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Recent News Regarding Utah Polygamy
May 2011 • By Rev. Dave Roberts.+

Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, claimed to be a prophet and, in the 1820s, said that God told him all Christian churches were apostate and Christian leaders were false. Therefore, God’s solution, according to Smith, was to restore the true Christian church on the earth. (A little known fact is that even after “God” told him that all churches were false, he sought out membership in a local Methodist church not even a couple of years later).

To this day, many Mormon missionaries will ask you how you can know which church is true why there are so many of them in conflict with each other. This is a misstatement because all Christian churches and denominations who look to the Bible and the standard of the Faith set out in the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed, do agree with one another and there is a lot of free-flowing fellowship across denominational lines. Also, the word “Church” actually means the Body of Christ – anyone who is a Christian believer, worldwide, from any age, past, present and future. Some also refer to the Body of Christ as the Bride of Christ. But the “Church” means the believers, not a group, denomination, building or organization. By playing on the misdefinition of the word, Mormon missionaries and other Latter-day Saints (LDS) have been able to play on peoples’ ignorance to convince them that there is only one true church and it is the LDS.

The problem for them, however, is when I ask LDS people, “Which Mormon church?” They look surprised but you see, since 1830, when Joseph Smith finally organized the LDS Church, they have splintered into more than 200 separate groups, each claiming to be the true church, with little fellowship between them, unlike Christian denominations. The have to stay separate because each one claims to have the true authority from God, things that were supposedly restored through Joseph Smith. But consider that what Smith accomplished wasn’t to whittle down all these numerous denominations into the correct one but rather spawned a movement that has had more splinter groups than the number of years Mormonism has been in existence! And add to that are all the independent Mormon men who may not have a splinter group to which they belong, but have their own family, often with multiple plural wives, living right in our neighborhoods here in Utah!

The polygamist groups are numerous through the state and also in Arizona, Texas, Alberta, Idaho and other places. Their existence is a public relationship disaster for the main LDS Church which would like to see a Mormon president in the White House one day, maybe even by 2012. They just have not been able to escape their polygamist roots even though they banned it in 1890 “for a season.” (What was not reported is that a lot of the LDS Church leaders at the time continued to practice it on the side, well into 1900s because, if they were going to be true to the teachings of their LDS prophets, they could not hope to gain exaltation to become gods themselves and begin their own planets to rule over unless they had “practiced the Principle,” which means polygamy.) I deal with it often and three of us at our home church have dedicated ourselves to watching things progress, and sometimes unravel, within the various fundamentalist groups of Mormons. The FLDS are the largest and most infamous because of their notoriety of women in pioneer dresses being carted off by the feds with scores of children out of their compound in Texas. But there are other groups too, like the Kingstonites and the Allredites.

I could write a book just on my experiences with Mormon polygamy and its people, all of whom, as Christians, we see as victims of the legacy of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

Only a few people reading this will recognize Doris Hanson’s name but she was born and raised in the Kingstonites, a polygamous branch of Mormons based in this area. Doris became a Christian (her testimony is covered in the excellent video, “Lifting the Veil of Polygamy,” put out by a small group of Christians up in Brigham City, Utah), left polygamy and began a ministry called A Shield & a Refuge to those trying to leave the United Order (Joseph Smith’s form of theocratic communism) and fundamentalist Mormonism. Their ministry is struggling to survive but Doris has faithfully continued on and even has a program on Salt Lake’s one Christian TV station, Channel 20, where she takes live, actual calls, from people, some of them polygamists, calling in to debate, correct, rebuke or curse what she is doing.

We are honored to know her, because she has drawn a line in the Utah sand that needed to be drawn and has seen good fruit come from her ministry despite incredible hardships.

Her monthly newsletters are particularly informative but the March issue was one that had two short articles in it that I wanted to pass on to those of you who don’t realize how pervasive and evil the practice of polygamy is in Utah. She mentions two groups, the first one from Hildale, Utah, where it is probably 100% polygamous, and is dominated by their prophet, Warren Jeffs. That group goes by the name of The Church of the Firstborn but is also known as “Colorado City” (which is on the Utah/Arizona state line), “Short Creek,” and “the FLDS.” The second group mentioned is Doris’ own former group, the Kingstonites. The following two items were used with Doris’ permission but I’m hoping by our publishing them here, it will give her ministry more renown in the Christian world. Please pray for her safety as we understand she has received threats.

An e-mail from a former FLDS member who still has family in the Short Creek group at Colorado City, Arizona: “There has been a lot of drama going on in the group lately. When the people went to a recent meeting, they sat for one hour of silence and were told to concentrate on their faith in the prophet [this would be Warren Jeffs who is currently in prison in Texas and speaking from a pay phone installed in his cell]. If they were worthy, the prophet would speak to them.

After an hour he came on speakerphone and told everyone that he was alone now, that he had dismissed the presidency (Wendell Neilson, Merrill Jessop, Jim Oler), and that there would be more thrown out in the future. How about that for scaring people? If that wasn’t enough, he told them that the people in the FLDS were not worthy of raising their children and that the priesthood [polygamist leadership] would have to. I don’t know what that means but it makes me a little upset to think that the men are expected to work hard for them and every week hand over their paychecks to pay Warren’s lawyers and then be told they are not worthy to raise their own children. Also, the people have been told to take inventory of everything in their homes and turn in the report. At a recent priesthood meeting all the men had to write down their phone numbers and the carrier with which they have service. Now what do you think that’s about? I know all the people live in fear and unrest.”

Then Doris writes, “It has come to our attention that a suicide pact has been made among a select few people within the Kingston Polygamy group. Beginning in April of this year, one person per month is supposed to take his own life. Both males and females are being recruited to participate and no one is to know who the others are. We have no other information. We believe it consists mostly if not entirely of young adults who are tired of having absolutely no say in their lives. They are directed by leadership in everything they do including marriage, education, employment, friendships and every other aspect of their lives. Many are physically abused as well as huge and deep emotional struggles develop. We have mentioned this on our television show more than once, hoping that someone will come forward and identify what is going on. So far, we’ve had no one with enough courage to talk. We dread another ‘Kool-Aid’ event may be in the making and ask for our readers to pray that God will undertake on behalf of these hurting, mixed-up people.”

Since then, I received this e-mail from Doris: “The suicide pact in the Kingston group has been broken up, only one person remains who claims she is adamant about doing this. I'm praying God will do otherwise with her. I've offered her several alternatives. So far, she has refused further communication.”

Copyright 2011 by Rev. Dave Roberts.+

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