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The Beehive Newspaper

Volume 7 Number 3
Winter 1999
By Karen Gardner

Mesa Police Officer Samuel Jeppsen found a unique way to do his part for the Church's missionary effort.  Like a true police officer, he conducted an investigation, then he wrote a book called Think About it... Why Should I be a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?  The Most Important Investigation of My Life.

Brother Jeppsen has been a police officer for 24 years.  He says, "Studying for and writing this book has bolstered my testimony more than any other thing I have done."  He adds, "The 330-page book is the culmination of a five-year project."

"I realized that the anti-Mormons were quoting each other and were inaccurate," he says.  "they were counting on no one checking them out."

He continues, "When I realized the gross inaccuracies of what they were saying, I realized that saying nothing would be suggesting they were right.  The unusual thing about this book is it gives the strategy of propaganda so you can recognize the tactics {used by anti-Mormons} and see how it's done."

He says his book is an "investigation" of the Church.  With its numerous stories about real people, its poetry, and its collection of personal testimonies of LDS police officers, it targets a wide audience.  "I wrote this book for the LDS youth who might be swayed by anti-Mormon literature, the part-member family, the missionary about to go out into the field, and even the strong LDS family to make their testimonies stronger," he explains.

Plus, he adds, it makes for a great missionary tool.  "This would also be a book you could give a non-member," he exclaims.

Mormon cop investigates church he loves

Mesa officer spends 5 years compiling data for report.

By Lawn Griffiths, Mesa Tribune, January 29, 2000.

The 317-page investigative report by Mesa police officer Samuel Jeppsen can thud with authority on a desk. “It’s the most important investigation of my life,” said the 48-year old patrol officer who has worn a badge for Mesa and Gilbert for 24 years.

Names in the report, which took five years of research, include Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Jesus Christ and others who have faced investigations, scrutiny and public condemnation for their spiritual teachings, statements and conduct. 

Jeppsen, a third-generation Mormon, launched a probe into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after some of his four children, now ages 22 to 29, began receiving anti-Mormon materials. 

“My family was confronted with a lot of anti-Mormon literature, and with me being the dad, I realized that I either had to deal with it or else I had to leave them with the feeling that what they were hearing was true. Friends were bringing them pamphlets and saying, ‘Did you know about this?’”

He saw more literature when he and his wife, Julie, were called on a stake mission in 1995. 

“I was a police officer, so I did the only thing I knew how to do and that was to investigate it. I never cared where the chips fell,” said Jeppsen, who has spent 21 ½ years doing swing-shift or graveyard shift patrol and hopes to retire in about six months.

“When I began the investigation, I began on a single premise: that God would not have me be afraid of the truth.”

In the September, 2002 issue of the
Desert Saints Magazine, Las Vegas Nevada,
the following article was published. It was entitled,
"The Lesson I Learned on the Cell Block."

"Currently I am a retired police officer who is still an active reserve. In my last three years as a full time officer, I was assigned to Transportation. That meant I transported prisoners from court to jail and from jail to court. Of the eight jails I had to be familiar with, the most interesting jail of all was Madison. Why? Because that is where Maricopa County houses all it’s "Maximum Security" prisoners who are awaiting sentencing. Maximum Security is an interesting place. The day starts for those prisoners at 0330 hrs., when they receive breakfast. At 0600 hrs., the steel doors to their cells slide open and the prisoners are allowed out of their small cell and into the "Day-room". There they can visit with one another, make phone calls, etc. At 2200 hrs., they return to their cells, the steel doors slide shut and lock-down occurs until 0600 the next morning. All because of the decisions, the choices they made in life. All because they felt that following the rules was too restrictive upon their freedom.

Of those in Maximum Security, probably the most interesting are the ones that are classified as "Maximum Security, Closed Custody, One-hour-outs." They have their own cell block and their day begins at 0330 hrs. as well. But unlike the other prisoners, at 0600 hrs., the doors do not open for them. They stay shut for twenty-three hours a day. At the beginning of the twenty-forth hour, their door opens up and they are allowed into the day-room, for one hour, by themselves. When you pick up those prisoners for court, they come out wearing leg chains and belly chains and their arms are handcuffed to the belly chain. If the jail pulls them before you get there, you find them in the day-room. But you don’t find them up walking around, you find them chained to a table and the table is bolted to the floor. All because they feel that following the rules is too restrictive upon their freedom. How utterly ironic, that those who demand the most freedom, wind up with the least.

Their world is a small cell for twenty-three hours and a day-room for one hour, all alone. They don’t see the sun, just light bulbs. The walls, floors and ceilings are all concrete. The benches are cold steel. Yet the world you and I live in is twenty-four thousand miles around and full of beautiful things. I couldn’t help but ponder the reality that their world held no bounds for me. I could come and go as I pleased. But they were not allowed to leave their world and come into mine.

Because I believe that we are all children of the same God, one day as I slowly walked through Maximum Security, looking at the different prisoners, their tattoos and their attitudes, I said to myself, "I don’t understand! These guys are my brothers. At one time, we were all on the same side. We all chose the same leader and when we came to this earth, we all wanted the same things. How did we end up so far apart? What happened?" As I strolled along, contemplating the plight of my brothers, suddenly it was as if someone spoke to me, yet no one was there. But the words that came into my mind were so strong and vivid, that they startled me and caused me to look from side to side. I even quickened my pace as I walked. But the words that so startled me were,

                        "Those who are undisciplined are held back.
                                      Those who are disciplined are allowed to go forward."

Those words sent chills down my spine. I knew that was true, but I had never had it pointed out so graphically as it was being pointed out to me now. Then suddenly a second chill ran down my spine, perhaps greater than the first as I said, "Sam, are you just like them only on not so grand a scale? Is your level of self-discipline holding you back? Restricting your freedoms? Is it keeping God from blessing you with things He would otherwise bless you with?" Suddenly ...I was scared. "No!" I wanted to say, ...but I knew in my heart that the answer was ...yes.

Like the laws of the land, the laws of God are not designed to restrict our freedom. They are designed to enhance our freedom, enhance our happiness and to lead us to our Heavenly Father. As the children of God, it is our duty to learn what the laws of God are, to apply them to our lives, to teach them to our children and finally to tell others about them. May we never forget who we are, who we were and who we can be someday if we learn and apply the laws of God to our lives as we have covenanted we would."

Officer Samuel Jeppsen, #3751 Mesa PD.

On January the 19th, 2003, the following article appeared in
The East Valley Tribune
in the Phoenix Metro area. It was entitled,
"Warriors Who Accept the Risk."

Editor: Bob Schuster.

(Ninety-five percent of the original article was printed there. Here is the article in it’s entirety. It is about police officers and their uncommon duty.)

"A lot is being said about Chandler PD, James Snedigar and Bobby Joe Harris. But I think there is one thing that is being very over looked. The argument is that if there had been better training, Officer Snedigar would never have been killed. Well maybe so maybe not. The truth is we can always improve and yes, we all want the best conditions, best training, best equipment, etc.. But that’s just not the way life is and I think through all of this bickering about whose fault this is, officers killed in the line of duty, including Officer Snedigar, are being tarnished.

Officers are warriors. Inside us we have a need, sometimes an overpowering need, to fight evil. Lt. Col. David Grossman, a military and police combat trainer said, "Inside every warrior is a yearning for a righteous battle." That is something even our wives don’t understand. But it’s true. And even though no one wants to get hurt, getting hurt, even possibly getting killed while fighting evil, is something we understand and accept. To the surprise of Caesar Augustus, one day his gladiators yelled, "Hail Caesar! Those of us who are about to die, salute you." The point is, is that they were mentally ready to fight and die if they must. Something most people cannot understand.

Make no mistake. James Snedigar was not standing outside that apartment, crying and refusing to go in and confront that armed suspect. And Bobby Joe Harris was not standing out there saying, "Jim, you get in there, right now." Officer Snedigar was a brave man and he was ready, willing and anxious to confront the evil inside that apartment. If he had been unwilling to go in, any of the other Chandler, or valley-wide officers, would have taken his place. That’s just our nature. No, we’re not John Wayne and we don’t teach "Tombstone Courage" but inside every officer, there better be a little of John Wayne and there better be a little Tombstone Courage or the officer will turn and run when you, the public, need him most.

After the Columbine shooting in Colorado, police departments across the US developed a rapid response tactic that is so dangerous only the bravest of officers can carry it out. The first four or five uniformed officers to arrive on scene, form a cell and rapidly run inside the building and engage the shooter. They don’t stop to put on special protective gear or to help wounded people. They are to run toward the shooter and engage him in an open, face to face, gun battle until he gives up or gets killed. The possibility of the officers getting killed is so high that the departments will not force any officer to take part in the cell. It is by volunteer only. Those who cannot or will not take part in the cell are to take up a safe position on the outside of the building.

Yes, we would all like conditions to be perfect. But sometimes they are not. James Snedigar was a warrior and he knew, understood and accepted the risks of a warrior. All of us, ...most of us who are officers know, understand and accept that risk. In a seminar I attended, Lt. Col. David Grossman said, "We all want to go home at the end of our shift. But regardless of what you have been taught, that is not the most important thing. The most important thing is protecting those you swore to protect. If you run, they have no chance."

There is a poem called, "The Sheepdog." In that poem are these words, "So who is the one who goes toward the sound of the gun when all other creatures, man or beast, turn and run? It is the warrior, that’s who! And he’s like no other creature. No, no other creature on the face of the earth bears that feature."

Cops are not cops because we answered want adds one day. In our heart, we are warriors. Chandler PD is manned with warriors and led by a warrior, Bobby Joe Harris. Officer James Snedigar was one of those warriors and he died going toward the sound of the gun. Let him rest in peace and stop playing tug-a-war with him. None of us want to get hurt or die but we understand that every situation cannot be made safe. Even so, we accept the risks and we’ve taken an oath to protect you, the public ...and so we will."

Officer Samuel Jeppsen, #3751, MPD, 25 year vet.

On November 4th, 2003, the following article appeared in
The East Valley Tribune
in the Phoenix Metro area. It was entitled,
"God Bless Bush and our Troops in Iraq"

Editor Bob Schuster:

I don’t worry about us not being able to find WMD’s [weapons of mass destruction] in Iraq. I’ve executed enough search warrants to know that if you let the criminal know beforehand that you are coming, you won’t find anything when you get there. Saddam had, I believe, over nine months of sure knowledge that we were coming before we actually came. That’s plenty of time to move a predominantly mobile operation which I’m sure he did. But that is not the intent of this letter to you.

As a retired police officer, one who has chosen to protect the weak, and as a husband, a father and a grandfather, I thank President Bush and our soldiers from the bottom of my heart for what they’ve done in Iraq. They’ve done three great and wonderful things.

They have stopped the greatest terrorist and evil power the world has seen since Hitler and his SS. If someone would have had the courage to do that to Hitler even one year before he attacked Poland, there wouldn’t have been a WWII and there wouldn’t have been 30/50 million people who died in that war.

They have offered the children and the grandchildren of Iraq a chance for freedom. If not for them, there would be no chance for the children.

They have offered the mothers of Iraq a chance to live without fear and tyranny and a chance to raise their children to enjoy what they themselves never enjoyed; opportunity, equality and freedom. They’ve given the mothers of Iraq hope.

God bless President Bush and our troops who are dying, a few here and a few there, to bring the chance for freedom to those who’ve never tasted freedom and would have no chance at freedom if it were not for the U.S. and her good people.

Officer Samuel Jeppsen, #3751, MPD.

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A 317 page full size book mailed to you for only $10.00   S&H included

Read "Think About it..." Online Warrior Stories  | Excerpts | News Articles | Poems
Rear Cover | Reviews | About the Book | About the Author | Order | E-Mail  |  Home

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A 317 page full size book mailed to you for only $10.00   S&H included