'If world knew what I was doing, they would hang me ...,' FLDS leader wrote
Trev, you don't know much about the beginnings of the LDS faith. No one in the
original church ever had their wives taken away and given to others, No one was
forced to marry any one, the young men were not excomunicated in mass so the
girls could be married to old men, and no one ever, ever had sex with little
girls in the Temple with their other wives watching! (That would be more like
Paganism.) It is proof that once a people have had the light of the Gospel and
choose to leave it they become even more evil and hard.
I've always thought the FLDS church looks and operates more like the church
started by Joseph Smith. Main stream LDS is really Mormonizm
"light". I chuckle when LDS believers make ignorant claims
like "we don't believe in polygamy". Sure youe believe in it! Polygamy
is a principle to be practiced in you're future heaven! (Mormon women rejoice!)
Well 'no fit in SG', Warren Jeffs and his ilk could hide back and forth between
Utah and Arizona on the border for years. Every time the state of Utah tried to
make arrests they were accused of singling the FLDS out and persecution of the
breakaway faiths. Blame was placed on the headquarters of the LDS church and it
was called a "witch hunt" by the press. The young Women who so boldly
came forth to make assusations were undermined and discredited. Thank God they
moved to Texas. That way a totally different group of law officers and laws
could be enforced.
Despite these opinions, arguments, "historical facts", one thing is
certain. Irreparable damage has been done to the image of the LDS Church and the
state of Utah.Prior to Warren Jeff's and other like "Mormons",
there was confusion about polygamy. The flames of this fire have again ignited
into a gigantic uncontrollable blaze. The state of Utah certainly looks more
peculiar than ever.Why were the government and church authorities in this
state, who are descendants of early polygamists, unable to see what was going
on? If they are so certain of the "purity" of their polygamy( many
discuss this in these forums), why did they let Warren Jeffs and his like,
continue in this illegal and immoral behavior? Why was the state of Texas
able to quickly see this problem, and take care of it, legally and promptly?This will continue to be a big question for the world to ponder for quite some
time to come.
There are far more similarities than differences....
Another sad example of poisonous patriarchy.
I know of several men in the early church that were told by Brigham Young that
they not only had taken to many wives but also that a couple of those wives were
to young, at 16. This happened in St George. I know that there were happenings
in the early church that were not known by the General Authorities. The outlying
communities were without easy communication and things had allready happened by
the time word hit the head quarters of the church. Our Church has always been
one of self governing. Personal prayer and scripture study are expected, the
commandments of the Lord are there for everyone to read, as well as the laws of
the land. We must keep them both. Although there were plural marriages in my
family history not one of those were with an underage girl. Most were when women
were abandoned or widowed, and all were by choice, after both the man and the
woman were given a call from the prophet. Either could reject the call. Just
like now we can reject a calling in the church if we don't wish to take it.
People in earlier centuries did marry younger because they died much younger.
It's that simple.
I have 5 female relatives born before 1900 who were married before the age of
16. All are from Louisiana/Texas, all probably never heard of a Mormon in their
lives. Someone quoted a statistic that the average age was 18-22 for marriage
of a woman. For the average to be that young there had to be plenty of 14 year
olds. married around the country. I know my grandmother was first married at
13 in Louisiana. I am now a grandmother so that is a long time ago.
@O'reallyReally? According to the US Census, the average age of
marriage for women in 1890 was 22 years old. I'm still looking at average age
in 1860. My own ancestors were married at 14, when polygamists, 18-22 for
non-polygamists. The non-polygamists were from England, Denmark, and Illinois.
The argument that 14 was the average marrying age is easily
It is unfortunate that some people, like those who have made previous comments
concerning Joseph Smith and the early LDS Church, do so on assumptions and not
the facts themselves. To equate the practices of pedophiles in the FLDS with
early plural marriage in the LDS Church is simply bogus history. Present facts
and stats with your accusations or please keep your assumptions to yourself.
Religion - all religion - is about control. This is a horrible and despicable
example of that control gone awry. It's embarrassing for the Mormon church
because of the ties to plural marriage, a belief in prophets and the fact that
Jeff's group purports to be a "truer" version of the church. That said, abuse of children is not, in and of itself, the same as a plural
marriage. It seems to me that these cultures seem to gravitate toward abuse of
underage girls - and for that matter, even the boys. Do we simply make plural
marriages illegal? It's a slippery slope. I have no problem
protecting children but how do we protect people from themselves? 10k people
believe that Jeffs is a Prophet. Most of us believe they are wrong - where do
you draw the line without over-reaching?I hope that people will
eventually see religion for what it is - power centers claiming to do the work
of a deity that attempt to tell people how to live their lives. The solution
will come as more and more people realize that it is time for society to shed
the shackles of the modern day mythology that we call religion.
Correction for OldIrishman:The FLDS church might not rightly be
called an offshoot of the early LDS faith, and here's why:LDS
polygamy was disavowed in the 1890, and its US practice was outlawed by the
church in 1904. Practice in other countries was outlawed by 1909. After that
those who practiced it, including leaders, were excommunicated.The
founding of "fundamentalism" didn't happen until a quarter of a
century later in 1935 when Joseph Musser, Edwin Barlow and others decided to
start a church that would "restore" the practice. The notion that the
church "split" into another group is far-fetched, and overstating.
Rather, several disaffected former LDS folks simply started a new church,
claiming independent authority.Whereas Henry the 8th broke away and
took all of England with him, Musser and Barlow simply started a new church
loosely based on their interpretation of the beliefs of another church's
To @dektol: The anti-lds groups that are doing DNA checks looking
for the children of Joseph Smiths plural wives have not found any. Only
children by Emma have been found. I'm not LDS but I find the data gives a
somewhat new perspective. They will continue to search and I will watch with
interest. However, regardless of where Jeffs learned the practice,
he used in ways that should have been prosecuted many years ago. Shame on us
for thinking it was just a polygamy thing amongst consenting adults and not
taking it seriously. Was he prosecuted for the polygamy or for the child abuse?
@ CHS Girls got married a lot younger 150 years ago. It wasn't unique to LDS
This abhorrent self-perpetuating cycle of abuse and terrorism must cease! There is not much difference between these sexual perverts and those who
felled the twin towers in the name of religion...so they could obtain virgins!
@ LValfre No, what Jeffs has been up to is a huge distortion of the
original teachings of Joseph Smith. Jeffs is an abusive child molestor. He knows
it- admitted it on tape. There is nothing whatsoever of divine inspiration in
his actions. Joseph Smith wouldn't be joining him in prison today because he
wouldn't still be practicing polygamy today since the Lord put an end to it.@ PaganThis isn't a story about LGBT. But since you want to
make this into another LGBT debate, read Crafting Gay Children. It documents
abuse of young boys by gays. I'd be very careful sitting back comfortably
thinking there is nothing amiss among the LGBT community.
Jeffs is a pedofile and he doesn't want the world to see that. This has
absolutely nothing to do with religion. Its too bad that he and Brian David
Mitchell won't be roommates. And the fathers who willing exchanged their young
daughters for a young bride for their own use -- put them in the general
population in any prison.
@tll"... it wasn't until then that all of this sexual abuse
began."Seriously? My ancestors who were
polygamists married girls as young as 14 back in the 1860s and 1870s. I can
trace my lineage to mothers who were 15 and and 16. I guess sexual abuse in the
19th century was "less bad" in the 19th century because it was
practiced by mainstream members and not offshoots.
@tllJeffs is a product of the original LDS practices. He's FLDS,
he's just following the original teachings (and practices) of Joseph Smith. I'm
not condoning it. Just saying the truth. He's following what he thinks is the
truth. That being the original teachings of Joseph Smith.
Jeffs is NOT a product of his culture or environment. Its plainly stated that
Jeffs "changed the rules" when he came into power and that it wasn't
until then that all of this sexual abuse began. He knew what he was doing was
wrong and nothing can prove otherwise since he states it himself in his
You know... at least LGBT aren't the one's trying to 'spiritually'
marry 12 year old girls.
Perhaps it is again time for a re-release of the book - The God Makers.
By their fruit ye shall know them...
If you are a fundamentalist or religious fanatic in Utah, you'll essentially go
unpunished until you cross into another state. BDM and WJ both prove that
religious fanaticism is just normal behavior here.
LOL, yes it goes unpunished in Utah and it makes me sick. It is well known
which businesses they own in certain communities, etc. Yet nothing is done
about it. I guess Utah is hoping they will move (like that polygamist on TV who
recently moved to Nevada) and let another State pay the expense of prosecuting
them and keeping them in prison. Very unfair fiscal planning on Utah's part if
that is the case.
It seems to me that Jeffs is following what he has been told since a child -
that he is following the true word of the Book of Mormon and prophet Joseph
Smith. The LDS sect in Utah today is a result of law not from any revelation.
Yet polygamy continues unpunished in Utah and everybody knows it.
Unfortunately the death penalty isn't an option. Beth Karas just
reported that something just played from a tape is so bad it can't even be heard
I also think that the parents of these young girls should be held accountable,
with perhaps some mitigation for the reasons given by oldirishman. We can't be
a country of laws and then allow adults to not be accountable for putting their
children at risk. There are thousands of children at risk here, considering the
number of members of the FLDS church. The parents need to share in some of the
I just hope that Judge Walther is seasoned enough to not permit any appealable
errors. I also hope that Mr. Jeffs' conviction will be the beginning of changes
on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) religion, and stop child
marriages, sexual abuse, and the kicking out of "Lost boys", to make
more "wives" available for the church heirarchy. The "Sister
wives" should be held accountable for holding the girl down, that Warren
Jeffs was convicted of raping, but since they are indoctrinated from birth to
accept child marriage, and the attendant sexual abuse, some mitigation is
appropriate for them. We, as a nation must demand a halt to this type of
behavior. Carolyn Jessop has written an excellent book, ESCAPE, detailing life
in the FLDS. The FLDS is not an offshoot of Mormonism, but it is the original
concept of plural marrige, which was changed in the 1880's to allow Utah to
become a state.