51 pages 1 hour read

Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2003

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Chapters 21-26Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4

Chapter 21 Summary: “Evangeline”

Content warning: This book contains multiple accounts of sexual abuse and murder, which are discussed in this section.

Rulon Jeffs, believed by many to be the “one mighty and strong,” died on September 8, 2002. His death caused a considerable rift in the FLDS church, not an uncommon part of Mormon history. Jeffs was followed by his son, Warren Jeffs, who many felt did not best fit the role of prophet. A footnote in this edition refers to Warren Jeffs’ involvement in the marriage and impregnation of at least two underage girls. Krakauer details that Jeffs has been in hiding since Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced he was coming for Jeffs in August of 2003.

Often the histories of these fringe groups were bloody and complicated. In the mid-1930s, a fundamentalist church was established by polygamist John Y. Barlow. When Barlow appointed Rulon Allred as his heir, the group split into two, with LeRoy Johnson (Rulon’s predecessor) at one helm and Allred at the other. Short Creek became his home. Allred was brutally murdered by another fundamentalist sect called the LeBaron clan, a Mormon offshoot with roots in Mexico. Some of these fundamentalist sects produced individuals who found their way to Prophet Onias and the School of the Prophets.