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.
The size of the new building has led many FLDS observers to speculate that the temple will be patterned after the current LDS temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, a building that FLDS Prophet Warren Jeffs is said to admire.
Even the pattern of twelve large ‘footers’ seems to roughly approximate the dozen interior columns that support the upper floors of the Nauvoo temple. The floor plan of the original Nauvoo temple, which was destroyed by fire in 1848, following the assassination of LDS prophet and founder Joseph Smith. Floor plans, tin type photos and architectural sketches of the original temple may be viewed on the Internet at: http://users.marshall.edu/~brown/nauvoo/nt-parent.html.
In 2002 the LDS Church completed construction of the new Nauvoo temple. It was dedicated on June 22, 2002.
If the large building going up on the YFZ Ranch does turn out to be a temple, it will represent a major shift in the practices of the FLDS Church. Fundamentalist Mormons split with the LDS Church over a century ago when it abandoned the practice of plural marriage, or polygamy. Since that time, fundamentalists, including the FLDS have believed that they might someday win the ‘mother church’ back to themselves.
There are presently three completed LDS temples in Texas, located in Dallas, Houston and Lubbock. A fourth is under construction and nearing completion in San Antonio. The San Antonio temple is scheduled to be dedicated on May 22, 2005.
Polygamy Primer now available online
The Attorneys General of Utah and Arizona jointly released a ‘Polygamy Primer‘ last Thursday, aimed at helping those whose job it is to assist the victims of polygamy.
“The Primer — Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities” is intended as a tool for case workers, law enforcement officers and others who need to learn about the beliefs, practices and vocabulary used by various polygamous groups, including the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Included in the Primer is a brief history of polygamy, its rules and training exercises, a glossary of terms, descriptions of various fundamentalist groups, and other factors to consider when dealing with victims of polygamy.
The guide may be of benefit to some in Eldorado who are interested in learning more about the FLDS church, and its followers who have settled on the YFZ Ranch. It may be found on the Internet at: http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/polygamy.html or by logging onto the Success web site at www.myeldorado.net where a convenient link has been provided.
The Eldorado Success invites Warren Jeffs and/or other leaders of the FLDS church to comment on this or any other story surrounding the FLDS and the YFZ Ranch.