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.
Ross Wesley LeBaron in June, 1977. | Image: Dale Van Atta. Courtesy of L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University.
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
Robert Rey Black was an associate of Ross W. LeBaron in The Church of the Firstborn. In the following essay, Black recollects his interactions with the presiding council of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) over temple ordinances, in 1978. Black claims that, under the authority of Ross LeBaron, he attempted to teach and perform the temple ordinances to the AUB leaders, until the rituals’ texts were allegedly purchased by the AUB from Fred C. Collier.
Architectural sketch of the Kirtland Temple. | Image: Historic American Buildings Survey
Statement Concerning Circumstances Surrounding the Commencement of Temple Ordinances by the Apostolic United Brethren (Allred Group)
In view of the fact that history sometimes has a way of being lost or rewritten over time, I feel it may be of interest to record certain events which occurred concerning circumstances surrounding the commencement of Temple ordinances by the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), also known as the Allred Group. In no way is this statement intended to be disrespectful towards that organization, but on the contrary, will hopefully be appreciated by all those interested in history, including members of the AUB. No doubt, this is not the complete background to how the AUB leadership began performing Temple ordinances for their members, but a full understanding of that background would be incomplete without this piece of the puzzle. Please forgive any errors, they are unintentional.
Since 1975 I have been an ordained Patriarch in the Church of the Firstborn, a Mormon Fundamentalist group which claims the Priesthood keys were been passed down to Ross Wesley LeBaron through his father Alma Dayer LeBaron, Benjamin F. Johnson, and Joseph Smith. In 1976 I had a friend interested in joining a United Order in Salt Lake City led by a man named John Bryant, who was a member of the AUB. This
friend of mine asked me what I knew about Bryant. Because I didn’t really know anything about him I called members of the AUB Priesthood Council to ask them about him. Although we differed on points of doctrine concerning who had the presiding Priesthood keys, I was acquainted and on friendly terms with most of the leadership of the AUB. Everyone I spoke to, with the exception of George Maycock, told me that as far as they were concerned, Bryant was a good man and that his United Order would probably be a good fit for my friend. George assumed that Bryant was possessed of an evil spirit because he had missed more than three Priesthood meetings in a row. I related all this information to my friend, who chose to join with Bryant due to his desire to live in a United Order. 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