From haircuts to V-necks, Mormon mom and her six girls struggle with modern life after fleeing Warren Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church
23:08 GMT, 20 November 2012
Suzette Steed, who secretly left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to avoid discovery, has opened up about the struggles she and her six daughters are now facing as they start their new life.
After fleeing Colorado city, and their fundamentalist Mormon sect earlier this year, the family of seven appears to be caught between two worlds.
In a 20/20 segment filmed two months after their January 29 escape, the family ditch their prairie dresses, which cover women from neck to ankle because their bodies are considered sacred temples, however the unsure girls still hide their bodies under high neck, long sleeve shirts.
Mother first, Mormon second: Suzette Steed secretly left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in order to avoid discovery and protect her six daughters
Mrs Steed, whose husband was banished by Lyle Jeffs just months prior, on November 19, 2011, left the church secretly after her children were being placed in 'United Order' indoctrination camps that are intended to separate them from their parents.
In a declaration filed with the Fifth District Court, Mrs Steed said one of her daughters had attended a United Order church meeting
restricted to members only, where the
17-year-old was then told by ecclesiastical leaders she would have to
end all relationships with non-members,
including her mother and younger sister.
Traditions: After fleeing Colorado city, and their fundamentalist Mormon sect, the family of seven is caught between two worlds
Liberation: The family no long wears restrictive prairie dresses, however the unsure girls still hide their bodies under high neck, long sleeve shirts
'Despite my life-long belief in the FLDS Church, this was too much to bear,' Mrs Steed said in a February 26 affidavit, according to High Country News.
'Five of my young daughters had been admitted into the United Order, but I and my 12-year-old had not. The Bishop was using the United Order to separate children from mothers.'
That information led Ms Steed to leave her home to protect her children, relying on relatives' hospitality to escape from the church's influence.
Strong sisters: While daughter Ava (left), who is in fifth
grade, refuses to cut her hair because according to their teachings they will need their hair in heaven, her older sisters have a
Fun freedom: 15-year-old rebel Gloria
is relishing ordinary teenage life, wearing short-sleeve tops with shoulder length hair
She also told 20/20, eight weeks after leaving her home in Short Creek: 'Women will be asked to wash the man's feet as an anointing, and I won't do that'.
She is referring to Luke's gospel, which speaks of Jesus' feet being anointed by a woman who had led a sinful life, and who was crying. When her tears landed on the feet of Jesus, she wiped his feet with her hair.
While daughter Ava, who is in fifth grade, refuses to cut her hair, because according to their teachings, they will need their hair in heaven, 15-year-old rebel Gloria has a different opinion.
No more prairie: The family have ditched their prairie dresses, which cover women from neck to ankle because their bodies are considered sacred temples
Relishing in the freedom of ordinary
teenage life, she wears short-sleeve tops and has shoulder length hair.
'It's really cool, it's sort of like you just dance your best moves,'
And each step they take in their new life appears to lend itself to a new revelation about what their future may hold.
Gloria said: 'I never, ever though about what I wanted to be when I grow up. I mean that never entered my mind, before.'
Warren Jeffs: The president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had dozens of brides before he was sentenced to life in prison, with his son Lyle Jeffs, taking over the sect
Leader: Warren Jeffs' (left) official title in the FLDS Church was President and Prophet, Seer and Revelator, before he was convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault in 2011