Priesthood Expounded is the last tract published by Ross LeBaron during his lifetime. It contains, among other themes, his views on the different orders of the priesthood, his belief in the Adam-God doctrine and reincarnation, as well as an explanation of the coming of Elijah to the Nauvoo temple, an event LeBaron believed was essential to the understanding of the Patriarchal keys received by Benjamin F. Johnson.
Ross Wesley LeBaron in January, 1984. | Photo courtesy of Tom Green
Portrait of Brigham Young, by Charles Roscoe Savage, 1855.
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.
1. We believe in Michael, the Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and in Joseph Smith, the Witness or Testator.
2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam`s transgression; for He partook of mortality, that He might bring forth mortal bodies for His spiritual offspring.
3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of the First-born.
4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are; first, Faith in Michael the Archangel, and His Son Jesus Christ, and in Joseph the Testator; second, Repentance; third, Baptism, by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Continue reading →
Steve McKinley recollects a conversation with Ross W. LeBaron about the endowment in 1995. The “ambiguous answer” given by Ross, according to Steve, made him “feel better about the changes [made by the LDS Church] in the endowment”. He says he realized that “the reason the endowment was taken away by the Lord was because people didn’t understand it. It didn’t work for them. … It made them responsible for things they didn’t understand.” In this interview, Steve also talks about the way Ross LeBaron gave him instructions and tells an anecdote on Ross’s excitement while watching a music concert on TV.
Dispensationalism is a Christian concept that became an essential part of Joseph Smith’s theology, and of many, if not most branches of the Mormon tradition. According to that view, the interaction between the Deity and humankind has had different eras or periods throughout history, each having its own characteristics and being led by a mortal “head”, and usually preceded by an “apostasy”.
An early associate of Ross LeBaron, Robert Eaby (1928-2017) used the apocryphal Book of Enoch (or I Enoch) to expose the idea of ten dispensations of the gospel. In the following two-page document probably written in 1958, Eaby quotes from The Ethiopic Version of the Book of Enoch, by biblical scholar and translator R. H. Charles, and relates each week in the the apocryphal prophecy to a dispensation.
Enoch. | Image: Figures de la Bible, Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, published by P. de Hondt in The Hague in 1728. Courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries.
TEN WEEKS OF ENOCH…..
And after that Enoch both gave and began to recount from the books. And Enoch said: “Concerning the children of righteousness and concerning the elect of the world, and concerning the plent of uprighteousness, I will speak these things, yes, I Enoch, will declare them unto you, my sons: According to that which appeared to me in the heavenly vision, and which I have learnt from the heavenly tablets.” And Enoch began to recount from the books and said: “I was born the seventh in the firstweek, while judgement and righteousness still endured.[“] Continue reading →
Portrait of Joseph Smith Jr., unknown artist, circa 1842. | Photo courtesy of the Community of Christ.
REVELATION given to Ross W. LeBaron, at Kingman, Ariz., April 1940. At the time I was working for Uncle Conway LeBaron. He was painting the Masonic temple there.
He read to me a small tract or leaflet, on the attributes of the Holy Ghost published by the Church.
It stated that the Holy Ghost was a male spirit; the same as any other of God’s spirit sons before they took mortal bodies upon this earth; and that he would some day be born and go through trials similar to those of the Savior. 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 →
In order to understand priesthood, we must realize we have existed forever, space is endless, and there is an infinite number of gods in space. It’s all organized to some degree, but it’s also going through process and change.
The one big stumbling block in the world today is people do not understand resurrection. They do not realize that every form of resurrection of flesh is reincarnation by definition. Continue reading →
That which is beyond the realms of reason, we atribute to God. Therefore, to most intelligent beings, God is the creative law of nature. This God, if I may call it such, is the most powerfull law, and authority, in all time and space. No one disobeys without paying the exact penalty; This God is the most ruthless force in existence, and also the kindest, for it gives us life everlasting. This God is a law, not a personality. (Personal Gods, are those, who by obedience to law, have gone ahead of the ones they preside over. If a man knows more than others, Does he not have more power, more glory.) Continue reading →