FLDS is on a building binge
Published: Thursday, September 6th, 2012
A temple? An amphitheatre with a 30’ statue of Warren Jeffs? A milking barn?
While all those ideas have been suggested, no one knows for sure. However, there is no doubt that the latest project the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) is constructing on its property located on Farmer Road in Custer County is massive.
Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler was told by Ben “Ed”âï¿½ï¿½Johnson, the person in charge at the FLDS compound, that it is to be a milking barn, but after seeing photos of the project, Wheeler suspects it is something else. What that something else is, he doesn’t know.
Dave Green, Custer County planning director, sees a similarity between this structure and one at the FLDS Yearning For Zion (YFZ) compound in Eldorado, Texas. That structure is the size of a stadium and shaped like an amphitheatre in which it it has been rumored that a 30’ statue of FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs with a small child will be placed.
Green notes that the packing materials in which the statue was delivered to the YFZ compound is identical to packing materials seen in the photo shown here.
Although Green is concerned about what the FLDS may be constructing in that area, as there is no formula for dealing with an amphitheatre — should that be what it turns out to be —that structure isn’t Green’s main concern at the present time.
What concerns him are the two new buildings in progress in the lower right and lower center of the photo on page one.
After the FLDS completed part one of the road project on 20 Mile Road, it was eligible to receive two building permits. Part two of the road project has also been completed âï¿½ï¿½— and completed very well, Green notes — but no building permits have been applied for, nor given.
Green said he plans to contact Johnson to ask what is being built there.
Another conjecture put forth by one who has seen the project is that the structure is to be a temple, as the temple at the YFZ compound is believed by the FLDS to be polluted when Texas Rangers entered it during the April 2008 raid.
It is also rumored that the FLDS is tearing down the YFZ compound in Texas, but that is not the case, according to Kathy Mankin, owner of the Eldorado Success with her husband, Randy.
According to the the Success, activity at the YFZ compound has dimished, but the only thing that has been torn down is the concrete tower, estimated to be 100 feet tall, that was up only a few days after it was finished. It was estimated to have four-foot-thick walls with poured concrete. No one knows what it was for or why it was torn down.
However, construction activity has slowed there and Mankin has heard that the FLDS workers have moved to the oil fields in North Dakota, as John Beagley, owner of Phaze Cement — a concete business with ties to the FLDS — has had a presence in North Dakota since 2006. It is rumored that some of the followers in Texas are selling their personal property and leaving Texas.
As far as the new construction at the Custer County compound, Mankin has her own theory. Her beliefs are based on Warren Jeffs’ dictations from Oct. 27, 2007, in which he wrote: “The Lord has turned the key in favor of the redemption of Zion, and for preparations to be made to build the temple at the Center Stake of Zion. The Lord directs that the following materials be purchased and stored at the South Dakota Stake of Zion, in the “Center Stake Storehouse” that is to be built and ready by April 6, 2008.”
While it obviously wasn’t built by that date, Mankin notes that the YFZ raid happened on April 3, 2008.
“I think the new construction now is ‘the’ center stake storehouse because of the special preparation for a large fence,” she said.
She notes that the Center Stake of Zion is a reference to Independence, Mo., where Joseph Smith said the “New Jerusalem” temple is to be built. It is the place where the FLDS faithful believe that Jesus will return to Earth and where the Lord's people will gather.
The FLDS believe that before Jesus Christ returns, there will be a terrible destruction in which the wicked will be destroyed. Only the most faithful FLDS who have been living their religion and obeying the prophet will be lifted up, protected from the destruction and then returned to the earth.
Mankin compares the photo on page one with a 2007 drawing made by architect Edmond Barlow Allred (who designed the YFZ temple in Eldorado) for the storehouse at the Custer County compound which fits the construction layout exactly.
In Allred’s letter to Jeffs, he writes, “All three proposals have more than sufficient area inside for the 100x120 building even if future attachments of separate buildings are needed.”
The three drawings for the storehouse made by Allred include a 300’x300’ building pad. Allred’s letter mentions a fence with columns every 24 feet which would include subdued security lighting and a main gate on the south side with secondary gates on the east and west.
Jeffs’ dictations also contain a hand-written list of building materials which are to be stored here in anticipation of building the temple in Missouri: 5,000 lineal feet of solid oak posts:âï¿½ï¿½8”x8”x10’; 5,000 lineal feet of solid oak posts: 6”x6”x10’; bonding glue for wood: 3,000 gallons (for the making of furniture, etc.; 10,000 sheets of high quality plywood; 1-1/2” thick tongue and groove; welders and welding rods and supplies sufficient to handle the stainless steel; 1,000 stainless steel fasteners for floor joists for beams that are 16”x16”; and 30,000 bolts for fasteners and other items.
In another picture taken (not shown) the same day as the front page photo, a large suppy of building materials can be seen.
Green did not imagine the 30’ statue of Jeffs. The Success dated Dec. 8, 2011, reported on the possibility of its existence with the 30’ Jeffs dressed in long robes holding a Book of Mormon with a young girl dressed in prairie-style garments.
According to the article in the Success, the new amphitheatre is believed to be a gathering place for Jeffs’ faithful followers during the “destructions,” along with the possibility of housing the statue.
The Success also stated that at least one of Jeffs’ loyal followers believes the statue will prove to the world that Jeffs cannot be taken away from his people.
Only time will tell what the structure at the Custer County compound will be when it is finished, but Wheeler says it’s definitely not a milk barn.
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