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A year later, women who fled Warren Jeffs find new lives

Published December 10, 2013 7:50 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A year ago, reporter Lindsay Whitehurst and photographer Trent Nelson told readers about twins Heidi and Helen Holm and their friend Allie Steed.

The three 20-somethings from Colorado City, Ariz., had just left Warren Jeff's leadership, mimicking perhaps hundreds of others who consider themselves part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but refuse to follow Jeffs. The article about and the photographs of them were one of The Tribune's most viewed of 2012, and documented how Jeffs' edicts and his splitting of their families drove the Holms and Steed out. One major issue for the women was how Jeffs was not allowing marriages.

But it looks like a happy ending.

Steed married Dec. 21, according to Washington County, Utah, marriage records. Heidi and Helen Holm, now age 23, both married Jan. 30, according to county records.

And Steed, 24, is expecting her first child, according to Lorin Holm, the twins' father.

Some of you are probably wondering if the respective husbands already have wives. I didn't inquire because the community in Colorado City and Hildale, Utah, doesn't like to discuss such things, but I assume the answer is no. In my experience, people from those towns do not complete marriage licenses if there is already a wife — spiritual or otherwise. And, no, I don't know if the husbands plan to seek more wives.

Lorin Holm, who I saw at church with William E. Jessop's congregation in February, wanted people to know his daughters and their friend have married, are happy, considering attending college and are well. Forbidding marriages and splitting families was a way Jeffs has exerted control over his followers, and Lorin Holm sees the women's marriages as a sign things are improving, at least for people no longer following Jeffs.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle