Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
-Christian definition
 -Shared beliefs
 -Handling change
 -Bible topics
 -Bible inerrancy
 -Bible harmony
 -Interpret the Bible
 -Persons
 -Beliefs & creeds
 -Da Vinci code
 -Revelation, 666
 -Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Christ of Later Day Saints (FLDS)

The Canadian branch's history & beliefs

Sponsored link.

Polygyny within the Mormon movement:

In 1890, Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of the main Mormon denomination, the LDS, issued a manifesto. It was presented to the membership as a revelation from God and called the "Great Accommodation".  It suspended the solemnization of new Mormon plural marriages for an indefinite interval. Some secret plural marriages continued to be solemnized into the early 20th century with the church's blessing. However, most Mormons who entered into new polygamous marriages since 1890 have been excommunicated from the LDS. The church did continue to support plural marriages that existed at the time of the manifesto.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS):

The FLDS was founded in 1935 by a group of polygynist Mormons who had been ejected from the LDS. [Polygyny describes the type of polygamy involving one man and multiple wives.] The FLDS' main membership is now centered in the twin cities of Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT. All administrative power is concentrated in a single leader, who is currently Warren Jeffs, (1956 -) 1 Jeffs was convicted of engaging in a conspiracy to rape a child; he is now in prison and has other charges pending.

Jeffs appointed a single administrator over the Bountiful group: Winston Blackmore. Jeffs later removed Blackmore from control, replacing him with Bishop James Oler. Blackmore has since organized a splinter Fundamentalist Mormon group. 2 By mid-2006, the two groups were approximately equal in numbers in Bountiful. 3

The FLDS is a secretive organization. Little precise information about the FLDS is available to outsiders. As a result, most of the information comes from critics of the FLDS or from ex-FLDS members who have left the group. These can be unreliable sources. Even less information is available about the Canadian group. They have a policy of not talking to the media.

FLDS/Canada's beliefs and practices:

Polygyny presents obvious problems for a religious group or community. Since roughly equal numbers of boy and girl babies are born, it takes extraordinary steps to provide men with multiple wives. Policies have to be developed to control:

bulletThe expulsion of the excess males during their teen years;

bulletThe importing of additional females via human trafficing;

bulletA high level of genetic disorders due to inbreeding over many generations within a small, closed group.

Benjamin Bistline spent part of his childhood among polygynists in the main FLDS group in what is now called Colorado City, AZ. He has written a book about his experiences. 4 Bistline has observed that in order to maintain a culture in which most men have many wives, it is necessary to persuade or force most male youths to leave the community at a relatively young age. Teenage women with restricted education are then matched up with older men, preferably before they develop an interest in boys their own age. After an unregistered marriage, the new wives often financially support the family by applying for welfare as single mothers. It is quite possible that the same policies are pursued in the Bountiful group. The U.S. and Canadian branches appear to be closely linked. There have been allegations in the U.S. and Canadian media that teenage women have been exported from the U.S. group to supply men in Bountiful with additional brides.

According to The Economist magazine, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Fifth Estate TV program, some of the unusual theological beliefs and practices of the FLDS are:

bulletMen must have at least three wives and as many children as possible in order to enter the highest level of heaven, and to have the opportunity to evolve into a God. This belief was first taught by Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon movement.

bulletA wife can only attain this highest level if invited by her husband. This places incredible pressure on women to conform to their husband's demands.

bulletA woman's role is to serve a man and be submissive to his needs.

bulletWomen who disobey men will have their souls burn in Hell for eternity.

bulletChildren are usually required to leave school at the age of 13 or 14.

bulletTheir marriage ceremony consists of the woman placing her hand in the man's hand in what is called "the patriarchal grip."

bulletA man is not permitted to have sexual intercourse with one of his wives if she is pregnant.

bullet"If...an older man seduces a 13-year old girl....in his own mind he doesn't commit sexual abuse.....he views himself as married." (Comment by Ron Barton, special investigator of "closed societies," at the Utah State Attorney's Office)

bulletFormer Bishop Winston Blackmore of Bountiful claimed that because all the plural marriages, except perhaps for the first one, are celestial, and not legal unions, FLDS men are not legally polygamists; they are only adulterers in the eyes of the state. Adultery is not a criminal act.  5,6,7 He does not seem to be aware of the specific wording of the Law prohibiting polygamy in Canada.

According to The Economist, critics say that the schools run by the Canadian branch of the FLDS provide minimal education. Boys are trained as farm and forest laborers. Girls are trained to be:

"... young brides and mothers....Women who have fled tell of girls as young as 13 being married off to polygamous men three times their age; of babies born to girls of 14 and 15; and of under-age girls being brought in from similar American communes for arranged marriages and to serve as 'breeding stock'."

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,

"...some men have close to 30 wives and father up to 80 children. ... teenage girls are married to men old enough to be their grandfathers". 6

References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Brooke Adams, "Thou Shalt Obey," Salt Lake Tribune, 2004-MAR-14, in the archives at: http://www.sltrib.com  Reprinted by RelgionNewsBlog at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/
  2. "Polygamy in Canada: Hunting Bountiful. Ending a half a century of exploitation," The Economist, 2004-JUL-8, at: http://www.economist.com/
  3. Jeremy Hainsworth, "Polygamy: Polygamist leader's arrest sets stage for cross-border FLDS power struggle," Canoe, 2006-AUG-30, at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/
  4. Benjamin Bistline, "The Polygamists: A History of Colorado City, Arizona," Agreka Books, (2004). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  5. "Polygamy in Canada: Hunting Bountiful. Ending a half a century of exploitation," The Economist, 2004-JUL-8, at: http://www.economist.com/
  6. Script of "Polygamy in Bountiful," The Fifth Estate TV program, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, broadcast on 2003-JAN-15.

Site navigation:

 Home > Christianity > Faith groups FLDS > Canada > here

Home>Christianity>Denom. families>LDS Rest.>FLDS>Canada>here

Home > "Hot" topics > Marriage > PolygamyFLDS > Canada > here

Home>Religious info>Basic>Practices>Marriage>Polygamy>FLDS>Canada>here

Copyright © 2004 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-JUL-25
Latest update and review: 2010-DEC-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or the FLDS/Canada menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

 

Sponsored link: