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For the FLDS faithful, Warren Jeffs’ trial brings a choice
Rival » Ex-elder emerges from hiding, claims he should lead.

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He may be slowly gaining supporters, but the church leaders who support Jeffs are pushing back. And Jeffs is no longer the weakened man who relinquished his role as prophet four years ago. Texas jailers say he is eating well and healthy.

Jeffs’s trial, however, will likely expose evidence and allegations of at least 10 marriages to underage girls, leaving his followers with a choice: Stay or go.

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But for those who have grown up in the faith, choosing to separate from Jeffs is a long, painful process, said Willie R. Jessop.And they’re not sure they can trust evidence coming from the same authorities who removed women from their homes and separated them from their children during the raid.

"The church is going through some of the darkest days since its very existence," he said. "It has to come to grips with the conditions of what took place in secret with its leader."

lwhitehurst@sltrib.com Twitter: @lindsaywhitehurst

Online: The Polygamy Blog

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