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How Does Warren Jeffs' Trial Affect The L D S Church?


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  1. 1. How does Warren Jeffs' trial affect the LDS Church?

    • It has no effect.
      14
    • It has a negative effect.
      13
    • It has a positive effect.
      3
    • Other.
      0


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As an aside, it will be interesting to see what results from all the prophetic curses he has pronounced. That is one of the things that has always intrigued me in the all the groups of the Latter Day Saint movment. It takes an unusual man to assume the title prophet of God. Given the number of indivudals that have assumed that title/position, someone has got to be wrong.

I bascially do not feel Jeff's trial is either good or bad for the LDS Church. I think people see the distinction betweent he two groups.

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Upon learning of Jeffs' conviction just moments ago, a poster in Idaho wrote on a local news station's website (no spelling correction offered):

Here is the example the mormons DON'T want you to see. This scum sucking dirtbag, must be sentaned to life, or better yet killed with extreme prejudice. This is the mormon way.

While Brian Hales has produced some excellent work on Mormon Fundamentalism, I think Marlin K. Jensen's article on Latter-day Saint/FLDS relations remains one of the key editorials of which journalists should be well aware.

Polygamy Then and Now

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Upon learning of Jeffs' conviction just moments ago, a poster in Idaho wrote on a local news station's website (no spelling correction offered):

While Brian Hales has produced some excellent work on Mormon Fundamentalism, I think Marlin K. Jensen's article on Latter-day Saint/FLDS relations remains one of the key editorials of which journalists should be well aware.

Polygamy Then and Now

I can't actually figure out what that poster was trying to say.

Was he saying that the mormon way is to kill polygamists who rape children, or was he confusing the FLDS with LDS and saying that the mormon way is to support child brides?

"Anger: Just like being drunk. You think you're getting smarter and more devastating with your remarks while all everyone else sees is an idiot who's not making any sense."

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I can't actually figure out what that poster was trying to say.

Was he saying that the mormon way is to kill polygamists who rape children, or was he confusing the FLDS with LDS and saying that the mormon way is to support child brides?

"Anger: Just like being drunk. You think you're getting smarter and more devastating with your remarks while all everyone else sees is an idiot who's not making any sense."

The poster was claiming the latter and has a history of less-than-favorable comments about Mormonism.

After posting Elder Jensen's rebuttal, I was immediately attacked by another poster who had left the Church and claimed to know the "truth" about Mormon polygamy - since Marlin Jensen is apparently only allowed to say what "he's told to say." I was accused of being "preachy" and dogmatic, merely for posting counter evidence (the first poster had only made an assertion, there was no evidence to begin with). They claimed that even their LDS relatives would never "take advantage of the forum" to "preach," and that the only historians who have given reliable histories and came to the "truth" have been excommunicated.

What am I missing? I've read extensive studies of polygamy by authors such as George D. Smith, Brian Hales, Richard S. Van Wagoner, Todd Compton, Richard Bushman, and a host of others. Compton, who wrote the most quoted (and arguably most revealing) history of polygamy remains a believer with no excommunication whatsoever. All I do is provide counter-evidence and all of a sudden I'm "preaching?"

In other news, five polygamist groups along with several "independents" have openly denounced Jeffs (there they go with more "preaching" again). I know the Apostolic United Brethren, which broke ties with the FLDS in the 50's are part of it, and even the Second Warders (Centennial Park).

Ah yes, it's them.

Signed by the PRINCIPLE RIGHTS COALITION (a coalition of Fundamentalist Mormon Communities) - including:

Apostolic United Brethren,

Centennial Park,

Davis County Cooperative Society, (Kingstons)

The Nielsen-Naylor communities,

Principle Voices [Link Removed]

and numerous other, independent Fundamentalist Mormons

I wonder how committed the Kingstons actually are to this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latter_Day_Church_of_Christ#Controversies

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What am I missing? I've read extensive studies of polygamy by authors such as George D. Smith, Brian Hales, Richard S. Van Wagoner, Todd Compton, Richard Bushman, and a host of others. Compton, who wrote the most quoted (and arguably most revealing) history of polygamy remains a believer with no excommunication whatsoever. All I do is provide counter-evidence and all of a sudden I'm "preaching?"

You had the nerve to disagree with them.

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I think its mostly negative, but it can't be helped. Warren Jeffs was exposed for the evil fraud that he is and that's a good thing. The LDS church will weather any bad publicity from his trial.

The audotapes they played at the trial are damning. From what I've read, I suspect the rank and file members of the church had no knowledge of the sexual activities Jeffs was engaging in with his young wives in the temple. The former spokesman, Willie Jessop left the church after what he said was evidence taken in the raid in 2008 that showed Warren Jeffs actions to be 'morally indefensible'. I wonder if it was those tapes?

I hope that his followers will tell Jeffs he's no longer their Prophet because I think that's the only way they'll be able to free themselves from him. He's not giving up his position. I think he found that he could govern fine from his jail cell, but in order to maintain his position he must have complete, unquestioning loyalty from his followers.

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Most newsreports use the words "Warren Jeffs", "child brides", FLDS, etc, so I think most people will not associate this with our church, just the individual, except for a few rabid antis who find any excuse to attack the church.

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The LDS church seems to get lumped into this group for some reason, perhaps convenience? Or lack of education! When I first heard about the FLDS I thought it was just a spin off of the Actual LDS Church. Once educated by reading and asking questions I learned the truth, I never judged before hand. Its unfortunate that the real LDS church has to take the hits for a few psychopaths! :aggressive:

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I guess to cross the T and dot the I of this thread, it might be worthwhile to point out that after Jeffs was declared guilty, today the judge sentenced him to life in prison.

Given the low esteem which the general prison population holds child molesters, Jeffs will have to watch out for his life if he is ever put into that general population. I, for one, hope he lives a good, long time in prison. Wouldn't want his enjoyment of the situation to be cut too short, after all.

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On BBC radio today they announced Jeffs' sentence by calling him a the leader of a Mormon sect. In the foreign press it is probably more difficult to find journalists who know enough about the various sects of Mormonism to understand what is Mormon and what is not. It may not be a negative in the US, but I think it will be negative in the world, thus I amend my statement above.

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On BBC radio today they announced Jeffs' sentence by calling him a the leader of a Mormon sect. In the foreign press it is probably more difficult to find journalists who know enough about the various sects of Mormonism to understand what is Mormon and what is not. It may not be a negative in the US, but I think it will be negative in the world, thus I amend my statement above.

Even then, it's an ice-breaker to talk about the distinctions and why they matter. Even people like Jeffs tend to arouse curiosity in the Mormon movement, and in my experience, that sometimes has the potential to lead people to active Latter-day Saints. Jeffs treated people as objects in the name of a religion he pretended to understand. That tends to push people away from religion, rather than embrace it.

Of this myopic fundamentalism, Newsweek’s Andrew Romano notes:

“…they seek refuge from the complexity and confusion of modern life in the comforting embrace of an authoritarian scripture and the imagined past it supposedly represents. Like other fundamentalists, they see in their good book only what they want to see: confirmation of their preexisting beliefs. Like other fundamentalists, they don’t sweat the details, and they ignore all ambiguities. And like other fundamentalists, they make enemies or evildoers of those who disagree with their doctrine.”
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On BBC radio today they announced Jeffs' sentence by calling him a the leader of a Mormon sect. In the foreign press it is probably more difficult to find journalists who know enough about the various sects of Mormonism to understand what is Mormon and what is not. It may not be a negative in the US, but I think it will be negative in the world, thus I amend my statement above.

I agree. My wife and I were reading the article on bigmir.net, a newsportal from Ukraine, http://news.bigmir.net/world/440818/ and the heading of the article is "В США лидер секты мормонов приговорен к пожизненному заключению." The wording is ambiguous. "Lider sekty Mormonov" could mean either "leader of a Mormon sect" or "leader of THE Mormon sect (lit. the Mormons' sect)." My money is on most people reading it the second way. Sect has the same nasty connotation in Russian as cult has in English.

On my mission in Southern Russia, the term I heard most people use to describe us was "sekta Mormonov."

The article does name the FLDS church "Fundamentalistskaya Tzerkov Iisusa Khrista svyatikh poslyednikh dnyey" but I'm not sure how many people will distinguish it as a separate movement from our church "Tzerkov Iisusa Khrista svyatikh poslyednikh dnyey."

The comments on the site so far haven't attacked LDS per say, but I'll keep an eye on it. I'll also check Israeli news sites to see how it is reported there.

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Here's a news article with audio, and pictures of... an FLDS "Temple Bed", where Jeffs performed a "rite of sexual atonement". That's right. FLDS makes a reality and gives image to all those disgusting and false historically anti-rumors about what we do in our Temples.

The only thing more disgusting than that article is the comments following it. I certainly don't condone Jeffs' acts, but demonizing Mormonism because of the acts of a fringe believer is, to put it frankly, extremely problematic.

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Its become a good thing. I know so many people, those who've been paying any attention, now know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are Mormons and that there is a distinction between these FLDS that practice polygamy and Utah based LDS/Mormons who don't or rather did but stopped. The media has done a pretty decent job of drilling that when ever they talk about it. People are for the most part remembering that part.

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I took a look at some of the Israeli news portals. Ynet has edited their article recently, I'm not sure why, but they still managed to get the title of the FLDS wrong. I suspect that they used google translator. They term Jeffs leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus the Crucified. In an article from 2008 though they give the full title as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus the Crucified of Later Time Saints. In the newer article they do say that the FLDS split from the Mormon religion, but never give the name of our church.

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4104899,00.html

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I looked at the Big Church forum today and saw they had a section on Jeffs and the Mormon Church. Basically I found the same thing I found from two years ago; a few Mormon to Catholic converts that are completely rancid with hate for the LDS Church and the priesthood, and others that are true Christians. When they are bad, they are incredibly bad; that site has some of the worst.

At the end of the day, I am confident that God will take all that happens and make good come of it. His work will go forth.

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I can see how there might be more of a problem with other countries making assumptions, bad publicity (stuff that doesn't make the distinction between the two groups) could lead to more leaders refusing to share records with the Church as well as greater difficulties to get Visas and buildings. Not all people are curious enough to try and find out more, but rather they assume they know enough and make their decisions based on that.

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