This extensive use of emphasis in the closely spaced text of 587-page Shadow-Reality actually discourages reading each word or even every sentence and paragraph, but instead encourages the reader’s eye to skip from emphasized words to emphasized words that are in close proximity, and to pay little attention to the tightly spaced words in between. This editorial practice enables the Tanners to quote lengthy documents ‘in context’ with the assurance that the reader will assimilate only the sensationalistic headlines and emphasis.(11)
People sometimes wonder that the Mormon can revere Joseph Smith. That they can by any means make a Saint of him. But they must remember, that the Joseph Smith preached in England, and the one shot at Carthage, Ill., are not the same person. To one, ignorant of his character, he may be idealized and be made the impersonation of every virtue. He may be associated in the mind with all that is pure, true, lovely and divine. Art may make him, indeed, an object of religious veneration. But remember, the Joseph Smith thus venerated, is not the real, actual Joseph Smith…but one that art has created.(18)
The conclusion to which we have arrived are [sic.], that the Book of Mormon is to a very great extent, a spiritual romance, originating in the spirit world. That Joseph Smith, junr., was the medium, or the principal one, through whom it was given. That there was a mixture of sincerity and fraud, both with the spirits and their agents here, in bringing it forth. That morally and religiously it had a very low origin, and that its influence can only tend to evil.(19)
Mr. Wilson is as one who walks through some splendid orchard and gathers here and there the worm-eaten, frost-bitten, wind-blasted, growth-stunted and rotten fruit, which in spite of the best of care is to be found in every orchard; bringing this to us he says: “This is the fruit of yonder orchard; you see how worthless it is; an orchard growing such fruit is ready for the burning.” Whereas, the fact may be that there are tons and tons of beautiful, luscious fruit, as pleasing to the eye as it would be agreeable to the palate, remaining in the orchard to which he does not call our attention at all. Would not such a representation of the orchard be an untruth, notwithstanding his blighted specimens were gathered from its trees? If he presents to us the blighted specimens of fruit from the orchard, is he not in truth and in honor bound also to call our attention to the rich harvest of splendid fruit that still remains ungathered before he asks us to pass judgment on the orchard? I am not so blind in my admiration of the Mormon people, or so bigoted in my devotion to the Mormon faith as to think that there are no individuals in that Church chargeable with fanaticism, folly, intemperate speech and wickedness; nor am I blind to the fact that some in their over-zeal have lacked judgment; and that in times of excitement, under stress of special provocation, even Mormon leaders have given utterance to ideas that are indefensible. But I have yet to learn that it is just in a writer of history or of ‘purpose fiction,’ that ‘must speak truly,’ to make a collection of these things and represent them as of the essence of that faith against which said writer draws an indictment.(20)
He was a man of God and had the revelations of Jesus Christ, and the words of Jesus Christ to the people. He did build and establish the kingdom of God on earth, and through him the Lord Almighty again restored the Priesthood to the children of men
Brethren, I am a witness of that; not by my laying hands on the sick and they being healed, nor by the revelations which are given of him in the Bible, but by receiving the same Spirit and witness which the ancients received; by the visions of the heavens being opened to my mind; by my understanding that which is revealed in the Book of Mormon, and that which Joseph revealed as comprised in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
I am a witness that those are the revelations of the Lord through Joseph Smith, in this the last dispensation for the gathering of the people…(23)
I did not like the looks of the man; but thought I, he is a stranger. I then reflected upon the situation that I had been frequently placed in, and that I had often been a stranger in a strange land, and whenever I had asked for assistance I had obtained it; and it may be that he is an honest man; and if I turn him away, I shall be guilty of the sin of ingratitude. I therefore concluded to loan him $200 in good faith sooner than be guilty of ingratitude. He gave me his note for the same, and said, ‘whenever you call on me, you shall have the money.’ Soon after, when I was taken with Carlin’s writ, I asked him for the money; but he answered, ‘I have not got it from St. Louis, but shall have it in a few days.’(25)
In the new edition…we deal with the serious problems Mormon historians are having with the leaders of the Church. We show that some of the top Mormon leaders are trying desperately to hide the truth about the origin of the church from their own people. Since many of the Mormon historians want to ‘tell it like it is,’ this has caused a real rift between the Apostles and the historians.(26)
In April, 1835, the [Painesville] Telegraph announced that the Prophet had been summoned to the Court of Common Pleas in Painesville for an assault and battery charge committed against his brother-in-law, Calvin Stoddard. Stoddard earlier had a falling out in the Church and lost his license to preach in December, 1832. The Telegraph failed to record the disposition of the case, so the Mormon Prophet desiring to set the public mind straight on the matter, wrote to the editor to inform him that he had been properly acquitted from the charge, and requested it to be so stated. The editor of the paper responded to Smith’s request by recounting the lurid details of the court record of the trial. The apparent reason for doing so was to publicly embarrass the Mormon Prophet with its recital. Although it was true that Smith was released on the grounds of self-defense, the grim fact that he knocked Stoddard down with a blow to the forehead would tend to further prejudice the public against him.(28)
Smith then came up and knocked him in the forehead with his flat hand-the blow knocked him down, when Smith repeated the blow four or five times, very hard-made him blind-that Smith afterwards came to him and asked his forgiveness… [Parkin, Conflict at Kirtland, p. 132.]
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
Saturday, June 20, 
Joseph Smith, Jr., was put upon his trial on a charge of Assault and Battery commited [sic] upon the person of a Mr. [Calvin] Stoddard. By consent of the parties, the case was submitted to the Court without Jury.
Stoddard examined–States that Smith had irritated him in a controversy about water–he had affirmed that there was water in a certain lot, which Smith denied–as Smith passed towards his house, he [Stoddard] followed him, and said, “[I] don’t fear you, or no other man”–Smith then came up and struck him in the forehead with his flat hand–the blow knocked him down, when Smith repeated the blow four or five times, very hard–made him blind–that Smith afterwards came to him and asked his forgiveness–was satisfied–had forgiven him–would forgive any man who would injure him and ask his forgiveness.
Cross ex.–Had a cane–did not attempt to strike him, or threaten.
William Smith examined–Saw Stoddard come along cursing and swearing–Joseph went out–Stoddard said he would whip him, and drew his cane upon Joseph–Joseph struck him once or twice.
Cross ex.–Joseph stopped in the yard–they were close together when he saw them–cautioned Joseph to stop, that he had done enough.
Mr. [sic] Smith, the Prophet’s mother–Saw some of the affrey [sic] –was upstairs–heard Stoddard talking loud–calling Joseph ‘a d–d false prophet, and a d–d one thing another’–saw Joseph slap him–did not hear Stoddard say he would flog him–did not see Stoddard attempt to strike him.
Burgess–Says Stoddard struck at Smith first, and raised his cane in a threatening attitude when down.
The Court, after summing up the testimony, said that as the injured party was satisfied, there would be no cause for further prosecution; that the assault might perhaps be justified on the principle of self-defense. The accused was then acquitted. [Painesville Telegraph, New Series, I, No. 25 (June 26, 1835), n. p., cited in Max H. Parkin, Conflict At Kirtland, pp. 132-133.]
I took the certified copies of the doings of the court, and waited on Governor Ford for his certificate thereto, after which he offered me a little advice, which was, that I “should refrain from all political electioneering.” I told him that I had always acted upon that principle, and proved it by General Law and Dr. Richards: and that the “Mormons” were driven to union in their elections by persecution, and not by my influence: and that the “Mormons” acted on the most perfect principle of liberty in all their movements.(35)
“DEAR SIR:–I have of late had repeated solicitations to have something to do in relation to the political farce about dividing the country; but as my feelings revolt at the idea of having anything to do with politics, I have declined, in every instance, having anything to do with on the subject. I think it would be well for politicians to regulate their own affairs. I wish to be let alone, that I may attend strictly to the spiritual welfare of the Church.”(38)