Thousands of polygamous sect members show up for court hearing

At issue, sale of land they consider sacred

ST. GEORGE — Thousands of FLDS members gathered at the St. George Courthouse Friday for a hearing on the proposed sale of land they consider sacred.

Third District Judge Denise Lindberg agreed to hold the hearing in southern Utah so that members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints could share their views about how the United Effort Plan Trust has been managed since it was put under state oversight in 2005.

One member told The Salt Lake Tribune that he expected 4,000 sect supporters would show up. People began arriving as early as 6:30, and by 8:30 the courthouse plaza was full.

The UEP Trust holds virtually all property in the twin communities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz. Most residents of the towns are FLDS members.

Fiduciary Bruce R. Wisen, who now controls the trust, wants to sell a 711-acre parcel known as Berry Knoll Farm — land the FLDS claims has special historical, religious and economic value to the sect.

Sect members say it had once been prophecized that a temple would be built there some day.

– Source: housands of polygamous sect members show up for court hearing, Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 14, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Central European Time (CET)