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Why Polygamists are a Threat to LDS Church (Part 6 of 8)

The LDS Church still has an Exclusion Policy when dealing with converts from polygamist groups.  Why does the LDS Church seem so threatened by polygamists?  Apostle David Patrick and Seventy Benjamin Shaffer explain why they think polygamists are so threatening to the LDS leadership.

GT:  So the [LDS] Church has a huge concern with [polygamists joining the Church] and so they’ve implemented this [Exclusion] policy. Then when the gay policy came, they [justified the policy by saying,] “Well we’ve been doing this with polygamists for years. What’s the problem?” I don’t like this policy. I don’t like it against polygamists either, but I do understand the concern because it does seem like, especially here in Utah, they don’t want you guys infiltrating our church and then taking people away. But I think it also happens that we take away some of your church members that don’t like polygamy.  To me it goes both ways. But, we’re more concerned about our people leaving than your people joining.

GT:  I don’t know how true this is, and I know that you don’t speak for all fundamentalists, either. But we’ve heard that that, I want to say it’s the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), but I might be wrong on that, they will say, “Well, go get your LDS temple endowment and then come join us.” Are you familiar with that reasoning?

Benjamin:  Yes. Well, more than 40 years ago, that was kind of the essential viewpoint of almost all Mormon fundamentalists.  There was about a 50 year stretch from John and Lauren Woolley in the early 1900s, through Rulon Allred, where we also kind of believed that was the program. As David explained, there were keys outside the church and they were keys inside the church. We believe, in Christ’s Church, we’ve now rejoined all those keys into one organization. But during that time period, that 50 years, there was the idea that if you wanted to receive certain blessings and certain ordinances, or complete those things, you had to go to the fundamentalists, but you started in the [LDS] Church, first. So, for example, Rulon Allred did not build a temple.  He didn’t believe it was necessary, because the mainstream LDS temples were still viewed as authoritative sources to receive that ordinance.

David:  Rulon Allred was the leader of the Apostolic United Brethren.

GT:  Yeah.

Benjamin:  Joseph Musser and Rulon Allred, which were the founders of the AUB, they said exactly that.  They told their people, “Oh, well, you should definitely, of course, come to us, but don’t join the AUB and do these higher things until you’ve done the earlier things.  You’d be skipping a step.” So, they really only accepted members–they weren’t a whole church, right? They were an appendage to the church.

GT:  They were funneling people to the LDS Church and then saying, “Okay, get this all done, and then we’ll give you the graduate degree.”

Benjamin:  So excluding children, that was exactly the church’s response to the AUB policy of saying, “Oh, we’re an auxiliary to the church, essentially. So you want all of your children to be members of the mainstream LDS Church, and then you want them to go on missions and you want them to go to the temple, get married in the temple, and all that sort of thing, and then become part of our priesthood group to complete their gospel training.”  But they view themselves, like I said, only as that auxiliary or just as a capstone to everything the church was already doing. So their view was that the church was meant to be a pipeline that led [to them.]

David:  In all fairness, that may not be their view today.

Do you agree with this exclusion policy for children of polygamists?  Don’t miss our conversation as Benjamin explains why the primary song “I Am a Child of God” teaches the Adam-God theory! Check out our conversation….

Benjamin Shaffer & David Patrick explain why there is still an Exclusion policy for fundamentalist converts to LDS Church.

Don’t miss our other conversations with David and Benjamin….

385: God in a Box or Pyramid?

384: Documentary Hypothesis & Adam-God

383: Intro to Adam-God Theory

382: Scriptures of Christ’s Church

381: Intro to Christ’s Church

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Fundamentalists and Cutlerites (Part 5 of 8)

In this episode, Steve Shields and I discuss some of the larger and smaller Mormon groups: fundamentalists and Cutlerites. Many of these fundamentalists practice polygamy.

Steve:  The FLDS has 8,000 to 10,000. The Apostolic United Brethren and has 8,000 to 10,000, somewhere in that range. Those are the two largest organized groups, organized structural institutions. I’ve heard numbers of 50 or 60,000 fundamentalist Mormons all told. There’s either some smaller, like the Centennial Park–I don’t want to call them a group because the Centennial Park priesthood affiliation, maybe as a way to talk about those. You’ve got Naylor and Nielsen. You’ve got the guy up in British Columbia, Winston Blackmore. He’s actually incorporated as the Church of Jesus Christ (Original Doctrine). That’s their corporate filing in Canada. He’s got 500 or so. Nielson and Naylor and Blackmore have been kind of doing some, they’ve not merged per se, but some cross affiliation because Nielsen and Naylor’s problem with the Jeffs family was very similar with Winston’s. So frankly, in all of the fundamentalist Mormons, there’s very little doctrinal difference, if any at all. It has to do with priesthood authority. Who has the legitimate line?

GT: I talked with Anne Wilde and one things that she said was really the largest group are what she would call independent or unaffiliated.

Steve: That’s right. Most of them are unaffiliated but they do fellowship with each other. You’ve got a large following: Fred Collier, Tom Green and others who believe in what they called the patriarchal order. Every father is a patriarch over his own family and has full authority to ordain his children, the male children.

We’ll also discuss the only other Mormon group that has an endowment ceremony in the temple.  They are sometimes referred to as the Cutlerites, named after Alpheus Cutler.

Steve: Alpheus Cutler’s church has always been small, and they do not proselytize. They don’t believe in that. Alpheus Cutler is said to have been given a revelation that in the last days there will only be two and from that small branch, God will redeem Zion. So, they don’t worry too much about that. They’re getting older.

GT: They’re the ones who still have a temple ceremony. Is that right?

Steve: Yes, they do. The upper room work is conducted in their building in Independence. I’ll say on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean every day or every week necessarily. I don’t know any more about it than that. Nobody does except them and I respect that. I’m very curious, of course.

How big are they?  Check out our conversation….

Steve Shields discusses Mormon polygamists and Cutlerites, the only other Mormon group with a temple endowment ceremony.
Steve Shields discusses Mormon polygamists and Cutlerites, the only other Mormon group with a temple endowment ceremony.

Check out our other conversations with Steve!

227: Conspiracy Theories:  William Smith, Samuel Smith, James Strang(Shields)

226: Sidney’s Unsung Role in Restoration (Shields)

225: Steve’s Shields Own Divergent Path

224: Who Owns the Temple Lot? (Shields)

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How Do Polygamists Feel About Gay Marriage?

Fundamentalist Mormons are known for promoting an alternative marriage practice in polygamy.  Of course there are gay marriage advocates who support that as well.  In this next episode, we’ll talk a little bit about Kody Brown’s oldest daughter, Mariah.  Kody is a polygamist in the tv show, Sister Wives, and he has four wives.  One of his oldest daughters has actually announced that she is gay.  What do fundamentalist Mormons think about gay marriage relationships?

Anne:  The ones that I associate with the most don’t think there’s anything wrong with a legal gay marriage, because like I say it’s not a religious thing.  They think they should have that legal right.  We’re talking about a civil rights level.  They should have their civil rights just like we would like our civil rights.

Do you think this is common among polygamists?   Don’t forget to listen to our other conversation about Kody Brown’s daughter trying to join the LDS Church.  I hope you’ll check out our conversation with Anne Wilde…..