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Reuniting the Bickerton Break (Part 8)

Following a bitter schism, Dr. Daniel Stone tells how the two Bickertonite factions reunited.  It was interesting to find out how the LDS Church reacted when they learned of the Bickertonite schism.

 

Daniel: John Taylor hears about the Bickertonites and hears about how they’re split and basically sends missionaries down the line. They send missionaries to St John and to Pennsylvania to convert the Bickertonites, and they’re very successful at doing that. I want to mind you. They convert a lot of Bickertonites.

GT: Even though they are polygamists? Because John Taylor was definitely a polygamist.

Daniel:  Yep! You have several of the missionaries going, both the Pennsylvania and going to Kansas convincing Bickertonites who were strongly opposed to polygamy, that polygamy was a true revelation. It goes to show you how you could have really staunch people. It goes to show you how bad the split really hurt the Bickertonite movement. They literally saw it in shambles.

The split lasted 22 years.  How did they combine?

Daniel:  William Bickerton is in his late eighties. William Bickerton knows that he’s going to die soon. His brother had even died that I believe was younger than him, if I remember correctly. So, he sends a friendly face that was a member of Bickerton’s schism, but then eventually joins Cadman. His name was Alexander Cherry and William Cadman sends Alexander Cherry to St. John, Kansas to talk with William Bickerton in his late eighties to say, okay, here are the terms. And it’s a friendlier face than William Cadman, because William Cadman did meet with William Bickerton before that and they couldn’t come to terms. So, Alexander Cherry presents William Bickerton with an offer.

He says basically, “Listen. If you don’t be a prophet anymore, don’t recognize yourself as a prophet. You’re not the leader of the church anymore, but you can still hold a priesthood position as an elder, we will bring all of your members in our church and we can all just join as one. Because both churches excommunicated each other. They basically said, “We’ll forget that that even happened.” And they basically said, “If you forgive us, we’ll forgive you.” That was the terms. And William Bickerton in his last to age had two choices. You could either die right, being not an adulterer in holding onto his pride and the church is split in two, or he could help the movement which was already happening and bring the church together and he chooses the latter. He says he steps down.

He is no longer considered a prophet. He’s considered an elder and the church comes back together. It’s that easy. Nobody’s rebaptized. It just comes back, and they basically forget everything, and he literally thinks the past is forgotten.

Check out our other conversations with Daniel!  Comments?

Following a 22 year schism, William Bickerton stepped down as leader and prophet to heal the division in his church.
Following a 22 year schism, William Bickerton stepped down as leader and prophet to heal the Bickertonite schism in his church.

202: Ousting a Prophet (Stone)

201: False Prophecies Are Possible! (Stone)

200: Civil War Prophecy Leads to Black Ordination (Stone)

199: Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Stone)

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet (Stone)

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart (Stone)

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory (Stone)

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Ousting a Prophet (Part 7)

William Bickerton eventually lost control of the church he started.  How did his apostles oust the prophet. Are there parallels with LDS Church succession? Dr. Daniel Stone tells us.

Daniel:  You basically had the Bickertonite group that is supporting Bickerton. The people that are detractors of Bickerton are excommunicating everybody from the Bickertonite group because they’re saying, well, if you support Bickerton, you’re an apostate. And then William Cadman actually held an ad hoc court within the community to prove that William Bickerton was an adulterer. He really believed the evidence. He acts as prosecutor for eight hours calling witnesses from the community and the jury is made up of all non-Bickertonites and he purposely did that to prove to the community once and for all. Because if he could get the community as a whole on his side, then he knows that the church can then continue forward and William Cadman will be the leader. He believes he will be the leader because he’s the president of the Twelve. And what ends up happening is William Cadman does not get the verdict that he wants.

I found it really interesting that the President of the Quorum of  Twelve took over leadership, just like Brigham Young did in the LDS Church.  Check out the conversation, and don’t forget to check out our other segments with Daniel….

William Bickerton was accused of adultery and a faction in the east ousted him as leader. Was it a false accusation?
William Bickerton was accused of adultery and a faction in the east ousted him as leader. Was it a false accusation?

201: False Prophecies Are Possible! (Stone)

200: Civil War Prophecy Leads to Black Ordination (Stone)

199: Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Stone)

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet (Stone)

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart (Stone)

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory (Stone)