DeWayne Hafen: Interview to Dale Von Atta, 1978

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.

DeWayne Navy

DeWayne Hafen in the 1960’s. 

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

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 and Joseph Musser

Mormon Fundamentalism Ross LeBaron

Joseph White Musser (sitting),  circa 1940. Musser (1872-1954) was one of the main leaders of the Fundamentalist  movement and senior member of the “Priesthood Council”.

REVELATION given to patriarch Ross W. LeBaron, at the home of H. Chase Kimball, in Salt Lake City, April 3rd, 1951. My father had recently passed away, and I was concerned over what course to follow in connection with the patriarchal work he had given me in the spring of 1950, and received the following revelation:

Thus saith the Lord; Go unto my servant Joseph W. Musser and have your patriarchal keys which you received from your father confirmed: for he is the only man among the Fundamentalists that has sufficient authority to do so; for he has received his second anointings and holds the fullness of the priesthood.

I called the home of Bro. Musser; one of his wives answered the phone, and I asked for an appointment to see him: but she informed me that he was not feeling well.

Continue reading