Ross LeBaron: Letter to Margarito Bautista, 1958

“Lehi was evidently the first-born of Manasseh; for he followed the patriarchal pattern[,]” wrote Ross LeBaron about the Book of Mormon patriarch. “His youngest son held the right of the first-born (evidently of the tribe of Manasseh). Lehi was patriarch to a new world, Jacob priest, and Nephi King.”

Margarito Bautista Mormon Fundamentalism Mexico LeBaron

Margarito Bautista (1878-1961) | Image: from his book La Evolución de México, 1935

A Mormon Fundamentalist, Margarito Bautista had an early association with the LeBaron family in Mexico. After his excommunication from the LDS Church, Bautista established a community called Colonia Industrial Nueva Jerusalém, in Ozumba, where he headquartered his church La Plenitude del Reino de Dios (“The Fullness of the Kingdom of God”), affiliated today with the Apostolic United Brethren.

After the death of Dayer LeBaron, in 1951, Margarito Bautista organized part of the LeBaron family living in Mexico into a branch, under the authority of Joseph Musser. Different from his mother Maud and most of his siblings, Ross LeBaron never joined the organization in Colonia LeBaron.

Later, after the LeBaron brothers had established their own church, in 1955, Bautista would pen some anti-LeBaron tracts.

From Bautista’s correspondence with researcher Lyle O. Wright, comes probably the earliest and clearest witness that Alma Dayer LeBaron in fact claimed to hold a special order of the priesthood, unknown to Mormondom and the world, a fact commonly disputed by some historians and apologists. According to Wright, Margarito Bautista stated in a letter in 1959, Continue reading

Ross LeBaron: Open Letter to Francis M. Darter

Francis M. Darter, date unknown. | Image: Family Search

Francis M. Darter (1881-1968) was a prolific Mormon Fundamentalist writer. Among the beliefs he espoused was Pyramidology, which proposed that the Great Pyramid of Giza was a “Bible in stone“, setting dates, through its measures, for the most important events in human history. Such beliefs seem to have been influential on Ross W. LeBaron, as the following letter shows.

LeBaron and Darter had a long association, although they disagreed on many theological topics, such as LeBaron’s claims and understanding of the priesthood keys, the main topic of this open letter.  While Ross LeBaron claimed to have “the patriarchal keys of the lineage of the prophet Joseph”, he believed the Mormon Fundamentalist movement operated under “the keys of the lineage of Hyrum”. Continue reading