Let’s analyze the comments he made in ten phone calls from prison on January 24-25, 2007. He didn’t just say these things once, he said them over and over again in these many phone calls during those two days. He referred to all of this as “a great testament.”
- “I am not the key holder since Father’s passing.” “Brother William E. Jessop is the key holder.” To William: “I know of your ordination, that you are the key holder and I sent a note with my signature verifying it.” “Brother William is an apostle, ordained by Father.” “I am not the prophet. I never was the prophet.”
It had been rumored that Warren’s father, Rulon had ordained William Timpson (later named William E. Jessop) an apostle. Rulon, while ill, was supposed to ordain William to be an assistant bishop to Fred Jessop, but he slipped and gave William the whole package, including apostleship. At that time, William was told by Warren to ignore the other things, he was just a bishop. However, now Warren was finally admitting the truth. William was an apostle and thus the valid successor to Rulon.
Please don’t confuse Willie E. Jessop with big Willie Jessop (son of Glade). Willie Jessop who the news media calls an “FLDS spokesman” is a different person. He is not William E. Jessop. Big Willie holds no leadership in the FLDS, makes no decisions, he just does as he is told to.
- Warren felt it was important for him to follow the scripture in D&C 43:4 “one key holder appoints the next.” The scripture actually reads, “But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.” So even though Warren said he wasn’t the key holder (the gift taken from him), he believed that he needed to follow D&C 43:4 and appoint another in his stead, William E. Jessop.
- “The Lord does not speak to the key holder through a woman.” This statement likely refers to two things. Many times during his “heavenly sessions” Naomie would later tell him what he said. So Warren figured out that the Lord doesn’t work this way. He would not use a woman to communicate things to the key holder (prophet). Another likely reference where Warren abused this principle was when he had Naomie stand up on December 1, 2002 to testify that Rulon had appointed Warren as his successor. This again violates this principle.
- “There’s many men that are sent away that DO hold priesthood and their families will need to be put back.” By 2007, Warren had kicked over 200 men and many women out of the FLDS and reassigned their wives to other men. With this new directive (if it would have been followed through) these poor women would have been jerked from one husband to another and back. Some were even on their third or fourth husband because of these reassignments. And don’t forget about the children. They had been told that their real father was “dead” to them and they even had their last name changed. So their father wasn’t really “dead” and they should get their name back? All of this was couched as being God’s will.
- In a phone call to his family, Warren released his own wives (more than 80). They were no longer married to him. Those who had previously been Rulon’s wives would now be widows again. However, he also instructed that they all would all be given to be wives of William E. Jessop.
- “Leroy does hold priesthood and will be restored.” Warren’s brother Leroy was kicked out in 2005. Before then, Leroy was an influential leader, but Warren had felt threatened by him.
- “Wendell Nielson DOES hold priesthood and needs to come back with his family right away.” Recently Warren had made a stunning declaration that his First Counselor, Wendell Nielson did not hold priesthood and was to be kicked out of the FLDS. It looks like Warren had recently sent a note of instruction along those lines. “The note will say he doesn’t [hold priesthood], so I was corrected and the Lord stopped me in my progress.”
- “I am one of the most wicked men on the face of the Earth since the days of Father Adam.” On the follow day, Warren back-tracked on this statement. “That part is from the powers of the Evil One that were trying to influence me.” So Warren believed that some parts of his experience were from the Lord and some were from the devil. Several minutes later he said “I have been the most wicked man in this dispensation, in the eyes of God.” So, apparently he is not one of the most wicked men who has ever lived, but just the most wicked in the last 170 years. At least he figured out he was very wicked.
- “I was immoral with a sister and a daughter when I was younger.” “I hadn’t held priesthood since I was twenty.” “I’m just a damn soul, damned soul.” Presumably he was immoral with a sister at age 20 and later with at least one of his daughters. There have been rumors that he has been immoral with others. On the phone he was asked, “Is it okay to ask what the sin is . . . the sin that you did?” Warren only replied, “a sister and a daughter.” Three months later, when he back-tracked on his statements, it does not appear that he backed off this confession, he still considered himself unworthy.
- “I’ve just been deceived by the devil who was an angel of light.” For all these years, the devil had been deceiving him, giving him false revelations, and Warren had thought those things had been coming from the Lord. Warren told Naomie that all or most of those heavenly sessions were the devil’s deception. All those heavenly session that showed him how evil the world was, how to build the temple, who should be kicked out. . . all of this was deceptions from the devil.
- “All the ordinance work of all the people, since Father’s passing, that I’ve done has to be done over.” What about things after Rulon’s stroke, before his passing? No, “Father was there.” This would have been a massive undertaking. Hundreds of marriages would have to be performed again. Imagine the feeling of the couples realizing that they weren’t really married.
- “David Fischer should move to Short Creek and trade houses with Lindsay Barlow.” This was an odd directive in context of all his other statements at this time. Why was this so important to Warren at this time? Lindsay Barlow, who was at Short Creek, was to move to YFZ. David Fischer, who was at YFZ was to move back to Short Creek. For some reason David Fischer was no longer worthy to be at YFZ. David Fischer would later go back to YFZ in June and then later be sent to a house in hiding. Lindsay Barlow was also at YFZ in June and was a trusted leader on the High Council.
- Nephi Jeffs did not need to be in St. George, Utah near the prison anymore. He could move back with his family. Warren was planning to break off contact with everyone. “I will not be calling anymore.” (Three days later Warren tried to take his own life, but failed.)
- The Lord told him all these things because “I was in a key position.” Apparently what this means is: While he wasn’t the valid key holder, he was filling that position, and thus the Lord had to work through him for some valid things. A few valid revelations were issued. How did he know which ones were valid and which ones were false?
- Warren instructed Naomie to destroy all the dictations (many are now public) because they are not of God. There are a few exceptions: A revelation about himself on June 20, 2003, and revelations given during October 2004.
- “This is not a test, this is a revelation from the Lord.” When unfulfilled things are predicted by the FLDS prophet or unreasonable things are demanded, many times these are only tests of faith. Warren declared that this was not one of those times. But there was something that was a true test. Warren said that when Rulon “pointed his figure at him” (which Warren claimed was the event when Rulon appointed him as the next prophet.) -- that event was a huge test on the entire FLDS. So Warren’s reign of terror was the huge test on the FLDS.
But hold on now! Just three months later, Warren would explain that all of these January statements were just a big test. Wow, this is really mind boggling. Tests, that aren’t tests, that really are tests. All this collectively is a test. This is a fundamental flaw in the FLDS teachings. They never really know what is true, even when the prophet says it is true. They just have to do whatever Warren says today, no matter how outrageous.
During those January, 2007 phone calls, Warren left his followers stunned with these declarations and directions. Merril Jessop, his second counselor asked, “Is is alright to ask you a few questions?” Warren’s reply was, “No. Read a note I sent to you and follow through at a point according to proper order. . . . Brother William [Jessop] will tell you much more, okay? He’s the one you talk to. Thank you and goodbye.” For two weeks the YFZ Ranch didn’t turn on a single light.
Where did this all end up? Warren explained:
“Finally in the early morning hours of Monday, April 16th, (and even many times before) [The Lord] directly intervened, and directed me to call and give His message that I am to continue on and stand in my place and do His will.” Warren claimed he was over-anxious in proclaiming that he was unworthy and that others were more worthy. “Then the Lord intervened and showed me to rely on Him through these greater trials.” So it was all a huge test. “Whatever the Lord requires and allows us to go through, may I and we stand faithful and true.”
Warren finally believed that he had been “tested and tried beyond measure by the powers of darkness.” He flip-flopped.
Confused? The test on the people (of having Warren as an invalid prophet) wasn’t really a test afterall. The experience in January (that Warren said wasn’t a test) was a test afterall. But this whole flip-flop experience WAS the big test on the FLDS.
What about his poor brother Leroy Jeffs. Did he flip-flop in letting Leroy back in? Yes. He explained to his mother in a letter written in May. “I have yearned over LeRoy and the Lord still directs to leave him in the Lord’s hands.”
Those January experiences weren’t from the Lord, they were from the devil. Throughout this whole experience it shows that clearly Warren is very confused what things come from the Lord and what are from the devil. Those who are persons of faith can easily conclude that Warren is taking his instruction from a dark source, not from the Lord.
Is Warren still the prophet? Yes, most likely, but one can only wonder. It may vary day-to-day. On June, 11, 2007, he had another temporary bought of sanity when he called Merril Jessop and stated, “I am not the one to be the prophet, and I am not the one to continue.” On the next day he called Merril again and he apologized for any distress he caused the previous day. He needed to be more careful about his “expressions of unworthiness.”