“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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
As of February 27, in the year of our Lord 1968, the Seventh Dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of men, along with the keys, power, authority and ordinances pertaining thereto is terminated; and the Eighth Dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of men; along with the keys, power, authority and ordinances pertaining thereto is commenced, according to the pattern of the “Eighth Week” set forth by Enoch of old. Continue reading →
“What are the keys of the priesthood”? “This generation is not worthy to know”. John Taylor.
Neither is this generation. Ross W. LeBaron.
There is a very good reason why the orders of the priesthood were not taught in plainness. All one has to do is to look around themselves and see the many claimants to the keys, powers and authority of the Holy Priesthood and they will understand.
By not understanding the truth, they have all claimed the wrong keys, to the wrong office, of the wrong order, of the wrong priesthood, of the wrong dispensation.
“For your iniquity was your mother put away”. Isaiah ch. 50.
The finger of God is pointed directly at the offspring of the Mormon Church; for doing the same as the mother Church, in signing their manifesto and rejecting those holding the keys of the priesthood. Continue reading →
“He never, at any time I’m aware of, ever depended upon those who followed him to support him”, states DeWayne Hafen. An adopted son of Ross LeBaron, Hafen talks about why his priesthood leader lived in a storage shed and didn’t collect money from his followers, and reflects on the relationship with his own adopted sons.
Hafen, DeWayne. Interview given to Antonio Trevisan on April 20, 2014.
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 →