Can you imagine living in a community where polygamy is practiced? Where children turn into adults after age 12 (no adolescence as modernity defines it)?   Boys grow up beside their future wives playing in the dirt and kicking the ball around. They live in a world secluded and shielded from the modern world.  They are happy as well as they know with a complete different set of norms. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is their official identity influenced by their prophets who claim special revelation from God.  It’s a simple life without the cares of “our” world and its civility.

How often do we throw out the whole for something bad in the ingredients? Our “knee-jerk” reaction to something like polygamy and uniformity leaves us as judge and jury while interpreting the book. But there is something desirous to be gleaned from this FLDS. Behind the abuse and dangers of polygamy lies an ingredient we all long to taste. The individuals belong to each other in community that makes each person valuable. 

There is no self-sufficiency or individualism within the community; they all are members of one another.  When one hurts; they all hurt.  When one rejoices, they all rejoice. Everything is about the good and health of the community.  Whereas, self-sufficiency and individualism kill this blessed unity and disconnect people.

What happened at the YFZ (Yearn for Zion) Ranch was evil.  Make no mistake about it. What CPS had to do was a second evil predicated upon the first. Child safety is paramount in this business. There seems to be no middle ground in efforts to be family-centered when children are removed.  However, these children are thrust into a world that is hostile to their values and imposes great threat to what was good about their way of life.

There is, inside us all, a kind of “yearning for Zion” that screams for the need to be connected; to be significant and valued. Due to the “image of God” in us all, we crave to be filled with soul satisfying acceptance. Our efforts to become self-sufficient and beautiful fall way short of satisfaction. We long to be deeply loved and to love deeply. Yet, there is something deficient about ourselves, our jobs, our money, and our pleasures that does not fill our purpose. 

Religion is often an opiate to our pain and ointment applied to our conscience. Let religion not be confused with life; life that comes from a divine relationship.  This relationship can only be known by self-abandonment; a dependency upon the real Jesus who is not defined or interpreted by the FLDS or any other box-brand of religion.  The search for significance stops at the foot of the cross and the atonement made for our sin.