The community of Centennial Park, Arizona, was founded by a group of fundamental Mormons seeking a safe haven to practice their religion, a religion that practices polygamy. In this modern day, the Elder’s of Centennial Park face a tremendous challenge trying to keep their young in the faith, while outside influences are constantly derailing their efforts.
Ezra, 18, has been a thorn in his father, Arthur’s, side. Ezra has been dating a girl, an activity that is frowned upon in this community where the enforced belief is on placement marriage. For Arthur, a community elder, he is faced with the decision to either accept Ezra’s actions or risk losing his son as a member of the faith. Ezra wants to live plural marriage in this community, but his girlfriend, Tiffany, was not raised in a polygamous family and isn’t sure that’s what she wants for her future. Sacrifices will need to be made if the two want to get married.
Hyrum, 22, is Centennial Park’s oldest missionary whose life is about to radically change. For over three and a half years, Hyrum has served his community as part of the Mission program where young men perform community service. But, in an instant, Hyrum learns that the community’s Elders have released him of his duties, both a liberating and daunting feeling. Unsure of his future, Hyrum waits for further instructions, only to learn he is to marry a woman he barely knows.
There can be many challenges for a polygamous Mormon family that keeps growing. For Michael, his three wives and 18 children, just keeping up with everyday needs is a big feat. Managing this small army of people requires strict scheduling, organizing of household chores, and budgeting for expenses, especially groceries. When the final bills come in, Michael realizes that the family is financially in the red and one of his wives will need to get a job. But, with nine children at home needing round the clock care, can they afford to lose a mother to the work force?
Isaiah and his two wives, Marleen and Becca, take the family out bowling in nearby St. George. For many of the Thomsons’ children, this is their first experience being seen as a polygamous family in the outside world. Marleen is tired of the stares her family receives, prompting her to meet with the town’s volunteer activist group, CPAC (Centennial Park Action Committee). With them, she will learn how to help cast a more positive light on plural marriage within their own community and the general public.
Tune in to Polygamy USA: The Priesthood Council tonight at 9P