Escaping Death and Taxes

Following the warrant for Warren Jeffs' arrest, state officials seized the holdings of the FLDS Church and a board of trustees was appointed to handle the property. In order to pay the FLDS debt, fiduciary Bruce R. Wisan levied a $100-a-month assessment on homes in Colorado City, Arizona and the twin town of Hildale, Utah. These homes had been "consecrated" to the FLDS Church by the grandparents and great-grandparents of current residents who now balk at the assessment. They didn't balk (and probably still don't) at paying tithing or working pro bono for the FLDS enterprises, and they blithely trusted that church patriarchs would pay their taxes or that they'd be exempt from them because of the religious designation of the organization. Now that terms of the real world are being enforced, FLDS members have hired attorneys to file suit against Wisan.

FLDS members also believe they can skirt death. They stood under the stars as the year 2000 dawned and waited to be "lifted up" in the Millennial Rapture, as promised by their "prophet." Like Elijah, they expect to be transported straight to heaven for living saintly lives. It's what they call translation, where the body is immediately glorified so in essence, the person never actually dies. In many ways, fundamentalists who live plural marriage never really grow up. They grow up in their father's home, which is under the direction of the church leadership. The church leadership decides who and when they'll marry. The main patriarchs make all significant decisions and handle all the real responsibilities so they younger followers, while hard working, never deal with reality. No wonder they believe that they're the only people in the world who can escape the gravity of death and taxes.

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