Hundreds of FLDS members work to build wall around meeting house

COLORADO CITY, Ariz. — A huge group of men and boys of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been working to build a block wall around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House in Colorado City since Wednesday night.

Members of the FLDS church work to build a wall around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
Members of the FLDS church work to build a wall around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

Isaac Wyler, a consultant with the United Effort Plan trust, said he first heard about work on the wall at midnight, and has since seen what must be hundreds of people working on it.

They had to tear out a wall that was already there, Wyler said, to put up a new one that will be, presumably, taller.

There seem to be a few reasons why the church might want to put the building up.

While Wyler thinks they are acting in response to a Freedom Party slated for Independence Day, ex-FLDS member and Warren Jeffs’ former bodyguard Willie Jessop might have a more certain answer.

Multiple roads are closed while a wall is built around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
Multiple roads are closed while a wall is built around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

He met with FLDS leaders last week, he said, informing them that he has petitioned the court to foreclose that building to satisfy a judgment he has filed against them.

His plan, he said, is to return the building to the community.

“We believe the church should be used for its original intent,” he said.

That intent, Jessop said, is that the building serves as an activity center for the community. In fact, Jessop said, the building was originally the “Leroy S. Johnson activity center.”

“Not something that was used explicitly by Warren Jeffs and his brothers for their perverted purposes,” he said.

The church is now walling it up as a statement that they plan to keep it, Jessop said, but he does expect that it will hold up in court.

A truckload of blocks is delivered to build a wall around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
A truckload of blocks is delivered to build a wall around the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

Following his excommunication from the FLDS church in 2011, Jessop’s company, R&W Excavating, was nearly ruined because of his dissent with the church.

He filed and won a $30 million judgment against church leaders in 2012 for loss of assets.

Wyler, however, said he believes the church is acting “paranoid” because of the possible 2,000 or 3,000 people who are planning on attending a UEP-hosted Freedom Party. He said:

They didn’t care if two or three hundred people showed up, and now two or three thousand people are showing up and all of the sudden, they’re out there building this monstrous fortress wall? … I can’t see how there’s not a connection there.

Since they started setting up for the party, a person or a group of people have vandalized items for the party on multiple occasions, including a train they had brought in for the event.

He suspects someone from the FLDS is to blame, Wyler said, and plans to press charges if they can catch anyone.

The building used to be UEP property, Wyler said, when the UEP trust was controlled by Warren Jeffs, who authorized the building to be passed to the FLDS church.

The Zion plaque rests over the front entrance of the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
The Zion plaque rests over the front entrance of the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, July 2, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

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14 Comments

  • Real Life July 3, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Hurry up and build that wall so they can’t see us screwin’ our nieces!!

  • fun bag July 3, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Is this the building where the holy prophet warren jeffs raped the little girls?

    • izzymuse July 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      And boys. Prophet Jeffs is a Sick freak. According to legal court cases: multiple victims have come forward with a lot of horrible accounts of Jeffs pulling boys and girls out of school to rape them and their siblings. Netflix had a documentary about some cases – might still be on there. Crazy stuff.

  • MORMON BOY July 3, 2015 at 7:32 am

    This community has been through a a physical and mental siege that has lasted well over a decade. This wall is symbolic of Berlin not so much to keep others out but more to keep their pretentions of loyalty in. Truth is the great enemy of the Jeffs boys. The cloak and covering of their wickedness is coming off. Really are these people oppressed by the outside world? by cameras and reporters? The greatest oppression that they face is behind those walls. The Jeffs are manupalitive and controlling beyond words to express. Can these followers even claim to be Fundamentalist Mornons? They are fast losing any form of Mormonism! The wall doesn’t represent security and a fortress but rather it represents in symbolic form the insecurity of Warren Jeffs and his brother. In time, it will be : Take down these walls! Take down any symbols of these Jeffs boys tyrannical reign.

  • Brent Dunlap July 3, 2015 at 8:23 am

    They represent Mormonism much better than the break off group in Utah, the LDS. Learn you church history. Mormonthink or CES letter are a start.

    • AnotherReader July 3, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Not so Brent, please study your history. The FLDS do not represent Mormonism better. First point, the Utah LDS are not, despite your statement, a break-off group. This is the same church as restored by Joseph Smith, led to this state under the direction of Brigham Young, valid successor to Joseph. No splinter group here. Second point, the Mormons have always believed, since the times of Joseph Smith, in continuing revelation. If your reference means that some things are different in the current organization of the Church compared to how it looked in 1830, then I’d say thank heavens for a living prophet. It would look different comparing a church of 30 to one of 15,000,000. The doctrines hold true as taught line upon line.

      • fun bag July 3, 2015 at 8:57 pm

        The brainwashing runs deep in this one…

        • 42214 July 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm

          Sounds like the Manchurian Candidate

      • radioviking July 4, 2015 at 7:19 pm

        ANOTHERREADER, please read these essays released by the LDS Church and get back to us on your mislead perspective : http://mormonessays.com
        This links you to all the controversies that have been altered/hidden/embellished historical events and leaders (read about Joseph Smith’s polygamy especially). This is NOT antiMormon literature. The church is rerleasing this info, so you can’t accuse slander.

        .
        Just a few points the church is not denying anymore: Joseph Smith was married to several 14 year olds, women already married, and more than 25 women. Every state he practiced polygamy, polygamy was (and still is) illegal, etc. you’ll find that he is more like Warren Jeffs than you were taught.

        • 42214 July 5, 2015 at 8:10 am

          Don’t hold your breath RadioViking, that’s too much reality for Anotherreader to deal with.

      • ladybugavenger July 5, 2015 at 1:00 am

        I’d have to agree with fun bag on this one

      • Simone July 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

        actually, the FLDS represent Mormonism perfectly. The Mormon church was “restored” in the 1820s by Joseph Smith. The original church members, including Brigham Young practiced bigamy(The legal term for what they call polygamy down here polygamy) and incest. Some of them had more then 50 wives. Somewhere in the 1890’s “God” had a revelation that bigamy was not to be practiced anymore. The fact that utah was vying for statehood and the rest of the U.S outlawed bigamy is purely coincidental.

        The church recently admitted, after years of denials, that Joseph Smith married multiple women and children as young as 14 though they still adamantly deny that he had sex with that child. The Mormon church, despite their denials today practiced racism. Want proof? According to the church “only a few” black people were conferred the priesthood in Joseph Smith’s lifetime:

        “Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice”.

        Prior to a “revelation”(God changing his mind) in 1978 no black person, with the exception of only those “few” in Joe Smiths lifetime, held the priesthood or any priesthood offices.

        “Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent”. ~LDS.org

        Around this same time President Carter reportedly told church officials that he would pull the churches tax exempt status if they continued to discriminate against black people in this way. The fact that those two things happened around the same time is purely coincidental though.
        Don’t believe me? Then show me evidence to contrast what I’ve said.

        Here is my opinion, backed by what I found in a 5 minute search OF THE CHURCHES OWN WEBSITE(S). I like Mormons, most are good people just trying to make it in this world. Frankly, I can’t fault them for that. I’m a member of the church but I am not an active one because I now believe that the evidence clearly shows that the Mormon church is NOT “Gods restored church”.

  • SteveSGU July 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Someone needs to donate a “Visitors Welcome” sign to them and teach them how to use it.

  • The Dude July 4, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    So did they get the wall up before the 4th, and did thousans show up?

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