Keep Sweet Pray and Obey (2022)

Directed by Rachel Dretzin and Grace McNally

History has so many individuals who use the bible and God and the fear of salvation for their purposes. I can think of Jim Jones and the massacre at Jonestown where even children died. The same about David Koresh and what happened in Waco Texas even if the actual event was not entirely his fault, what he was doing with women and kids was just awful. I found this documentary after watching the series Under the Banner of Heaven that about the Mormon church and this documentary is about a group that came out of that organization.

The focus of this documentary is about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a religious group that I remember from commercials growing up but had no idea about anything shown in this documentary of 4 episodes. This group separated from their organization because they were not willing to stop practicing “plural marriage”. They all lived based on what a man known as the prophet said. If he said you had to marry this man the women had no choice and this continued and the age of the girls kept going down.

The first thing I will say is that this is a disturbing documentary and hard to see. Warren Jeffs is a devil on earth and all the men involved have no shame. The great Bob Dylan advised one of his songs and I think is correct, he wrote don’t follow leaders. The reason I agree is that all these tragedies are because people blindly follow these talented manipulators and do not question anything. I know how they can be manipulated and controlled by fear and these people know what they are doing, it just makes me angry that people don’t read the bible for themselves and come to their understanding of God and if a preacher said something that it is not right just leave. I mean when he makes 300,000 a week and the people are maxing out credit cards to give him that money, it is just frustrating.

I believe this is a disturbing documentary but necessary to have out there because I don’t doubt that this might be happening right now someplace else or it could happen again because these con artists never cease to exist and these films shed light on how it can happen and hopefully prevent from it happening again. I don’t agree with the multiple wives thing but the thing that crosses the line is when they start grooming underage girls to marry these old individuals because adults can decide and live with that, but these girls had no choice.

It is a hard story to see but I think it is important that it is being told. Things like these need to be known and prevented from happening again. It was a heart-breaking documentary for me but I liked that it has no narrator, it is being told through the people involved in what happened.

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