Excerpts of FLDS must be 'chosen' by year's end or be destroyed, Jeffs says, by John Hollenhorst, KSL NewsA "frenzy" of activity has erupted among a polygamist community in southern Utah as imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs has told his followers that they must be "chosen" by the end of the year or be destroyed.
According to outside observers, there has been a flurry of church meetings almost daily, a set of mysterious construction projects and widespread re-baptism as thousands of followers react to apparent prophesies of doom from their imprisoned leader.
"These people honestly believe that the end is here and that everybody's going to be destroyed within the next few days," said Isaac Wyler, former member of the FLDS church and resident of Colorado City.
Observers have growing concerns that Jeffs, acting from prison in Texas, is preparing the FLDS faithful for a dramatic new phase. Some believe the renewed fervor and emphasis on loyalty is a prelude to an exodus of the faithful to an FLDS outpost in another state.
There have also been concerns that large numbers of people will be kicked out or will leave the group voluntarily, putting stress on social service capabilities in southern Utah.
Brower said he's seen indications of unusual construction activity at the FLDS meeting house in Colorado City, Ariz. Pallet-loads of concrete were taken into the building, he said, possibly for construction of a baptismal font. He also said baptismal facilities have recently been installed in a school building a few blocks away, on the Utah side of the border in Hildale.
Earlier in the week, Brower obtained copies of purported prophecies issued by Jeffs in November. They say, among other things, "I am soon to cleanse all nations... let this be as a final warning."