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Presented at

The Sunstone Symposium

August 1989

Ogden Kraut

In order to briefly cover the broad spectrum of Mormon Fundamentalism, this

paper is divided into three main areas: (1) The Early History, (2) The Doctrinal
Differences, and (3) The Fundamentalist People.

The Early History

The Prophet Joseph Smith was the first Fundamentalist Mormon in this
dispensation, simply because he was the first to teach, advocate and practice the
fundamental principles of the Gospel. However, those who advocate these original
doctrines today are called Fundamentalists and are considered as outsiders from the
main body of the LDS Church.

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that
Joseph Smith was a true prophet; so do the Fundamentalists. The Church believes the
Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price to be
inspired of God; so do the Fundamentalists. The members believe the LDS Church is
the only true church established by God; so do the Fundamentalists. Why, then is
there such a difference between today's LDS Church and the Fundamentalists?

Their real origin sounds like a fairytale, and we could begin their story almost by
saying, "Once upon a time, in a land not far away.... " In looking back, we might say
Fundamentalism (as a separate entity) was born in Centerville, Utah, in 1886, and
President John Taylor can be considered its father. The announcement of this birth,
however, wasn't made until about 25 years later. Most current LDS Church leaders
consider it an illegitimate birth, and have divorced themselves from any association
with the offspring. Certainly no other divorce has ever taken so many years to settle,
gone through so [2] many civil and church courts, and stacked up so many papers,
pamphlets and books as evidence for the defense on both sides. All of these evidences
would fill a library, but still the issue remains unresolved.

In 1912 the first written announcement was made by Lorin C. Woolley, a former
bodyguard to President John Taylor. Then 17 years later, in 1929. a more complete
version was published. In this latter account it states that one night in 1886, John
Taylor was asking the Lord about giving up the principle of plural or celestial
marriage. At the time, Lorin was on guard duty at his father's home in Centerville,
where President Taylor was hiding in the underground. He described that occasion:

Some time after the brethren retired and while I was reading the Doctrine and
Covenants, I was suddenly attracted to a light appearing under the door leading to
President Taylor's room, and was at once startled to hear the voices of men talking
there. There were three distinct voices. I was bewildered because it was my duty to
keep people out of that room and evidently someone had entered without my knowing
it. I made a hasty examination and found the door leading to the room bolted as usual.
I then examined the outside of the house and found all the window screens intact.
While examining the last window, and feeling greatly agitated, a voice spoke to me
saying, "Can't you feel the Spirit? Why should you worry?"
. . . The three voices continued until about midnight, when one of them left,
and the other two continued. One of them I recognized as President John Taylor's

When President Taylor came out of his room about eight o'clock of the
morning of September 27, 1886, we could scarcely look at him on account of the
brightness of his personage.

He stated, "Brethren, I have had a very pleasant conversation with Brother

Joseph <Joseph [3] Smith>." I said, "Boss, who is the man that was there until
midnight?" He asked, "What do you know about it, Lorin?" I told him all about my
experience. He said, "Brother Lorin, that was your Lord." (pamphlet entitled "1886
Revelation, A Revelation of the Lord to John Taylor")

The account proceeds with an eight-hour meeting with several of the brethren,
and though there may be some question as to the actual date of this occurrence, it was
at this time John Taylor received the 1886 revelation, an excerpt of which follows:

My son John: You have asked me concerning the New and Everlasting
Covenant and how far it is binding upon my people;

Thus saith the Lord: All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those
calling themselves by my name, unless they are revoked by me or by my authority,
and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant; for I the Lord am everlasting and my
everlasting covenants cannot be abrogated, nor done away with, but they stand
forever. Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject?

Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of
my laws and the keeping of my commandments, and yet have I borne with them these
many years; and this because of their weakness, because of the perilous times, and
furthermore, it is more pleasing to me that men should use their free agency in regards
to these matters....

I have not revoked this law. NOR WILL I, for it is everlasting, and those who
will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof; even so, Amen. (1880-1890
Revelations; original copy in John Taylor's own handwriting)

[4] The reason for this visitation was due to the Federal Government's persecution
of the Church. Church property was being confiscated; leaders and lay members were
being sent to prison, prevented from holding public office, prohibited from voting,
and had no hope of a fair trial in packed courts.

In the face of such opposition, there were statements, propositions, and

manifestos proposed and considered by Church leaders. One document providing for
the discontinuance of plural marriage, was brought to President Taylor for his
approval. It was in answer to his prayer about whether or not to sign such a document,
that he received the visitation from Joseph Smith and the Savior. He then
emphatically responded, "Sign that document--Never! I would suffer my right hand to
be severed from my body first." (See Truth magazine 14:149-152)
From this spiritual visit, a Priesthood commission was given to certain men to
perpetuate plural marriage, even outside of the Church organization. John Taylor had
foretold the time when LDS Church members would vote for its discontinuance.

President Taylor had earlier testified in court that "there are hundreds of people
who have authority" to perform plural marriages, and that "there is no place set apart
specifically for it." (Des. News, Oct. 18, 1884) His revelation was supportive of these

Other statements and elaborations on this story began to be published, the first
was a pamphlet entitled "Celestial Marriage?", as though it were a mystery. But the
mystery was not "Who done it?" but rather, "Why did they do it?" Some Church
leaders were asking, "Why are so many good people continuing to perform and
practice plural marriage?" They were not the lustful, wicked or reckless members, but
stake presidents, patriarchs, and other leading brethren. Heber J. Grant said in 1921:

[5] We have excommunicated several patriarchs because they arrogated unto

themselves the right or pretended right, to perform these ceremonies. And after having
excommunicated several patriarchs, another one, so I am informed, has committed the
same offense. (Conf. Rept, April 1921:202; also Gospel Standards, p. 159)

But these patriarchs were not the only ones who lived and performed plural
marriage after the Manifesto. Heber J. Grant himself pled "guilty to unlawful
cohabitation" (see Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 9, 1899), and paid a fine of $100 in 1899
for living plural marriage, the same offense for which he later excommunicated
others. Ironically, Joseph Smith struggled to get plural marriage in the Church and
Wilford Woodruff struggled to get it out of the Church.

In 1904 Joseph F. Smith issued a "second manifesto", causing some to wonder

what was wrong with the first one. Actually, many such "manifestos" have been
issued, but none of them seemed to work.

In 1911 Joseph F. Smith was referring to plural marriages when he said, "We
have been doing all in our power to prevent it, or to stop it," (Conf. Rept. April
1911:8) but without much success, even among the apostles. At least seven apostles
continued to live plural marriage or take new wives after the Manifesto, namely John
W. Taylor, Abraham Cannon, Abraham O. Woodruff, Mathias Cowley, Marriner
Merrill, Brigham Young, Jr., and Joseph F. Smith. Others among the presiding
Seventies, stake presidents, patriarchs, and bishops were also guilty.

Thus, it is evident that the Manifesto did not stop plural marriage, but it tried.
During the 15 years following 1890, the Salt Lake Tribune claimed "about 2 000"
new plural marriages had occurred--and during that time the Church still made nearly
two dozen denials.

[6] In the days of Joseph Smith, there were public denials of plural marriages, yet in
secret he was teaching and practicing it. About 50 years later, Wilford Woodruff was
denying it while he and others were practicing it. The Prophet Joseph learned that the
majority of the members would not accept the doctrine; Wilford Woodruff learned the

The only thing certain about the 1890 Manifesto is that it created uncertainty. The
gentiles were uncertain if the Mormons were really sincere about stopping plural
marriage. Most members weren't certain if it was just a political statement directed to
the Government or if it was a revelation to the church. Those who were living that
principle were uncertain if it meant an end to their marriages; and those who were
about to enter into polygamy didn't know if they should go ahead with it. Many who
were going to Mexico and Canada to be married wondered if the Manifesto reached
that far. Some General Authorities were eager to stop plural marriage, while others
persistently continued on with it. Thus, the Manifesto created confusion and
uncertainty among both Mormons and non-Mormons.

To this day the Fundamentalists and the LDS mainstream do not agree as to the
importance of this doctrine in relation to the ultimate exaltation of man. President
Brigham Young said you must live that law or be damned; Apostle Bruce R.
McConkie said if you do, you will be damned.

According to Elder Mark E. Petersen, the reason for the Manifesto was because
"the Church was committed to honor, uphold and sustain the law." (Way of the
Master, p. 41) But Joseph Smith apparently didn't agree with that stand--nor did
Brigham Young and John Taylor. Even Wilford Woodruff continued polygamy for
three years after the death of Taylor. Each of these Church presidents was fully aware
that plural marriage was against the laws of the states and territories in which they

[7] And, contrary to general opinion, plural marriage was also against the law in
Mexico when the Church leaders established colonies there to continue plural
marriages. It was also against the law in Canada when they sent members there for the
same purpose.

Another irony of the Manifesto is that the very man who issued it--Wilford
Woodruff--apparently took another wife seven years after he declared to the world
that it was his "intention to submit to those laws . . . enacted by Congress forbidding
plural marriages." (Doc. & Cov., "Official Declaration" or "Manifesto", pp. 256-257)
The account is recorded of a famous Jewish scholar and lecturer by the name of Lydia
von F. Mountford, who came to Salt Lake City, became converted to Mormonism,
and was baptized in 1897. She became a very close friend of Wilford Woodruff and
had many personal visits with him in his office and home.

To celebrate President Woodruff's birthday, a special meeting was held in the

Tabernacle February 28 and March 1, 1887. It was perhaps the "largest number of
people that ever assembled in the large Tabernacle." The concluding speaker was
Madame Mountford, whose speech was mostly occupied with complimenting the
"noble" and "honorable" President Wilford Woodruff. She said, "Long life and good
wishes to our noble President. I want to call him MY OWN PRESIDENT." (Wilford
Woodruff, by Matthias F. Cowley, pp. 604-605) Evidently she had a reason for saying
Michael Quinn added the following information about Madame Mountford:

Circumstantial evidence indicates that Wilford Woodruff married Madame

Mountford as a plural wife in 1897. President Woodruff recorded attending her
lecture on 7 February 1897, the first of ninety references to her in his dairy during the
next 18 months. (Dialogue 18:62-63)

[8] According to Church history, the Lord didn't seem to be too concerned about the
laws of the land against plural marriage either. The first revelation concerning this
principle was revealed to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in 1829 while they were
translating the Book of Mormon in a state that already had a law against plural wives.
The next revelation on this principle came in 1831 in another state with a law against
it. In fact, all five states in which the Prophet Joseph Smith lived had laws that severe
opposed to that spiritual "law" that an angel with a drawn sword commanded him to

In 1852, the revelation on plural marriage, recorded in 1843 and later appearing
as Section 132 in the Doctrine and Covenants, was read and favorably voted upon by
the Saints. Ten years later, the United States passed the Morrill law against it, but the
Mormons continued to practice the law of God in preference to the law of man.
Another revelation in 1880 continued to sustain that principle in spite of the law of
Congress. Then in 1882, the Edmunds law was passed to further harass the Mormons.
But three months later the Lord gave another revelation to counter it. Then in 1887 the
Edmunds-Tucker law to stop plural marriage was given to Congress, but the Lord
gave the 1889 revelation to continue it. This see-saw between man's law and God's
lair continued from the organization of the Church until the Manifesto.

However, plural marriage was not the only doctrine that was abandoned or
changed in the 1890's. Former Church Historian, Leonard Arrington, noted a possible
reason for the beginning of these doctrinal changes in the Church:

National leaders and church leaders are said to have entered into a
"compact" .... National leaders are said to have promised statehood for Utah provided
three things were done: (1) plural marriage was abandoned; (2) the church political
party was dissolved; and (3) the church dissolved [9] its relations with the economy
<United Order>. (Religion and Economics in Mormon History, Leonard J. Arrington,
"BYU Studies", 3:31-32)

These three stipulations were met in 1890, 1891, and 1892. Doctrinal changes in
the Church soon affected its social, economic, and political character. A non-Mormon
once noted the changes in the Church by saying, ". . . it marks the beginning of an
about-face which drastically altered the character of the church. He then continued
with a quotation which reads:

Mormonism, . . . has experienced a social and intellectual transformation of

such magnitude that a resurrected Joseph Smith, returning to earth today, might well
wonder if this was indeed the same church he had founded. ("How Long, O Lord?
The Delay of the Parousia in Mormonism", a paper by Keith E. Norman, July 1982)

About 30,000 Fundamentalist Mormons are saying the same thing.

The Doctrinal Differences

The basis of the controversy between the LDS Church and the Fundamentalists is
that of abandonment or changes in doctrine. The Fundamentalists claim if an eternal
principle is true at one time, it should always be true. However, since the 1890's many
such changes have occurred, 12 of which will be briefly discussed in this section.
They are

1. Plural marriage

2. Missionary work

3. Office and Calling of the Seventy

4. Priesthood Conferral and Ordinations

5. Gathering of Israel

6. United Order


7. Adam/God

8. Persecution and world friendship

9. One Mighty and Strong

10. Zion

11. Blacks and the Priesthood

12. Kingdom of God

1. Plural Marriage

This has already been discussed; but in addition, it is interesting and ironic to note
that Latter-day Saints once valiantly defended plural marriage, but now
excommunicate anyone living it. On the other hand, the reverse is true in the
Reorganized LDS Church, who once condemned and forbid it, but in 1972 they
received a revelation allowing polygamists into their church. (RLDS D & C 150:10-

Martha Bradley noted another interesting change in her excellent forthcoming

Sunstone article entitled, "Changed Faces: The Official LDS Position on Polygamy
1890-1980". Her opening statement is@

LeGrand Richards epitomized the Church's attitude toward polygamy in

answer to the question, "What was the most significant development in the Church
during your lifetime?" when he responded, "We have finally overcome the stigma of

2. Missionary Work

Four months after the organization of the Church, the Lord said, "Let no man
among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the
church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to
proclaim this gospel of the kingdom." (D. & C. 84:86)

But as early as 1860 members began to pay for their transportation to the
missionfields. (JD 8:172-173) By 1878 another step was added to transport the
missionaries home [11] from their missions. (JD 20:4, 6-7) Then finally, by 1890
missionaries began to receive money from home while on their missions, but Apostle
George Q. Cannon said this originated from the members, not from the President.
(Des. News, Aug. 18, 1890)

Today missionaries cannot go into the missionfield unless they have a certain
amount of money "saved" and the means "to sustain" them during their mission.

3. Office and Calling of the Seventy

Originally the Seventies were "to constitute traveling quorums, to go into all the
earth" as the missionaries for the Church. They were always to "hold themselves in
readiness to . . . travel in the ministry." (TPJS, p. 75) Gradually, however, the Elders
replaced the Seventies in this missionary work until now there are no Seventies to do
missionary work for the Church.

Early Church history records that an error was being made in the ordinations of
Seventies. Some of the "presidents of the Seventies were High Priests" which Joseph
Smith "declared to be wrong, and not according to the order of heaven." (TPJS, p.
111) To rectify the situation, those who were High Priests in the quorums of Seventies
were sent back to "unite with the High Priests' quorum." (Ibid.; also DHC 2:475-76)

In 1986 all the Seventies were abolished except for the Presidents of the First
Quorum of Seventies (announcement made in S. L. Tribune, Oct. 5, 1986), and the
Seventies were returned "to membership in the Elders Quorums of their wards." The
First Council were all ordained high priests, which according to the Prophet Joseph,
was "not according to the order of heaven."

Then in April 1989 the Church announced the formation of a Second Quorum of
Presidents of Seventies. Fundamentalists wonder why there is a presiding quorum of
Seventies when there are no Seventies to preside over. [12] And, if there are no
Seventies for the First Quorum of Presidents of Seventies to preside over, why does
there need to be a Second Quorum of Presidents to preside over no Seventies?

4. Priesthood Conferral and Ordinations

The Priesthood is a vital issue with the Fundamentalists. They claim it must be
conferred properly and that the LDS Church has made some mistakes in this process.
They firmly believe that "all other authorities or offices in the church are appendages
to this priesthood." (D. & C. 107:4-5)

Brigham Young explained the difference between ordination and conferral:

. . . Brother Joseph Smith has come to us many times, saying, "Brethren, you
are going to ordain Seventies. Do not forget to confer the high priesthood upon them.
Ordain each of them to the high priesthood, and to be one of the Seventy Apostles."
That was my language in the ordination of the Seventies, and that is the way I ordain
them now. (Des. News, June 6, 1877)

Joseph F. Smith also explained, ". . . the conferring of the Priesthood should
precede and accompany ordination to office." (Imp. Era 4:394)

Prior to 1921 the Priesthood was conferred and then an office in the Church was
given. However, Heber J. Grant sent a letter to all stake presidents and other Church
leaders making the change to just the ordination to an office in the Church.
Subsequently, these instructions were given in the missionary handbooks published
during this time.

It is interesting to note, however, that 36 years later, in April of 1957, President

David O. McKay had the conferring of Priesthood reinstated in the ordination [13]
ceremony. So one may ask, is it Priesthood or an office in the Church held by those
who were ordained between the years 1921 and 1957?

5. Gathering of Israel

A statement of belief in "the literal gathering of Israel" was incorporated into the
Articles of Faith (No. 10). It was an injunction given again in this last dispensation by
Moses who restored those keys in the Kirtland Temple for that particular purpose.
(Doc. & Cov. 110) In obedience to this, the early Saints gathered at Kirtland, then in
Jackson County, Far West, Nauvoo, and then in Utah.

The importance was stated by the Prophet Joseph when he said, "If we are not
sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former
professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fail; we cannot stand; we cannot
be saved...." (DHC 2:52)

The Saints established a Perpetual Immigration Fund for that purpose. However,
ever since 1850 there has been a continuous decline in gathering. (See House of
Israel, E. L. Whitehead, pp. 510-511.)

In 1901 the first stake outside of the Rocky Mountains was established in Oregon.
By 1907 the First Presidency began to recommend that the Saints stay in their native
countries. (Mess. of the First Pres. 4:165) Later, in 1972 Bruce McConkie proclaimed,
"The place of gathering for the Mexican saints is in Mexico; the place of gathering for
the Guatemalan saints is in Guatemala; etc., etc." (Church News, Sept. 2, 1972)
6. United Order

Within the first year of the organization of the Church, the Lord gave a revelation
that one man should not "possess that which is above another," (D. & C. 49:20) [14]
and later said, "If ye are not equal in earthly things, ye cannot be equal in obtaining
heavenly things." (D. & C. 78:6) One of the most important revelations on this subject
stated, "I give unto you counsel, and a commandment, concerning all the properties
which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be
a united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the
salvation of men until I come." (D. & C. 104:1)

This principle was a "commandment", an "everlasting orders"; it was for "the

salvation of men", and the Lord said it should last "until I come." But by the turn of
the century, the last remnant of this holy system was dissolved, and no attempt has
been made by the LDS Church to re-establish it.

There are two cardinal sins relating to wealth: Paul said the love of money (I Tim.
6:10), and Joseph said the inequality of riches (D. & C. 49:20). It seems the Latter-
day Saints as a whole are delving into both.

The Lord has said, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine." (D. & C. 38:27) Since we
are not one, whom do we belong to? It is obvious that if we are not in a United Order,
then we are "out of order".

7. Adam/God

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "There are but a very few beings in the world
who understand rightly the character of God." (TPJS, p. 343) Then later President
Brigham Young said that, "When our Father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he
came into it with a celestial body," and that he "was our Father and God". (JD 1:50)
This was a great surprise to the Saints, but President Young continued to say that this
doctrine "will prove their salvation or damnation."

In less than 50 years Wilford Woodruff suggested that the saints should "cease
troubling yourselves about who [15] God is; who Adam is . . . let these things alone.
Why trouble yourselves about these things?" (Mill. Star 57:355)

In 1903 C. W. Penrose said those remarks concerning Adam "by President

Brigham Young . . . have been commented upon, added to, and sometimes
misinterpreted in a manner that has led to considerable confusion and
misunderstanding." (Imp. Era 5:873)

In 1912 Joseph F. Smith said, "Speculations as to the career of Adam before he

came to the earth are of no real value...." (Imp. Era 15:415)

By 1922 Heber J. Grant said the doctrine was "not scriptural or according to
truth." (Mess. of First Pres. 5:289)

In 1939 Joseph Fielding Smith said, "In all probability the sermon <of Brigham
Young> was erroneously transcribed." (Des. News, April 15, 1939)
In 1958 Bruce McConkie said, "Cultists and other enemies of the restored truth
for their own nefarious purposes, sometimes try to make it appear that Latter-day
Saints worship Adam as their Father in Heaven." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 17-18)

And in 1980 Mark E. Petersen said, "Then was Adam our God, or did God
become Adam? Ridiculous!" (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1980, pp. 22-23)

8. Persecution and Friendship with the World

These two conditions are certainly opposites. Persecution followed the early
disciples of Jesus, and He told them, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and
persecute you, . . . Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven;
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matt. 5:11-12) It was an
inevitable heritage that they knew would be their lot, and James the apostle said,
"Friendship of the world is enmity with God." (James 4:4)

[16] Mormonism drew persecution and opposition from the time of Joseph Smith's
first vision. The Prophet said, "If a man stands and opposes the world of sin, he may
expect to have all wicked and corrupt spirits arrayed against him," (TPJS, p. 259) and
". . . for no other reason than that we have been endeavoring to teach the fullness of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ." (TPJS, p. 124)

Persecution followed the Saints in every state and into the territory until the turn
of the century. Then Heber J. Grant said in 1938:

My greatest happiness I find in the good will and friendship that has
developed among all classes of people at home and abroad toward the Latter-day
Saints Church, during my lifetime; in place of everyday persecutions and bitterness,
we now enjoy the high regard and happy association with all denominations." (Salt
Lake Tribune, Nov. 22, 1938)

9. The One Mighty and Strong

The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote a letter to W. W. Phelps in Missouri when he

was struggling with the Saints to establish Zion. A portion of that letter became
Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants. No other revelation has caused so much
speculation. It read in part:

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and
strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering,
whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of
truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the
saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children,
enrolled in the book of the law of God.

[17] While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his
hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, ..." (D. & C. 85:7-8)
The LDS Church endorsed an article written by B. H. Roberts in which he
assumed that the time of the setting in order of the house of God had already
transpired with Bishop Partridge. (Imp. Era 10:929) However, Fundamentalists point
to a future time for a "setting in order" and insist that the Church has gradually
become "out of order" because they have made changes in Gospel laws, principles
and ordinances.

Incidentally, many men have claimed to be the one mighty and strong, but none
of them has yet set anything in order that he claimed was out of order.

When Orson Pratt divided the Doctrine and Covenants into chapters and verses
(1879), his footnote for 85:7 referred to "A future messenger promised." This was
deleted after the 1921 edition.

Most Fundamentalists believe the future messenger to be Joseph Smith (See D. &
C. 103:21-22.), and they agree with Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder and Anthon H.
Lund of the First Presidency when in the early 1900's, they wrote an epistle indicating
the future work of the one mighty and strong:

They <men of exceptional talents and abilities . . . called of God> will be

accepted by the Saints in the regular order, appointed by the law of the Church, just as
Edward Partridge was called and accepted, and just as the "one mighty and strong"
will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services." (Gospel Doctrine,
Joseph F. Smith, p. 382)

[18] Elder Mark E. Petersen, commenting on this, said, "Various of our apostates . . .
assume that this scripture refers to our day and to our leaders whom they declare have
fallen. But how mistaken they are!" (See Way of the Master, Chapter 15.)

10. Zion

Zion is a word used nowadays to describe banks, book stores, investment

companies, and car lots--rather than what it was originally intended to mean.
According to Enoch, "The Lord called His people Zion, because they were of one
heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them."
(Moses 7:18) It is easy to discern the fact that where Babylon is, Zion is not.

Orson Pratt said that God allowed the Mormon people--

. . . to be uprooted, to be driven from their houses and inheritances, and to be

afflicted, tormented, and oppressed. Why did the Lord suffer this? Because the people
felt a disposition to be at ease in the land of Zion, and to neglect the important duties
required at their hands. This has been more or less the case from the day we settled in
the western part of Missouri until the present time. (JD 9:175)

And Zion has not improved. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "Zion shall yet live,
though she seems to be dead." (TPJS, p. 129) Today as one looks down the streets of
Salt Lake City, Zion not only appears to be dead, but there doesn't appear to be a
skeleton left. The Prophet Joseph warned the Saints that "if Zion will not purify
herself, so as to be approved of in all things in his sight, he will seek another people."
(DHC 1:316)

But in his last General Conference address, President Spencer W. Kimball

consolingly said, ". . . the Lord is at the helm, the Church is true, and all is well."
(Conf. Rept., April 1982, p. 108)

[19] 11. Blacks and the Priesthood

On Friday, June 9, 1978, the First Presidency of the Church released a statement
to the press that the Lord had made known His will by revelation that the Priesthood
could be given to all people without regard for race or color. This was contradictory to
statements made by previous Church presidents. And where was the revelation? No
one has seen it. Revelations of a personal nature ought to be kept secret, but
revelations for Church membership should be made available to them, published, and
added to the canon of scripture.

It is interesting to note that the First Presidency in 1933 gave no credence to the
1886 revelation because, "from the absence in the Church archives of any evidence
whatsoever justifying any belief that such a revelation was given, we are justified in
affirming that no such revelation exists." (Way of the Master, Petersen, p. 58) After
calling the Church Archives in 1978, I was told they had a copy of the announcement
but no revelation. The same criteria should apply in determining the validity of both

The new editions of the Doctrine and Covenants contain Official Declaration #1
of 1890 and Official Declaration #2 of 1978, but no revelation accompanies these
announcements. Are we then "justified in affirming that no such revelations exists?

12. Kingdom of God

The Old Testament Kingdom of God was a political power that governed the
House of Israel. This concept was restored to Joseph Smith with the Gospel and
established in 1843, separate from the organization of the Church in 1830.

George Q. Cannon said:

[20] We are asked, Is the Church of God and the Kingdom of God the same
organization? and we are informed that some of the brethren hold that they are
separate. This is the correct view to take. The Kingdom of God is a separate
organization from the Church of God. (DHC 7:382)

And B. H. Roberts said:

It is proper for the reader to know that Joseph Smith, when speaking strictly,
recognized a distinction between "the Church of Jesus Christ" and the "Kingdom of
Cod" and not only a distinction but a separation of one from the other. The Kingdom
of God according to his teaching is to be a political institution that shall hold sway
over all the earth to which all other governments will be subordinate and by which
they will be dominated. (The Rise and Fall of Nauvoo, p. 180)
In more recent time, the Church and the Kingdom have been interpreted as being
identical organizations. James E. Talmage said, "The Kingdom of God is the Church
established by divine authority upon the earth; this institution asserts no claim to
temporal rule over nations. . . ." (Jesus the Christ, p. 788)

Klaus J. Hansen noted that "Polygamy died with a bang, the political kingdom of
God with a whimper." (Quest for Empire, p. ii)


The excuse is often given that these changes have been made in the name of
progress and to increase in Church membership. And, true, certain policy and
procedure adjustments are definitely necessary when an organization grows from six
to over six million members. Fundamentalists ask, do progress and growth justify the
altering and discontinuing of eternal and everlasting principles?

[21] The Fundamentalist People

In 1935, Shortcreek, Arizona, was a very small community resting on the Utah-
Arizona border. Before this time, few people had ever heard of it, but soon it was to
receive international fame. Members of this little branch of the LDS Church were
given a "test oath" to sign, requiring them to "denounce the practice and advocacy of
plural marriage" and "without any mental reservation whatsoever, support the
Presidency of the Church." (Truth 1:121; 9:38) This mental coercion didn't set well
with 21 members who decided not to sign it, and this resulted in a mass
excommunication. Shortly after that, the law took up where the Church left off and
several people were sent to jail. This was the beginning of the imprisonment for many
polygamists in the 20th century, and others soon followed in their wake.

In 1944 a raid was made on Shortcreek with 46 arrests. On July 26, 1953,
Arizona Governor Pyle inaugurated the largest raid ever against polygamists,
including over 200 state and federal officers trying to administer "justice" to this little
town. At this time, they tried to separate 86 mothers from their 263 children who were
put in foster homes.

The Church News editorialized the event, saying that "Utah and Arizona owe a
debt of gratitude to Arizona's Governor Howard Pyle", and "we hope the unfortunate
activities at Shortcreek will be cleaned up once and for all." (Des. News, July 27,

Several Fundamentalists in the Salt Lake area had already been arrested and
served time in prison for living plural marriage. Fifteen Fundamentalist leaders were
arrested in 1945 with a sentence of an "indeterminate period not to exceed five years."

Friction for the Fundamentalists occurred in 1951, when Joseph Musser ordained
Rulon Allred as a new member of the Priesthood Council. Other members of the [22]
existing Council, however, refused to recognize this ordination, and this was the
beginning of a division into two main groups of Fundamentalists. Later, Owen Allred
and others were called to a new council. And as time went on, other groups have been
formed, fulfilling a prophecy by John Woolley many years before that "a generation
yet unborn, along with some of the men who are living here now, are going to
establish groups.... That they would contend among each other, that they would
divide, that they would subdivide and they would be in great contention."
(Reminiscences of John and Lorin Woolley, by Rhea Kunz, Vol. 1, pg. 5)

Dissension also occurred when Joseph Musser, after his release from prison, tried
unsuccessfully to again manage the publication of the Truth magazine, which had
been taken over by his son, Guy Musser, during his absence. So the elder Musser
started the publication of another monthly magazine called the Star of Truth and
editorialized that his son "refused to turn it (Truth) to me, . . . and I couldn't think of
enduring such a situation." (Star of Truth, Vol. 1, p. 1) Four years later, in 1954,
Joseph Musser died and so did the Star of Truth. The Truth magazine continued until
1956, when it, too, passed away.

Louis Kelsch, the last man ordained to the Priesthood Council under Lorin
Woolley, had the distinction of spending more time in Crowbar colleges (as he termed
it) than any other man in this dispensation. He gave seven years of his life in prison
for his five wives and 31 children. Louis later told a friend that he would rather "rot in
prison" than sign a statement renouncing plural marriage.

Probably the last man sent to prison for practicing plural marriage was Robert
Foster, who spent several weeks behind Utah bars in 1974. He had been an LDS
seminary teacher for many years, and had married a couple of his former students.

[23] More recently, another interesting case made national news in November 1982.
Royston Potter was fired from the Murray Police Department in Salt Lake County
because he was accused of having two wives. He had been an outstanding officer,
being awarded numerous commendations. Like the George Reynolds test case in
1879, Royston took it all the way to the Supreme Court, but they refused to hear the
case, thus upholding the decision of the lower courts that polygamy is still considered
to be against the Utah State law. In the official Memorandum Decision it states:

The prohibition of polygamy as provided by its <Utah's> Constitution and

laws, continues to be its settled public policy as does its commitment to monogamy as
the cornerstone of its regulation of marriage, . . . (An Offender for a Word, Royston
Potter, pp. B23-B24)

Royston was never formally charged or sentenced for violation of Utah's law, but
since then he has never been rehired as a police officer or in any other public office.

Coping with plural marriage today by arresting the polygamists would require
putting a fence around most of Utah. There are probably at least 30,000 people who
consider themselves as Fundamentalist Mormons, espousing at least the belief in the
doctrine of plural marriage. There have been over 150 break-offs from the LDS
Church, most of them being considered as Fundamentalist in nature. Many
Fundamentalist Mormons join one of the many groups; others decide the groups are
out of order as well as the Church, so they remain "Independent"; while still others
keep their membership in the LDS Church, but privately they support the fundamental

Generally speaking, the Fundamentalist Mormons are peace-loving, honest,

hardworking, and very strong in their beliefs of the fundamental principles and
doctrines of the Gospel as preached and practiced until the latter part of the 19th
century. It is unfair to label them in the [24] same category as Dan and Ron Lafferty
and Ervil LeBaron, just as it would be incorrect to label all Mormons in the same
category as Arthur Gary Bishop, Gary Gilmore, and Mark Hofmann, who were
members of the LDS Church


Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the Manifesto. Fundamentalists

consider it to be the first compromising act for the temporal salvation of the Church--
but a sacrifice in its spiritual salvation. They accept the 1886 revelation but doubt that
the Manifesto was a revelation, whereas the Church has denounced the 1886
revelation but accepted the Manifesto as one.

The fullness of the Gospel has been restored a number of times, the reason being
that man has repeatedly changed it. Paul, the apostle, said, "though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached
unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8) But in less than 100 years, they did. Joseph
Smith repeated this same advise in our dispensation: "If any man preach any other
gospel than that which I have preached, he shall be cursed; and some of you who now
hear me shall see it..." (DHC 6:365)

The present LDS Church leaders say we will make no mistake if we follow them,
regardless of these contradictions. The Fundamentalists say that if the present leaders
would have followed THEIR former leaders, we wouldn't have these problems today.

From a study of the history of this confusing issue, it is evident that the "bad
guys" have not always told lies, nor did the "good guys" always tell the truth. Aren't
those who want an unchangeable Gospel, really Fundamentalist Mormons, at least in
their hearts?