The leader of a religious sect once based in Magna has been sentenced to six years to life for raping a teenage member of his congregation.
In 2005, Terrill Dalton told the 15-year-old girl he was "the Holy Ghost" and promised her "great blessings" if she had sex with him, according to testimony and court documents. Dalton also told the teen it was God’s will that she have sex with his second in command, 38-year-old Geody Harman.
Church members called him "God in the flesh," and prosecutors said Dalton "served [the victim] up on a platter" to his lieutenant, Harman.
"[Dalton] made me feel as if no matter what I did, I could never be right before God," the victim, now 22, testified at trial in March. "I tried so hard. ... There was always something bigger he wanted me to do."Interestingly, there is some evidence that Joseph Smith told a few of his closest followers that he was the Holy Ghost. Maybe he was thinking about switching tactics after the "angel with a drawn sword" gimmick was becoming known.
The thing that most bothers me about Joseph Smith was his abuse of position, coercion, and deception of young women. In Joseph's case, however, the victims were as young as 14 (Helen Marr Kimball), and there is good evidence that he was sizing up girls as young as 12 (Mary Elizabeth Rollins). Joseph Smith was unquestionably a pedophile under our standards or those of the 19th Century.
There is no objective way to distinguish between Dalton and Joseph Smith. Either you believe he was a prophet and was commanded by God to tell five different women that they needed to marry him or an angel with a drawn sword was going to kill him, or you don't. If you do believe this, I have some shares of a diamond mine in South Africa to sell you. Send me an email with your contact information.