Posted by: annmucc | January 29, 2009

When Men Become Gods

This was the name of the book I have just finished reading, together with the subtitle:

Mormon Polygamist Warren Jeffs, His Cult of Fear, and the Women he Fought Back, by Stephen Singular.

But what is the book about?

The book is about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), first setting the background about them, and what living in this religion(?) means, from where the story develops about Warren Jeffs, a guy who ‘declared’ himself the Prophet (the ruling person of this church). However, as things changed in the community, from one where no one person could gain all the power, to one where Warren Jeffs got this (as rules changed), a whole new side of this community/religion/cult (not sure what I should call it, especially without offending anyone!) started emerging.

One of the main threads of the book is the issue of polygamy…the FLDS believes in plural marriages, where one man can marry(and should marry for his salvation) more than one wife. However this brings with it a lot of other problems…first of all, there will always be too many men for every woman…what to do with the men? They were often expelled from the community for minor misdemeanours, especially in the time of Warren Jeffs. Another issue with this was that the Prophet decides who marries whom, and can also take wives away from husbands and give them to someone else. All was fine with most other prophets, as these listened to what the people said, and their choices. However, Warren Jeffs started using marriage to his advantage, marrying whoever helped him etc. etc., and punishing those who didn’t by taking away their wives. Another issue was that girls under 16 or 18 were also forced to marry. This, together with the principle of ‘keeping sweet’ (where the woman had to obey the husband, and be sweet at all times) led to a lot of trauma when things were not working out.

I won’t tell you the whole story (you really have to read it! From the books I blogged about, so far this one really caught my interest), but I’ll tell you what to expect. The book goes on to talk about how while at first law enforcement left them alone, with time as these problems started emerging, investigations started being down (after a lot of effort from people who escaped the community mainly). It tells the story of the search and build up of a trial against Warren Jeffs and how that worked out.

Very compelling, and very interesting! Had always heard about Mormons, but never understood exactly what being a Mormon meant (though this book is about the Fundamentalist LDS church, and not the other, more known, Latter-Day Saints church, from which the FLDS split).

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Responses

  1. I envy the fact that you seem to have a lot of time to read…
    tac-cajt!

  2. @ Mina: Hehe – I generally read more around exam times ;). And also I am starting to read on the bus a bit, which here amounts for a good part of my time 😛 (AND the books don’t let me put them down :P)

  3. […] this book did not pull me in as much as the previous book about the FLDS did. A possible reason could be that though in fiction books you are always reading […]


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