Thursday, May 29, 2008

Statement by the Apostolic United Brethren

From Brooke Adams' excellent polygamy blog at the Salt Lake Tribune:
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To whom it may concern,

In light of the recent news activity regarding the FLDS Church and polygamy, the AUB is issuing a press release. The Apostolic United Brethren is a legally-recognized religion based in Utah, with members living primarily throughout the western United States as well as Mexico.

We are a Christian-based, Mormon religious group, that has our roots in the original Gospel restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the early 1800's. We regard ourselves as the original Mormons, and can trace our authority and doctrines back to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Although Plural Celestial marriage, or as others call it, ''Polygamy,'' is one of our basic tenets, we also hold dear many other beliefs that have the Bible and Jesus Christ at their core, and consider ourselves to be Bible-believing Christians. We recognize Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and acknowledge that without His atoning sacrifice, all would be lost.

In the same way that there are many Christian religions that differ in doctrines, beliefs, and tenets, so there are many Mormon religions that differ in doctrines, beliefs, and tenets. Although we have the fundamental beliefs of Mormonism at our core, and many call us 'fundamentalists,' we strongly differ in many beliefs from the FLDS Church that has been so much in the public eye as of late.

Because of this confusion, and because many ''tar us with the same brush'' so to speak, we have decided to provide a Press Release that is available for immediate publication.


Apostolic United Brethren

Dedicated to the Betterment of Mankind

2031 West 13730 South

Riverton, UT 84065



PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE ISSUE

In light of the current events surrounding the beliefs and practices of the many polygamous communities, the leadership of the Apostolic United Brethren would like to clarify to the public that:

1. We are, and always have been, wholly opposed to abuse and oppression of any kind, and we feel it our duty to promptly report any suspected abuse to the proper law enforcement authorities.

2. We do not encourage or permit 'child-bride' marriages or arranged marriages. Instead, it is a fundamental principle of our faith that it is the sacred privilege of all, male and female, when they are adequately mature, to choose whom they will marry. Forced, arranged, or assigned marriages are not a part of our belief or practice.

3. We try to encourage our people to take care of their own needs and to entirely avoid any reliance upon the government. Though there are some members of our faith who may have received government assistance, they are encouraged to become self-sustaining as soon as possible. Our teachings are to be honorable in all our financial dealings which includes full payment of all required taxes as well as avoiding debt.

4. Although we have not had any affiliation with the FLDS for nearly 60 years due to some of these very issues, we are nevertheless deeply concerned that Texas state agencies have violated God given and constitutional rights of the FLDS community at the YFZ ranch contrary to principles and freedoms that iconic America stands for. The investigation of alleged criminal activity should not lead to the unnecessary suffering of innocent babies, toddlers, and older children - there are better and more responsible ways to solve this problem.

In summary, we do not support abuse of any kind, and feel that the perpetrator, whether it be an individual, a group, or a government, ought to be held accountable for perpetrating abuse. We believe in being honest in our financial dealings and in providing for our own people. We are appreciative of this good country in which we are allowed to worship Almighty God and we willingly pay our taxes so that these and other freedoms may be enjoyed by all. We do not condone underage, assigned, or incestuous relationships. We abhor compulsion and oppression in all its forms and support those laws that seek to properly address these issues.

THE APOSTOLIC UNITED BRETHREN

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