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Epistemology

Truth in the eyes of an FLDS follower

growing up as a child in the FLDS ( fundamentalist Latter Day Saint) is a very different experience from what the average American child grows up with. The FLDS child will learn to worship a man named Warren Jeffs , a self proclaimed prophet.Warren Jeffs has control of everyone and everything. He holds the power to build and destroy each and everyone of his follower’s lives. With this in mind, you can understand why the children of the FLDS community are taught to please the mighty prophet, Warren Jeffs. From the time these kids are to born to the time they die, they will live to please their profit, because they believe this is the truth. These children are taught that all who follow Jeffs’ teachings are on a different, more holy level then those of us who do not. They are born of pure blood and are above the rest of us. They are also taught that anything outside of the FLDS community is the work of satan. Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint is a branch of the Mormon faith. They became a separate faith after the Mormon church banned polygamy. Believing that polygamy is the only way to live, a group of subscribers moved away and became the FLDS. When Warren Jeffs came to be leader of the church, he transformed the community into a cult. He cut off his followers from the outside world. Nobody is allowed to listen to, read watch or talk about anything from the outside. Parents were told to pull their children from their schools, and children were put to work instead. Warren created a tax, called Tiding, which ensures 10% of everyone’s income goes to the church, and by church, I mean Warren Jeffs. Women are treated as property, and are given to men, by Warren. You earn your wives by being a productive member of society and a good FLDS member. As a woman, you are given to a man, and have the duty of having children and must obey what your husband says. If your husband does something to upset Warren, he can be exiled. In which case, you and your children will be given to another man, who will presume ownership over you. Age is just a number in the FLDS society, meaning it is okay for a 40 year old man to marry a 15 year old girl and proceed to have children with her. One more thing to know is that the self proclaimed prophet , Warren Jeffs, is currently serving 20 years in jail for two counts of rape as an accomplice. The state of Arizona charged him with eight additional counts of sexual conduct with minors and incest, in two separate cases. As an outsider, allowing this kind of man to dictate my life, let alone praise him as a prophet and descendant of jesus seems absolutely Insane. But things would be different if I was to grow up with this, and know it as the only truth.

For these people, this is the truth, and there is nothing else. Most of them will never know what the outside world like. This is a perfect example of how the truth is subjective, it is what we want it to be. In is case, it is all that they know, therefor it is all that there is. Although a small percent of them manage to run away, most of these children believe fully in what Warren Jeffs and the church of the FLDS tells them. I think this is a perfect example of truth. These people are not living a lie because they truly believe I’m what they are practicing, even though we see it as wrong.

This last unit has taught me that there is no one truth, or one path to the truth. Truth can be anything, and it is different for everybody. How do we know that what we believe in is right? The scary thing is, we don’t. We have no idea if what we have faith in is another Warren Jeffs, or if it is truly something good. Everybody has a different perspective, view point, experience and desire. So there to only be one great truth seems unlikely. Listening to all the different theories on knowledge and truth showed me that there is no answer, and I don’t think there ever will be. As a class, we couldn’t really even come up with one answer ourselves. We as a race are not yet ready to understand everything. The truth changes all the time to suit whoever is wanting or looking for it. People want to believe there is a greater truth because it gives them a reason or a purpose. I don’t think because there is no great truth that we don’t have purpose, rather, we get to create and shape our own path and purpose. There is a difference between fact and truth. Fact is something that cannot be changed and is in debatable. I do not think that is truth, because truth is debatable and is different depending on the individual

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