Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Photo

There are some shocking pictures in the public domain.

This was my original reaction:

"Jaw dropped to the floor, eyeballs rechecked over and over"

There was a warrant for Warren Jeffs DNA alleging he fathered a child with a fourteen year old girl.

In "The Coming Crisis" are these words:
"And even God himself, the true God, will contribute to put means and instruments in [Satan's] way and at hand for his use, so that he can have a full trial of his strength and cunning, with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish."

Many FLDS and others believe that the photos are faked. I do not know. It is rather impossible to defend those pictures as a marriage in most people’s eyes, and I won't. I don't even want to. I don't know anyone in the FLDS who want to have to sanction it; except perhaps the girl.

Although the pictures and the possible news coming from the warrant is incredibly shocking; the warrant is incorrect in its assumption that FLDS marriages are consummated immediately. That is not true whatsoever; in fact it is very, very rare.

The FLDS religion has no minimum age of marriage written in the scriptures, but I believe that the law is always at least attempted to be followed concerning that. It is possible that Warren Jeffs is the father of the child born to a 15 year old wife. But it was in 2005 when 14 year olds were allowed to get married in Texas, even though they were obviously not "legally" married.

I want to be clear that I do not take the warrant at face value, as they have been wrong on most of the ages of the "minors" in this great debacle already, so it is possible and I HOPE it is true that the "15 year old" mother is in fact an adult, or his daughter married to a much younger man. The photo's themselves on the other hand are pointless (though shocking), even if there was a sealing, except to get mad people madder. If even true, the likely reason for the sealing to happen at the time was because she was inspired that he would be gone for a long time. In the FLDS faith that is very real.

Marriage in most peoples eyes is a legal matter and is sexual, but that is not necessarily so for the FLDS. Marriage is only the beginning of a courtship, but it is an eternal one. Let me help you understand the prospective.

In our Mormon history, just before the Saints were driven away from their Temple in Illinois to come to Utah there were many sealing’s of very young girls and some young boys. Mosiah Hancock and Mary were both 11, but were told to not live as man and wife until 16.

In the early part of this century a 12 year old orphan girl was sealed to the Patriarch who adopted her, but they didn't have children until she was 18. I only remember this story as a family folklore, I have no documentation or verification that it happened.

THAT is the last time I ever heard of a sealing of a girl younger than Elissa Wall. Hence the shock I felt, and feel. Elissa was the youngest I heard of being married, and she was fourteen, and THAT shocked me. She looked older than my eighteen year old wife was, and we got married over two years before.

In Elissa Walls book (According to Salt Lake Tribunes Brooke Adams) she said that she and her husband went to see Warren Jeffs over a two years after they were married, and he suggested that they should try to have a child. By this time she was 16.

He had no idea they had already been trying.

Also according to Ms Adams, in Carolyn Jessop’s work of fiction (loosely based on a “true story”) she told of a certain lady and her marriage with the prophet, never consummated after ten years. (Like I would know, but Carolyn did, right?)

Link to Brook Adams blog : See “The Photo” and “More on Stolen Innocence”

To give some personal details [that I might regret]:
My brother and I got married within two weeks of each other. He knew who his wife was and she was 23. I did not know my wife and she was 18. (My father said "You robbed the cradle!" as she looked 14) My brother and his wife had their second child a month after we had our first. nuff said

And do you know what, despite everything else? Even if that photo turns out to be real, and they put that girl in a foster home based on that photo evidence alone. Do you think you will ever convince her that she is not married to him? There is no way. She will serve her time in prison and feel it an honor.

Just realize that even Elissa's older sister Becky, who sat on the stand and railed against Warren Jeffs, STILL believed that she will be married to Rulon Jeffs in the Celestial Kingdom even after her child was born. I heard her husband on the phone with his father complaining about it.

Strange religion? Sure you can argue that.

But abusive? No way.

In the FLDS, girls under 17 rarely have children, but even when they do it is unlike teenage pregnancy in the rest of the United States; for she is MARRIED and the CHILD is NOT an ACCIDENT. The PARENTS agree to the marriage, the GIRL desires it, and it is ETERNAL. Life for a mother is not oppressive in the FLDS, it is very rewarding and the possibilities for other interests besides motherhood are not limited in a communal family.

In the FLDS, girls do not get married until they want to. And they are not forced to marry any particular man. The name is an inspired suggestion if not inspired to her directly, it is not a commandment. This is true despite what you have heard from bitter ex wives. No marriage is ever forced, and no marriage is ever performed unless the girl wants to get married. And no abuse is condoned. Period.

You will never understand unless you read Aunt Martha's story of the life of Flora Jessop and know it is true. Reading the story broke my heart again. My sister Fawn's story is similar (minus the sex) and yet most people still believe she fled a "forced marriage" My father treated her the same way as dear Uncle Fred did Flora. Yet when she took her to Phoenix, Flora had Fawn give an affidavit saying she was "abused”, “faced a forced marriage” and “feared for blood atonement", despite the fact that Fawn has over ten older sisters and not one was married under eighteen or ever felt that they were forced. The CPS and authorities in Arizona investigated my fathers home and interviewed my other sisters that lived there, the charges were dropped, and Flora was ordered to stay away from Fawn. That part of the story never made the paper.

Someone said:
"In my opinion, this is one of the main problems the FLDS have; they see themselves as above the law."

The FLDS are the only minority left in the country where the laws have been and continuously are directly written to persecute them. The religion predates every law that they break, and each law has been written directly to stop the FLDS religion. Other than that, they are the most law abiding citizens in the United States. (Those who are obeying the religion)

Marriage in most peoples eyes is a legal matter and is sexual, but not necessarily so for the FLDS. I couldn’t care less if gay people can get a piece of paper from the civil authorities. That is no different to me than starting a business. Civil marriages are not binding in the church, and they have never desired to make polygamy "legal". The problem is this central tenant of obedience to the FLDS religion is "criminal".

The First Amendment should cover that, but bigotry has a much more powerful lobby.

"Still dragging jaw around many days later"


Fly on the Wall said...

thank you for your posts. they are very interesting.

MPB said...

I appreciate your thoughts on this. I had similar feelings to reconcile.

Pligchild said...

Trent, I know this experience has been great for you. Getting all them pictures of youngins for the Trib and all.

When I was in High School Geography, Warren Jeffs read highlights of the Salt Lake Tribune, and required us to take notes, each day. We were tested every week or so. (My favorite was the sports section, he would ask "who won the Jazz game last night?" That was easy!)

Anonymous said...

The modern mass media, the apostates and the other people do continue to comment the marriage photoes which were found in the YFZ Ranch. I do mean the photoes with Uncle Warren. The are absolutely no anti-Biblical or anti-Mormon on those photoes. If the modern world is totally against the God's divine laws it does not mean absolutely that the God's laws are wrong. The evil world and its wicked followers feel the great "shock" every time when they see the Lord's work and the Lord' principles. We know absolutely clearly that the Truth will prevail, will prevail very soon.

Yours sincerely,