Warren Jeffs to government leaders: "repent or be destroyed"

ABC News 4, Utah/November 17, 2010

Salt Lake City - Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is apparently back in the prophet business. Not three years since a jailhouse confession to his brother, Nephi, that "I am not a prophet", Jeffs is sending out an apocalyptic warning to government leaders who he says are persecuting him.

He calls it a proclamation. It is dated, Friday, October 2, 2009. On that date Jeffs was still in jail in Kingman, Arizona awaiting trials that would never come.

Sections of the proclamation are nothing more than quotations from Mormon scripture and from the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith Jr.

The first two sections, however, are apparently written by Warren Jeffs himself.

Jeffs writes, "Inasmuch as government officials have joined with those who were once members ... who are now apostate and determined to destroy the Church ... and have fought to use records of the Church to persecute and prosecute ..."

"We declare a warning ... He, the Lord, will send His judgments (sic) upon them. This ... through His servants ..."

Then Jeffs switches voice, speaking in the first person for Jesus Christ, "I say unto you repent or be destroyed in the flesh.'

"I, the Lord, shall soon bring upon you the overflowing scourge ... For this land shall be cleansed."

And to avoid the overflowing scourge, Jeffs writes, "restore to my people their lands and houses, and deliver my people from the hand of their oppressors."

The final page of the document is signed by Warren Jeffs and two other men who are listed as his counselors.

Jeffs calls this a revelation. Others call it a threat. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff calls it a stab in the back.

"It came out at the exact same time that officials who's names appear on that document calling down God's judgement on me, were calling me for my help," Shurtleff explained. "(They're) asking me to be reasonable to work with them to try and resolve these issues in a way -- in a dialogue. So they're doing that at a time when they're signing a proclamation that condemns me."

Shurtleff is not the only target of the Jeffs proclamation. ABC 4 News has learned it was also sent to government offices in Texas. One source even claimed it was delivered to the White House.

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