HILDALE, Washington County — As the year comes to an end and the followers of Warren Jeffs await the apocalypse he has predicted, they're living under a challenging edict: they're forbidden to have sex until Jeffs is sprung from a Texas prison.
"He has predicted that the walls in the prison where he's at will fall and crumble," said Joni Holm, who has many relatives in the polygamous FLDS faith.
According to Holm, Fundamentalist LDS Church members also face their faith's most severe punishment, excommunication, if they conceive a child.
It's one of the strangest edicts in a season full of them. Jeffs has issued a stream of revelations, prophecies and orders to his congregation in the border community of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
The recent edicts from Jeffs' prison cell seem to be having two contradictory effects. Many are leaving the FLDS faith in disgust. Those who stay are reported to be increasingly devoted to a man who is serving a lifetime sentence for raping underage girls.
According to numerous critics and outside observers, the imprisoned FLDS leader has sometimes acted through his brother Lyle and other times has spoken directly to his congregation over the phone from prison. He recently banned many of the things his followers enjoy: bicycles, ATVs, trampolines, even children's toys. But the sex edict reaches into the bedrooms of all his devoted followers.
According to Holm, Jeffs declared all existing marriages to be void.
"Right now they have all been told that they are not to live as husband and wife," Holm said. "They can live in the same house, but they are not to have sexual relationships until Warren comes out and 'reseals' them."
Warren Jeffs, Deseret News 67 Comments
[1/9/2012 4:01:24 ]
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