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Lyman Wight & Mormon Colonies in Texas (Part 2 of 8)

Did you know Joseph Smith considered moving the Church to Texas?  Melvin Johnson talks more about apostle Lyman Wight’s Texas colony.

Mel:  So, in February, Wight, George Miller–and Miller was Bishop of the community–and his counselors, wrote a letter to Joseph Smith, saying, “We’re almost done here. We’re going to send our latest lumber rafts down the Mississippi River, and then we’re going to exchange them, we hope, with you for the steam ship Maid of Iowa, and then we want to go to–not state but Republic of Texas.” They wanted to create a Mormon colony outside of the United States. Of course, by that time, Joseph Smith knew the Mormons could not stay in Nauvoo. … Mel:   The Council of Fifty, some of them like the idea of Texas. So they send the pagan prophet Lucien Woodworth on a mission down to Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas. GT:  Why do you call him a pagan prophet? Mel:   Well, that’s what Joseph called him.

But the most interesting part of the interview was to learn about the Zodiac Temple! Apostle Lyman Wight started a Mormon group!

Mel: They’ll also build the first diaspora Mormon temple, west of the Mississippi. It was not St. George, it was in Zodiac, Texas.
GT:  So they have an endowment ceremony and everything?
Mel: Endowment, depending upon which definition you use, yes.  They had a temple, and on the second floor, they had sealings, anointings, adoptions, the washing feet, the oiling in the head in the sealing of blessings. They did marriage for time and eternity. John and his wife, Sylvia, were married and endowed there.

What are your thoughts concerning this temple that was built by 1847 in Texas?  Check out our conversation….

Historian Mel Johnson describes the Lyman Wight colony that built the Zodiac Temple in Texas by 1847!
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Murderous Mormon Mayhem (Part 8 of 8)

It’s sad to say that some groups that believe in the Book of Mormon are notorious for the crimes they have committed.  In our final conversation with Steve Shields, we will discuss the Lafferty brothers, and Ervil Lebaron.  Both groups were involved in murder.

Steve: It’s really hard to deal with some of those that are just so grossly offensive in what they do. A lot of people, especially Bob Crossfield’s folks would rather I not talk about the Laffertys. But I say, well, I can’t not [talk about them] because they exist or existed, and there was something going on. Bob Crossfield was a self-proclaimed prophet from Canada who eventually developed what they called the School of the Prophets and Bob himself issued more than 100 revelations. The Lafferty brothers, Ron and Dan got involved in Crossfield’s School of the Prophets, but quickly took over what that was all about and turned it into something evil. Evil, maybe that’s not objective, but when you receive or proclaim a revelation that says, “God tells me to kill this person and kill that person and kill that person…” They were a modern-day resurrection of Ervil LeBaron. Ervil was evil. Most of the family members that I know in the LeBaron clan would say the same thing. I don’t know any of the Lafferty folks, but I do know Bob Crossfield’s people. They were just devastated by how the Laffertys twisted everything that Bob Crossfield is all about and turned it into something so horrible. History is not always pretty. Thankfully there haven’t been too many of those kinds of things happening in all of Latter-day Saint history, but every now and again, some of that stuff crops up and you have to deal with it the best way you can.

Check out our conversation.  If you have missed any of our previous conversations with Steve, check out the links below.

Steve Shields describes a few Mormon groups involved in murder.
Steve Shields describes a few Mormon groups involved in murder.

240: Para-Church Mormon Groups (Shields)

239: Cutlerite Endowment, Female Priesthood, & House of Aaron(Shields)

238: Fundamentalists and Cutlerites (Shields)

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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Female Priesthood, Cutlerite Endowment, & House of Aaron (Part 6 of 8)

The LDS Church recently made changes to their temple endowment ceremony.  Rumor has it that the Cutlerite endowment has changed very little since the death of Joseph Smith.  We’ll continue our discussion about Cutlerite temple practices with Steve Shields. It appears they believe women hold priesthood in their temple ordinances!

Steve: So, that building is, in all intents and purposes, it’s a temple and it would resemble the Kirtland Temple model except Kirtland had no font. But, the upstairs room for the priesthood on the second floor, they weren’t necessarily doing rituals there, but they did some washings and anointings upstairs on the third floor in the attic level. And so, on the second floor of the Cutlerite buildings in Minnesota and Independence, that’s dedicated as a holy place. They call it the upper room work. They don’t use the term endowment. They do know what that means because we’ve talked about it with them. But, I do know. They’ve told me this, that women are ordained as high priestesses in the celestial church, not in the outer church, not in the public church. They have no priesthood in the public church.

GT: Oh, so women have a temple priesthood, but not an Ecclesiastical priesthood.

Steve: Exactly. Yeah, that’s right. That’s the extent of my knowledge about that. A few years ago when…

GT:  That’s interesting, Michael Quinn, in my current interview, just kind of said the LDS have the same thing. Jonathan Stapley said, “Well, we don’t want to call it priesthood.” But Quinn wasn’t nearly as careful on that.

Steve: Yeah. Well, I’m in the Quinn camp on that issue.

We’ll also discuss a break off from the RLDS Church called the House of Aaron.

Steve:  The House of Aaron is based at Eskdale, Utah. And they used to be called the Aaronic Order or the Order of Aaron. Morris Glendening was the founder, promoter of that. In the recent 10 or 12 years, they’ve been having lots of conversation with Fred Larsen and the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. John Conrad, who is the leader of the House of Aaron, his father was Bob Conrad, who was the chief high priest successor to Morris Glendening as chief high priest. John has gone out to Independence many times with folks their church. They’ve shifted a lot since Glendening’s times in the ’40’s. They always said they were not Mormons and yet all of their members had been Mormons.

Have you heard of the House of Aaron before?  Check out our conversation….

Steve Shields says Cutlerites have female priesthood, and we talk about House of Aaron in Eskdale, Utah
Steve Shields says Cutlerites have female priesthood, and we talk about House of Aaron in Eskdale, Utah

Don’t forget out other conversations with Steve!

238: Fundamentalists and Cutlerites (Shields)

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)