Laura and I do something else a little unique because of our traveling. We’ve had and do carry with us certain jewelry, of which some of the church has purchased portions and we have others as well ourselves. That we are using for one purpose only. And that’s bartering. Wherever we might be, at some point in time — I don’t care where it is, that we be prepared for whatever takes place. The ability to barter — transportation, or whatever thing else we need to do to get from one place to another to do something else that might need to be accomplished.
Testimony from the court trial:
As part of the testimony, we heard from an employee of Jared Jewelers who handled much of the Weinland’s jewelry purchases and repairs.We saw receipts and statements for jewelry purchases and payments, spanning 2007 to 2009. There were several quite expensive rings, totaling a couple hundred thousand dollars, if not more. It seemed that Laura had quite a taste for diamonds and opals. The defense for these purchases, of course, was that they were a safety net to be used to barter when the end came, and when money was worthless. They would take this jewelry with them when they traveled the world, in case they suddenly found themselves in a place that didn’t take American Express. They claimed that this was the church’s jewelry, not Laura’s. It just happened to be sized to fit Laura’s fingers, and custom designed to fit Laura’s taste.
The point that the prosecution was making was that if the sole purpose of these jewels was for bartering in an emergency, they wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble of having them made into custom-designed jewelry for Laura. The actual role that these pieces were serving (in REALITY, not in the fantasy of post-apocalyptic trading that may happen someday) was to feed Laura’s vanity and to give her something shiny to wear on each of her fingers.