Parents object to ban on books, Jeffs' pics
FLDS parents again objected Tuesday to Texas Child Protective Services' ban on religious literature or photographs of polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs.
During one hearing, Seth Jeffs said he was told he could not mention his brother's name during visits with his children. Other parents have said their children's copies of the Book of Mormon were removed because photographs of Jeffs were taped inside.
Caseworkers also have said collections of sermons by Jeffs and other FLDS prophets need review before they are given to the children.
A CPS spokeswoman said that until DNA evidence, due in mid-June, proves Warren Jeffs is a child's biological father, they along with all FLDS children in custody will be prohibited from having his photo.
Texas rules state that children in foster care can only have pictures and talk about a convicted sex offender if that person is a parent who has not victimized them. Jeffs was convicted of rape as an accomplice in Utah for conducting a teenager's marriage.
"The problem we have is discussing him in the context of him being the prophet or his specific teachings because he is a convicted sex offender," said Marissa Gonzales, a CPS spokeswoman.
Some attorneys, as requested by parents, have asked the state to allow FLDS missionaries to lead Sunday services for their children.
"They say they give the children time to pray but they don't know how to because they are too young," Seth Jeffs told The Salt Lake Tribune, referring to a shelter where some of his children are housed.
A state lawyer has said that FLDS missionaries would not be allowed but that a representative of the mainstream LDS Church might be acceptable, according to an e-mail shared with The Tribune. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavowed polygamy in 1890 and 1904 and does not recognize breakaway polygamous groups such as the FLDS, who consider it equally misguided.
- Brooke Adams, Julia Lyon