2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 19 of 50
Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs written by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer. It’s not easy to listen to these type of stories because there are so many emotions a person can have as they listen. Elissa Wall is the younger sister of Rebecca Musser the author of book 17 on my list. They both grew up in the FLDS and left under the “Prophet” Warren Jeffs. She was forced to marry her first cousin at the age of 14 years old. When she finally left she was encouraged to press charges against Warren Jeff and her now ex-husband for what happened to her during her marriage.
It’s easy to judge the people who come from the FLDS and it’s easy to judge if you never take the time to truly understand. After listening to two books from two women from the same family it sounds like they all had this natural drive to know more. If I understand correctly out of all their sibling meaning same mother and father I think there are only two left in FLDS which are their younger sisters. The boys were all pretty much forced out over time – actually there is one other sister that was also married to Rulon Jeffs (Warren’s Father). I do not know if she ever left or not and there were 14 kids all together from their mother and father. I won’t go into a lot of details but the amount of lost their mother has gone through is unimaginable. Elissa and Rebecca share how they had seen their mother one last time and since these books were written in 2008 and 2014 we are left to assume that is still the case. A mother who was born and raised in this community she could not walk away. Their father was not born and raised but came in with his first wife. There family has a lot of heartache and issues without the help of the prophet.
I think it safe to say that Warren Jeffs is a narcissist and if he wouldn’t of tried to destroy so many lives he may still be in his position and doing even more harm. I know that there are still people to this day that are still following him even though he is in jail. It breaks my heart that there are so may women who still believe in what they have been taught despite all they have seen. I do admire that Elissa got to a point where she would no longer take the abuse she got from her “husband”. She also tells how the only reason why she did not leave sooner was so she could be near her mother and sisters. This book covered the court case in Utah and Elissa was a leading witness to the whole case. During this case Warren Jeffs had three attorneys and I’m curious to know more about the woman on his legal team. He decided to represent himself in Texas. I can’t imagine it’s easy to represent someone like Warren as you are provided with multiple evidence of the crimes he is saying he is not guilty.
As of right now I don’t have any more books from any members that left FLDS. I know there are videos I could watch talking more about what happened. I started to watch one video Preaching: Evil A Wife on the Run with Warren Jeffs. This features a wife he married after his father died her name is Naomi and if you read Rebecca’s book you learn about Naomi and I am pretty sure I know why Warren married her in secrets and chose her to go into hiding. He used her to tell the people he was suppose to be the next prophet despite him not being the oldest of Rulon children.
Disclaimer: I couldn’t find a number 19 photo on Pexels because all the picture that came up has something to do with COVID.