Rumors have floated around since earlier this year that Warren Jeffs had renounced his role as Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that he had not held the FLDS priesthood since he was twenty years old. Court documents containing these allegations had been sealed so as not to influence jurors in his recent trial, but the judge recently reversed this decision and released the documents. Jeffs recanted these confessions in February of this year.
Salt Lake Tribune correspondent Brooke Adams reports that the documents reveal not only that Jeffs did make these statements, but that additionally he confessed that as a 20-year old he had been immoral with a sister and a daughter. He indicated that he had not held the FLDS priesthood since that time. With these confessions in place, it raises additional questions concerning allegations that Jeffs also had inappropriate relations with his nephews.
I’m not sure what effect the documents will have on the FLDS community. As long as the allegations remained in the status of rumors, they were easy to dismiss. Now that they’re publicly available from a reliable source, I can’t imagine that this will help his image among his followers, much less among those outside his community.
Note: I’ve you’re wondering about the euphemisms, they’re so this site doesn’t get blocked at the Church Office Building.