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Top 5 Utah polygamy stories of 2012

Published December 29, 2012 7:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Where else but Utah will you see this list?

There were developments in the UEP trust case, at the FLDS ranch in Texas and for the polygamous families on television in 2012. Here's a list of the top five polygamy stories of 2012. You can discuss these stories more memories from 2012 on Twitter by following the tag #sltrib2012.

5. Polygamy is a non-issue on the presidential campaign trail. • OK, I'm cheating from the start. One of the top stories was a non-story. Some Mormons feared the Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns would provoke insults and misunderstandings about their faith, including the history of polygamy. While there was some confusion about the Mormon position on caffeine, there was little-to-no talk about polygamy.

4. Texas moves to take the YFZ Ranch. • It was said to be where Warren Jeffs and his chosen people would go. But the state of Texas contends the real purpose of the Yearning For Zion Ranch was to shield FLDS men from bigamy and sex abuse laws. The state has started a civil process to seize the ranch. Watch for a lot more about this in 2013.

3. Television remains fascinated with polygamy. • There was no let up in television coverage of polygamy or polygamists. "Sister Wives" kept rolling on TLC. In a special episode, another polygamous Utah family, the Dargers, joined them. CNN investigated some questionable, but probably legal, FLDS child labor practices. ABC managed to work "FLDS" and "Taliban" into a the same sentence.

2. The FLDS exodus continues. • Warren Jeffs, or people acting in his name, continue to evict people from the faith. Other people are leaving Jeffs' rule on their own. One way or another, the departures continue to split families and complicate the situation in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

1. The state still has control of the UEP trust. • The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal judge in Utah and ruled the FLDS were too late to contest the state seizing of the UEP trust. Meanwhile, a state judge insisted the state pay fiduciary Bruce Wisan the $5.6 million he is owed for managing the trust. But at the end of 2012, some light appeared at the end of the tunnel as parties worked toward a plan to dissolve the trust and give current and former FLDS their own homes.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @natecarlisle