Twin polygamous towns host memorial for 13 who died in flood

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Divided polygamous towns unite at memorial for Utah flood victims.

There were people there from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — dressed in the sect’s traditional attire of prairie dresses for the women jeans and mono-colored, long sleeve button-down shirts for the men. Polygamist Tom Green, who was convicted of bigamy, also attended with some of his family, though a belief in polygamy appears to be his only connection to the Hildale residents killed. The crowd appeared as though it could have filled the 800-plus folding chairs sat in rows on the park’s huge lawn, though about half the attendees stood on the perimeter. He also lost seven children: Rebekah, Melissa, Naomi, Ruth, Valiant, Velvet and Caress. “I wouldn’t want to complain against God and his purposes,” Joseph Jessop told the crowd. “I know he has all things in his hands and he always does right.” His lone surviving child, Joseph Jessop Jr., about age 10, followed his father to the microphone.

He recalled seeing the flood as it overtook the family vehicle. “My heart was pounding a thousand beats per minute — just whacking like a sledge hammer,” the boy said. “But I know that Heavenly Father wanted this to happen and I’m grateful for this experience.” Of the children caught in the flood, authorities have only released the name and age of Tyson Black. But the names of the deceased children were printed on the program for the memorial service, and the Jessop family were buried earlier in the week with grave placards listing their years of birth.

Jessop, who ministers at Sunday services to a few hundred former Jeffs followers, on Saturday said that many in his congregation went to Hildale’s offices to volunteer during the search for the flood victims and were turned away. Jessop said before the flood waters arrived on Sept. 14, Short Creek had already been suffering from a “flood of deception” in which Jeffs separates families and exerts control over the towns. Jessop said he has counseled his congregation that the flood is an example of how “everything is in Heavenly Father’s hands.” During the service, Utah Gov.

Herbert, who has a shared ancestor with Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow and the many other Barlows in Hildale, cited two passages from the Book of Mormon that discussed how service for others provides comfort and, in turn, provides service for God. Besides the 12 dead and one missing in Hildale, the same rain caused a flash flood that killed seven people in a slot canyon in Zion National Park and a flood that killed a Hurricane man.

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