This begins our new year, 2018. It was 2007 that A Shield and Refuge Ministry was launched specifically to help polygamists know and believe that polygamy is not a requirement by God to enter into His Heaven. It has been a fast moving TEN YEARS since we were officially organized. Where we are today is not quite what my original vision was for the ministry. But we can look back and see the hand of God moving and directing us according to HIS good will and purpose. We still trust that a Hagar Home is in our future — but God’s purpose and timing must prevail without our complaint. We have helped many people. Mormons, polygamists, unbelievers, even Christians have emailed, thanking us for our media programming that has opened Scriptural truths to them.
We thank every one of our supporters for making this possible.
May God be pleased to continue to use our ministry to bring many more souls to Jesus in this New Year, and we ask God to bless you—our supporters—in 2018.
I grew up main stream LDS in an active faithful and devout family. The typical story my father serving as a bishop and in the stake presidency and I was married in the temple, perfect attendance for visiting teaching ...I left the LDS Church oddly because of Emma Smith. I sat in the relief society room and thought about how come she didn't go? Her staying behind was a silent and powerful statement to me that maybe polygamy was false and so was the church.
I pray all continues to go well with you and the ministry team. I wanted to say thank you for the resources you sent me. The DVD was unexpected -- thank you! I read your book from cover to cover. Thank you for such a well-grounded, clear and easy to understand resource. I am praying about when/how to share this with my husband and his mistress. I found your treatment of the Old Testament examples excellent. And it was especially encouraging to read your explanation that Jesus ...equates multiple marriages while the first spouse is still alive as adultery. This is something the Holy Spirit revealed to me through Jesus' discourse on divorce in Mark 10. When I shared this with my husband and leadership however, I was surprised how few seemed to understand the implications of Jesus' revelation as they apply to polygamy (and by extension remarriage after divorce).
The Allred Polygamy Group, aka The AUB (Apostolic United Brethren) has a polygamous compound in the Bitterroot
Mountains of western Montana. They have lived in beautiful, quiet Pinesdale since 1960 when their leader, Rulon Allred,
purchased 640 acres on which the town was built. The community is located in the Bitterroot Mountains in western Montana. The AUB polygamists are scattered throughout the Western United States but their headquarters are in Draper, Utah. Their leader is 77-year –old Lynn Thompson who took the role of ‘prophet’ after Lamoine Jensen died of cancer a few years ago. Lynn Thompson however, has multiple accusations of sexual abuse leveled against him. Some polygamous residents of Pinesdale refused to continue to follow Lynn Thompson, but some in Pinesdale remain faithful to his leadership because they still believe he’s a prophet and that the claims against him aren’t true. Most Mormons, and Mormon polygamists, believe that God’s prophet can do no wrong.
There are many thousands of AUB polygamists in the Salt Lake Valley who attend their church services at Draper, Utah. But the population of the Pinesdale polygamous community is less than 1,000 residents, and many of them are polarized concerning Lynn Thompson. Families have broken up, and friendships continue to break up based on whether or not they support Lynn Thompson as the AUB leader. Many local church leaders have resigned their church callings, stopped paying tithes to the group and even started their own services which they call the Second Ward.
A big concern facing dissenters: will the land they live on, which is owned by the AUB United Order, and purchased by members’ tithes, be sold out from under them, forcing them to move? Although there has been no indication that this will happen, it’s making some of them very nervous. One member is quoted as saying, “It’s going to get very unpleasant between Salt Lake and Pinesdale.” But polygamous churches have split before, in fact the AUB itself split from the FLDS in the 1950s over doctrinal differences. The Brown family, of the Sister Wives reality TV show, are probably its best known members. The Browns were specifically chosen for the show to exhibit that family life in polygamy is not much different than in monogamy, therefore polygamy should be legalized. It will be interesting to watch how this situation works out. We wonder how religious people could embrace a leader like Lynn Thompson who has had so many sexual abuse charges alleged against him, yet do nothing to prove or disprove them, or remove him from the supposed position of being “God’s man.”
In this space are stories of some of the people and families that A Shield and Refuge Ministry have helped escape from polygamy. Real names places and dates are changed to keep the privacy , confidentiality and safety of those we’ve helped.
Some of the help people receive from us is through telephone conversations. In fact through the years we have received dozens and dozens of such calls. Some of the calls are from people in other religious groups who are looking for help that we can’t supply. Some are from people who don’t know what we do and are just curious. One particular telephone call I received several years ago was from a man in California who had two wives that had left him. He said he had heard that I help polygamist wives escape and he accused me of hiding them from him.
He warned me that he would find his wives. Then he asked me “where are you located anyway?” I told him that I wouldn’t give out that information, and refused to tell him if I had his wives or not. Of course I wanted them protected from him wherever they were, reasoning that if they ran away from him, it must have been for a good reason. He said, and I quote, “Well I’m going to find out where you are and then I’m going to come there and show you how I treat women.“ At that point I told him our conversation was over and disconnected our phone call. This of course illustrates the authoritarian and abusive treatment by men towards females in most polygamous relationships. I never heard from him again after that first phone call.
Another time, I received a call from a woman in Montana whose daughter was being pursued by a young man from a polygamist community that was close to her home. The mother was in a panic because the daughter was enthralled with this young man and the mother was so afraid that he would not only seduce her sexually but also seduce her into the polygamy group and a polygamist marriage.
We had long conversations many, many times on what to do. She told me, which I’ve since verified, that many of the professional people in that town belong to the polygamy group. Nurses, school teachers, counselors, policeman and others who were supposed to protect the people actually belong to the polygamy group and would offer no help to those who opposed or tried to escape their lifestyle.
She even spoke with the leader of the group and asked him to restrain this young man from pursuing her daughter and he refused to help. This young man continued to see her and even though she was under age it made no difference. There was no protection for her or her daughter in that location because the polygamists either rule openly or behind the scenes. She called me one morning in a panic. Her daughter was gone and she could get no help from anyone. Much later, when her daughter surfaced again it turned out that she had been with this young man and the mother’s worst fears had been realized. I didn’t hear from her for a very long time after that, so I called her to discover what had happened. She said that she had taken her daughter away, completely out of the state, it was the only way to safety for them both. But it was only after some kind of awful scandal that taken place between her, this young man, his family, the polygamy group and the law. May God have mercy on the innocent and stop this lawlessness.
During this ordeal, we tried various times to help her by contacting local authorities, helps groups, and others who may be able to step in and give assistance. We were blocked at every turn.
This merely indicates that for those who are being pursued or recruited by polygamists, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to receive protection and legal help in communities which are heavily populated by Mormon polygamists.
Continued from last month…
Thus, when the famous Revelation on Polygamy says that a man cannot be pardoned for shedding innocent blood, … but that the murder of
a Saint by one of the brethren cannot ... be forgiven on earth, and that his only chance of forgiveness lies in his own blood being shed as an "atonement." Certain sins cannot be forgiven here on earth — shedding innocent blood, divulging the secrets of the Endowment House — marital unfaithfulness on the part of the wife — apostasy; — these are unpardonable. All other crimes which Gentiles abhor may become even virtues, if done in the cause of the Church.... such doctrines have, over and over again, been distinctly taught in the plainest words in the public hearing of thousands; that they have been printed and reprinted by authority; that they have been practiced, and the very highest of the Mormon leaders have applauded; ... It is this day a matter of fact... that if any Mormon Apostate were to commit any of the unpardonable sins which I have mentioned, and if he or she were to be assassinated ... all zealous Mormons — all the leaders — would maintain that not only was the deed justifiable but even meritorious!
This may seem bad enough, but it is not the worst. The doctrine of the "Blood Atonement" is that the murder of an Apostate is a deed of love! If a Saint sees another leave the Church, or if even he only believes that his brother's faith is weakening and that he will apostatize before long, he knows that the soul of his unbelieving brother will be lost... and that only by his blood being shed is there any chance of forgiveness for him; it is therefore the kindest action that he can perform toward him to shed his blood — the doing so is a deed of truest love. The nearer, the dearer, the more tenderly loved the sinner is, the greater the affection shown by the shedder of blood — the action is no longer murder or the shedding of innocent blood, for the taint of apostasy takes away its innocence — it is making atonement, not a crime; it is an act of mercy, therefore meritorious. These were the terrible teachings which the "Reformation" brought to light: — they had been whispered before among the elect, and had been acted upon by the "Avenging Angels," but before this they had never been publicly and intelligibly explained.
Note: Saints = faithful Mormons. Gentiles = non-Mormons. Tell It All, by Fanny Stenhouse, pg 311-312
We are always interested in what our readers and supporters find interesting regarding the topic of polygamy.
If you have a particular question, or would like information on a news event or topic relating to polygamy, or have a concern, we invite you to send your request to us via email: email@example.com We also like to receive suggestions for topics to cover on our weekly internet and Roku broadcasts. Feel free to let us know what’s on your mind.
Also, if you know anyone who is in polygamy who has questions or may want to escape, they can contact us at: Toll free: 1-877-425-9993
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.” ~ Psalms 20:4-5