NY Times Magazine: Children of God

NY Times Magazine: Children of God

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It was a banner weekend for The New York Times Magazine, surprise surprise; I don’t think I’ve seen a more arresting cover image in quite some time. The article, Children of God, discusses the world that is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints– both inside the sect’s walls, and out.

Stephanie SInclair of the VI Network took these pictures, and they’re stunning. See some of my favorites below, and all of them here in handy slide show format.

The Young Women of the F.L.D.S.

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LeAnn Jeffs, 17 (center), and her 1-year-old daughter were removed from
the Yearning for Zion Ranch after it was raided by Texas
law-enforcement officers in April. She now lives in a rented home in a
San Antonio subdivision with her mother, Sally, 52 (right), and some of
her 14 siblings. A friend, Joy Darger, 25, is at left.

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LeAnn Jeffs and her daughter in their living room.

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Before dinner, four sons and a son-in-law of the convicted F.L.D.S.
leader Warren S. Jeffs prepare to sing a hymn in a house in New
Braunfels, Tex. Portraits over the mantel are of the former F.L.D.S.
prophet Rulon Jeffs (right) and Warren S. Jeffs, who replaced Rulon
after his death in 2002.

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LeAnn braids her hair.

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A trampoline provides entertainment for the 13 children living at the
house in New Braunfels. Pictured here, jumping, is Teresa Jeffs, 16,
Lenora’s sister and a daughter of Warren S. Jeffs.

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Josephine Jeffs, 15, a sister of Teresa, Lenora and Hannah, in New Braunfels.

Also– BONUS!

In what seems to be an exclusive online feature, Sinclair goes behind the scenes on the Yearning for Zio Ranch. I wonder if these were a late edition, they were shot very recently:

Inside Their World:

On July 17 and 18, the photographer Stephanie Sinclair was allowed
to visit the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Tex., and given
rare access to the members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, or F.L.D.S., who live there.

Members of the polygamist sect dispersed after the state seized its
children, but a few reunited families have returned since the Texas
Supreme Court ruled in May that the state overstepped its authority.
Sinclair, who made her visit before a Texas grand jury indicted Warren
S. Jeffs, the sect’s leader, on new charges of child sexual assault,
followed ranch residents as they went about their ordinary routines —
picking vegetables and milking cows in the community garden and dairy;
spending time in their homes; and, these days, meeting with the
court-appointed guardians who continue to have a duty to represent the
interests of the children.

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Leona Steed, 61, and her granddaughters Angela Steed, 12, left, and
Janey Steed, 13, spend the morning picking no-heat jalapeño peppers at
the Yearning for Zion ranch.

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Vilate Jessop, 6, holds her sister, Tammy Steed, 8 months, at the dairy.

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Natalie Keate, 6, takes a break from feeding milk to the calves at the
dairy. Facing her is Willson Jessop, 4. In the background are Carlene
Jessop, 27 holding William Jessop, 2, and other children from the ranch.

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Radiance Anne Johnson, 6, takes a photo with a
cellphone while her mother, Patricia Johnson, carries her younger
daughter, Elizabeth, 2, up the stairs of their home.


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  1. Heninger at 10:10 am

    Some really beautiful work. And probably a masterful public relations move by a group known more for their secretiveness. Reminds me of some classic work on the Hutterites I remember seeing as a kid.

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