'Under the Banner of Heaven': 'Short Creek'

In his book Under the Banner of Heaven, author Jon Krakauer examined the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of fundamentalist splinter groups, who are not Mormons and who broke off from the church after it abandoned the practice of plural marriages. The book excerpt below looks at the history of the polygamous community in Colorado City, Ariz.

LDS Church History

You can read the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' official explanation of its polygamous history and beliefs at the link below:

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We should note that though Krakauer cites the population of Colorado City as 9,000, census figures for both Colorado City and its sister community in Hildale, Utah, combined are 6,000, and just under 4,000 for Colorado City alone. Since the book was first published, the community's prophet, Rulon Jeffs, has died; he was succeeded by his son, Warren Jeffs.

Note: This book excerpt is no longer available on under the terms of use provided by the publisher, Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Under the Banner of Heaven

A Story of Violent Faith

by Jon Krakauer

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