never been afraid to read anti-Mormon literature because I have been able to recognize the deceit that some of that literature uses. I hope that in the next life, I will be able to meet that man and personally thank him for his kindness to me!
To my wife and children: The Lord blessed me with a wonderful companion and with super children. They are patiently helping me emerge from my shell of isolation, in which I have lived much of my life, and begin enjoying the world of human relationships. I hope this book will (a) help them and my descendants understand that criticisms of the Church can be answered in rational and truthful ways, and (b) help my posterity become more dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ.