Rulon Jeffs

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Rulon Jeffs
Bust photo of Rulon Jeffs
Jeffs, ca. 2002
Prophet and President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
November 25, 1986 (1986-11-25) – September 8, 2002 (2002-09-08)
PredecessorLeroy S. Johnson
SuccessorWarren Steed Jeffs
Personal details
BornRulon Timpson Jeffs
(1909-12-06)December 6, 1909
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
DiedSeptember 8, 2002(2002-09-08) (aged 92)
St. George, Utah, U.S.[1]
Resting placeIsaac W. Carling Memorial Park
36°59′26″N 112°58′02″W / 36.9905°N 112.9671°W / 36.9905; -112.9671 (Isaac W. Carling Memorial Park)
Spouse(s)As many as 75[2]
ChildrenAs many as 65[2] including:
Warren Jeffs
Seth Jeffs
Nephi Jeffs
Lyle Jeffs
ParentsDavid William Ward Jeffs
Nettie Lenora Timpson

Rulon Timpson Jeffs (December 6, 1909 – September 8, 2002), known to followers as Uncle Rulon, was the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church), a Mormon fundamentalist organization based in Colorado City, Arizona, United States from 1986 until his death in 2002.[1] He is the father of later FLDS Church leader and convicted felon Warren Jeffs.


Rulon Jeffs was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 6, 1909, the son of first generation Mormon fundamentalist David William Ward Jeffs (the son of William Yemm Jeffs of Brierley Hill, England[3]) and David Jeff's plural wife, Nettie Lenora Timpson. The elder Jeffs lived his polygamous lifestyle in secret, and Rulon spent the first ten years of his life under the pseudonym Rulon Jennings.[4] Jeffs was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and served in the British mission from June 1930 to August 1932.[5]

Jeffs' father did not introduce him to the teachings of Mormon fundamentalism until September 25, 1938, at the elder Jeffs' birthday dinner, where he presented his son with a copy of Joseph W. Musser's Truth magazine.[4] Jeffs embraced the fundamentalist message after meeting Musser and John Y. Barlow. In 1940, he secretly took a plural wife, for which his first wife, Zola Brown (daughter of LDS Church apostle Hugh B. Brown, and great-granddaughter of Brigham Young), divorced him.[4]

In the spring of 1945, Jeffs, who had been working in northern Idaho since 1943, returned to Salt Lake City, where he was ordained a High Priest Apostle by Barlow on April 19. Jeffs was a protege of both Barlow and later Priesthood Council senior Leroy S. Johnson, who compared their relationship to that of Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Jeffs assumed the leadership of the group after Johnson's death in 1986.[citation needed]

It was reported that at the time of Jeffs's death at age 92 that he may have had as many as 75 wives and 65 children;[2] other sources indicate that he may have been survived by 19 or 20 wives and "about 60 children," including 33 sons.[6] According to author Jon Krakauer, who chronicles the FLDS Church and the Jeffs family in Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, several of Jeffs's wives were underage (as young as 14) at the time they were married to him.[7] Shortly after his death, one of Jeffs's sons, Warren Jeffs, asserted his own leadership of the FLDS Church and subsequently married all but two of his father's widows, solidifying his political position in the community.[citation needed]


  • Jeffs, Rulon (1996). Sermons of President Rulon Jeffs (8 vols.). Hildale, Utah: Twin City Courier Press.
  • Jeffs, Rulon (1997). History of Priesthood Succession in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times and Some Challenges to the One Man Rule. Also Includes Personal History of President Rulon Jeffs. Hildale, Utah: Twin City Courier Press.
  • Jeffs, Rulon (2000). Priesthood Articles. Hildale, Utah: Twin City Courier Press.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "FLDS leader Rulon Jeffs dies". Deseret News. Saint George, Utah. 9 August 2002. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Goodwyn, Wade; Berkes, Howard; Walters, Amy (3 May 2005). "Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church". NPR. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  3. ^ "William Yemm Jeffs - Pioneer Overland Travel". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  4. ^ a b c Brower, Sam (2011). Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 47. ISBN 978-1608193257. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Rulon Timpson Jeffs". Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  6. ^ Janofsky, Michael (15 September 2002). "Mormon Leader Is Survived by 33 Sons and a Void". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  7. ^ Krakauer, Jon (2004). Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. New York: Random House LLC. p. 12. ISBN 1400078997.

External links[edit]

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints titles
Preceded byas Senior Member of the Priesthood Council 
(Short Creek Community)
Prophet and President
November 25, 1986 (1986-11-25)–September 8, 2002 (2002-09-08)
Succeeded by