Saturday, April 26, 2008

What Does the Spirit Tell You?

On one of my posts about the plight of the FLDS at Yearning For Zion Ranch, I included a link to the song written by Warren Jeffs after which the ranch is named. Several people wrote that they "felt the Spirit" when they listened to the song, and wondered what it meant. Today I came across a montage of photos of the FLDS children, and as I was viewing it, I felt the Spirit. Please try an experiment with an open mind and watch this clip. Tell us in the comments what the Spirit says to you as you watch.

There were several things I learned as I saw these snapshots of the children. Remember they were taken before any publicity occurred. Look into the eyes of the men and women pictured. Contrary to many of the news reports, I observed:

  • The children were shown at desks, in a school setting

  • A child was finger painting

  • Men and women alike were involved in raising and teaching the children

  • Children were pictured in the water of a lake or pond

  • The children were learning life skills as well as scholastic endeavors

  • The children seemed secure and well-loved

  • Children were playing

  • The children were extremely clean and well cared for

  • The children were HAPPY.

Here on my blog, I've discussed the legal aspects of this case, and we have bandied about our opinions. I know it won't make any difference in what the courts will decide, and it probably won't change anyone's opinion, but what is the Spirit telling us about these children?


Anonymous said...

It's a feeling of natural compassion and empathy. It's how it feels to be a normal human being with concern for other human beings.

It's emotion.

Kalola said...

The spirit is telling me that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.

John 15:17 "These things I command you, that ye love one another."

Kathy G said...

For days the Spirit has been telling me that these people love their children and take good care of them.

John White said...

Oh man, it creeped me out. Every time I saw a cute toddler, it made me wonder if its mother was a 16-year-old girl in a plural marriage.

Anonymous said...

I am reading the news that of 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17, 31 are presently pregnant or have already delivered babies? And the fact that while there are 53 girls between those ages there are only 17 boys? What happens to the boys between the time they're happy toddlers & children and their teens?

The spirit is troubled but my stomach is telling me it wants to throw up that those children lived in a world without choices or futures.

anonymous alice

mnuez said...

I'm sorry but where the fuck is the Mormon Church? In my opinion the Mormon church is the most culpable of all of the parties involved in the persecution of the FLDSers. I'm pleased to know that YOU are speaking out on behalf of their American freedoms but aside for the few protesters that you've shown us, your church has been silent and thus has been party to the whole thing.

I'm Jewish, agnostic, no supporter of polygamy or sex by younger people (whether marriage related or not) but I'm enraged and incensed about the fact that Americans in their masses are either supportive of this kidnapping or are silently ambivalent. And again, the Mormon church is MOST to blame.

These people are your religious cousins, in some cases your ACTUAL cousins. They believe in your Bible and worship the same prophets that you do. YOU YOURSELVES suffered persecution by the US government in the not-so-recent past. and now - - all for the sake of even greater acceptance by "the gentiles" - - you say NOT A WORD in defense of these people? Where the hell is the new Prophet? where is the Church? Hell, where is Romney??

You guys are accepted by the masses now and if you wanted to return to polygamy nobody could say boo - - but your FLDS cousins are a tiny, weird and delusional small sect (not that standard Mormons, Christians and other believers aren't "delusional" too, of course)
and easy to pick on. Your church could play the big brother in all of this and stand up to the bully, but it refuses to do so.

For shame!


P.S. Then again, your church members vote overwhelmingly Republican so the fact that they're
willing to engage in and condone evil is hardly news. You guys have welfare programs of every sort (in your church) that ensure that you get to live beautiful, happy and magnanimous communal, familial and personal lives... and then you go and vote OVERWHELMINGLY for candidates who ensure that the masses of the poor and suffering in this land remain poor, suffering and without healthcare. So hey - much as I happen to LOVE Mormon folk as people and as exemplars of fine families, I shouldn't be remotely surprised that the masses of you are blind and deaf to the cries of the suffering. You've been proving it for decades.


Bored in Vernal said...

Alice, the reports I am reading have the following information:

Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar said 31 of 53 girls ages 14 to 17 have children, are pregnant or both.
He said some women acknowledged being younger and the age of others was determined by their attorneys or by looking at the women. "I have seen them myself," he said, "and I don't see any that look like an adult to me."

"My clients told us they were put in a line and looked at," said attorney Julie Balovich. "So I know that is how some of the numbers happened."

Azar said he did not know how many girls are pregnant, but said it is a small number. CPS has previously said that three teenagers are pregnant. Salt Lake attorney Rod Parker, a spokesman for the FLDS, said that of the three, one teenager refused to take a pregnancy test, one is 18 and the other is 17.

The tally of women and children has changed almost daily over the past three weeks. Amanda Chisholm, who also works for TRLA, said she would be surprised if the actual number of teenage girls who are pregnant or mothers is "anywhere near that high."

TRLA attorney Julie Balovich said one woman now deemed to be a teenager is a 24-year-old woman who is pregnant. FLDS member Willie Jessop contends the state's tally also includes a 28-year-old whom the state has listed as being 17.

"Do we correct it and get out the girls who are overage when the minute they do that, they forfeit their children?" he asked. "CPS has had a very difficult time being accurate with any of the numbers and this number is the most outrageous yet." Chisholm agreed that some women may be claiming to be minors in order to stay with their children, since CPS is only allowing mothers breast-feeding infants 12 months or younger or who are teenagers to remain in shelters.

Bored in Vernal said...

mnuez, I acknowledge your anger, and I feel angry myself. I think so many people, Mormons as well as just plain Americans, are confused by all the misinformation and are waiting to hear the real facts before taking unwarranted action. Many Mormons have signed petitions, and have staged protests in Salt Lake City against these violations of civil rights. I believe as you do, that the FLDS are our cousins and part of the same religious tradition that WE STARTED and indeed the LDS "Big Brother" should be on their side. But not all Mormons feel this way. Many Latter-Day Saints have been trying to distance themselves from polygamy and shrink from identifying themselves with groups that continue this practice. Thank you for your comment here.

Bored in Vernal said...

Kathy, the Spirit tells me that these people take good care of their children also. My hope for them is that they can grow up in their own community with their own families who love them.

Bored in Vernal said...

Oh, and about the boys, it seems they are purposely not mentioning the 25 adolescent boys who were taken away from the main group very early in this raid and placed on some boys' ranch. What a bunch of hype. This numbers business is beginning to disgust me.

Anonymous said...

I think you are working very hard at denial.

This is a place that raises girls as brood mares and uses religion and ignorance of any alternatives as the means to keep them tractable.

I understand that they are living the life that Joseph Smith introduced and, in that respect, are much closer to him than the LDS. I understand that seeing it face to face is an embarrassment and an open wound. But coming up with justifications for it in the light of its clear affront to decency and the integrity of women is nothing more than rationalization and a choice of denial.

anonymous alice

The Faithful Dissident said...

Anonymous Alice, I'm an active and faithful Mormon, though I struggle to believe some doctrines such as polygamy, and I think your comment sums up a lot of what I think and feel.

I see a lot of debate here about the actual number of pregnant teens. For me it's irrelevant. Whether it's really 53 or just 1, it's one too many and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. I struggle greatly with the fact that Mormons have a lot more in common with the FLDS than we'd like to admit. I do sometimes think we are in big-time denial.

I have a hard time relating to all the anti-government comments of some people who are so inflamed at this case. But I think it probably has to do with my growing up in a country where we looked at the government as more of a safety net than the enemy. I think it's one of the main reasons why the US still doesn't have universal health care.

John White said...

I'm just not understanding how the math works in these places. If older, established men have multiple wives, what happens to younger, unestablished men? Do they have a huge population of single, unattached, celibate men? Do they eject most boys as they come of age? How does that work?

Bored in Vernal said...

John(wh), if you are interested in the "math" of these FLDS boys, there is quite a well-researched article over at the FAIR blog.

John White said...

And here's the answer from Slate:
The boys get ejected from the community.

amelia said...

i've been meaning to comment on this for a few days, but it's been a busy week.

first, i don't like the situation in texas. my objection is primarily that i don't think this particular action by the state is the best solution to the problems of abuse that do exist in these communities (meaning the TX community and its parent communities in UT and AZ). there's no doubt in my mind that even if the children are cared for in terms of health and shelter and even if they're not physically abused, they are in fact abused--mentally, emotionally, spiritually. and sexually. but that's not the real point i want to make here.

the real point i want to make here is this:

what did i feel watching that slideshow? i felt manipulated. in precisely the ways i feel manipulated by the illustrations in the ensign. i hate the illustrations in the ensign because they're such patently obvious efforts to manipulate the reader. i don't see any difference here. maybe some of the images are actual snapshots and not staged shots like those in the ensign, but they're still part of a constructed presentation meant to manipulate the emotions of its viewer. i simply can't accept them as an accurate portrayal of the complex life these children will live. every time i saw a 12 or 13 year old boy in one of those photos, i wondered where he'd be in two or three years, trying to fend for himself after he'd been rejected by the very families and community that supposedly took such good care of him. and the girls? seeing 12 year old girls and knowing that they could be married and pregnant within two or three years? just as disturbing.

i know the power of being raised within a community that effectively teaches it's lifestyle as correct. i was raised mormon--very effectively raised mormon. and as a teenager i was fully indoctrinated into the lifestyle of mormonism. i have no doubt that many of these girls see being a multiple wife at a young age and having babies as the right thing or the natural thing to do. but the fact that they accept it because they've been indoctrinated into doing so with no opportunity to explore other possibilities does not make it acceptable. if it were more possible for the members of this community to make educated, informed decisions for themselves, i wouldn't have such a problem with it. but i just don't see that as the case.

Anonymous said...

My heart rejoiced when I heard the appellate court orders yesterday that the first court overstepped their authority when no evidence had been presented that the children were endangered. Most mothers are expecting their children back next week. I am not a Mormon. The raiding of the ranch on an anonymous call which was traced to another state and was a hoax cannot stand without the complicity of lawless judges. Year for the appellate court of Texas. maybe he has been influenced by the radio broadcasts of Alex Jones in Texas who has proven the intent of the government is to militarize the police and have control over everything we do, including taking away out guns and all rights. That 9/11 was created by insiders in our government in order to send the military to the oil fields of Iraq and Iran and to build the oil pipe in Afghanistan which they have done. Pat Tillman found out the truth and was murdered when he decided to talk about it. by the way, dont trust the mainstream media- they rarely tell you the truth or the whole story. They tell you what the police tell them. i have almost decided not to watch any mainstream TV and go back too alternate sites on the computer and listen to Alex Jones radio in Texas. And by the way, if Marshal law is declared the first people they will round up are the resisters and the dissenters. The next will be the Mormons and other very Christian groups. There are 900 FEMA camps empty, but they have high security. Most camps are said to have a capacity of 20,000. They all have rail road facilities leading in. If you vote Republican you are sealing your fate unless you vote for Ron Paul.