Inside Fundamentalist Mormon Community

Dec 02, 2023 970.6K Views 4.3K Comments

The word “fundamentalist” sounds almost frightening to most of us. Some people have heard of the FLDS, the Mormon fundamentalist group run by Warren Jeffs, which has a very dark history.
What most don’t know is that there are over 200 Mormon fundamentalist groups that practice the old teachings including polygamy. Today, we meet up with one of these groups who brings us into their world and way of thinking. Access to a group like this is almost impossible to get, so we have a rare peek behind the curtain.

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

MUSIC USED IN THE VIDEO 🎵
► Headlund – Heart’s Reprise

today we have almost impossible access
to get but we got it I’ve been in two
plural families myself so I could say
I’m a plist wife this isn’t for
everybody BMW stands for big Mormon
wagon and we had one you’d be open to a
plural marriage and you’re 85 I want to
build a bridge so that people won’t be
afraid of us you think it’s like a
natural human thing I do that is the
allseen eye of God what if a gay couple
tried to come into your church your um
marriage twin okay oh okay okay okay I
would say Warren Jeffs is horrible it’s
like a rival Washington DC they had
their own currency have their own
language own language the desert
alphabet can you leave at any time if
you want there’s 22 of us total myself
included we might be different come from
different walks of life believe
different things but we’re all
people good morning guys today we have a
very interesting video that is with
Mormon fundamentalists these are the
Mormons that still practice polygamy or
as they say plural marriages now in all
the Mormons that exist in this world the
17 roughly 17 million of them under half
of 1% have stayed to the fundamentalist
Doctrine we’re going to get in with some
of these fundamentalists to see how they
live understand plural marriage better
and get an inside look of a world that
most of us will never see let’s do this
[Music]
our
picture am I in this or Now You’re All
In All in One More Time 1 two
three awesome Co how many different
fundamentalists 200 they gave us you
don’t want to be on camera oh yeah I do
okay cool I just I don’t want to do it
in front of the LDS Representatives here
I want to be respectful okay got D so
there’s a big difference between you or
or what what is that yes we believe in
the fundamental principles that Joseph
Smith and Bram young Tod okay and
they’ve taken those away they’ve taken
Celestial plal marriage away because of
all the opposition from the government
United States government when did they
take that away 189 was the manifesto oh
a long time ago yeah they’ve actually
persecuted a lot of the people that
believe in Celestial paral marriage Tred
to rip families apart why do you call it
Celestial there are different ordinances
and things that you comply with in order
to make it so there’s more Harmony in
the home I’ve been in two plural
families myself okay so I I could say
I’m a ponist wife so you had
a sister wife oh many Sister Wives many
yes how many Annette’s actually one of
my Sister Wives care okay yeah on the
our our husband passed away I’m sorry in
2015 with her family I had her and one
other person and then in the previous
family there was five of us both of the
husbands had health issues okay so walk
us through someone that doesn’t know
that world at all is it super
challenging or what’s it like having
multiple Sister Wives and one one man
there’s challenges okay but you learn to
rise above those and to love each other
and to care for each other and for each
other’s children it’s just a
different attitude and perspective is
what I say you have to take on you have
to get over your fears and jealousies
okay can you leave at any time if you
want or no you can if you want there’s
free agency free agency is free agency
highly honored in your fundamentalist
sect not in all of them right some of
them like Warren say Warr Jeffs is
horrible that’s that’s known as yeah
there’s a lot of Mind Control in in that
and we don’t believe in mind control we
believe in free
agency um we are encouraged to keep our
covenants and try to work through our
differences of course um
but nobody is going to be hunted down
and killed like you know you’ve heard of
the Lear some of the learon groups have
actually killed their members if they
left and we do not believe in that at
all okay we believe that um our husbands
are supposed to be called on missions
and do the Lord’s work and so they’re
not always around and so it’s nice to
have that um closeit companionship with
other women a woman relates to another
woman a lot better sometimes and to help
be supportive to each other and help
each other’s children so I children did
you have in in your family then okay so
in my previous
family um I had two boys from my
previous marriage and two daughters in
that um marriage so I had four my other
sister wife had six um the other sister
wife had five and then um our husband
actually had a first wife that chose not
to be a part of it okay she had seven
children so we had those children too so
w I would have to add
but quite a few children did you forget
names no never no are you like Under One
Roof one house there was times we were
and there was times we had our own
separate ABS just depending upon the
circumstances and what was happening and
as the family grew it kind of was better
to have our own AB boats but to still
come together we always came together
for many functions and now you’re not in
a plural relationship I’m not right now
I would like to become in that again but
my current husband is kind of not sure
if he’s ready for that okay yeah he’s a
little he’s a little scared I’m the
eager one and he’s scared see I would
have thought it was the opposite I would
have thought it was the men pushing this
and not not always not always not always
with my actually with my mother and my
father it was my mom pushing it my dad
was the one that was holding back
interesting yes because he realized the
responsibility and was like can I make
sure everybody’s happy and thei the
financial responsibility is massive
that’s very massive so most of the time
we’re all all of us are going to work or
there’s certain wives that will go to
work and others will take care of their
kids and help teach them and you know or
they’ll take
turns so there’s a not every family is
the same do you think plural marriage is
a natural thing because it comes from
your God your scripture let’s say well
the way we look at it is if there’s a
really good man that’s righteous and
that wants to be um honorable to his
women and to the children he should have
that opportunity to be the father of as
many children as possible and we believe
that we when we come down here we are to
provide physical bodies for um our
spirit brothers and sisters okay and we
want them to have the greatest
opportunity to be raised in a righteous
family instead of like a lot of people
out in the world you know the woman has
the children but the man is off doing
his own thing and not being honorable to
her so what do you mean like cheating on
the wife cheating on the wife or
drinking or you know just doing things
that is not trying to be uplifting and
help be a righteous priesthood head
there’s a lot of really good men out
there that are honorable to their wives
and and good like that but we just feel
like if there is someone honorable and
trying to uphold their Priestly callings
they should be given that opportunity so
we don’t believe Celestial plural
marriage is for everyone
it’s it’s for only those that really
want to so there’s there’s not a
pressure in your religion yeah we have a
lot of people that you don’t have to be
no okay the name of your religion your
your church I’m sorry the Church of
Jesus Christ of latterday saints the
righteous Branch the righteous Branch
okay yes so that’s obviously not
llds but your fundamentalists yes it’s a
lot of different groups you’re going to
hear of the Au and the llds and the
short Crick group group and you’re going
to hear a lot of different groups okay
do you all get along or you stay to
yourselves or um we we have interacted
some some some people don’t want to
interact with us some people are fine
I’ve gone to LDS um Church meetings
because my husband is my current husband
is LDS right now okay so if your husband
agreed to going into a plural
marriage you would want him to pick your
sister wife he would you would want him
to pick or how does that work how it
works is we actually don’t pick them we
can have inspiration or witness or dream
but we have a prophet and we believe
that um the women are supposed to if
they want to be in a family they need to
go put their name in with the prophet
and just say you know I would like the
will of the Lord you know will you
please pray and but the prophet also on
the other hand he also honors the free
agency that I said once again so the
woman has her final choice no woman so
the the prophet makes the choice or or
comes up with the candidate but the
woman makes the final choice that is
correct and then if she if she says yes
I want to do you know whatever it is
that you say and she’s willing to do
that then he will notify the appropriate
parties and ask them to get their woman
witness they have to have their witness
too okay so everybody has to have their
witness and you know there’s like a
check and balance in there so it’s not
just a man running off doing his own
thing behind there’s a structure to it
there’s a structure yes there’s some
guidelines to try to keep order and wow
we don’t believe in courting and dating
we believe in that we try to find out
who it was in the pre-existence that we
covenanted with okay to be with in this
life so only arranged
marriages it’s like it’s like Indians
kind of like traditional traditional
Indians right like that and what I
learned in India this is what people
would tell me because it seems like such
a far out concept for say secular
Americans yeah they said you form your
relationship through lust or or romantic
love Yeah but in our arranged marriages
you come together not in lust but you
spend the rest of your life falling in
love that’s what he told me yes yes I
found interesting if you look at the
Bible that’s pretty much how the
marriages were in the Bible too yeah for
us Gentiles you know outside of the
religion do you look at our Behavior as
a bit immoral you know you’re dating
someone here you’re dating someone there
you’re just choosing on your own what
what would your view of that be we don’t
have I personally don’t condemn anybody
I feel heavenly father has given
everyone the right to have free agency
and not everyone’s going to choose to
believe the same way as we are and we
are not the judge of our brothers and
sisters we are to just do what we feel
is right and be an example
of love and charity towards others and
we don’t look at that way as what we
want to do but you know if our youth
grow up and say hey I I want to go out
and I want to try that and I want to we
can’t stop them you know we can’t we can
encourage them you know but I mean I
have daughters of my own that have
chosen to go a different path okay and I
still love my daughters I still will
because God is unconditional and his
love is it tough though as a mother it
it hurts yeah because the way we believe
it is if you if you don’t have the
marriages the heavenly father wants then
in the next life you won’t be married
you will be single you’ll eternally be
single that’s why Celestial plural
marriage is for if you want to become a
God again yourself so you want your
daughters to become polygamist that
would be perfect if if possible I would
like them to enter that but I am not
going to force that because that’s a
personal choice they have to decide for
themselves what they can handle and what
they want and what they’re willing to
sacrifice for y so here’s the legend BMW
stands for big Mormon
wagon and we had one with all of our
little kid
leav okay so sister wife sister wife we
used to be
yeah are you still in a plural
relationship or no I’m not okay I
haven’t gotten remarried yet do you miss
it or or do you like in a way I do we
became best friends we always hung out
we did things together we had a
babysitter if we needed to didn’t have
to pay for a babysitter sure our kids
hung out and they had you know
Association and friends with one another
that was great we always did things
together as a family we would take
vacations together as family of course
you don’t have as much time with your
husband as you would in a monogamous
marriage but that’s a sacrifice that you
do and you learn to love love the other
wives just as much as the husband as the
husband how does it work in a plural
marriage like one day you you have let’s
say rights or whatever you have you have
full attention the next day the other
wife does the next day the other wife
does or how does that work in a way yeah
that’s what it was me and the other wife
not Trina we would live actually in the
same house so I got to see them quite a
bit we’d have our separate rooms but we
shared the house we shared the kitchen
we shared the living room you know
family time so big family meals right
big family meals so everything was you
know together Trina actually had her own
home mhm and so she would only be able
to see him when he went over there okay
where me I got to see him more if that
Mak sense yeah was there ever um was it
ever hard like if you you had a great 24
hours let’s say with your husband
and then he has to leave and go to the
other wife was that ever a big challenge
or it’s just something you accept and
it’s just normal that wasn’t to me it’s
normally just something I accepted CU I
knew within me that he loved them just
as much as he loved me and as long as I
knew that he loved me it didn’t matter
to me and did you grow up in a family
like this or how did you get into it no
my my parents were notas they didn’t um
my hus my dad did have a plural wife um
when I was younger okay but she ended up
leaving we never got met one so I didn’t
get to see it a whole lot growing up my
dad found uh Christ Church just before I
turned 8 years old okay and so of course
I’m young I just go to church with him
and so I eventually learned and grew in
regards to our church and our religion I
knew that it was you know true and it a
true principle to live you know I got
married when I was
teenager so what a teenager how
old 16 wow okay yep was it arranged or
no no you wanted it was my
choice
okay is that normal in the church 16 no
oh hell no back way back then you know
it was totally different now that they
only allow 18 or older okay and it’s
always always the female’s Choice it’s
her
decision was it back then the female’s
decision yep but in llds it was
different they chose and they had to go
into it right right you think it’s
interesting I’m going out to Spring
Creek tomorrow uhhuh to see a former
flds member I’m curious so you’re
curious about that no I’m not curious in
regards to them I’m curious in regards
to what what response you’re going to
get yeah out there cuz I’ve heard a lot
of
stuff so do you think it’s natural in US
plural marriages you think it’s like a
natural human thing I
do okay so you feel like if all like the
social rules went
away most guys would be down with this
most of them
yeah who wouldn’t but most women
wouldn’t be right cuz I think women are
a lot lot more jealous in nature than
men so Benjamin tell us what makes you
different than your average LDS member
okay so we’re all Mormons right or at
least they used to use that word now
they say they’re not Mormon we are
Mormons we’re we’re still Mormons okay
this gets confusing guys but I learned
this in Salt Lake when I said Mormon
they’re like say LDS or even uh Church
of latterday saints I don’t know why
they changed that that’s a recent thing
it probably won’t stick anyway um but
I’m sure everyone is going to agree with
that one um but uh but yeah it’s it’s a
thing they’re doing right now they’re
trying to emphasize the name of Jesus
Christ and emphasize their connection
and belief in Jesus and and I think
that’s laudable but it it it just
doesn’t work grammatically uh Mormonism
is is a type of person it’s a type of
ethnicity even it’s a type of religious
belief um it’s it’s that’s just the way
it always has been it’s it’s just going
to continue to be part of the English
language um but yeah no we still
identify as Mormons and what makes us
different from and mor you’re considered
fundamentalist Mormon but not
flds right so the flds is a specific
Church within Mormon fundamentalism um
they were established in
1993 um and it’s only one small subset
they’re the ones that you’re going to
see a lot of media on um they’re but
mostly because of the tragedies and and
terrible things that have happened in
their Community Warren Jeffs is their
leader Warren Jeffs is their leader and
running it from prison right now well
and he’s hardly running anything okay um
but he’s um you know he’s in prison for
good reason yeah unfortunately their
whole Community has been torn apart by
the evils and and Corruptions and
violence that has has gone on in their
community so okay um we so you have
nothing to do with them no nothing to do
with them no more than any other Mormon
would have anything to do with them okay
totally totally separate separate
history separate leaders separate
communities so even most LDS members
will put you under one group well a lot
of yeah generally LDS members view it
like they think that they’re the
original okay we think they’re the
breakoff group you think you’re the
original we think we’re the original um
and that’s kind of why um we don’t argue
with the term fundamentalist very much
um the term fundamentalist was actually
Co by the PR department of the
mainstream elas Church the Mormon
fundamentalist moniker we usually
embrace it because it means that we
stick with the fundamentals and we do we
believe in all of the doctrines
practices ordinances that original
Mormonism had in it uh so that includes
things like the original Temple
ceremonies they’ve changed their
ceremonies um we still practice the
United order and plural marriage and
believe in the original doctrines of who
God is um and and they they they’ve
changed these things throughout the
years so they have a
president that is their leader so every
president changes the rules a bit or how
does that work to some extent that’s
sort of true but uh I like a lot of
people will be familiar with the boiling
a frog analogy it doesn’t they don’t
change everything all at once but over
over the 200 years of Mormon history
they’ve changed a lot okay um we’re
trying to stay with the original but
that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re
like static um we we have a dynamic
Community we believe that God is still
speaking uh still revealing his will um
on the earth and still has prophets and
apostles and okay and all those things
but the difference is is that to us
certain things are so fundamental that
they cannot be changed otherwise God
would be a different god um if God says
one day that this is righteousness and
that is evil and the next day he changes
his Commandments he changes his rules or
he changes the ceremonies that that
represent that like baptism things like
that then then we don’t believe it’s the
same church anymore and so so I would
say I never left the mainstream indas
church but the church left the gospel
the church broke away what about the 17
million members in the world the vast
majority are going that way yeah why is
that
well the main thing that the mainstream
church is doing is trying to make sure
that uh it it fits with the world it
fits in right um they’re trying to be
mainstream Christians they’re trying to
be like everybody else uh that’s not uh
and that that’s a way to be popular sure
but if you just tell people what they
want to hear you’re not necessarily
telling them the truth you’re styling
there I like you we
allt like our own taste you know right
but modest I was married when I joined
this church and he joined it
too um he died shortly thereafter okay
so I’m a widow I’m sealed to him for
eternity I consider myself married if
the prophet said to me now you you need
to go get married to somebody and I
always get my choice um I would I would
say I would rather say no but if the
Lord wants me to do this that’s what I
will do because he has a growth
opportunity and plural Mage is a growth
opportunity growth opportunity but
you’re not going to have kids
now what do you mean by gross
opportunity I’m 85 well patience with
learning to love the other wives so
you’d be open to a plural marriage
correct or no I have a great deal of
love I’ve had testimony of plural
marriage for many years I married a
man um who was many years my senior then
I love still love him dearly if any
marriage
fails it’s because of two main things
selfishness and jealousy one of the big
things about this church is we always
have our
agency our agency is never taken away
from us that’s the beauty of it huh
that’s part of the beauty of it part of
it is that we claim MH to um that our
priesthood Authority goes back to Jesus
Christ and I’ve been reading the
scriptures since I was 20 so you do the
math 65 years ago yeah 65 years I’ve
been reading the Scriptures
Daily I’m on my 52nd reader reading of
the scriptures all the way through
pretty hard to fool
me that is the allseen eye of God that’s
just a symbol it’s on our dollar bill
and it represents God Watching Over Us
and it’s a symbol that was used in the
19th century very prevalent back in New
England the people who built this
building buing came from New England so
you were worried people will think it’s
culish if they see they see it and they
don’t understand it masic Sy it’s that
but it’s more than that we sing hymns in
church about beneath God’s watchful eye
who Saints securely
dwell four sets of stairs like this in
the whole country spiral staircases with
no Center support free standing the
Symmetry was so much more important to
these early Architects like tman Angel
who designed this building than anything
I and so they literally Incorporated the
elements and Blended them together
rather than move a door or make it
shorter they wanted to make sure that it
had this perfect Symmetry and order in
everything that was organized this is
basically the earliest form of meeting
house that Mormons made Mormons
originally uh would only meet Outdoors
or in homes but uh occasionally in the
1850s through 1890s they would build
these grand edifices for larger
conferences and call them Tabernacles
Tabernacles have generally been open to
the public and temples are closed for
ceremonies but even in Tabernacles some
ordinances have been done some of the
Tabernacles have baptistries for example
where they do baptisms whereas a temple
people only go into those um edifices to
do the sacred ceremonies of the temple
in a temple we wouldn’t be able to film
inside correct me as a gentile right in
fact um generally you can only go if you
have What’s called the temple recommend
which is basically a statement of faith
saying that you you believe
those things driver yeah I guess makes
you a card carrying
Mormon some people might look at a
symbol like the all seeing eye and
seeing that like oh no God’s watching me
all the time um how invasive but I think
the idea of the all seeing eye is
supposed to is meant to be comforting
that he God is always with us God is
always um present with us watching all
that we do looking over us um in a
benevolent way right is it God or is it
heavenly father okay so God of course is
a very generic word in English for any
de heavenly father is something Mormons
use a lot and that we God as as the way
we view God right we view God as a
father and that actually goes back to
one of the fundamental differences
between a Mormon fundamentalist and the
mainstream elas is that we believe that
God is our literal
ancestor and that um this is what’s
called the Adam God Doctrine the idea
that the human race descends directly
from the gods so that in this sense God
as a father has a wife who is our mother
and we are literally his descendants
rather than just being a created thing
like he didn’t just make us out of mud
the human race was given birth to the
same way that we’re all created now I’m
made of the Dust of this earth right but
that doesn’t mean that I was made my
parents ordered me from a catalog right
I was born the same way any other human
being is born um so Mormonism sees kind
of a a joyful marriage between nature
and Divinity all these natural processes
like even childbearing are Divine in
their nature Divine in their origin
everything in Mormonism points to this
um concept of the infinite generations
of the gods that we are Divine in our
nature um but it’s too on the nose for
most Christians and so they’ve been
doing a lot of backpedaling in the last
several decades in the mainstream ilas
Church away from the stating those ideas
too explicitly um because it’s it’s
viewed as heresy of course as far as
we’re concerned that just makes everyone
else
Heretics right but um but for because
for us it’s it’s fun it’s
fundamental oh check out the
belly mama pupp that’s cute so Benjamin
is your wife showing up today um she’s
hanging out with her parents in Cedar
[ __ ] but we can meet up with her okay
and how many wives do you have you been
here um I have
one wife that’s that’s with me I’ve lost
one wife oh I’m sorry I didn’t know that
my first wife was
just she said she was so open to it so
we got married right here in the St
George temple okay I remember talking to
her about how uh we were going to live
floral marriage and she’s like yes I’m
on board and all that stuff um when it
started coming down to the possibility
of it really happening she changed her
her attitude and the funny thing is is I
was willing to stay monogamous with her
permanently okay we were monogamous for
a long time and I I never dated we don’t
do that I never looked for another wife
anything but we were married for almost
20 years and then she
finally decided that she wanted to do
her own thing okay this is my son-in-law
Simeon my daughter Marissa and Son
Jeremiah nice to meet you yeah you too
maybe a silly question but plural
marriage or no we aren’t living we
aren’t living it no just us and the the
little one first one yeah okay great
little girl so oh cool congrats be here
any day we do believe inal marriage and
I actually grew up in a for family okay
both did you both did yeah would you be
open to it or no sure yeah yeah for sure
I think it’s important actually so like
not just like not just open I’m like
yeah that’s I think that’s a good like
like whenever we feel like God has
called us to do that then the time will
come or whatever so okay so would it be
your Bishop that tells you this or you
decide on your own as a relationship um
so it’s kind of a little bit of both
okay yeah like we’re not forced into it
it’s all whether we want to or not okay
like it’s we’re not forced into it or
anything what was it like growing up you
had multiple mothers correct yeah and
then one father what was that like I
mean if I mean sure you could speak for
days on it but what was that be honest
with awesome awesome yeah I would
describe it as awesome like that as a
kid no question that was so cool for me
just cuz you had a bunch of brothers and
sisters yeah I’m actually the youngest
of of my dad’s and uh actually my mom’s
too so I’m the youngest youngest okay so
I have 18 other siblings besides me so
yeah like totally awesome like they’ve
gone all sorts of different ways and
careers and all sorts of stuff and so I
get a lot of different experience and I
can kind of like work with them and sure
do different things with them so it’s
it’s way cool and you same same I’m the
second youngest and um there’s 22 of us
total myself included so having that
many siblings is a lot which I’m sure
you can imagine wow my oldest brother
he’s the oldest twins they’re I can’t
remember how old they are I think
they’re like 46 so I didn’t really grow
up knowing them cuz they’re they were
like moved out and probably married
before I was even boring so like it’s
important to realize that like the whole
plal situation is based off of whether
we want to or not like none of us are
forced into it which I mean the children
in your church yeah everybody has to
consent basically and let’s say a second
wife or whatever comes for the both of
us like we would both have to say yes
and she had to say yes and then it would
happen so like no what if what if you
would say no and you want yes or that’s
just to be determined you have to talk
that out or how does it work um yeah you
know if it like came down to it like
plal marriage and like whether we live
it or not like we both take that really
seriously there’s like different stigmas
around it but making one marriage work
is a lot of work so unless you really
believe this don’t do it
again like that that’s a lot of work
it’s not something you should advise to
just anybody you know like sure sure we
both agree that it’s highly important
that children um are raised under their
mothers like not just handed off to
schools or babysitters so like we both
agree that like stay-at-home moms are
important and then he would be providing
for my me and my children or would you
do homeschooling I would love to okay I
was homeschooled for most of my life so
and you’re who is telling me I’m sorry
someone I met a lot of new people today
but you’re um how did she say it
marriage
twin okay oh okay okay okay so you met
Trina yeah she was one of my mom’s
growing up and my mom and so they were
pregnant at the same time and me and my
sister were born 2 hours apart so
different moms but twins wow yeah wow
same father different Moms 2 hours apart
wow yeah that’s very rare right or is
that common that’s not common I wouldn’t
say that that’s that’s that’s especially
in the same family like not at all okay
do you feel like you have to explain
yourselves a lot or nobody really knows
um what’ you say yeah but we live in a
community that yeah I mean definitely
there’s a lot there’s a lot of
explanation been around this for a long
time so right like they they know us and
yeah we’re all family okay so growing up
the outside world that being me people
that are non-believing would you avoid
them at all cost or just you want
associate or you know I’d say it’s kind
of like a mixed bag and just like
depends I went to public school at one
point there in mosqu so and I had like
friends and whatnot so did you ever have
to deal with anyone looking down on you
guys like Jud judging you you felt like
a judgment or anything probably yeah
okay yeah probably we were actually kind
of raised in the middle of like nowhere
and we didn’t go to public school
anything like that but um so at the time
in Utah where we lived plural marriage
was illegal and so there was a time
where cops had visited our house and it
was terrifying because we didn’t want to
be taken away from our family you know
and so we were like hiding and like it
of course it was scary cuz we didn’t
want to be taken away and whatnot but
like so that’s what’s happened in Utah
law right it’s it it’s illegal as in
felony and then now it’s now it’s legal
right right or it’s like a $50 fine or
something ridiculous like that I really
know yeah but so the the pressure isn’t
on now but not long ago the pressure was
on and like I’ve heard stories about
other people that would like donica his
sister would say they’d have to like
dive into the bushes to hide from people
or which our parents built that fear
into us growing up which just kind there
was definitely like like I I’m a little
bit younger but I think some of my older
siblings they had more of that like hey
they’re going to come get us or whatever
and take us away from our families as
time passes people have gotten more open
about about it and we don’t have to like
hide our children from everybody anymore
or anything like that so what do you
think about secular types that have
bunch of girlfriends or they’re with one
girl then they’re with another they’re
dating around what are your thoughts on
that um I’m sure there’s plenty of
people that do that kind of stuff but I
I don’t really um how are you doing I
guess for me like religiously it was
just I wanted to um find the right one
and and um dating around forever and
going on about that I wanted to like
pray about who I was supposed to be with
and and find the one you know
so all right accept the gold back
oh the gold B I did see that on the door
yeah step right over here oh that’s
we’re as far as I know one of the only
suppliers of the gold backs in St George
Utah but there are companies that accept
them for payment like Juds you can get
soup homemade soup and sandwiches for
gold backs so back in 2011 basically the
government of Utah decided that we were
going to accept gold and silver as money
a company actually developed this
particular product and it’s actually uh
just that amount of gold in in a
currency form several different states
have actually authorized it this is
actually a a Nevada Gold back and so
there’s gold in the currency there’s
actually
one 1,000 of one ounce in that currency
okay so by saying one that’s not $1
that’s one what yeah so it’s one gold
back it’s considered one one single gold
back and it sticks to the spot gold
price versus the valuation you can
actually look it up online goldb
back.com and it’ll actually tell you
what the exact amount of value is with
this particular currency a lot of folks
feel like it’s going to to manifest
itself as far as the value here very
soon you know okay going towards the
actual true value of what gold is so
it’s a hedge against inflation
potentially definitely um it’s it’s one
of the things that we do here you know
we’re we’re actually gold and silver
Brokers so okay yeah cool shop you
got that is so cool that’s an
intimidating constru there look how much
work went into that cool
so this is the real Pioneer Museum stuff
right here the daughters of the Utah
Pioneers keeps all the artifacts all
kinds of cool stuff thank
you so you guys do a great job with
genealogy too oh that’s really important
and it’s important to our faith too
because we believe that we’re connected
beyond death um through the veil to all
of our ancestors and all of our
descendants and so we view ourselves as
being part of this Continuum right we’re
not as individualistic I think as most
Americans are um the Mormon faith is
really about becoming United uh this is
why our vision of Zion is this concept
of being of one heart and one mind
another words Unity of purpose Unity
Unity of Legacy throughout throughout
time the past the present the future
we’re trying to build something and
change the world you know a lot of
religions they look at Heaven as like
something that’s going to happen later
after this life we view our purpose more
as we need to make Heaven here we need
to build it now what about the second
coming there’s always been a talk of the
second coming basically since day one oh
yeah um so if you’re worried about the
second coming that’s some future event
not the now actually quite the opposite
in Mormonism instead of us viewing the
second coming as Jesus just showing up
like he’s coming out of the blue he’s
doing all the work we actually view
ourselves as participants if we build
the earth into the type of world in
which Jesus is want to live he will come
back to dwell with us and so it’s really
we view it as our duty to create the
kind of world to create the Z where
Jesus Christ could Reign personally on
the earth and so we don’t believe his
second coming is actually going to
happen until he has a people to come to
and that’s why we believe it’s so
important for us to continue to live all
the laws of of the Gospel including
plural marriage and and building Z in
theit and all that stuff but if Society
slips let’s say things get worse here
sure then you’re further away from the
second coming could be
yeah um but it isn’t necessarily
required that everyone is going to live
this way or everyone’s going to live the
way of Peace that’s why there’s I mean
the Bible’s replete with a lot of um
terrible judgments too Could Happen um
but it’s more of a you have to decide
what side you’re on do you want to live
in a world of Peace are you capable of
forgiving your enemy or are you going to
be one of those people who’s going to be
stubborn until the Lord’s destruction is
poured out upon the
world let’s takeing a look at some of
these some of these old firearms and
some of the some of the story this is
about the Mormon underground period in
the 1880s Wilford Woodruff came they
were arresting all the church leaders
for polygamy and attempting to really
shut down the entire church they wanted
to arrest all the leaders seize all the
assets close down things like that
Tabernacle these Firearms were were used
by different Mormons at the time to
protect themselves from Federal
Marshals because the feds um had come in
there was something called the Utah
commission and their their job was to
come into Utah arrest all the Mormon
leadership
and imprison them all if possible and
then seize all the church’s assets they
wanted to seize everything from these
United order Farms that were growing our
food why were they doing that well for
one thing there is a lot of money in it
if you if you have the chance to plunder
an entire an entire State you’re talking
about a lot of plunder here but on top
of that um ostensibly it was to enforce
the anti-polygamy laws uh so they said
there’s only one way to get rid of
polygamy and that is to get rid of all
the polygamists well it turns out that
was basically all the Mormons so you’re
not going to see this at a like an LDS
Museum no you’re going to see this at
most LDS museums because they don’t want
to talk about the polygamy they don’t
want to talk about fighting the feds
they don’t want to talk about any of
that because it’s kind of an
embarrassment for more than a century
Mormons have been doing everything that
they can to appear accepted by
mainstream Society right and it doesn’t
look as good if you’re fighting against
the United States in America at the time
though there was this understanding that
you couldn’t be a Mormon and be an
American
uh it was like a rival United States if
you could thing of Salt Lake City is
like a rival Washington DC with a
totally different set of values and
ideas and religion they wanted to be
their own Nation out here currency y
they had their own currency had their
own language they had their own own
language well the desert alphabet and we
should ask them if they have any of the
old books
here okay
so there’s some articles about it about
its
history it was totally unique and
actually we go okay so basically it
wasn’t it was a phonetic alphabet um it
was still English but it was written in
a totally different and phonetic way all
these different Mormon pioneers they
came from all over Europe uh all over
the the South Pacific as well there
there’s a there’s a strong um tongen
Samoan and Hawaiian presence in early
Mormonism and they wanted to learn how
to read and write English and so they
use the desert alphabet as a way to
spell phonetically so this reads the
deset
alphabet we were talking about the
number of converts are we growing or are
we staying stable or we going you know
declining in membership and we aren’t
declining um we actually have had some
but we’re not converting thousands of
members like the mainstream brigite LDS
church in Salt Lake City but we we’re
currently teaching probably about six
different households and this isn’t for
everybody you know this lifestyle we’re
not Fishers of Men we’re we’re more like
hunters and you know there’s it takes a
certain type of person to live this
lifestyle he’s the temple president and
I’m the temple matron for our Temple
where we live in Nevada so why
Nevada because we were called to move
there we were asked to move there and
start up a community so the prophet of
the church got a revelation he told you
go to Nevada yeah okay the laws in
Nevada are as such that we can’t
be as persecuted I guess so to speak if
you could in other some other states
because they allow you know things like
prostitution yeah be free people and so
you know it’s okay and you’d be able to
have you know multiple relationships I
mean men there all the time okay do
those kinds of things and so the laws
there make it so that our lifestyle is a
little bit more palatable and livable
okay because in Utah it flips back and
forth right y it was a felony at one
time yep and now it’s a misdemeanor but
they’re not really arresting anyone for
it not really unless there’s other
abuses going on and unfortunately for
you it all gets batched into one right
everyone thinks just like the abuses and
right everybody thinks that one abuser
is speaks for everybody and is the
example for every body but it’s not and
there’s various different fundamentalist
communities and we’re not all the same
we don’t all follow the same people
we’re not all flds and that’s not our
group at all and we don’t follow Warren
Jeff’s he’s in jail for some pretty bad
things and we don’t agree with what he
did um so a lot of LDS members don’t
even know this right correct correct
okay they don’t they they just think
flds yeah they think all fundamentalists
are flds and they’re not this is more
than just a religion for us we lean on
each other you know we’re not related
bloodwise for Generations maybe DNA test
shows or something shows that we’re
ninth cousins but but we would have
never known each other otherwise if we
hadn’t have been in this situation and
in this religion and and became true
family okay I know that in my community
where I live I can D my husband might be
at work and I might need something maybe
the swamp clear had a problem and you
know and it’s now flooding my roof or
something I know I can just get on our
text group or I can make a phone call
and somebody will be there to help me
soon so you’re spread out in Nevada St
George near Salt Lake any other
locations I’m
missing you know the main thing is is
that we do believe in gathering right we
want to be gathered together into one
Community we haven’t necessarily all
succeeded in doing that yet but um our
Gathering Place place in Nevada really
has that special value because when you
come there that’s where we built the
temple that’s where we grow our own food
that’s where we can build each other’s
houses you grow your own food in Nevada
yeah which you know is not exactly the
best place to go to to grow your own a
lot of our food but we grow we grow a
lot of food there is it the New Zion
well Zion First has to be built within
right first you have to become a Zion
people then you can build the city so
it’s not exactly the glistening new Jem
yet right but it makes us into a Zion
people it’s the Zion prep Zion
prep yeah so Salt Lake doesn’t mean as
much to you guys as out there in Nevada
well basically that’s just an older more
failed experiment really like they tried
to make a Zion there and that was
beautiful back in the pioneer days and
they did build a lot of beautiful things
but what’s come out of that now is they
become worldly it’s it’s just like any
other city in America okay you mean they
failed what do you mean they failed they
failed to become a Zion people people
they became uh eventually became about
money I mean especially if you look you
can’t you can’t say for everyone right I
mean well no I’m not I’m not trying to
speak for there’s a lot of good people
in the Mormon church and we still love
the Mormon we call it the mother Church
um but but yeah there there are just a
tremendous amount of good people and we
love them um and some of them will come
to us and some many won’t most won’t
we all have a role to
play as far as I’m concerned this is not
only my Heritage this is part of our
faith it wasn’t until long after this
Temple was completed before they broke
off from us and so I was asking off
camera why do you want to come here if
this is an LDS church but that’s the
answer yeah um this Temple was built by
our Pioneer forefathers this was a
Bastion of plural marriage it was built
by consecration the the men and women
that built this Temple dedicated all
that they possessed and they lived the
law of consecration in its fullness the
same way that we do today the difference
is the mainus church has departed from
that and by the 1930s it was really
important to the federal government that
these edifices not fall into the hands
of morm fundamentalists so the church
has progressed on MH you don’t think
that’s a good thing like things progress
things change things should progress and
things should change uh we want to live
in a you know in a modern world right uh
the difference uh to me is that uh in
order to appease their enemies they
abandon the faith uh some one of the
most important things about the temple
are the holy ordinances that are
performed what does that mean an
ordinance of the temple is a sacred
ceremony by which we approach God or we
learn how to come into God’s presence so
you’re supposed to receive actual
Authority power understanding when you
receive these ordinances
well they’ve changed so much the
fundamental meaning of those ordinances
uh for example originally uh here in the
St George temple and in our temples
today in Christ Church um going to the
temple would be a big experential moment
in your life where you can
actually become something new it you
don’t just watch something happen you
don’t just uh worship or pray you
actually experience what it’s like to go
through the entire plan of God and um
you would represent you would actually
take the role of Adam or Eve in their
path through creating the Earth coming
to the Earth and eventually sending back
into heaven well the mainst list church
has change so fundamentally altered
those ordinances that they no longer
have the same meaning for them or the
same covenants and so I would say if you
didn’t do it you didn’t do it now they
watch a video about it instead of
actually experiencing that journey of
exaltation do you have LDS friends oh
Lots yeah so you get debates a lot right
I was a temple worker an ordinance
worker in the mainstream elas church and
I remain a temple worker in Christ
Church now so I do think my opinions are
informed opinions right but uh obviously
they’re going to disagree a lot of them
think that it’s good to uh change these
ordinances because they’re faster
they’re easier they can watch a video uh
they still feel like they’re being close
to God even if they’re making different
promises to him right um but I would say
if you don’t make the same covenants you
can’t expect the same results you can’t
expect the same blessings I think of it
like a recipe if somebody says oh yeah
we want to make cookies and then they
start changing all the ingredients who
knows what’s going to come out of that
oven right and it’s the same thing I
think when it comes to religion you put
in the certain elements you’re going to
get a certain result so where do you see
the LDS church in 20 years oh probably
even further a field um one of the big
changes that I’ve been anticipating for
sometime is I think they’re going to
have gay Temple marriages for homosexual
marriage temp
well honestly since I don’t think that
their ceremonies are valid I think they
should be as inclusive as possible
anyway but but yeah I there’s a there is
a certain amount of heteronormativity
that is really kind of baked into the
Mormon worldview we believe in this idea
that our our attributes even our bodies
right are Divine and origin that means
that yeah our gender is part of our
identity uh that the men and women
aren’t different that doesn’t not to say
they’re unequal but they are
complimentary what if a gay couple tried
to come in CH we actually have some gay
members and we did have a gay couple
that moved into our Gathering Place okay
um and they were welcome to participate
on a social level and we we try to be
good neighbors people need some love and
acceptance but that doesn’t mean that we
can change what our view is of the
entire plan of God or or the entire
creation of the world I mean I almost
like to think of this in terms of like
Asian uh philosophy which Bears certain
odd similarities to Mormonism um male
and female the yin and the Yang these
are fundamental concepts it’s not about
any individual’s personal sexual
expression it’s about the fact that we
view these things as the fundamental
reality that underlies you know
existence itself and we and the fact
that those things are gendered you know
U it leads to a worldview that has has a
certain amount of that in it here’s one
of the reasons why there’s so much focus
on families right it’s about what is
that about it’s about procreation but
it’s also about all of our relationships
in that creative thriving Community
that’s the
goal we’re
hungry let’s do this we often cover our
heads when we pray uh women often will
wear like a light Veil uh men will often
wear like a kipa or a kofy it’s symbolic
of Eternity it’s circular it’s white um
and it represents our submission to God
and that God is our head Our Father in
Heaven we’re grateful for this wonderful
lunch and that we’re able to be here
with Peter to eat it please bless him
for providing this wonderful food for us
and please bless all of us that we’ll be
able to have thy spirit and have a
wonderful day today that we’ll be able
to enjoy all of these sites of our
history with Pioneers who will be able
to learn something to bring home with us
so that we can be motiv to Creer
righteousness name Jesus
Christ it’s a ality mat what it does is
in just a few seconds it changes the
food it reads the nearest person to it
and it changes it into a vibration
that’s healthy for
you thank
you would you like one of my shrimps oh
thank you I don’t eat shrimp okay that’s
my choice I’m just fastidious about what
goes in here okay and shrimp are known
to have a lot of heavy metals and toxins
now I’ve really done a lot for your
appetite
have eat some heavy metal I’m going to
take some heavy metal so you guys all
are pretty healthy right is that
something in the in the
church we all try to strive to be
healthy not all them not all of them
some people don’t care what they put in
their that’s true it’s interesting that
you have connected with us because as my
observation and experience of the last
80 years this group of people are the
most unique of
all the Mormon groups of any kind
including the church in Salt Lake I grew
up in the church in Salt Lake I know it
from top to bottom I’ve lived with
general authorities personal friends
with some of
been in and out all the way along this
little group of people did not come out
of
fundamentalist okay but it came out of a
a core group of leaders that had the
original teachings and connections that
Joseph Smith
had and this was deliberately and
directly
organized about 40 years ago go on that
basis and on the foundation the very
Foundation principles and this is just
that there’s no laws that said that but
to me in my heart the core require
requirement is you’ve got to have a
testimony that Joseph Smith was and is a
prophet of God and still leads this
church and the Book of Mormon is the
word of God so Nelson means nothing to
all of you is that correct the current
president
he’s just he’s just a good man but he’s
not our Propet right we usually don’t
want to criticize okay okay that’s great
so
LDS members look at Nelson as their
their Northstar let’s say right and
you’re looking at Joseph Smith um well
yes ultimately and so are they yeah but
I mean so we all go back to Joseph Smith
right but our Prophet is is not Nelson
we have a different problem so most
everyone here came from LDS yeah most
they were born in it they were born in
it I’m a Seventh Generation LDS I have
no idea left the LDS church and came
here what made you leave the LDS church
to come
here
[Laughter]
damn I mean we had a missionary come to
our house and talk to us and share the
gospel with us but before before that we
were searching because we had a feeling
like something was missing in the LVS
Church wasn’t the same as when I was
growing up as as it was in the ’90s and
the early 2000s it wasn’t the same as in
the 70s and so you know we were
searching where did where did that
priesthood go that the power that the
Saints would say you know I was cured of
this and I was healed of that I have a
great-grandfather who was
healed by the missionaries in New York
in the early 1800s and he could walk he
was going to lose his
leg and they healed him and he could
walk after baptism they promised him if
he wanted to get baptized he could walk
down to the water and get baptized and
he wouldn’t ever need this came again
and his heal his leg would heal and he
did and he converted and you don’t see
those things
today in the lbs church and so we
started searching because we felt like
there was something missing do you feel
like nobody drinks here obviously but
the LDS church is Coors Light and your
Coors is that a way of saying it sure
yeah that’s a way of saying it I don’t
understand we’re not Deca you’re not
Deca
yeah all right Benjamin that’s how the
cookie crumbles I just said goodbye to
everyone and got hugs for everyone and
didn’t have the power button on so well
well everyone gave me hugs and smiles
and thank you for bringing me out you
bet cuz you don’t have
to it’s not an easy group to get into no
offense true fundamentalist Mormons
because the camera comes out and people
are worried people get shy I mean uh it
wasn’t very many years ago that people
were killed for having this religion it
wasn’t very many years ago that people
were in prison just for believing in
this religion and so yeah a lot of
people are nervous but uh in fact one of
the people today was just saying uh oh
my my my father would freak out if if
they were doing this but you know we
live in a world now where people can
live as they believe they can they can
be more vocal about it and they’re less
likely to to to have any problems you
know anything else you’d like to say to
to the viewers people out there watching
yeah sure um I guess what I’d really
like to say is you know we might be
different come from different walks of
life believe different things but we’re
all people and that’s really what I want
to do is I want to build a bridge so
that people won’t be afraid of us and
that we’ll be able to have have these
conversations because we live in the
same world we live in the same
communities hey in Mormonism we’re all
Mormons right uh but there are these
these divisions that have really really
come between people and you know I’d
like to I’d like to see us break down
those barriers all right so Benjamin
good stuff y thank you brother have a
good one you too
[Music]
man
you

If you’re interested in more content from around the WORLD visit these links below:

Be the first to see the next video