- Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
name = Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
caption = The FLDS temple at the
YFZ Ranchnear Eldorado, Texas
formation = 1932
purpose = Church
membership = 10,000
leader_name = Unknown
remarks =The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominationsKrakauer, Jon. "Under the Banner of Heaven". New York:Random House, 2003. ISBN 1400032806] [The church has an estimated 8000 members — cite news | url= http://www.rickross.com/reference/polygamy/polygamy684.html |title= 37,000 'Fundamentalists' Counted in and Near Utah |publisher= "Deseret Morning News" (reprinted at rickross.com) |author= Ben Winslow |date= 2007-08-01 ] and one of America's largest practitioners of
plural marriage. [ [http://www.principlevoices.org/article.php?story=20050828124239994 Principle Voices - Polygamist Census: LDS Splinter Groups Growing ] Dead link|date=June 2008] The FLDS Church emerged in the early 1900s when its founding members left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(LDS Church). The split occurred largely because of the LDS Church's renunciation of polygamyand its decision to excommunicatepractitioners of plural marriage.
The FLDS Church is estimated to have 10,000 members residing in the sister cities of
Hildale, Utahand Colorado City, Arizona; Eldorado, Texas; Mancos, Colorado; Creston and Bountiful, British Columbia; and Pringle, South Dakota. [ [http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/polygamy/The_Primer.pdf "The Primer"] - Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities. A joint report from the offices of the Attorney Generals of Arizona and Utah.]
The FLDS Church headquarters were originally located in what was then known as Short Creek,
Arizona, on the southern border of Utah, which settlement eventually expanded into Utah and became incorporated as the twin municipalities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona. Since 2004, however, news reports have suggested a possible shift of the church's headquarters to Eldorado, Texas, where a templehas been built by FLDS Church members. [ [http://www.myeldorado.net/YFZ%20Aerial%20Tour/yfztour1.html YFZ Ranch - A trip through time] , " The Eldorado Success"]
It is currently unknown who is the leader of the FLDS Church. On
November 20, 2007, after the conviction of Warren Jeffs, attorneys for Jeffs released the following statement "Mr. Jeffs resigned as President of the Corporation of the President of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Inc." [ cite news |author= Nancy Perkins |url= http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695233512,00.html |title= Warren Jeffs resigns as leader of the FLDS Church |publisher= "Deseret Morning News" |date= 2007-12-05 ] this statement does not address his position as "prophet" of the church, but merely addressed his resignation from his fiduciary post as president of the corporation belonging to the FLDS Church. According to a Salt Lake Tribunetelephone transcript, there is evidence that when incarcerated, Warren Jeffs made statements naming William E. Jessop, a former first counselor, as his successor or, alternately, that Jeffs had told Jessop on January 24, 2007that he had never been the rightful leader of the FLDS. [ cite news |url= http://blogs.sltrib.com/plurallife/labels/William%20E.%20Jessop.htm |title= What Warren said to William |publisher= "Salt Lake Tribune" | author= Brooke Adams |date= 2007-11-30 ] [ cite news |url= http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=26801&con=4&sec=26 | title= Records say FLDS boss tried suicide |author= Brooke Adams and Mark Havnes |publisher= "Salt Lake Tribune" (reprinted at WorldWide Religious News) | date= 2007-11-07 ] Many press accounts [ cite news |url= http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0804/23/ng.01.html |title= Judge Orders FLDS Nursing Mothers to Foster Care With Infants |publisher= CNN |date= 2008-04-23 ] [ cite news |url= http://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/08/texas.ranch.ap/index.html |title= Raid shines light on secretive polygamous sect |publisher= CNN |date= 2008-04-08 ] [ cite news |url= http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/04/15/at-the-green-gate-and-then-a-glimpse-of-the-polygamists-life/ |title= At the green gate, and then a glimpse of the polygamist’s life | publisher= CNN | author= Katherine Wojtecki | date= 2008-04-15 ] have suggested that Merril Jessop, who has been leading the Eldorado, Texas compound, [cite news |url= http://www.rickross.com/reference/polygamy/polygamy692.html |title= Honors for ex-polygamous wife | publisher= "Deseret Morning News" (reprinted at rickross.com) |author= Ben Winslow |date= 2007-08-29 ] is the de factoleader of the church.
Prior to November 20, 2007 the church was being led by
Warren Jeffs, who succeeded his father Rulon Jeffsin 2002. For nearly two years, Warren had been wanted on sex-crimes charges. From May 2006, until his arrest in August 2006, he was on the FBI's Ten Most-Wanted List. [ cite press release |url= http://www.fbi.gov/page2/may06/jeffs050606.htm |title= HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? FBI Announces New Top Tenner, FBIHeadline Archives | publisher= |date= 2006-05-06. |accessdate= 2008-04-09 ] On September 25, 2007, Jeffs was found guilty of two counts of being an accomplice to rape [cite news | title = Jeffs guilty on both counts | url = http://www.sltrib.com/ci_6995147 | publisher = "The Salt Lake Tribune" | date= 2007-09-25 | accessdate = 2007-09-25 Dead link|date=June 2008] [cite news | title = Leader of Utah Polygamist Sect Guilty in Rape Case | url = http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Polygamist-Leader.html | publisher = The Associated Press | date= 2007-09-25 | accessdate = 2007-09-25 ] and was sentenced to ten years to life in prison. [ cite news |url= http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/11/20/jeffs.sentence/index.html |title= Polygamist 'prophet' to serve at least 10 years in prison |publisher= CNN |date= 2007-11-20 ]
The exact number of members of the FLDS Church is unknown due to the relatively closed nature of the organization; however, their population has been estimated at between 6,000 to 10,000 in the twin communities of
Colorado City, Arizonaand Hildale, Utah. [http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2005-04-04.csv] [http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2006-04-49.csv]
The historic location of the church was in the twin communities of
Colorado City, Arizonaand Hildale, Utah. The church also has a long standing colony in Bountiful, British Columbia. [cite web |url= http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_poly1.htm |title= Polygyny in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada |publisher= Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (ReligiousTolerance.org) ]
Since the purchase of land now called the Yearning for Zion Ranch convert|6|mi|km northeast of
Eldorado, Texas, there appears to be a shift in the headquarters of the church along with a large exodus of the "most faithful" church members. Other newer church settlements are convert|15|mi|km southwest of Pringle, South Dakota[ cite web |url= http://www.childbrides.org/dakota.html |title= The Black Hills of South Dakota |publisher= The HOPE Organization (childbrides.org) ] and convert|6|mi|km north of Mancos, Colorado. [ cite news |url= http://www.childbrides.org/colorado_YFZ_exclusive_by_Krakauer.html |title= New FLDS Compound Discovered in Colorado |publisher= "The Eldorado Success" (reprinted at childbrides.org) |author= Jon Krakauer |date= 2004-10-28 ]
Members of the FLDS Church have owned machine shops that have sold airplane components to the United States government. From 1998 until 2007, the receipts of these airplane components totaled over $1.7 million. [ cite news |url= http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/17/polygamy.pentagon/index.html |title= Pentagon paid $1.7 million to firms of polygamy bosses |publisher= CNN |author= Randi Kaye |date= 2008-04-18 ]
The residents in the area of Hildale and Colorado City have had a long history of practicing plural marriage, dating to the mid-nineteenth century.
Brigham Young, then President of the LDS Church, once visited the area stating, "This will someday be the head and not the tail of the church." [Driggs, Ken. "'This Will Someday Be the Head and Not the Tail of the Church': A History of the Mormon Fundamentalists at Short Creek." "Journal of Church and State" 43 (Winter 2001): 49-80. Baylor University.] The twin cities were once known as Short Creek, officially founded in 1913 as a ranching community.
The FLDS traces its claim to spiritual authority to accounts, starting with a statement published in 1912 by
Lorin C. Woolley, of a purported 1886 divine revelation to then LDS Church President John Taylor. They see this 1886 revelationas precluding validity of the 1890 Manifesto, against new plural marriages by church members, issued by Wilford Woodruff, whom the LDS Church recognizes as Taylor's successor. [ cite web |author= J. Max Anderson |url= http://www.shields-research.org/Books/Polygamy_Story/LDS-Funde_Polygamy_Story.htm |title= The Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact, (c) 1979 |publisher= SHIELDS (Scholarly & Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints) ] After the formal abandonment of plural marriage by the LDS Church, many members around Short Creek and elsewhere continued, and even solemnized, plural marriages. In 1904 the Second Manifestowas issued by the LDS Church, which again renounced polygamy and was eventually followed by excommunications of those who continued to solemnize or enter into new plural marriages.
Short Creek soon became a gathering place for polygamist members of the LDS Church. cite news |url= http://www.childbrides.org/history_pnt_plig_odyssey.html |title= Polygamy's Odyssey: A brief history of the Mormon tenet |publisher= "
Phoenix New Times" (reprinted at childbrides.org) |author= John Dougherty |date= 2003-03-13 ] In 1935, the LDS Church excommunicated the Mormon residents of Short Creek who refused to sign an oath renouncing polygamy. Following this event, John Y. Barlowbegan to lead a group of Mormon fundamentalistswho were dedicated to preserving the practice of plural marriage.Fact|date=February 2007 The location on the Utah–Arizona border was thought to be ideal for the group because it allowed them to avoid raids by one state by moving across the state line to the other.
Some of the locally prominent men in Short Creek, after being excommunicated by the LDS Church, later became leaders of the Mormon fundamentalist movement, including
Lorin C. Woolley, J. Leslie Broadbent, John Y. Barlow, Charles Zitting, Joseph White Musser, LeGrand Wooley, and Louis A. Kelsch. In 1932, these leaders created the organization known as the Council of Friends, a group of seven high priests that was said to be the governing priesthood body on the earth. [ cite web |url= http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com/ChartLinks/CouncilofFriends.htm |title= The Council of Friends |publisher= mormonfundamentalism.com ] The Council of Friends became the governing ecclesiastical body over the Mormon fundamentalists at Short Creek.
The early years of the movement were contentious and saw many differing interpretations and opinions among leaders as to how plural marriage should be practiced. These contentions eventually led to the subsequent schisms that created the multiple Mormon fundamentalist organizations that now exist, including the FLDS Church, the
Apostolic United Brethren, and the Latter-day Church of Christ or Kingston group. cite news |url= http://www.childbrides.org/history_des_most_polygs_trace_lineage_to_1929_group.html |title= Most polygamists trace lineage to 1929 group |publisher= "Deseret Morning News" (reprinted at childbrides.org) |author= Elaine Jarvik and Carrie Moore |date= 2006-09-09 ] [ cite news |url= http://childbrides.org/PolygamyLeaders.pdf |title= Polygamy leadership tree: Religious ideal grows, branches out |publisher= "The Salt Lake Tribune" (reprinted by childbrides.org) |author= Text by Brooke Adams, graphic by Todd Adams |date= ] It is commonly believed by all of these sects that the early leaders of the fundamentalist movement received revelations from God commanding that plural marriage should not cease.
FLDS splinter groups
In 1984, a schism formed within the FLDS Church just before the passing of Leroy S. Johnson. A small group of FLDS took issue with the "one-man rule" doctrine, that altered the leadership structure of the church, that was implemented fully when Rulon Jeffs assumed his position as sole leader of the organization. These followers took up residence just south of Colorado City, in Centennial Park, Arizona, calling themselves "The Work of Jesus Christ", or in short "The Work". [ cite web |url= http://www.childbrides.org/cpac.html | title= Centennial Park Action Committee |publisher= The HOPE Organization (childbrides.org) ] [ cite web |url= http://www.lifeafter.org/centennialpark.asp | title= Centennial Park |publisher= Life After Ministries, "Leading Mormons to the "REAL" Jesus" (lifeafter.org) ]
Also in 2002, after Warren Jeffs assumed leadership,
Winston Blackmore, who had been serving in Canada as the Bishop of Bountiful for the FLDS Church, was excommunicated by Jeffs in an apparent power struggle. This led to a split within the community in Bountiful, British Columbia, with an estimated 700 FLDS members leaving the church to follow Blackmore. [cite news | url= http://www.religionnewsblog.com/14626/winston-blackmore-polygamist-groups-leader-expects-to-be-charged-soon |title= Winston Blackmore: Polygamist group’s leader expects to be charged soon |publisher= " The Vancouver Sun" (reprinted at religionnewsblog.com) |author= Daphne Bramham |date= 2006-05-12 ]
The FLDS Church has been led by a succession of prophets, many of whom have claimed to have been called by God to lead. The first leader of the FLDS Church was
John Y. Barlow, who led the community of Short Creek until his death on December 29, 1949. He was succeeded by Joseph White Musser, who was the church's leader during a government crackdown on polygamy known as the Short Creek raid, in 1953, in which all of the FLDS Church members of Short Creek were arrested, including 236 children.
Musser led the community until a contentious appointment of
Rulon Allredto a high position of authority in 1951 angered some members of the Short Creek community. Musser had appointed Allred to be his successor, but Allred was not accepted as his successor by the Short Creek community. This led to a schism, with many followers breaking off and joining Allred; this offshoot became known as the Apostolic United Brethren. The core group in the Short Creek area instead followed Charles Zittingas their leader.
Zitting died in 1954 and
Leroy S. Johnsonwas chosen to lead the church in Short Creek. Johnson led the FLDS Church until his death in 1986. He was succeeded by Rulon Jeffs, who assumed the position of prophet, a title his predecessor refused to use. In Jeffs' later years, his poor health led to his son Warren serving as leader of the church in his stead, and upon Rulon's death in September of 2002, Warren Jeffs became leader of the FLDS Church. However, immediately after being convicted of being an accomplice to rape by the state of Utah, it was widely reported in the press that Warren Jeffs resigned his leadership of the FLDS Church, though the statement made by his attorneys only addresses Jeffs' resignation from his fiduciary post as "President of the Corporation of the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Inc." [ cite news |author= Nancy Perkins |url= http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695233512,00.html |title= Warren Jeffs resigns as leader of the FLDS Church |publisher= "Deseret Morning News" |date= 2007-12-05 ]
Since no public statements have been made by officials of the church indicating a successor to Jeffs, it is not known who may be leading the FLDS Church, though is is quite probable that Warren Jeffs remains at the church's helm.
Legal trouble and leadership struggles
In 2003, the church received increased attention from the state of Utah when police officer Rodney Holm, a member of the church, was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of
bigamyfor his marriage to and impregnation of plural wife Ruth Stubbs. The conviction was the first legal action against a member of the FLDS Church since the Short Creek raid.
In November 2003, church member David Allred purchased "as a hunting retreat" the convert|1371|acre|km2|sing=on Isaacs Ranch convert|4|mi|km northeast of
Eldorado, Texason Schleicher County Road 300 and sent 30 to 40 construction workers from Colorado City–Hildale to begin work on the property. Improvements soon included three 3-story houses—each 8,000 to convert|10000|sqft|m2, a concrete plant and a plowed field. After seeing high-profile FLDS Church critic Flora Jessopon the ABC televisionprogram " Primetime Live" on March 4, 2004, concerned Eldorado residents contacted Jessop. She investigated and on March 25, 2004, Jessop held a press conference in Eldorado confirming that the new neighbors were FLDS Church adherents. On May 18, 2004, Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran and his Chief Deputy visited Colorado City, and the FLDS Church officially acknowledged that the Schleicher County property would be a new base for the church. It has been reported in the media that the church has built a temple at the YFZ Ranch, which has been supported by evidence including aerial photographs of a large stone structure (approximately convert|88|ft|m wide) in a state of relative completion. A local newspaper, the " Eldorado Success", reported that the temple foundation was dedicated January 1, 2005by Warren Jeffs. [cite news | url= http://www.myeldorado.net/YFZ%20Pages/YFZ010605.html | title= Jeffs dedicates FLDS temple site at YFZ Ranch | publisher= " The Eldorado Success" | date= 2005-01-11 | author= | accessdate= 2008-04-24 ]
January 10, 2004Dan Barlow, the mayor of Colorado City, and about 20 men were excommunicated from the church and stripped of their wives and children (who would be reassigned to other men), and the right to live in the town. The same day two teenage girls reportedly fled the towns with the aid of activist Flora Jessop who advocates the escape of plural wives from polygamy. The two girls, Fawn Broadbent and Fawn Holm, soon found themselves in a broadly publicized dispute over their freedom and custody. After the allegations against their parents were proven false, Flora helped them flee state custody together on February 15, they ended up in Salt Lake Cityat Fawn Holms brother Carl's house.
In October 2004, Flora Jessop reported that David Allred purchased a 60 acre parcel of land near
Mancos, Colorado(midway between Cortez and Durango) about the same time he bought the Schleicher County property.Fact|date=April 2008 Allred told authorities the parcel is to be used as a hunting retreat.Fact|date=April 2008
In July 2005 eight men of the church were indicted for sexual contact with minors.Fact|date=April 2008 All of them turned themselves in to police in
Kingman, Arizonawithin days.Fact|date=April 2008
July 29, 2005, Brent Jeffs filed suit accusing three of his uncles, including Warren Jeffs, of sexually assaulting him when he was a child. The suit also named the FLDS Church as a defendant. On August 10, former FLDS Church member Shem Fischer, Dan Fischer's brother, added the church and Warren Jeffs as defendants to a 2002 lawsuit claiming he was illegally fired because he no longer adhered to the faith. Fischer, who was a salesman for a wooden cabinetry business in Hildale, claims church officials interfered with his relationship with his employer and blacklisted him. The claim against the company was thrown out because he quit rather than being fired.Fact|date=April 2008
In July 2005, six young adult lost boys who claimed they were cast out of their homes on the Utah–Arizona border to reduce competition for wives, filed suit against the FLDS Church. "The [boys] have been excommunicated pursuant to that policy and practice and have been cut off from family, friends, benefits, business and employment relationships, and purportedly condemned to eternal damnation," their suit says. "They have become 'lost boys' in the world outside the FLDS community."Fact|date=April 2008
May 7, 2006, the FBInamed Warren Jeffs to their Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
August 28, 2006, Warren Jeffs was captured on Interstate 15 just north of Las Vegas, Nevada, after a routine traffic stop. Jeffs was tried in St. George, Utahand was found guilty by a jury of two counts of being an accomplice to rape.
mayorof Colorado City, Terrill C. Johnson, was arrested on May 26, 2006for eight fraudulent vehicle registration charges for registering his vehicles in a different state than he lived, which is a felony. He was booked in to Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane, Utahand was released after paying the $5,000 bail in cash. [cite news | url= http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_3871335 | title= FLDS town's mayor arrested | publisher= " The Salt Lake Tribune" | date= 2006-05-27 | first= | last= | accessdate= 2007-04-24 Dead link|date=June 2008]
hort Creek Raid
April 2008 raid
In April, 2008, Texas
Child Protective Services, acting on a tip from a person alleging systematic child abuse on the FLDS Church's Texas compound, took custody of all 462 of the children under age 18 from the church's YFZ Ranch, assisted by a large force of Texas Rangers who took control of the compound from the third to the tenth of the month. Twenty-seven adults were among those "children" that were placed into state custody. The raid generated intense press coverage in the U.S., especially in the Southwest, and also garnered international attention. By May 29, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed an appeals ruling that Texas CPS was not justified in removing every child from the ranch and ordered the children to be returned to their parents. The tip that prompted the raid is now believed to be a hoax, instigated by Rozita Swinton. [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351969,00.html |Texas Polygamy Case: Based on a Hoax?]
The Colorado City/Hildale area has the world's highest incidence of
fumarase deficiency, an extremely rare genetic condition. Geneticists attribute this to the prevalence of cousin marriage between descendants of two of the town's founders, Joseph Smith Jessup and John Yeates Barlow. [cite news | last= Dougherty | first = John | url= http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2005-12-29/news/forbidden-fruit/ | title= Forbidden Fruit | publisher= " Phoenix New Times" | date= 2005-12-29 ] [ cite news | last= Hollenhorst | first= John | url= http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635182923,00.html | title= Birth defect is plaguing children in FLDS towns | publisher= " Deseret Morning News" | date= 2006-02-08 ] [ cite news | url= http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/165069/ | title= Doctor: Birth defects increase in inbred polygamy community | publisher= "Daily Herald" | date= 2006-02-09 ] [ cite news | last= Szep | first= Jason | url= http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0727298120070614 | title= Polygamist community faces rare genetic disorder | publisher= Reuters| date= 2007-06-14 ] It causes encephalopathy, severe mental retardation, unusual facial features, brain malformation, and epileptic seizures.cite journal |author=Bayley JP, Launonen V, Tomlinson IP |title=The FH mutation database: an online database of fumarate hydratase mutations involved in the MCUL (HLRCC) tumor syndrome and congenital fumarase deficiency |journal= BMC Med. Genet.|volume=9 |issue=1 |pages=20 |year=2008 |pmid=18366737 |doi=10.1186/1471-2350-9-20 |url=http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2350/9/20 ] cite journal |author=Kerrigan JF, Aleck KA, Tarby TJ, Bird CR, Heidenreich RA |title=Fumaric aciduria: clinical and imaging features |journal= Ann. Neurol.|volume=47 |issue=5 |pages=583–8 |year=2000 |pmid=10805328 |doi= |url=]
Plural marriage and placement marriage
The FLDS Church teaches the doctrine of
plural marriage, which states that a man having multiple wives is ordained by God and is a requirement for a man to receive the highest form of salvation. It is generally believed in the church that a man should have a minimum of three wives to fulfill this requirement. [ cite news |url= http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1444578/Three-wives-will-guarantee-you-a-place-in-paradise.-The-Taliban-No-welcome-to-the-rebel-Mormons.html |title= Three wives will guarantee you a place in paradise. The Taliban? No: welcome to the rebel Mormons |publisher= " The Daily Telegraph" |date= 2003-10-19 ] Connected with this doctrine is the concept that wives are required to be subordinate to their husbands.
The church currently practices
placement marriagewhereby a young woman of marriageable age is assigned a husband by revelationfrom God to the leader of the church, who is regarded as a prophet. [ cite web |url= http://www.irr.org/mit/sixth-of-seven-wives-br.html |title= Review: The Sixth of Seven Wives: Escape from Modern Day Polygamy |author= Bonnie Ricks |publisher= The Institute for Religious Research(irr.org) ] The prophet elects to take and give wives to and from men according to their worthiness. This is also called the law of placing.
In general, women do not cut their hair short or wear makeup, trousers or any skirt above the knees. Men wear plain clothing, usually a long-sleeved collared shirt and full length trousers. Men and women are forbidden to have any tattoos or body piercings. Women and girls usually wear solid-color homemade long-sleeved "prairie dresses", between ankle and mid-calf, with long stockings or trousers underneath, usually keeping their hair
coiffed. [ cite web |url= http://www.rickross.com/reference/polygamy/polygamy10.html |title= The polygamist women of Colorado City |author= Rick Ross |publisher= rickross.com (self-published) |date= 2002-04-06 ]
The land and houses occupied by the FLDS Church are owned by the United Effort Plan (UEP), a subsidiary organization of the church. The UEP also owns most of the property of the businesses that are controlled by FLDS Church members. The church views this "
United Order" as a means of living the traditional Latter Day Saint doctrine of the " Law of Consecration". The Attorney Generalof Utah has filed a lawsuit to protect the holdings of the UEP for the current residents of Colorado City and Hildale. The Attorney General is seeking to distribute the assets of the UEP to the FLDS Church members and ex members who contributed to the UEP. In 2005, a court order froze the UEP pending a resolution of the lawsuit. [cite news |author= Shaffer, Mark |url= http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0623polygamy23.html |title= Polygamist sect loses grip on towns |publisher= " The Arizona Republic" |date= 2005-06-23 |accessdate= 2008-06-13 ] At the time of the court order, the UEP was worth $100 million. [ cite news |url= http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/bustupinbountiful/timeline.html |title= Bust-up in Bountiful: Timeline: History of Polygamy |publisher= " CBC News" |date= 2008-04-12 |accessdate= 2008-05-24 ]
In 2000, the
Colorado City Unified School Districthad more than 1200 students. When Jeffs ordered FLDS Church members to pull their children out of public schools, the number declined to around 250. [ cite news |url= http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/88285.php |title= State officials prepare to seize control of Colorado City school district |author= Howard Fischer |publisher= " Arizona Daily Star" |date= 2005-08-11 ]
The FLDS Church is the fifth Latter Day Saint denomination to have built a temple. [The other four are the Church of Christ, the LDS Church, the
Community of Christ, and the Apostolic United Brethren.]
LDS vs FLDS
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Mormon Church) has repeatedly emphasized that it is not affiliated with the FLDS Church. [ cite news |url= http://www.myfoxutah.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=6286307&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1 |title= LDS Church Reminds Media they don't Practice Polygamy |publisher= KSTU("Fox 13") |date= 2008-04-11|accessdate= 2008-06-13 ] If members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints engage in polygamy, they are excommunicated.
Criticisms of the church
At the time of his death, church leader
Rulon Jeffswas confirmed to have married 22 women and fathered more than 60 children. Current estimates state that Warren Jeffs may have upwards of 60 wives.cite news | url= http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4629320 | title= Warren Jeffs and the FLDS | publisher= NPR| date= 2005-05-03 | accessdate = 2007-04-24 | author = Wade Goodwyn, Howard Berkes and Amy Walters ] Critics of this lifestyle claim that its practice inevitably leads to bride shortages and likely to child marriages, incest, and child abuse. cite journal | first= Eve |last= D’Onofrio |url= http://lawfam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/3/373 |title= Child Brides, Inegalitarianism, and the Fundamentalist Polygamous Family in the United States |journal= International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family |year= 2005 |volume= 19 |issue= 3 |pages= 373–394 |doi= 10.1093/lawfam/ebi028 ]
It has been reported that the FLDS Church has recently excommunicated over 400 teenage boys, some as young as 13, for offenses such as dating or listening to rock music. Former members claim that the real reason for these excommunications is that there are not enough women for each male to receive three or more wives. Six young adult men, ages 18 to 22, have filed a conspiracy lawsuit against Jeffs and Sam Barlow, a former Mohave County deputy sheriff and close associate of Jeffs, for a "systematic excommunication" of young men to reduce competition for wives. [ cite news |url= http://www.rickross.com/reference/polygamy/polygamy250.html |title= Lost Boys Found |publisher= "
Salt Lake City Weekly" (reprinted at rickross.com) |author= Ted McDonough |date= 2004-09-23 ] [ cite news |url= http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20040828/ai_n11472255 |title= FLDS Church, leaders sued by 6 'lost boys' |publisher= " Deseret Morning News" (reprinted at findarticles.com} |author= Nancy Perkins | date= 2004-08-28 ] [cite news |url= http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/06/19/polygamys_lost_boys_expelled_from_only_life_they_knew/ |title= Polygamy's 'Lost Boys' expelled from only life they knew |publisher= " The Boston Globe" |author= David Kelly (Los Angeles Times) |date= 2005-06-19 ]
Critics assert that members of the church are violating laws when they participate in polygamy. [cite book | first= Kathleen | last= Tracy | title= The Secret Story of Polygamy | publisher= Sourcebooks | year= 2001 | isbn= 1570717230 ] Critics claim that incest and sexual abuse of children are prevalent among church members. [cite book | title= Polygamy's Rape of Rachael Strong: Protected Environment for Predators | first= John R. | last= Llewellyn | year= 2006 | publisher= Agreka Books | isbn= 0977707210 ] [cite book | title= Paperdolls: A True Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Mormon Neighborhoods | first= April | last= Daniels | year= 1993 | publisher= Recovery Publications | isbn= 0941405273 ] [cite book | title= God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 | first= Andrea | last= Moore-Emmett |year= 2004 | publisher= Pince-Nez Press | isbn= 1930074131 ]
In its Spring 2005 "Intelligence Report," the
Southern Poverty Law Centernamed the FLDS Church to its hate grouplisting [cite web |url= http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp?S=UT&m=5 |title= Hate Groups
Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLCenter.org) ] because of the church's teachings on race, which include a fierce condemnation of interracial relationships. Warren Jeffs has said, "the black raceis the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth." [ cite journal | url= http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=342 |title= In His Own Words |journal= Intelligence Report|date= Spring 2005 |publisher= Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLCenter.org) ]
Former FLDS Church member Robert Richter reported to the "
Phoenix New Times" that Warren Jeffs has repeatedly alluded to the nineteenth century teaching of " blood atonement" in church sermons. Under the doctrine of blood atonement, certain serious sins such as murder, can only be atoned for by the sinner's death.Fact|date=May 2008
* Bistline, Ben [http://www.amazon.com/s?search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Benjamin%20G.%20Bistline "(1.)" The Polygamists: A History of Colorado City, Arizona, "(2.)" Colorado City Polygamists: An Inside Look for the Outsider]
* Bradley, Martha Sontag [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0874805287 "Kidnapped from That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists"]
* [http://dialoguejournal.metapress.com/media/ege9fdtqur1qxly3rpfm/contributions/q/7/6/0/q760877m12548351.pdf Watson, Marianne T., "FLDS Placement Marriages"]
authorlink=Brian C. Hales
title=Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations After the Manifesto
publisher=Greg Kofford Books .
Authorlink=D. Michael Quinn
Title=Plural marriage and Mormon fundamentalism
*Krakauer, Jon: "" (July 15, 2003)
Carolyn Jessopand Laura Palmer. " Escape (book)". Broadway Books, October 16 2007
* Van Wagoner, Richard S. [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0941214796 "Mormon Polygamy: A History"]
* [http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/polygamy/The_Primer.pdf "The Primer"] - Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities. A joint report from the offices of the Attorney Generals of Arizona and Utah.
last = Van Wagoner
first = Richard S.
authorlink = Richard S. Van Wagoner
title = Mormon Polygamy: A History
publisher = Prometheus Books
location = UK
date = 1999
* [http://www.flds.com/ Information about the FLDS Faith]
* [http://www.myeldorado.net/YFZ%20Pages/YFZ040305.html "Audio clips reveal FLDS leader's teachings"] , "
The Eldorado Success" (text and audio)
* [http://www.damnedtoheaven.com/ "Damned to heaven"] : a critical documentary about Colorado City and FLDS Church
* [http://web.sccn2.net/flds/ FLDS El Dorado, Texas] Current and archived aerial photographs of the community and new temple
* [http://bankingonheaven.com/ "Banking on Heaven"] Has accusations against the FLDS
* [http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/HPI/In%20The%20Matter%20Of%20The%20United%20Effort%20Plan%20Trust,%20Case%20No.%2005390048%20Response.pdf] and [http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/HPI/UEPTMemDecision12-13-05.pdf] : Information on Utah Attorney General's Lawsuit against the United Effort Plan
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