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Season 4, Episode 11: Leaving the FLDS, Part 1: How Do You Spot False Teachings?

Season #4

If you had been told all through your childhood that people outside your faith are plotting to hurt you, you might feel safer sticking close to people who believe just like you do, even if you knew that at least some of what you are being taught is wrong. Would you have the courage to leave it all behind, have your family and friends disown you, and become, in the words of men like Warren Jeffs, an apostate?


Our book this week is The Witness Wore Red, by Rebecca Musser. She’s an author, activist, mom, and was the 19th wife of Rulon Jeffs, Warren Jeffs’ father. We’re doing a three-part deep dive on this case because there are so many great takeaways from Rebecca’s story. Cults have always fascinated me. From the outside looking in, we wonder how people could believe some of what we see as outrageous teachings. Some are born into the teaching and know nothing else. Others, searching for meaning, fulfillment, and community willingly go along with teachings that are contrary to Scripture. 

As believers, instead of shunning people who are different or are seeking, we need to engage with them. If you haven’t seen the movie Jesus Revolution, I highly recommend it. A clash of cultures could’ve been a disaster without a handful of people who were willing to look past external differences to share the love of God. Let’s look at Paul’s words from Galatians 1:6-10 to see what he says about groups that preach a Gospel other than Christ’s:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

This idea of turning to a different gospel which is no gospel at all is so relevant to studying cults. With the FLDS, it’s very obvious that their teaching adds to and even contradicts the Bible. But what if we suspect that our church, or a Bible Study we attend, or something a friend is getting involved with - what if we see them straying from Scripture? I think the first thing to do is check what is being taught against the Word of God. When Paul wrote his second letter to the church in Corinth, he warned them to be on guard against people who were not only treating them terribly but also teaching a different gospel. That’s exactly what the FLDS leaders were doing. And if we aren’t careful, we can fall victim to the same type of scam. Even in a scripturally-based church, things can get a little off the mark. That’s what most of Paul’s letters were about! But when we know the Word for ourselves, we can easily spot when a teaching misses the mark. Ask to share your viewpoint with them. If they refuse, contact your church’s leadership. If they agree with the false teaching or refuse to confront the error because the teacher is a popular one - then it may be time to find another church. I know that can be very hard but it’s so very important to have humble leaders who value Biblical Truth. If you’ve dealt with a situation like this, I’d love to hear from you and learn from how you handled it. Shoot an email to [email protected] or message me on social media.

If you liked this episode, be sure to check out some earlier ones. I’ve had so many amazing guests who gave me fantastic information you won’t want to miss. You can also help someone else begin their journey as a different kind of PI - a person of impact, when you share the episode, and when you subscribe, give me a five star rating and a nice review. 

Please visit my website to access more episodes, read my blog posts, or check out ways you can financially support the podcast so that together we can impact more people, more families, and more communities. If you would like to contact me about booking me as a speaker, or ask about my consulting and investigative services, please email me at [email protected]

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If you want to listen to another episode about cults, check out this link:

Season 1, Episode 49: Without a Prayer


For information on separating from a harmful belief system, visit

Buy The Witness Wore Red

Check out Rebecca Musser’s website