Elissa Wall

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Elissa Wall

Warren Jeffs is now in prison. Those of us who live on the outside of polygamy didn't think there was much chance of him getting away from the charges against him. He did, after all, force a 14 year old girl, and force her to marry her first cousin. Not only that, but he was convicted of rape for helping the girls husband have sex with her.

Today on the Oprah Show, Elissa Wall, the young girl known only as Jane Doe during the trial, gave an open and honest interview. She told that she was surprised that the prophet, Warren Jeffs, had told her of her marriage, and begged him to wait a couple years before she was married. He denied her request. Shortly after the ceremony in the temple, she was sent on a kind of honeymoon with other couples who were married that day. She mentioned that many of the couples didn't even know each other, and that the honeymoon was more of a "get to know you" session than anything else. She even had to be dared to kiss her husband for a photo.

The kiss that was really a dare.

Elissa told the audience how they knew nothing of sex, or as they called it, "marital relations." She had no idea that husbands and wives did more in bed than actually sleep, and she was scared, confused, and shaken when her marriage was finally consummated. She claims she asked her husband to stop, or to at least explain what he was going to do before he did it, but her husband refused to answer her questions except to tell her that it was his duty and right as a priesthood holder to do these things to her. She was only 14.

This young woman managed to escape the polygamous compound a couple years later with a young man she had fallen in love with. She told of how he helped change her tire one night, and a friendship grew. That friendship eventually turned into genuine love, and they risked everything to get away from the lives they were living. Her testimony put Warren Jeffs in prison, and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her to testify against a man she once considered close to God as well as a prophet. The word Brave barely scratches the surface. She really did risk her life. There are plenty of people who would have harmed her to keep her from that courtroom that day.

Elissa spoke of the educations they received in the compound. It wasn't a regular public school by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, everything they learned was based on the FLDS' beliefs, and they didn't learn anything the men didn't want them to learn. She said that when she was a child, she just assumed her life was normal... that everyone lived that way. She lived her life in a bubble, the same bubble the young women and children were living in when they were taken from Eldorado, TX.

When a CPS worker asked one of the teenage girls how she felt about being pregnant at 17, the young woman replied, "It's just such an honor." The girls were conditioned to believe that. Most of them, no doubt, were terrified on the inside yet knew better than to speak anything negative about their husbands or church officials.

It's hard to listen to, to be honest with you. It's hard to hear that these kids were abused like this, and how many of them were hurt before someone finally took action. For every story you hear, there are probably hundreds if not thousands that you don't hear. They were all raped. Their education, mental and emotional stability, as well as their innocence were not taken into consideration by the men in charge.

It makes me wonder how hard it must have been for the early polygamists years and years ago. The men in charge of the polygamous groups today and practicing the same religion that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught... yet most Mormons will make excuses for it, claiming it was God's will. After hearing some of the stories of the people who left the groups, it's impossible to come to the conclusion that it was revelation from God. What happened to these people, in my humble opinion, was downright evil.

How is it that it is considered a horrible thing to practice polygamy to many modern day Mormons, yet they still talk of the former prophet's as if they were amazing, loyal and honest men? The thought process there doesn't add up to me. I am not even touching the fact that polygamy is practiced in the Celestial Kingdom, the highest level of heaven. It's okay to do that in heaven, but not on earth? How does that add up?

The amazing story of Elissa Wall could be downright identical of two 14 year old girls who were married to Joseph Smith. The times might have changed, but the actions are the same. The horrible things that happened to this woman happened to the girls who were married by the original prophet.

Isn't it time to stop praising these men even though they were obviously using their power to get what they want? Isn't it time to realize that?


18 comments:

  1. Demand More Says:

    I found your blog a couple weeks ago and I just wanted to say it means so much to me to know Im not the only person who feels this way about the church! I was raised in the church and I am the only "Inactive" in generations. Thank you for your blog and please keep writing!

  1. Sydney Says:

    Demand More,

    Thank you for the comment, please stop by and leave one any time you like. Like you, I am one of only a few of family members who are inactive, and I am pretty sure that once the church gets wind of my blog they will try and excommunicate me. Thing is, I haven't lied once, nor have I done anything wrong. Makes me smile.

    Thank you for reading, and thanks again for stopping by!!!!!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    My heart goes out to you all! I have read Elissa's book and researched all that I could; from the legal proceedings of Warren to the more recent overtaking of Yearning for Zion ranch and then return of the children. Our local paper even featured a story on one of the Yoder family reunions in a happy, joyfull occation for all. As a young mother of three I cannot even imagine the horror of your childhoods or the pain and gumption it would take for you to overcome and fight back esencially all your teachings. I'm not even close to Morman, actually, Roman Catholic. Just wanted to say that, in my opinion at least, my God holds a higher power than any man on earth and that the soul will endure far more than our physical bodies. May your futures be blessed and forget the 'keep sweet' bit. Being nice doesn't mean being blown over!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I am a member of the Mormon Church and just finished reading Ms. Wall's book "Stolen Innocence". I am appalled at what this young woman has been through. I am equally frustrated that the mainstream Mormon church could in any way be linked to this FLDS church. They are polar opposites in their doctrine and the way women are treated. There is no connection whatsoever.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Anonymous,

    If I had not recently done research into Mormon history, I would have agreed with you. However, now that I know the things the church likes to keep quiet, I do believe the mainstream church and the flds sect have a lot in common.

    My point is this...

    The FLDS polygamous groups are only practicing what Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught. Brigham Young told his followers that they would never make it to the Celestial Kingdom without polygamy. Joseph Smith had over 30 wives, and 2 of them were only 14 years old.

    I know you are strong in your beliefs, and I was once in your shoes. I am not trying to sway your faith in these statements. I am making a point that the past prophets and the FLDS group could be identical.

    We don't practice polygamy anymore, but that is only because it's against the law. Do you think polygamy would have disappeared if the government wouldn't have stepped in and threatened them? It would have stayed the same. We would be those women in those dresses!

    Take care, and please feel free to comment here any time. :)

  1. Nanette Says:

    I am not a member of any religion, but have tried to practice religious tolerance towards others to the best of my abilities, always.

    I just finished Elissa's book.
    What I would really like to know is how can someone out here, help or make a difference to someone stuck inside.

    By the way, I think the tragedy of the "Lost Boys," just as compelling.

    I'm sorry, but my opinion of the leaders of these communities is pure evil.

  1. Maeve Says:

    Hi Windy,

    Just finished Elissa Wall's book. Couldn't put it down. I left the Catholic Church at 15 after incidences of my father being aggressive to me because I would not obey him and go to mass and confession. I am not equating the FLDS experience to mine, but any system which forces a belief structure on a child is just wrong in my opinion.

    I have explored my own spiritual beliefs over the years and am quite happy to not belong to any religion.

    Windy, be brave and I am sure you are meeting some good people to help you through.

  1. Idamag Says:

    When my daughters were 14-years-old, one day they would be trying on fingernail polish and the next making Barbie Doll Clothes.

    I can't believe a mother would tolerate a religion that believed in raping her daughters.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I just finished the book and I am impressed and encouraged by Elissa Walls. I hope that her telling of her story will ignite in her mother the courage to protect Ally and Sherrie over anything else.

    Elissa, Be of good courage. God has used you to encourage us all to stand up for what is right.

  1. Joyce Says:

    I just finished reading Elissa's book and the first thing that struck me was the compassion and love that this girl - who 'should' be bitter and angry with her mum and entire FLDS communite - has for them all. Im not sure if I would be so willing to step back into the life that took away my childhood amongst so many other awful things that happened. She is totally amazing.
    The photo above shows her 'compliance' to the kiss where she has her hand up to push him away and he is holding on with such force.
    I wish her all the joy in the world along with her wonderful hubby and 2 beautiful kids
    Joyce

  1. Oma Says:

    I am smack dab in the middle of reading this book and am apalled at the way the women and girls are treated in the FLDS church. I am also apalled that Elissa's mother or older sisters did not tell Elissa anything about "marital relations".

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I just finished Elissa's book. I would like to encourage Elissa to continue to follow the "Truth that will set her free". She's not only on a path of freedom for herself, but for many young girls and women that need someone to encourage them with hope. "God works all things out for the good of those who love Him." He's doing that for her and using her life to aid so many more. He's given her a voice to be an advocate to many women who have been manipulated by fear an lies. He's given her faith and courage to fight for what is right. He's never left her alone. I applaud you, Elissa, truly "following your heart." Your life, even it's painful parts, is making a difference in so many lives. You are, and will continue to be blessed for taking a stand for the truth. For being honest, loving and fair. You have much to look forward to and many people to bless as you are being blessed. All the best to you and your lovely family.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I just finished readding Elissa's book, and for anyone in life who has gone through any kind of struggle, to read her book is to gain her strength and courage.
    When I was growing up I had a very abusive mother. The pain I felt from that has always been pushed under everything else in my life from work, college and other day to day things. I was always to afraid to confront it. But Elissa's strength to stand up for what she knew was right, what she knew would make her life, and hopefully future FLDS girls lives better, gave me the strength to walk away from my mother and stay away.
    What she has accompished makes her my hero and I hope that she can read this and know that she has help, a lot.
    Thank you again Elissa Wall,
    Lyndsay

  1. Andee Says:

    Lyndsay,

    I am happy you are away from your abusive situation! Take care of yourself, okay?

    *hugs*

  1. Mia Says:

    I'm glad she's happy now.

  1. V. Plaisance Says:

    I Have Just Finished Reading Her Book...I Really Enjoyed It and I Am Glad To Know She Left and Began A New Life ... It's Crazy To Think That They Do Live That Way But That Is All They Know! Thankfully, She Is Happy Now and I Wish Nothing But The Best For Her and Her Family...I Do Hope She Can Reunite With Her Mother and 2 Young Sisters...God Bless =)

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I really appreciate your blog. After reviewing Elissa recent book it only confirmed what I already knew about the FLDS (and sadly some LDS members that I knew growing up). To anyone who thinks this is okay and right for a child to be married at 14, I have some sad news for you. You have been led down the wrong path in life. At 14 a young girl should be just that, a young girl. Elissa, I am so proud of you for standing your ground and making your story well known. I will continue to keep you, and others like you (including 2 friends I grew up with) in my prayers!

  1. Maddie Says:

    You go girl!