Saturday, March 5, 2011

To Trust In Man (Part 11)

Author's note: The following post is part of a series dealing with my experiences in the Jeffrey Lundgren cult and what I learned from those experiences. My hope is that my story will teach others the importance of listening to the voice of God within for their answers. Peace. cse


Although my husband Brian was in Kirtland with me and attended scripture study classes at the Lundgren home, he really was not taking to the teachings or to Jeff as I had hoped. I would often encourage Brian to participate in some of the "male bonding" sort of activities which went on in the Lundgren household in the hope it would draw him closer to the group.

At times, Damon, Jeff Lundgren's oldest son, would organize games of "Capture the Flag" in the late evening in the gardens of the Kirtland Temple. The game involved two teams who would take turns hiding the "flag", usually just a colored rag. The object was to either find the flag and bring to back to home base or to keep the other team from finding the flag and retrieving it. Brian would often participate. He liked games and seemed to enjoy it, although it was obvious in Brian's mind that games were one thing, the scriptures and religion quite another.

I knew Jeff and his family were also into hunting. Occasionally I would see Jeff cleaning some gun or another, and they would talk about deer hunting and other things of that nature. It never struck me as odd, as I have family members who enjoy hunting as well. During the course of the summer, Jeff began organizing trips to the shooting range. He also strongly encouraged the younger men to take a hunter's safety course, which they did. As guns always scared me, I thought this was a good idea, especially since Brian and I were now in possession of a rifle, which Jeff had purchased with money we had given him.

As much talk of hunting and guns as there was in the Lundgren household, I never thought about Jeff and his fascination with guns. I now know Jeff understood my fear of guns, perhaps even better than I did. He never allowed me to go into the basement of his house on the visitor center grounds. He never told me why, but some of Jeff's other followers did. When I asked the others what was down there, I was told guns and ammunition--lots of it. I wasn't allowed to go down there for fear it would scare me. The sad part is, I didn't even question it.

Blessings come in many forms. Brian's lack of spirituality and the fact that he never bonded strongly with anyone in the Lundgren group were truly blessings. I just didn't see it at the time.

The story continues:

*(For more information on this incident, one of the best books written is Prophet of Death. the Mormon Blood-Atonement Killings by Pete Earley. It's very detailed and uncomfortably graphic, but he did his research well. Earley gets to the heart of why Jeff and his followers acted as they did, without bias. Also, A&E did a segment of their show American Justice on this topic: American Justice: The Cult Murders.)

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