“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 (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 Wesley LeBaron in June, 1977. | Image: Dale Van Atta. Courtesy of L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University.
Central, Arizona February 9, 1934
Blessing, given by Patriarch Edsil Myron Allred on the head of Ross Wesley LeBaron, son of Alma Dayer LeBaron and Maud LeBaron, born November 16, 1914, in Overton, Nevada.
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
Ross W. LeBaron at different ages. Photo collage.
Blessing, given by Patriarch Benjamin F. LeBaron upon the head of Ross Wesley LeBaron, son of Alma Dayer LeBaron and Maud Lucinda McDonald, born November 16 1914, at Overton, Nevada.
To view the document, click on this link: ROSS Patriarchal Blessing 1936
1. James D. Wardle Papers. University of Utah Special Collections. Spelling and capitalization as in the original.
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
Ross Wesley LeBaron in June, 1977. | Photo: Dale Van Atta. Courtesy of L. Tom Perry Special Collections, BYU.
In 1977, as the murderous acts of Ross LeBaron’s brother Ervil gained international attention, journalist Dale Van Atta did some research on the priesthood claims of the LeBaron family. Van Atta later co-authored a book on Ervil LeBaron and his crimes.
The following file can be found among Van Atta’s research papers at the Special Collections of the Brigham Young University. Despite the title on the library catalog – “Interview with Ross LeBaron” -, the document might actually be a transcript of a radio show by Ross LeBaron, in June that year.
According to Ross, the violence was over ownership of land in Mexico, as was well as a Cain-and-Abel war over spiritual rights to preside in Joseph Smith’s patriarchal family. In the following notes, Van Atta reports Ross LeBaron’s ideas on his brothers‘ churches, the Mormon Fundamentalist movement, and his own spiritual position as the heir of Joseph Smith:
Now this is going on in the LeBaron family particularly because we are, definitely, the patriarchal family of the line of the prophet Joseph Smith.
To view the file, click here: Ross LeBaron – MSS 2258 Box 2 Interview Van Atta
Van Atta, Dale. Interview with Ross LeBaron for KSXX (1977). Dale Van Atta Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University.
Passport Picture of Alma Dayer LeBaron and Maud Lucinda McDonald LeBaron, 1920. Children, from left to right: Ben, Alma, Ross, Irene, Lucinda, Jenny. | Photo courtesy of stephanyspencer.com
There are three 60-year periods in Mormonism. One for Joseph Smith. One for Oliver Cowdery or Hyrum Smith, because they both held the same keys. The third 60-year period relates to the keys given in the Nauvoo temple after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. These keys were kept secret. These are keys of the Adamic Dispensation. You can read about it in section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 25-28. It says the Nauvoo temple was built for the Most High God to come to, or dwell in. It said that he will receive the fulness of the priesthood, that which had been lost to ancient Israel. Continue reading
In the following excerpt of Priesthood Expounded, published in 1985, Ross W. LeBaron writes about the restoration of priesthood keys he believed took place in the Nauvoo temple.
THE THIRD MAN
B. F. JOHNSON
The Prophet Elijah appeared, with others, in the Kirtland Temple April 3, 1836 conferring patriarchal authority upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who already held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, in connection with the Holy Priesthood of the Son of God.
Joseph Smith prophesied that Elijah would come again and restore the same priesthood on another man, before the last dispensation, or in the dispensation of the Fulness of Times. Continue reading