Source: Jeffs building temple at YFZ Ranch

FLDS has never before built a temple

Sources close to Prophet Warren Jeffs of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints tell the Success that the reclusive leader is planning to build a temple here in Schleicher County similar in size and scope to the one originally built by Mormon founder Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois.

“Warren has gone too far,” one Utah man said on condition of anonymity. “He thinks he is God, so he has to have a temple.”

Aerial photos of the YFZ Ranch show a massive foundation under construction just west of the already completed meeting hall. The footprint of the foundation roughly matches that of the original Nauvoo temple.

A recent round of rumors that Jeffs was forecasting the end of the world sometime near the end of December and therefore called a halt to construction at the ranch was debunked by the latest photos which show work progressing on a number of structures.

Also clearly evident in the photos is a new fire truck and a large shipment of propane tanks, apparently intended for the various buildings on the ranch. A large stone quarry is evident, as well as a stone cutting area near the temple foundation where numbers of smoothly cut limestones can be seen near the huge stone saw.

Ben Bistline, long-time critic of the FLDS and author of The Polygamists: A History of Colorado City, Arizona tells the Success that the construction of a temple at Eldorado will bring a new dynamic to the FLDS story. “This will have serious repercussions,” Bistline said. “Warren building a temple means this will be a bigger and more permanent move than I would have anticipated.”

Author Jon Krakauer agrees. “This is a significant development,” Krakauer told the Success on Tuesday. “The fundamentalists have never before built a temple. Warren Jeffs is proving to be a different kind of prophet.”

Krakauer, who wrote Under the Banner of Heaven, cited Mormon prophecy that “the destructions” will begin with the laying of the temple cornerstone. “I can’t tell you exactly what this means for Eldorado,” Krakauer added. “Just that it’s very significant”

Editor’s note: As has been the case since the YFZ Ranch story broke here in March, no one currently affiliated with the FLDS church is willing to comment on the record. The Success has repeatedly sought the comment of church leaders and continues to seek input from Prophet Warren Jeffs or any of his lieutenants.

Read the Eldorado Success online

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The Eldorado Success, USA
Nov. 11, 2004

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This post was last updated: Nov. 22, 2013