Source: Jeffs dedicates FLDS temple site at YFZ Ranch
Jon Krakauer watches ceremony from overhead
Jon Krakauer came to Eldorado last weekend, not to celebrate the new year, but to be nearby the YFZ Ranch where Prophet Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ are said to be building a temple. Of particular interest to Krakauer was a recent spate of rumors that Jeffs was predicting the end the world and that he had ordered his followers in Utah, Arizona and Canada to stay in their homes throughout the weekend.
Krakauer, who wrote the best-selling book Under the Banner of Heaven, a Story of Violent Faith, has long been a vocal critic of Warren Jeffs. He has followed developments at the YFZ Ranch since the story broke here last March, maintaining close contact with Sheriff David Doran and Success editor Randy Mankin.
Temple construction begins at YFZ Ranch
The already rapid pace of construction at the YFZ Ranch picked up sharply this week as walls began going up on a building many believe will be the first-ever temple built by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Aerial photos obtained by the Success reveal that concrete forms have been erected around a large foundation just west of several log cabin-style buildings.
Also noteworthy is a visible increase in the number of people at the YFZ, many of whom are believed by authorities to have been brought in to help with the new construction.
Temple walls soar upward at YFZ
Less than a week after workers at the YFZ Ranch finished pouring concrete basement walls, structural steel was going up to support the ground floor and upper floors of a large building many believe will serve as the first-ever temple of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The FLDS Church existed for decades in relative obscurity in the tiny community of Short Creek, on the Utah/Arizona border where its members held firm to their fundamentalist Mormon belief in plural marriage, or polygamy. The community grew over time and evolved into the twin cities of Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT with a joint population of approximately 10,000 people, the vast majority of whom are FLDS members.
YFZ parents greet arrival of newborn baby
The population of the YFZ Ranch, which fluctuates up and down along with the ebb and flow of construction activity, grew by one permanent resident this week, following the arrival of a newborn baby. Confidential sources close to the family tell the Success that the child was delivered last Thursday evening in a San Angelo hospital emergency room. Neither of the two San Angelo hospitals would confirm the event due to federal privacy rules.
The Success has learned, however, that the 18-year-old mother-to-be was accompanied to the hospital by family members, including the baby’s father and paternal grandparents.
How many doomsday predictions does one prophet get?
Winston Blackmore, known by many in the FLDS church as the Bishop of Bountiful, British Columbia, at least until he was excommunicated in 2002 by Prophet Warren Jeffs, posed some interesting thoughts this week. In a newsletter he publishes on the Internet, Blackmore pointed out a number of predictions Jeffs has made, all of which have failed to come true.
Writing directly to Jeffs, Blackmore says, “I was so impressed when you told us that your father would live 320 years into the future that I could have bet it would happen. I was so impressed when you told us that when the DOW hit 9000 that it would be the ultimate end of the economy that I traded off my investments and gave you the money. When you predicted the end of the world in 98, I bought a generator. When you changed the date twice in 99 I bought another generator. When you changed the date to 2000, I traded again on a new, bigger one. When you called for last minute donations, I sold my generators and donated my thousands.”
Workers maintain feverish pace on New Zion temple
Prophet Warren Jeffs reportedly wants his new temple completed in time to hold the annual conference of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on April 6, and construction crews at the YFZ Ranch are working around the clock to meat the looming deadline.
Former FLDS members tell the Success that there is more to the April 6 date than just the church conference. The FLDS church, as well as many in the Mormon faith, believe that Jesus Christ was born on April 6 and that he was crucified thirty-three years later on the same date.
Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on April 6, 1830. Sources in Colorado City, AZ tell the Success that they believe Warren Jeffs wants to have his new temple, the irst-ever built by the FLDS, complete in time to celebrate the 175th anniversary of that event.
The building’s shell already soars 90 ft. above the ground and workmen were busy this week applying a coat of primer paint to the structure. Eight-foot tall sheets of plywood, apparent in aerial photos taken before the paint went on, make it possible to gauge the building’s height above the concrete basement walls.