Former FLDS member saddened by fatal flash flooding in Hildale

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It’s an enigmatic place that is experiencing the loss of 13 women and children to a flash flood.

They call it Short Creek and it is one of the most isolated communities in the U.S., by choice rather than geography.

Late in the 20th century, the community took on two formal names, Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale. It was a nod of the head to the political reality of the Utah-Arizona state line.

The population was at one time entirely composed of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In recent years, many community members have fled or have been exiled by current FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs.

Will Ream left the community and his family when Jeffs’ commands became more than he was willing to follow.

“It is really, really hard. But you learn to live again,” Ream said Tuesday.

Ream said news of the flooding and video of his former community responding together made him think about his choice to leave.

“I did a serious retake of my life. I looked inward and thought these people are me. These are the people I grew up with. They're the children of the people I grew up with,” Ream said.

The painful reality of a complete separation forced Ream to view the tragedy from a distance.

“I went through my vindictive stage, but that's not what we're about. God didn't send us here to be vindictive,” Ream said.

Shannon Price directs the Diversity Foundation, an organization that helps people transition out of the FLDS church.

“Every incident like this means an opportunity to change,” Price said.

Price said her contacts in the communities say the disastrous flood is bridging the divide between those who have left and those who remain in the church.

If you are interested in helping, organizations with ties to the community include:

Safetynetutah.org

Holdingouthelp.org

Southwestrecoverymissionministries.org

http://www.smilesfordiversity.org/

6 comments

    • Billy ray

      It is too bad that you weren’t near the flash floods at the time as you are more deserving of death than the innocent children killed.

      • Bob the Wiser

        Who are you to determine who “deserves” to die, and when did “deserving” ever factor in? We all die, every precious baby people get all hopped up on is going to die, every woman, child, saint and “sinner” is born to die. The abrahamic gawd these people have forsaken their personal sovereignty has a reputed history of flooding out those it’s dissatisfied with, and yet much of the world worships that “being” and calls it something “loving”. So gawd can wipe out mankind with impunity and it’s loving, but if humans comment on other humans being wiped out as described in “holy” books, they deserve to die?

  • Hyrum_Justice

    You mormons are and always have been protective of these inbred people. Had the people been any other religion except yours the story would have no press time.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      The LDS Church provides food and clothing for people of all faiths or no faith at all in time of disaster. That’s what their food storehouses are for Hyrum. Your blind hatred is born from their opposition to same $ex marriage. Get over it.

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