On 7 August 1974, Ross W. LeBaron received a revelation stating the purposes of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Church of the Firstborn, and their relation to the principles of salvation and exaltation of humankind.  The revelation was recorded in handwriting by Fred Collier, then an adopted son of Ross LeBaron. In a later recollection, Collier suggested that he was the original recipient of the revelation, which had been given him a few years before, and that he only wrote it down after LeBaron had a spiritual confirmation of the message. 
Ross W. LeBaron claimed to have “the patriarchal keys of the lineage of the Prophet Joseph”. He considered his heirship to the Mormon Prophet “the highest title of birth, and the second order of priesthood,” as he stated to Joseph White Musser in 1951. Lebaron believed the Mormon Fundamentalist movement, on the other hand, operated under “the keys of the lineage of Hyrum”. In 1985, LeBaron explained his views of the Fundamentalist priesthood authority in the following manner:
The only possible claim to the sealing power, by the Polygamists after 1890, was through the sealing keys of Hyrum Smith. Those keys were conferred upon John Smith by Brigham Young.
As a teenager, DeWayne Hafen helped Ross LeBaron in his machine shop while LeBaron taught him about the Church of the Firstborn. When Hafen met him again as an adult, LeBaron was hesitant to ordain Hafen. The reason was Hafen’s previous affiliation with The Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of the Times. Even though Ross LeBaron considered his brothers’ organization a “counterfeit” of the true Church of the Firstborn, he wouldn’t “steal” someone who “belonged” to them.
In this interview given to journalist Dale Van Atta in June 1978, Hafen speaks of his disillusion with the two main leaders of the larger LeBaronite church, Joel and Ervil LeBaron. “There were deals for wives, women, money, land… A lot of people told me I was a damn fool. Everyone else was dealing for something. I wasn’t dealing for anything”.Continue reading “DeWayne Hafen: Interview to Dale Von Atta, 1978”
In the latest episode of the Year of Polygamy podcast, I was interviewed by Lindsay Hansen Park about Ross LeBaron and his Church of the Firstborn.
We talked about LeBaron’s views on priesthood, his relationship with the Mormon Fundamentalist movement, his brothers’s church in Mexico and his son Ross LeBaron Jr. Click here to download or listen to the episode online.
A religious innovator within the Mormon tradition, Ross LeBaron (1914-1996) organized The Church of the First-Born in 1955. Although commonly identified by outsiders as a Mormon Fundamentalist denomination, LeBaron saw his small organization as being the Church of God the Father, while recognizing the priesthood authority of the mainstream LDS Church and the Mormon Fundamentalist movement as different branches of the Church of the Son. LeBaron also reinterpreted the Mormon concept of dispensations as never-ending spiritual jurisdictions, adding his own eighth dispensation that would usher the second coming of Adam.
“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.”
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.
This patriarchal blessing received by Ross LeBaron at age 19 is the first of two recorded blessings he obtained from LDS stake patriarchs. A mimeograph copy of the blessing printed by Ross LeBaron was given to Mormon collector James Wardle and can be seen or downloaded here.
Dear Wesley: In the name of the Redeemer of Israel, I place my hands upon your head and give unto you a Patriarchal Blessing, which will be of great worth to you in future life, if you study the same and live up to every privilege that comes before you.
You were chosen in the spirit world to come to earth and take a tabernacle and be a representative in your father’s family in counsel and advice, and to cherish the mother that gave you birth.
You are a true Israelite, a descendant of Abraham – the great Patriarch, and a direct lineage of Ephraim, that the Lord spake, and the ancients apostles said would come to earth in the last days; and you were blessed by coming through such noble lineage. The Lord blessed you with a strong and active body. He would be much displeased if you defiled this body in any way. Therefore, I would say unto you, cultivate good habits and refrain from the evils of the world, that your body may be clean and pure, that the Spirit of the Lord may dwell with you.Continue reading “Edsil Allred: Patriarchal Blessing of Ross LeBaron, 1934”
Published by Ross W. LeBaron in 1975, the pamphlet Brigham Young Speaks was a compilation of statements on the Adam-God doctrine, without editorial comments. It was the product of Fred Collier’s research, then an adopted son of Ross LeBaron. Later, Collier republished the pamphlet under his name with the title Adam-God in a Nutshell.
In the introduction, Ross LeBaron wrote:
For over seven years now I have been discussing the Adam-God Doctrine over the radio. During this time many have asked questions concerning this principle and wanted proof that it was taught by Joseph Smith as well as by Brigham Young. It is for these people who are searching for answers regarding this question that this pamphlet has been prepared. It consists of statements made by Brigham Young, which were taken from fifty-ne different sermons, all of which have been arranged according to subject as shown in the table of contents.