In the latest episode of Breaking the Faith the group traveled to Salt Lake City, UT to stay in house a owned by a Mormon woman who helps the FLDS transition to the outside world. While I think it’s great she wants to help the FLDS girls find their way in this new life outside of their religion I can’t help but think it’s a little odd.
Both religions are cut from the same cloth woven by Joseph Smith. Both hold to up the Book of Mormon as scripture, both believe the practice of polygamy came from God; both believe you must make yourself worthy through obedience to the doctrines of the church and both consider Smith a prophet.
During their trip to Salt Lake City the girls had a chance to meet and spend some time with a group of Mormon girls. In the course of their conversation the Mormon girls became very curious about the polygamy and how women were treated within the FLDS community.
After learning about some of the restrictions placed on the FLDS one of the Mormon girls asked them if they ever felt like they were in a cult. This really offended a couple of the FLDS girls and they left before the Mormon girls could say any more.
The young Mormon girl’s criticism of the FLDS way of life sounded a lot like the pot calling the kettle black. It was astonishing to me for a Mormon to ask that question considering how restrictive and controlling their church can be in the most mundane parts of the members lives. Some examples of this are:
Endowed members must wear their “scared undergarments” at all times, and aren’t permitted to wear regular underwear.
Only one set of ear rings and no tattoos
The Word of Wisdom and dietary restrictions
Like the members of the Mormon Church are to strive for perfection, the FLDS must do the same. In the episode the girls explained how the FLDS is broken down into two groups. The “Repenting” and the “United Order”. If they’re in the Repenting group it means they’re not living up to the standards of their church, and therefore aren’t considered perfect.
If they’re able to achieve the desired level of perfection as set by their church leaders the FLDS members move up to the “United Order”. At this level church members receive such privileges as going to the Storehouse to purchase food and personal items.
When you think about it, apart from the polygamy there really isn’t that much of a difference between the two groups. However Mormons still do their best to separate themselves from the FLDS as if they’re an entity all on their own.
It was Joseph Smith who set the stage for them to practice polygamy into eternity. The FLDS are just doing their best to live the life he wanted for them. The fundamental doctrine of plural marriage was never to change, and yet Mormons look down their nose at those who would dare to follow the doctrine established by their beloved founder and prophet, Joseph Smith.
As I watch this show my heart goes out to these girls. I know how hard it is to leave a religion and culture behind for unfamiliar territory. I hope and pray these girls find a way to build a life for themselves outside the FLDS community.