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Third Manifesto Causes Schism: Apostolic United Brethren

So far we’ve talked about the 1890 Manifesto, as well as the 1904 Manifesto.  A third manifesto was issued in 1933, and that actually led to the formation of several polygamist groups, such as the Apostolic United Brethren.

Anne:  When Joseph Musser was the senior member, because the other three before him had passed away, then that’s when the “split” happened.  It’s too complicated to go into; suffice it to say that there were two members that they wanted to add to that quorum, and Joseph Musser was not in favor of that and he called Rulon Allred, Owen Allred and some others to another council, so there are now two councils.

GT:  Two parallel councils.

Anne:  Yes, and each one claims that they’re the only ones that have the authority, or the true priesthood or whatever you want to call it.  So that’s when the division began.  Joseph Musser died in 1954, so this happened before that.[1]  They went to prison, and when he came out he was not feeling well and anyway, it’s a whole lot of story.

In this next episode, we’ll talk about the Third Manifesto, as well as one specific group: the Apostolic United Brethren.  You may be familiar with them if you’ve watched the tv show, Sister Wives, with Kody Brown and his four wives.   Kody’s daughter Madison tried to join the LDS Church.

GT:  Ok, I know his daughter, I want to say Madison, I can’t remember, was going to Utah State I believe and she actually wanted to join the LDS Church.

Anne:  And they wouldn’t let her.[2]

GT:  And they wouldn’t let her, and she said, “I don’t want to be a polygamist.  I don’t want to do anything.”  But they still wouldn’t let her.  Essentially the church policy is that they want to—you have to basically disown your parents, or I don’t know if that’s the right terminology.

Anne:  I think that varies.  Without mentioning a name, there is a family whose son—I don’t want to say anything that’s going to get anybody in trouble.  Let’s just say that he joined the church, the LDS Church, had friends that were LDS, went on a mission for the Church.  He didn’t have to deny his parents, but he had to deny his intent to live it.  He now is back from his mission, performed an honorable mission.  He was not prevented from joining the church, even though they knew what family he came from.  So that’s what I say, it’s going to vary.

Should Madison have been prevented from joining the LDS Church?  Check out our conversation with Anne Wilde…..

[1]  John Y. Barlow was head of the quorum until his death in December 1949.

[2] For more info, see

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Did Woodruff Marry After the 1890 Manifesto?

In 1890 Wilford Woodruff issued what’s known as the Manifesto, Official Declaration One in the Doctrine & Covenants, prohibiting polygamy. What many Mormons don’t know is that polygamy did not end in 1890.  This is often referred to as post-Manifesto polygamy.  Wilford Woodruff himself may have married another wife in 1897, a year after statehood in Utah.

GT:  Do you have any comments on whether you think that 1890 Manifesto was meant for public consumption, but privately we were still going to practice it, or how does that work?

Anne:  I don’t know what was in the back of Wilford Woodruff’s mind.  I don’t know, other than the fact that he took—as far as we know, there’s pretty good evidence that he took a plural wife seven years after the Manifesto, himself.  We also have very good evidence that many of the apostles, the Quorum of the Twelve, took additional wives after 1890.  That’s one reason why the 1904 Manifesto had to come out is to put teeth in it because so many people were very quietly taking additional wives, especially in Canada and Mexico.

We’re going to talk in this episode about post-Manifesto polygamy.  What are some of the things that led to the Second Manifesto in 1904?  Could it have something to do with newly elected senator Reed Smoot, an apostle?

GT:  It seems to me that there was also another big issue in the early 1900s that may have led to the Second Manifesto and that was the Reed Smoot hearings.


Anne:  They didn’t want to seat him, but he didn’t have more than one wife.

Anne Wilde, a polygamy expert will tell us why.  Check out the conversation…..   (Don’t forget to check out our previous episode on an uncanonized polygamy revelation in 1886!)


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Taylor’s 1886 Polygamy Uncanonized Revelation

Is it true that President John Taylor had a revelation in 1886 proclaiming that polygamy is an eternal principle?  Polygamist Mormons think so.  In this episode, I’d like to introduce Anne Wilde.  She’s a fundamentalist polygamist herself, and is one of the biggest experts on modern-day polygamy that I know of.  I’m really excited to talk to her.  We’ll ask her about the split between the LDS Church and mainstream polygamists in this day.

I guess it kind of started then but when they issued the Manifesto in 1890,[1] that was a key part of the whole history.  1904 was the Second Manifesto, with Joseph F. Smith, that put a few more teeth in doing away with it.  Then of course in the 1930s, Heber J. Grant issued what we call the Third Manifesto.  That really put—that was kind of the final straw as far as polygamists were concerned because if they were found out to be living it then they were excommunicated from the church.

We’ll also ask her if she thinks the current LDS Church is in apostasy.

Anne:  The D&C says, “I will set the house of God in order.”  It has to be out of order before it can be set in order.  So yes I think to some—and people will disagree on to what level it needs to be set in order, but yes I think the time will come, even the Lord said, “I will send one mighty and strong to set in order the inheritance the saints and set in order the kingdom, or the house of God,”[2] house meaning kingdom.  The church is part of the kingdom.  Yes I do believe that things will reach a point where things have to be set in order.

Check out our conversation!  Don’t forget to listen to our conversations with Brian Hales on Joseph Smith’s polygamy, or Jim Vun Cannon proclaiming Joseph was a monogamist!

[1] In 1890, church president Wilford Woodruff issued “The Manifesto” declaring that he advised Mormons not to contract in any more polygamous marriages.  This is canonized as Official Declaration 1 in the Doctrine and Covenants.  See

[2] Anne seems to be referring to D&C 85:7.  See