Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who am I?

I have published this blog to tell you my side of the story. The true one.

Who am I? A Victim?

I had an adorable wife, gorgeous little children, brothers, sisters, parents, load’s of extended family, almost innumerable amount of friends, a cozy home, and a job I loved. But in a matter of ten seconds, I lost them all.
All of them.
With the calmest and quietest of voices, a great man said to me “You have no Priesthood”; which I already knew. To describe the experience closest is to calmly walk up, have a cannon pointed at your chest, and fired. My ability to walk, and speak, stayed with me long enough to load some of my belongings in my little van, and drive away, ...barely.

Am I a victim? Of a crime? Only if you call justice a crime; only if you call all choices that are painful, bad ones. I don’t, because I deserved it. I earned it. The loss that I feel, the absolute death of soul that I have felt, the pain that hurt me the very most, is the loss of the confidence of my best friend, Warren Steed Jeffs.

Anyone who has lost the greatest job they ever had, I know how they feel.

Anyone who has lost their own home, I know how they feel.

Anyone who has had close friends and family avoid you, I know how they feel.

Anyone who has lost their entire family of cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, brothers, sisters, parents, and grandparents all in an instant, like watching them climb into a bus and watch the bus drive over a cliff, and be left alone on the dirt road wondering why, knowing it was you who pulled the brake line. I know how they feel.

Anyone who has left their adorable, loving wife sobbing on the couch, gathered with her little ones, and to never see or hear from her again, I know how they feel.

Anyone who has had a child hold on to their neck, tightly, and then lost that child, I know how they feel.

Anyone who has stood looking at the empty spot where their van containing everything they owned was parked only an hour before, three days after losing everything else, I know how they feel.

Anyone who loves their parents desperately, but dreads the visit because it will only be another agonizing goodbye, I know how they feel.

Anyone who has had hurt so bad in their heart that they prayed to God to let them die, somehow, to release the pain, I know how they feel.

The pain, the longing for the grave, the fierce hell that I felt, and still feel at times, is because I love those who I am not worthy of.

I know what it is like to lose your soul.

But here is the truth that no one else will tell you. IT WAS MY OWN FAULT. I know it, God knows it, Warren Jeffs knew it, and now YOU know it. The blame is on no one but myself. I must answer for what I have done. I am the reason I am not home in the FLDS Church with my family, and no one else is. I did what I knew would take me out of what I know is heaven on earth.

I was a member of the FLDS Church, a group of people of which to me there is no comparison. The unity, the love, and the effort of purity of that people are the greatest in the world. I have met a lot of people, I travel all over the country, some do come close, but there are none who compare. Ladies who are angels in every sense of the word, dignified men who would work day and night on your home for nothing and ask only to do more; a people who desire God’s will and nothing else, and a determined goal unlike any other in the world, and that is to become Zion, the pure in heart, here and now; a group of pure fathers, with pure mothers, and pure children; under the direction of one prophet; striving to become a community where the angels in heaven, and Jesus Christ Himself would want to live.

I was in their way; and others were in their way.

Some people who leave the FLDS called it tyranny to obey. They feel they have "escaped". I guess to those raised in heaven, the requirement to do good when you don’t want to is a tremendous burden. But are they victims? When the only thing they seek to escape is heaven and their testimony of it?

Some people who were asked to leave call it torture to not be allowed to stay and interfere with the effort. They want you to think they were cast out for no good reason, which is a lie, are they victims? I am not a victim of anything but my own actions. And neither are they.

I believe in God, the Omnipotent Creator of the Universe, and I believe that He was born into this world and died on the cross for our sins, to give us the resurrection and the power to repent. I believe in His justice, and His mercy, that He is the judge of us all, and anytime we blame anyone for what we experience, we blame Him. He loves us, each individually, and He has a reward for us according to our ability to overcome our sins, a reward far beyond our imaginations.

Keeping Sweet is just that, it is a smile in our trial. It is the effort of prayer, forgiveness, repentance, humility, hope, obedience, and pure love; to never let an outside influence adjust our trust in God; and to trust Him, completely, absolutely, and without exception; to look to Him, and He alone, for solace and courage. Then we will learn to be worthy to be lifted up at the last day, even you, and even me; Saint, Jew, Gentile, Negro, and Oriental; Atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, and Mormon. God loves us without exception, but He will reward us not only by His love for us, but by our ability to love Him enough to be just like Him, and obey Him all the time, no matter what, no matter who wants to stop us, no matter what we live through.

I feel very compelled to tell you the very difficult time I have in writing this blog. I have a difficult time because I love those who hate Warren Jeffs. I have no desire to put them down in any way. I wish nothing for them that I do not want for myself. I only write things against them to stop them from hurting the innocent and keep those who want to believe the truth from believing their lies.

When I think of those who have become filled with apostasy, whose rage is blinding and whose greatest fear is the whole truth, I think of an angry child with matches, who catch themselves on fire. They may light things on fire and hurt the innocent they hate, but it is they who are covered in gasoline. I forgive and feel sorry for them.

I may be a fool, I may be a coward, but let it never be said of me that he did not forgive all!

I have said things on this blog that I didn’t want to. I have written things in emails, on blogs, and even in this post that I probably shouldn’t have. Sometimes I fee like Peter who made a great error with his sword when the soldiers came, and then soon made the opposite error standing at the fire. I have shown my weakness, and shown it to all.

But to all who read this, I sincerely plead, that with your hearts, your desires, your anxiety to do something. Do not give me advice on how to treat my best friend, or my best friend advice on how to treat me! Forgive us. Turn all of your feelings to love, and do something to BUILD UP OTHERS!

Thank You FATHER!


Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Al.
I am touched by this post. I assure you that it makes me look deeper into myself. I didn't know you very well when you wer here but I love your blogs. Yes maybe sometime we all say too much and as an FLDS member we do keep our mouths shut most of the time. But so much has been said that is not true about this people and their Prophet who you know is not a "self proclaimed" prophet. One person said on the petiton blogs that her heart was in the Kingmand Jail, and I will say that mine is too. Let the devils rage for I know the truth and so do you. Warren Steed Jeffs is the most moraly clean person on this planet. You have never,that I know of offended me in any way. and I was shocked when I learned that you had been sent away. I care not for the details for that is between you and the Lord. I forgive you for that is what I am required to do but I know that the forgiveness that you seek is that of the Lord through his Prophed.
I haven't read all you stuff but I do enjoy reading positive things about Uncle Warren. God Bless you dear brother and don't wearry in well doing. Just because you lost Priesthood dose not mean you are not a member of the FLDS. But then who am I to say you know yourself far better than I. I just don't believe that you have done anything that you cannot repent of. And I pray that you can for I know that you want to. And as father would say "don't give up on me"

sincerely yours an Uncle.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean any disrespect, but this comes from the heart after reading about you losing your job, home, family, wife and children:

Why would followers of Christ shun a sinner? Why would his own family members shun a sinner? I wonder if someday you'll realize that when you were down, your loved ones turned their backs on you instead of giving you a loving embrace and helping get back up on your feet. That's what family is for. Your situation is tragic.

I know you probably don't understand how it looks to the outside world that you were forced/chose to walk away from your loving, crying wife and beautiful children for a sin that you could find help and forgiveness for.

We just don't understand why your families are ripped apart. Was that Christ's way?

IF CPS taking children from their parents is bad,
THEN FLDS taking parents from their children = bad.

-an outsider

Pliggy said...

"waving from the cliff"
Hellooo Uncle,
I more than understand!!
I am the one who lost you, me, this fool here. It is not your fault, or your responsibility.
Thank you!


There is a definate reason that I wrote this post over two years ago, not publishing it until now.

And that is also the reason I DO publish it now. To discuss exactly what you are saying.

There are 3 things to think about

1-Who God is and His authority
2-The difference between forgiveness and trust.
3-The difference between choice and force.

Jesus came to bring sinners to repent, and many Christians do feel that it is a central part of the religion to search them out, and bless their hearts for doing so. I know that all who help others up are a part of the Kingdom of God. No matter what thier religion.

But Jesus did not seek to associate with sinners, or seek out sinners. He quitely spoke the truth and forgave and blessed others. Sinners came to him when they wanted to repent, and be forgiven.

HE alone has the power to REALLY FORGIVE; which is the ressurection, and the reason and ability to repent. God is the only one with THIS power to forgive, not I, not you, not even Warren Jeffs, but our Lord alone.

The difference is forgiveness and trust, and that difference is misunderstood by most. The difference is the difference between repentance and atonement. If God forgives, and we should too, why do we have a death row still? Why is anyone in prison?

It is not about forgiveness, it is about trust, and trustworthiness, and atonement, and restitution.

I know that Warren Jeffs has forgiven me, because that is the type of person he is, but because of my own actions, he does not trust me as much as he does my Uncle who posted above.

HE CAN'T because of what I HAVE DONE. NOT HIM, ME!

Do you think he doesn't WANT TO? Do you think that judges enjoy sending men to death row? Do you think that it is not painful, ever, to do the RIGHT thing?

THERE IS A HUUUUGE difference between CPS stealing children from a home that is not abusive, and one that is. There is a HUUGE difference between the government doing it and the Leaders of a church doing it. OPPOSITE!!

Because all I would have had to do is convince my wife to go with me, and she would have. It was a painful choice, but a choice still the same.

I FREELY joined that church, SHE married me not because of my good looks, or my ability to swoon her (Not that those things aren't true :o) But because she wanted to have a Priesthood man who could bless her, and she trusted the prophet and God to make that choice. They chose me, and I blew it.

She was bawling her eyes out when I left, so was I. The last person I met that day was her father, and all I did was hang on him like a wet leaf. But leaving was the RIGHT THING TO DO.

I am a better man than I was that day, because of that day.

I am not the judge of what you do, I am not the judge of what my wife does, I am not the judge of what any in the FLDS do, I am the judge of what I do. God is the judge of everyone, not I.

But with authority comes responsibility to judge. I am responsible for what I do, not what you do. But if I offend you, you are responsible for how you react to me. That is the crux. If I offend your daughter, whom you are responsible for, it is your duty to judge me. That is the difference.

I have no animostity toward a useful and just CPS. Taking children out of dangerous situations is not a bad thing, but it is painful sometimes. The problem is CPS stole children from the best situation for them ON EARTH!!

WC said...

Thank you for your post. We are all sinners, my Friend- I don't care who you are, myself included. That is why all these actions against the FLDS are so repulsive- they strain, hunt, and search for things to hurt you guys with while alot of their hearts are as black as the blackest night; alot of them guilty of things worse than what they are accusing. I have not associated with your people, but I can feel that this persecution is unfounded. I hold on to the scripture "Blessed you have seen me, you believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed". There are alot of us out here who don't know the FLDS but can tell that your cause is just and right and the Truth Will Prevail!


Maayan said...

Dear Al
Who are you? You are one of the kindest and most special person I have ever met, you are awsome!! The work and love for your people and your family gives the rest of us strenght to continue on with our lives. You are strong and you have very special feelings. The only thing that is left for me to say is Keep on going, cause its surely gonna take you somewhere special!!

izzy said...

Will you ever be allowed back?

Like the poster above, outsider, it's hard for me to wrap my mind around Christ agreeing with sending a family's father away ... forever.

I understand everything else you are saying about trustworthiness and making the right choice, etc. But I would think that it would have to be a severely abusive situation in order for Christ to condone a situation like that.

Pliggy said...

Will I? Depends on me!
Can I? Absolutely, but even in your society divorce and remarriage happens every day.

The truth is in what I wrote in another post:

Divorce, like Marriage, is not fully defined in the Bible, for women can separate from their husband if he is cruel or otherwise not living his religion; but a man can never put away his wife unless she commits adultery. He is responsible for her salvation, but she is not responsible for his.