We’re continuing our conversation with Anne Wilde. She’s a modern-day polygamy expert. In this next conversation we’ll talk about the FLDS Church. Many of you are probably familiar with them and their prophet Warren Jeffs who is currently serving time in a Texas prison. We’ll also talk about another group called Centennial Park. These two groups: FLDS-Centennial Park are closely related and are actually neighbors in their community.
Anne: Centennial Park, they now have about 2,000 members, they separated from the other main [group]—they weren’t even called FLDS until after Centennial Park separated. So that’s why they don’t like to say, “oh we separated from the FLDS,” because it wasn’t even called the FLDS at the time they separated, but technically you get the picture.
GT: Ok, so Centennial Park really was the one that came out and FLDS separated from them?
Anne: Well that’s what Centennial Park might say, then FLDS would say the other. It’s whoever you’re talking to. In other words, they separated. Two of the members of the priesthood council in Colorado City started the priesthood council that became Centennial Park. Many of them started a new community another mile or two south there in Arizona, and many of the Centennial Park people had homes in Colorado City/Hilldale, so they stayed there. They are there to this day but they are considered the Centennial Park group.
Did you know there is quite some animosity between these groups?
I have no idea what the population is of the followers of Warren Jeffs or even those that live in the town. I guess you could find out what the population is in town by talking to the mayors of Colorado City and then the mayor of Hilldale, but it’s just really in a sad state of affairs.
GT: Ok, so just ballpark. Do you think it’s one half of what it used to be?
Anne: I couldn’t even begin to tell you. I did read an article in the paper. They interviewed one of the former members of Warren Jeffs group and she said that she felt there were more members ex-FLDS than there were followers of Warren Jeffs oe FLDS.
GT: Have they joined with other groups like Centennial Park?
Anne: No. Oh no, they will not join the Centennial Park, unless it’s a very rare occasion. Centennial Park has been there to help their teenagers. They’ve offered their homes, opened them up if they needed a place to stay, but to followers of Warren, that’s the enemy because they broke away from, in their idea, from their priesthood so they don’t have priesthood. They are apostates. They consider Centennial Park, “the enemy”, whereas Centennial Park has opened up their homes if they would take advantage of it.
We’ll also talk about black polygamists. Is there such a thing?
GT: Ok, I’ve also heard regarding the FLDS and let’s throw the AUB in that and Centennial Park in there as well, we have the 1978 revelation of opening the priesthood to all male members of the church. Is it true that the FLDS don’t recognize that revelation? They still believe a lot of the old Curse of Cain, Curse of Ham doctrines?
Anne: That’s a tough question to answer for some other group. I can’t answer for FLDS or Allreds. I think generally speaking, this is really general, fundamentalist Mormons do not believe that the time has come for the black race to receive the priesthood…
Don’t forget to check out our conversation about the AUB group. Check out our conversation…..