Articles/Essays – Volume 40, No. 1

The 1948 Secret Marriage of Louis J. Barlow: Origins of FLDS Placement Marriage

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints or FLDS Church and its controversial Church president or prophet, Warren Jeffs, have attracted significant attention during the last several years. The community has dramatically and radically changed from within while it attempts to withstand intense pressure from media and government for its unique religious practices, as well as allegations of fraud and abuse.[1] On May 6, 2006, the Federal Bureau of Investigation placed Warren Jeffs on its “Ten Most Wanted” list for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution of state charges for arranging and performing plural marriages to underage women. His arrest on August 26, 2006, has thrust Jeffs, the FLDS Church, its communities, and Mormon polygamy in general even further into the national and international spotlight.[2]

Understandably, the unique FLDS form of arranged marriages, called placement marriage, which sometimes involves underage brides in polygamous marriages, has been a focal point of interest, investigation, and concern. The scrutiny on all these subjects is likely to continue unabated, probably often as late-breaking news, as the dust begins to settle from the internal social and religious turmoil and from the legal processes now unfolding.[3] In July 2005, eight FLDS men were charged with sexual misconduct in Arizona for relationships with underage plural wives, presumably married to them by Jeffs. 

A persistent question is why a large majority of the FLDS community has remained loyal to Jeffs despite his recent purges of hundreds of lifetime members and other radical moves during the last few years.[4] Especially mysterious is why a large number of women and children appear willing to unquestioningly accept the excommunications of their husbands or fathers and their own subsequent “reassignments” to new families. The purpose of this paper is to present some background relevant to the development of arranged or appointed marriages, called “placement marriages” in the FLDS community.[5] This context is vital for understanding the events now unfolding. 

Although placement marriage is deeply entrenched in the belief structure of the FLDS community, it did not always exist. Rather, it has evolved over the past fifty years or so. In fact, 1 have found no evidence, either from oral histories or in contemporary documentation, to support the concept of arranged marriages among fundamentalist Mormons prior to the 1940s. Rather, in my reading of diaries, documents, and histories of both nineteenth-century Mormons and twentieth-century fundamentalist Mormons, the model among fundamentalists prior to the late 1940s mirrored, more or less, nineteenth-century LDS patterns of choosing marriage companions. That is, individuals chose marriage partners based on varied combinations of personal attraction and principles of faith (which usually included testimony or personal revelation) along with direct or in direct influence of family and ecclesiastical leaders. For most fundamentalist Mormons, this same pattern continues to this day. It is a differ ent story, however, among those who have become known in the last twenty years as the Jeffs group or more recently as the FLDS. 

It is my belief that FLDS placement marriage derived from the belief that obedience to priesthood leaders is a requirement for salvation. The requirement for such obedience became more pronounced after quorum leadership ceased to exist under Rulon Jeffs in the 1980s. The loss of quorum leadership opened the door for absolute rule by only one man and ultimately led to the tyrannical leadership manifested since 2002 by Rulon’s son Warren.[6] The most visible evidence of the community’s deep commitment to this requirement for obedience in exchange for salvation can be seen in the acceptance by so many of the dramatic rearrangement of families. In this way, participation in placement marriage is perhaps, for the FLDS, the greatest outward expression and symbol of devotion to God and their religion. An understanding of how placement marriage developed and its significance is important because of these reasons and because no one can be certain how this community may emerge from its present turmoil.

Placement Marriage 

Historians D. Michael Quinn and Martha Sonntag Bradley gathered information about arranged marriages in what was then the Johnson or Colorado City group from interviews they conducted in the 1980s and 

1990s. 1 first learned about placement marriage as a child from family members who knew friends and relatives in that group who participated in arranged marriages. Later, as 1 became acquainted with several relatives from that community, I learned more about this practice in personal discussions. Despite my disagreement, 1 came to respect my FLDS relatives, many of whom stated that they were not coerced but freely chose to participate in placement marriages and felt that their submission to the priest hood in this way was the best way to please God. Many, even most, appeared to have stable marriages and loving relationships with their spouses. 

This situation, however, has changed in the past ten years. It is significant that, in my discussions with them until the early 1990s, they referred to “the Priesthood” and “they” in reference to the Priesthood Council, which provided religious governance. By the early 1990s, these terms were intermixed with and finally replaced by “the prophet” and “he.” I failed to fully comprehend the importance of this evolution until recently, when Warren Jeffs began dismantling many of the families with whom 1 had been acquainted. 

In the FLDS community, there is no dating or courtship before marriage. Young people can get to know each other through association at school, church and community dances, and of course through family connections. But they are not encouraged to fall in love. Romantic love is supposed to develop after the priesthood selects the spouse, not before.[7] In 1998, based on interviews Quinn had conducted in 1990, he wrote that “the youth of [this] group anticipate with faith and solemnity the decisions of the Priesthood Council regarding the most important event of their young lives: the selection of a marriage companion.”[8] A young man, James, told him, “We are raised believing that the Priesthood would choose our mate and we were not to allow ourselves to fall in love with any body.”[9] When a young single man feels he is ready to marry, usually at about age twenty or twenty-one, “you go to them [the Priesthood]. They don’t come to you. . . . They basically decide who you’re going to marry. You can have a little bit of your say, it’s not just totally that they tell you…. They set it up.”[10]

In first marriages, the husband and wife are usually close in age.[11] In plural marriages, however, the age differences between husband and wife can vary widely, and the process is also somewhat different. Generally married men do not volunteer to the priesthood their interest in entering plural marriage but instead wait for an inquiry about their interest. According to James, when called in, a man can indicate that he is not interested at that time; however, a “faithful male may delay polygamous marriage, but cannot be considered faithful if he refuses the decision of the Priesthood for him to marry polygamously.”[12] Whenever a married man of whatever age marries a plural wife, “he defers to choices made by the Priesthood” about whom, when, and where he will marry.[13]

Young girls learn household skills and child care from an early age to prepare them for marriage. They are usually between ages sixteen to twenty-five when they decide to marry.[14] When a woman feels ready, she discusses her feelings with her father (sometimes with both parents) and then “turns herself in,” which means that her father mediates by taking her to meet with the prophet to inform him she is ready for marriage. The prophet may agree that she is ready or he may decide she should wait awhile, even a few years. The prophet decides, based on his inspiration or revelation (and his knowledge of the available males), whom the girl should marry. The husband-to-be, whether single or already married, is then informed, and the ceremony takes place any time from a few minutes or hours to a week later. 

A young woman can decide not to marry the man who is chosen for her, but that doesn’t happen very often.[15] She can express a preference of whom she would like to marry, but this is usually not welcomed.[16] It reflects badly on the father because it is perceived as evidence that he was not diligent in raising his daughter or in keeping her away from boys. There was “quite a bit of disgrace if you actually fell in love with somebody you really did want to get married to,” commented one of Quinn’s interviewees.[17] In 1990, Sam Barlow told Quinn that young people who “make commitments” may have them “respected sometimes.”[18] My sense is that such a scenario is quite uncommon and usually means that, if two young people develop a relationship (which may or may not involve premarital sexual relations), they are sometimes allowed to marry but usually carry a social and religious stigma. 

The prevalent view has been that there is a lot of romance in not knowing who you are going to marry until the last moment and that, when a marriage is ordained of God (by revelation to the prophet), the couple will come to love one another, if they don’t at first. Several men and women said that they did not seek personal revelation because they considered the only sure revelation to be from the prophet and didn’t want the possibility of making a mistake about such an important decision; they were glad to have a prophet to tell them whom to marry.[19] Of course, this entire scenario represents the ideal, and participants readily admitted that some couples struggled to make their marriages work and some marriages failed altogether.[20]

Placement marriage also worked, though somewhat differently, for married men and women when things went awry. If a man were deemed to be apostate for any reason, his wives could be contacted by the priest hood leader or his representative, if they did not come on their own, and encouraged to leave or divorce him.[21] If they were compliant, they would then be reassigned in much the same way as single women.[22] This process was similar for widowed women.[23] Placement marriages meant that there were very few women in the community without a husband and that a majority of men, though not all, lived plural marriage. 

This description of placement marriage applies to practices under Rulon Jeffs during the late 1980s and early 1990s; but in at least a few cases—possibly more—Warren Jeffs may have eliminated the volunteer aspect of placement marriage, in which young women went with their fathers to the prophet to indicate their readiness for marriage. Some evidence suggests Warren Jeffs may have started assigning marriages for some young women who had nor first volunteered themselves.[24]

Louis Barlow’s Secret 1948 Marriage 

Louis Barlow’s secret 1948 marriage took place before placement marriage existed. The following account is told here mostly through the perspective of my grandfather, Joseph Lyman Jessop, a twentieth-century polygamist, since most of it is drawn from his journals.[25] In this paper, the names of most persons still living have been changed, with the exception of well-known public figures such as Warren Jeffs. 

Theaccount is important because it was recorded in some detail and it was not an isolated case. Most significantly, it shows that a crucial trend was developing in the late 1940s among some fundamentalist Mormons regarding attitudes and procedures for selecting marriage companions. That transition was a move away from individuals choosing companions for marriage through mutual attraction with guidance and the permission or blessing of parents and priesthood leaders and toward marriage partners being selected, wholly decided, and arranged or appointed by a priesthood leader or leaders. 

On the first weekend in September 1948, Joseph Lyman Jessop traveled from his third wife’s home in the Salt Lake Valley to Black Canyon, about ten miles south of Antimony in central Utah. The homes of his first two wives were located in this canyon across the road from the Osiris Mill that Lyman had helped construct over the previous two years.[26] On Sunday, before he had to return to Salt Lake for work, his fifteen-year-old daughter Christine, daughter of his first wife, Winnie, asked to speak to him privately. She confided that the previous weekend, while attending a dance in Short Creek, she had been secretly married as a plural wife.[27] The groom was twenty-four-year-old Louis Jessop Barlow, already a polygamist with two wives and three or four children.[28] He was the oldest son of the presiding fundamentalist leader John Y Barlow and a nephew of Joseph Lyman Jessop, therefore Christine’s first cousin.[29] Afterward, she returned home where she had been ever since and had kept her secret even from her mother.[30] Lyman was shocked, to say the least, and deeply troubled.[31] Before he left that day, he likely shared die unsettling news with Christine’s mother.

While Lyman was en route to Salt Lake that same afternoon, the reported bridegroom, Louis Barlow, flagged him down on the highway, Standing on the roadside, the two men had a lengthy discussion. Lyman recorded: “We conversed over the marriage for more than an hour. 1 was displeased with him .. . and told him he had high-pressured the girl. He told me he was commanded to take this step, and I asked, ‘Who commanded you, Louis?’ and he would not say who but told me it was a divine command and he argued that he had done exactly right.” Lyman told Louis, “No person on earth has a right to tell you to take my daughter without my knowledge or consent, and this you have done.”[32]

Their conversation ended without agreement. Lyman suspected the “divine command” Louis said he had received had probably come from his father, John Y. Barlow. John was the only person, according to Lyman’s knowledge of patriarchal order and of priesthood authority, who was really in a position with Louis to have done such a thing—although it was possible that John hadn’t given his son any “divine command” and Louis had either misunderstood or had taken something his father said out of context. Nevertheless, Lyman also knew from past experiences, that John sometimes pressed his ideas forcefully on others.[33] If John had given Louis such a command, Lyman did not think it was right, as it violated the agency of others involved, namely that of his daughter, his own, and her mother’s. 

A few days later, Louis Barlow came to Lyman’s home in Salt Lake where he again pled his case. He argued that Lyman had given or implied his consent for the marriage when he had earlier given him permission “to see her” or get to know her.[34] Lyman emphatically denied that he had given any such consent to Louis or to any of the other young men who had asked for the privilege of seeing Christine. Louis finally resorted to threats, saying that both Christine’s and Lyman’s salvation was at stake if Lyman said or did anything against Louis and this marriage. 

“Pretty cocky, I call it,” Lyman wrote in his diary. “To this stand 1 am opposed, because this marriage was done without my knowledge or consent. We don’t agree on . . . procedure.”[35]

This was just the beginning of a two-year ordeal that tested the resolve of Joseph Lyman Jessop to exert his fatherly rights and obligations to guide and protect his family. He believed in following priesthood leadership intelligently, not blindly, and he was determined to know and understand for himself the principles and correct order of priesthood law which he understood to be patriarchal in nature.[36] He considered this secret marriage as one of several violations of patriarchal law and personal agency on the part of his associates during recent years. 

Joseph Lyman Jessop, a Twentieth-Century Polygamist

Joseph Lyman Jessop was raised a member of the LDS Church, serving a mission, marrying in the temple, and remaining active until he was thirty-one.[37] After he married his first plural wife in 1923, he was excommunicated.[38] After that event, Lyman’s primary circle of associates consisted of a few hundred people who were dedicated to preserving and perpetuating plural marriage, most of whom were already or soon would be excommunicated. They believed that John Taylor, third LDS Church President, had bestowed priesthood authority to continue plural marriage on five other men in 1886 after he received a revelation regarding the matter.[39]

Jessop learned directly from John W. Woolley and his son, Lorin C. Woolley (with whom he became intimately acquainted in the 1920s), that in September 1886, President Taylor was in hiding from federal marshals in John W. Woolley’s home in Centerville, Utah.[40] They told him that, on a Sunday afternoon, a delegation of Church officials visited him and urged that the Church renounce plural marriage. That night Taylor took the matter to the Lord and, according to Woolley, received a lengthy visitation from Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith instructing him not to yield to either federal or internal pressure. The next day, Taylor told the Woolleys and about eleven others of his experience, wrote down the revelation, and had his secretary, L John Nuttal, make five copies.[41] At Taylor’s urging, all present entered into a “solemn covenant and promise that they would see to it that not a year should pass without plural marriages being performed and children born under the covenant.”[42] Afterward President Taylor set apart five individuals—John W. Woolley, Lorin C. Woolley, George Q. Cannon, Samuel Bateman, and Charles H. Wilcken.[43] Except for George Q. Cannon who was already an apostle, he ordained them as apostles. He charged these five men to perpetuate plural marriage no matter what the Church might officially do.[44]

According to fundamentalist Mormons, President Taylor, George Q. Cannon, and the four newly ordained men, and later Joseph F. Smith, comprised a special quorum of seven apostles.[45] Taylor was said to have given these men both the authority and the appointment to perpetuate the quorum by calling others as needed “under the direction of the worthy senior . . . so that there should be no cessation in the work.”[46]

By 1918, John and Lorin Woolley were the only men of this quorum still living. Shortly before John Woolley died in 1928, he and Lorin received a revelation directing them to call others.[47] After his father’s death, Lorin C. Woolley acted in accordance with those instructions to ensure that the authority and calling they received from President John Taylor would be perpetuated. 

Between March 1929 and June 1933, Lorin C. Woolley ordained six men as apostles to fill vacancies in the quorum. These men, in order of their calling, were Joseph Leslie Broadbent, John Yeates Barlow, Joseph White Musser, Charles Frederick Zitting, LeGrand Woolley, and Louis Alma Kelsch.[48] Lorin Woolley appointed J. Leslie Broadbent as his Second Elder, “as the one holding the keys of revelation jointly with himself, in the same manner as they had first been held jointly by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, the first and second elders.”[49] This quorum was sometimes called the Quorum or Council of Friends, or more commonly, “the Priesthood Council.”[50]

After Lorin C. Woolley’s death in 1934, the Priesthood Council continued to function, presided over by Joseph Leslie Broadbent. Then, after Broadbent’s death the very next year, John Y. Barlow assumed leadership based on his seniority in the quorum.[51] During the 1940s, Barlow called seven men to this quorum: Leroy Sunderland Johnson, Jonathan Marion Hammon, Guy Hill Musser, Rulon Timpson Jeffs, Richard Seth Jessop, Carl Otto Nathaniel Holm, and Alma Adelbert Timpson.[52]

During the 1930s and early 1940s, Joseph Lyman Jessop worked closely with the brethren of the Priesthood Council and others who had coalesced around them in the establishment of Short Creek as a refuge in 1935 and in other endeavors.[53] Moreover, Jessop was prosecuted for unlawful cohabitation and served time with fourteen others, including Priesthood Council members, in the Utah State Penitentiary in 1945.[54] From these experiences, he knew these men well and those connected with them, and he was keenly aware of problems among the group who was by then being called fundamentalists or fundamentalist Mormons.[55] He recognized that some of these problems were a direct result of being separated from the Church. They lacked many of the checks and balances that existed within the Church structure. For example, they couldn’t turn to bishops or stake presidents for advice about young men who might come courting their daughters. The weight of every aspect of a man’s family rested on his and his wife’s or wives’ shoulders. Under these circumstances, correct application of the patriarchal order was their only legitimate option. Lyman, with his fellow fundamentalists, felt that their situation (of being separated from the Church) was part of the out-of-order condition they must bear until “the setting in order” of the Church and kingdom when they hoped for a miraculous reunification with the Church.[56] Some of Jessop’s greatest concerns about problems among fundamentalists were the violations of agency that seemed to crop up repeatedly. He felt that such violations not only thwarted patriarchal law but were not consistent with the mission to keep plural marriage alive. His views may have derived from the 1886 revelation to John Taylor which specifically addressed the issue of personal agency, particularly this part: 

Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject [the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, meaning plural marriage]? Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of my laws and the keeping of my commandment and yet have I borne with them these many years and this because of their weakness, because of the perilous times. 

And furthermore, it is more pleasing to me that men should use their free agency in regards to these matters. Nevertheless, I the Lord do not change and my word and my covenants and my law do not.[57]

Joseph Lyman Jessop believed that exercising free agency was essential in choosing one’s marriage companion (or companions) as well as in making the choice to live plural marriage. In his view, there simply was no room for coercion by anyone, especially in the name of priesthood authority, when God himself didn’t compel or force mortals ro keep his commandments. Thus, the secret marriage between Christine Jessop and Louis Barlow was prima facie evidence of the tendency of some to exercise unrighteous dominion and violate personal agency. This was no small matter to Jessop. How could fundamentalists, whose very purpose was to preserve the laws of God, feel justified in committing such violations? In some cases, he thought such actions leaned too close toward priestcraft. 

Standing Firm 

Lyman soon learned that his own brother, Richard Jessop, recently called by John Y. Barlow as a new member of the Priesthood Council, was the man who had performed the secret marriage ceremony.[58] Seeking advice, Lyman made an appointment to see Joseph W. Mussev, a Priesthood Council member who was next in seniority after John Y. Barlow. Lyman told Musser about the secret marriage, about his own action to restrain Louis from taking Christine to Short Creek, and that he had told Louis, “No mortal man has the right to take my daughter without my knowledge or consent.”[59]

The elderly Musser agreed and told Lyman his stand was right. He said, “1 am surprised at Rich (Jessop), who performed the ceremony . . . That ceremony don’t ammount [sic] to a thing under those circumstances [of coercion and without parental consent].” He assured Lyman no action was needed “to an[n]ul it . . . even tho the one who did it was acting in good faith.” Musser advised, “Just go on as tho nothing has happened, and let God bring about the adjustments and lead the girl to [marry] where she belongs.” Further, Musser told Lyman, “The Priesthood [Council] is definitely out of order. This case is almost the last straw. What will they do next[?]”[60]

It was impossible, however, for Lyman and his family to go on with life as if the marriage hadn’t happened because Louis persisted in his claim that Christine was his wife. Louis even came to Lyman’s bedside early one morning where he “argued his view of his sole right to the girl because of her being his wife.”[61] Lyman remained unconvinced. 

The following week Louis took matters into his own hands. While Lyman was away, Louis came to his home and took Christine to Widtsoe, about twelve miles away, to the ranch of a polygamist friend, Newell Steed.[62] Before they left, Winnie demanded to know why he felt he had the right to do this. Louis answered that Lyman had given him that right, a statement that persuaded Christine to go with him. Whether she went willingly or reluctantly is unknown. Winnie was greatly upset, especially at the thought that Lyman may have given Louis permission without discussing it with her. When Lyman returned home at the end of the week, he reassured Winnie that he had given no such permission.[63]

Early die next morning, to Lyman and Winnie’s surprise, Louis brought Christine home. Louis’s brother Joe and Lyman’s brother Richard, who had performed the secret ceremony, came with them. Louis announced his intention to take Christine, as his wife, to his residence in Short Creek. Rather than argue with Louis, Lyman appealed to Christine directly and said he’d rather she didn’t go. This appeal apparently gave Christine the courage she needed to say no to Louis, realizing she had a choice and that her father had not given his consent as Louis had claimed. Still Louis was determined to have his way, telling Lyman, “She’s my wife and as much under the direction of her husband as any [married] daughter you’ve got.” Lyman remained unmoved, telling Louis, “Well, this case is a little different. 1 haven’t given my consent, and that makes it differ ent.” For more than three hours, Louis pressed his case with encouragement from both Joe and Richard; but in the end, the three men left without Christine.[64]

Still, Louis didn’t give up. “It seems,” Lyrnan wrote several weeks later, “that some of our . . . friends are doing all in their power to get her [Christine] away from us and to Louis.” He added, “1 feel our group of people need the ‘setting in order’ as bad as any people on earth. The out-of-order condition of some of those who call themselves The Priest hood’ is strongly appearant [sic]. If there is any family or person in full or der before God, 1 do not know of it.”[65]

A “Diabolical, High-Pressure Marriage” 

As the tense situation dragged on, Winnie Jessop fretted almost to the point of a nervous breakdown. Lyman counseled her to quit worrying that the matter was not being resolved as quickly as she thought it should. He then revealed the intensity of his feelings when he told her, “We can not force them (they who have part in promoting this diabolical, high-pressure marriage in secret conspiracy against us) to show repentance nor apology.” Although he felt deeply betrayed, Lyman was not vindictive. He added to Winnie, “We must leave it now in the hands of God to direct our further course. We must watch and pray humbly for his guidance, and we must not let their acts get us down on any truth or gospel principle, lest we too go wrong because we have been wronged by others.”[66]

Lyman was comforted when his own father, Joseph Smith Jessop, said he did not approve of what had been done. However, the elder Jessop defended his other son, Richard, who had performed the marriage, saying, he “would not harm anyone if he knew of it.”[67] Lyman’s father arranged a family meeting in late January to try to resolve the situation.[68] Those who attended were Joseph Smith Jessop, Lyman and Christine, Louis Barlow and his father, John Y. Barlow, and two of Lyman’s brothers, Richard and Fred Jessop. Significantly, reflecting a respect for patriarchal order, Joseph Smith Jessop presided, rather than John Barlow, even though John was the senior member of the Priesthood Council. In this family setting Barlow was present first as Joseph Smith Jessop’s son-in-law and only second as his superior in the priesthood.[69]

Lyman told the assemblage that he considered the marriage invalid because Louis had pressured Christine into the marriage and because it was done without Lyman’s knowledge or consent. He was especially adamant because Christine “says she don’t want Louis at all and felt all the time that He was nor the one for her, tho she yielded to his stubborn will and persuasions.” Louis, John Y. Barlow, and Richard Jessop argued that the marriage was valid. John claimed that “Lorin Woolley told him that wherever and whenever an authorized man used that ceremony, it is binding, no matter what the conditions were.”[70] Lyman thought he had known Woolley as well as or better than any of these other men. He didn’t argue the point, but he didn’t accept John’s argument. He felt John had taken Woolley’s statement completely out of context.[71]

John Barlow finally proposed releasing Christine from the marriage if the family members present really wanted it that way. Fred Jessop cautioned against it, saying, “The girl don’t know what she wants.” Richard Jessop agreed and stated that the marriage “will stand tho it takes a thousand years to see it.” Of the six men present, four were in favor of seeing the marriage as valid, Joseph Smith Jessop remained neutral, but Lyman adamantly disagreed, even though he felt very much the odd man out. He told those present, “I don’t want to be bitter in my feelings . .. but 1 don’t want to be afraid of the opinions of men [either]; and .. . in my understanding, the Patriarchal Law has been ignored to a great extent in this and in other cases.”[72]

The meeting lasted for nearly two and a half hours. At the end, everyone shook hands. However, as Lyman observed, “The case was essentially the same as it was before the meeting.”[73] He was amazed that John Y. Barlow and his own brothers were so insistent on the marriage when neither he nor Christine wanted it. Had their prior convictions about the patriarchal law altogether disappeared? What had changed? 

The status of the marriage remained in limbo for another year because Lyman would not yield to the continuing pressure from Louis, his own brothers, or John Y. Barlow and would not persuade Christine to accept Louis. Rather, Lyman, his wives, and Christine frequently fasted and prayed over the matter.[74] It was the death of John Y. Barlow on December 29, 1949, that opened the door for a change. 

Resolution through Joseph W. Musser 

After Lyman attended John Y. Barlow’s funeral, he alluded in his journal to his incomplete confidence in Barlow’s leadership. “There has never been a doubt in my mind as to his being called by direct revelation from the Lord to keep alive the principle of Plural Marriage,” he wrote. “As to some other things, 1 need more inspiration and revelation from. Heaven to me to judge fully the merits [there]of.”[75]

A few weeks later while he was in Antimony, Lyman again talked to Christine, who had recently celebrated her seventeenth birthday. As she had done “several times” since the family meeting the year before, Chris tine “again expressed . . . that she feels she does not belong in Louis’ family.”[76] Lyman decided to visit Joseph W. Musser, who was now the senior and presiding member of the Priesthood Council. When he did, Musser requested that he bring Christine for a personal interview.[77] Christine told Musser that she had not changed her mind, still felt that she didn’t belong with Louis, and would like to be freed from that association. Musser promised to do so but stated it would be best to have the Priesthood Council’s support. 

On February 25, 1950, Lyman, Christine, and Louis Barlow met with the Priesthood Council in a meeting specially convened to hear their case, now pending resolution for nineteen months. Six members of the Priesthood Council were present: Joseph W. Musser, who was presiding, Guy H. Musser, A. A. Timpson, Leroy S. Johnson, Richard S. Jessop, and J. Marion Hammon. Louis, Christine, and Lyman were each questioned. Lyman repeated once again that he considered the marriage ceremony illegal as far as priesthood law was concerned because “I didn’t know anything about the marriage until it was all done. .. . 1 am not trying to say that the girl has no blame in this, but the hurry and rush was urged by Louis; and tho [Christine] said ‘I do’ to the marriage covenant, there was undue pressure put upon her and it was not done of her own freewill and choice.” Lyman said that he would yet give his consent and support to the marriage if Christine wanted Louis for her husband. “But,” he stated with firmness, “. . . she does not.”[78]

Lyman told of being present when Lorin C. Woolley gave instructions regarding “the [priesthood] order of getting consent and approval of the parents of girls [who were] entering this law [plural marriage] and that The Priesthood of God just can’t do these things (i.e., marry girls without the consent of their parents, especially when those parents are trying to live the law of plural marriage themselves).” Woolley’s statement contradicts John Y. Barlow’s assertion at the family meeting the year before that the secret marriage was valid simply because it had been performed by someone with authority. Lyman said Woolley had emphasized his expression “by a pound of his fist upon the table.”[79]

When Lyman finished speaking, Louis defended his actions by saying that his father, John Y. Barlow, had backed him up in the whole proceeding and that, if he had to do it over again, he would do everything the same way. J.Marion Hammon warned Louis, “You’d better not.” Louis re treated, saying, “I know you brethren of the council are the highest council on earth and your decision will be the will of the Lord.” Nevertheless, Louis made one last plea. He claimed that, since he hadn’t had a chance to live with Christine, he thought he should be given that chance. Al though no one seemed to take Louis’s request seriously, Lyman vocalized his objection, “If it means that [Christine] was to go to his home and live with him as a wife, I’m not in favor of that proposition.”[80]

Joseph Musser said Christine “didn’t have a chance” and likened this case to one “in which Pres. John Taylor took action because the girl herself hadn’t had a chance to express her own desires and had been railroaded into marrying an apostle.” A. A. Timpson told of a similar case in which John Y. Barlow’s counsel was to release the girl who had been high-pressured into marriage. Leroy Johnson told of like counsel also given by Barlow for yet another situation of the same nature. All the council members seemed in agreement to annul the marriage.[81] However, a final decision was postponed for another thirty days, probably because Musser became ill and had to leave the meeting early. 

Lyman failed to record in his journal the exact date when Christine was formally released from her secret marriage to Louis Barlow; but it was certainly sometime in the next six months, before she married another man in October 1950.[82] This time the man she married was clearly of her own choosing. Lyman regarded this son-in-law as “one of the great characters” of their day.[83]

Fractures of the Fundamentalist Mormon Community

Less than a year after Christine married the man of her choice, the fundamentalist Mormon community fractured. Differences over doctrine and practices, including protocols for courtship and marriage, were among the core issues of division.[84] Several began teaching it was the right of priesthood leaders to make marriage assignments, sometimes involving girls as young as thirteen or fourteen. An attitude was growing among die fundamentalists that, when “the Priesthood speaks,” the people must follow. A few, like Lyman Jessop and Joseph Musser, were opposed to this mentality, as they had demonstrated in the case of Christine’s secret marriage. Unfortunately, they were increasingly in the minority.

Another main point of contention was over Musser’s calling of Rulon C. Allred, a naturopathic physician who became involved with the fundamentalists in 1935 and was a son-in-law of John Y. Barlow.[85] In 1950, stating that he was acting according to a revelation, Musser privately ordained Allred an apostle and patriarch, called him as a member of the Priesthood Council, and appointed him as his Second Elder.[86] When Musser told the other council members about his action, they initially sustained; but later at the same meeting, some began having second thoughts, saying that Allred was only Musser’s counselor, not a member of the council. They felt that Musser was trying to place Allred ahead of them in seniority. This was not Musser’s intent, but he did not argue about these differences of opinion. However, after Musser announced Allred’s calling in a meeting of fundamentalists on October 29, 1950, council members became more defiant. One charged Allred of having “impugned this Priesthood [Council] by going to Bro. Musser and asking for a blessing.” Musser emphatically replied, “Any man that claims Allred asked for that blessing is a damned liar!”[87] Later in private, he stated, “The Council will not sustain me, and 1 refuse to be over-ridden in the matter. . . . I did what the Lord told me to do, and if these brethren will not uphold me, they will be broken to smithereens.”[88]

The council members began citing other reasons for their resistance, even accusing Musser, who was somewhat incapacitated by a stroke in June 1949, of being a demented old man who didn’t know what he was doing.[89] This friction between Musser and the other council members culminated on Sunday, May 6, 1951, when the Priesthood Council openly refused to sustain Musser in calling Allred to the council. Between May 1951 and the summer of 1952, the Priesthood Council, consisting of Charles F. Zittingand the seven men called by Barlow, entirely rejected Joseph W. Musser, whom they had considered their presiding leader in the priesthood for more than a year.[90] Most fundamentalists, whether in Salt Lake or in Short Creek, sided with them. A much smaller number stayed with Musser. Some fundamentalists remained aloof from either side and later became known as independents.[91]

In 1952, after it became clear that the members of the Council would not sustain him, Joseph W. Musser filled his vacated quorum with new members whose names he said were received by revelation.[92] Joseph Lyman Jessop was among those called. Musser’s new Priesthood Council emphasized free choice in marriage matters, although they still held ID protocols in which parents and priesthood leaders were consulted before courtship and marriage. 

The other council members who, in Musser’s view, had been “disappropriated” by the Lord, continued to function together.[93] Charles F. Zitting, who lived in the Salt Lake area, was recognized by some as presiding until he died in 1954.[94] Sixty-six-year-old Leroy S. Johnson, who lived in Short Creek, then assumed leadership. Those who sustained his leadership were known for many years as the “Johnson group.” Although there was precedent for either LeGrand Woolley or Louis A. Kelsch to assume leadership at the time of Zitting’s death because of their seniority in the original Priesthood Council, neither Woolley nor Kelsch allied himself with either of the contending groups. In his autobiography, Kelsch reports that, when Leroy Johnson asked him whether Kelsch was going to lead the people, the following exchange occurred: “Louis asked, ‘Roy, have you had a revelation that you should lead the people?’ Roy said, ‘Well, no.’ Louis said, ‘I haven’t either.’ Roy said, ‘What shall 1 do?’ Louis said, ‘Roy, do what you want to do.’ Roy Johnson [then] went and told the people [in Short Creek] that Louis told him to take the leadership and that Louis had stepped down.” [95]

During the period of the fundamentalist split in the early 1950s, some young men and women were advised that, “because the father is out of harmony with them . . . that he has lost his rights to the family, therefore the children of that father should listen to and obey they who call themselves the Priesthood.” Council members urged daughters “to leave their father’s [sic] homes and marry according to their direction.”[96]

Two of these young women were in Joseph Lyman Jessop’s immediate and extended family. In August 1952 Lyman’s thirteen-year-old daughter was taken from Salt Lake to Short Creek after he refused to grant permission for her to marry. When the note she left was discovered, he immediately went after her and brought her back before a ceremony could be performed.[97] The following month, one of Lyman’s nieces was spirited away to Short Creek to become a plural wife. After her panicked mother asked for Lyman’s help, he wrote, “It seems certain that somebody’s teaching and practicing some damnable doctrines of just taking away at will some of our daughters against the consent of parents until the attitude and practice is disgusting, to say the least, and we (some of us) feel it must not be tolerated when it involves members of our own families. How far will this priestcraft go?”[98]

Lyman was equally disgusted when he learned in early 1953 of “brethren [in Short Creek] assuming the right to go into another man’s house and advise the wives there to leave their husband because the husband was not in harmony with the brethren who claimed leadership.”[99] The ideas with which Louis Barlow had defended his 1948 secret marriage were now openly taught. Parents did not have to be consulted regarding the marriages of their children, parents or husbands could be arbitrarily considered unworthy by priesthood leaders, and loss of salvation was the price of failing to be in harmony with the leading brethren. Lyman knew for certain that he was considered unworthy by the Priesthood Council in Short Creek when relatives told him they had heard Leroy Johnson, Richard Jessop, and Carl Holm teach in meetings that “Lyman has lost his priesthood.”[100]

Arranged marriages directed by Priesthood Council members or by Leroy Johnson himself became the norm in Short Creek during John son’s leadership from the 1950s to the 1980s. It is not certain when the term “placement marriage” came into use—whether it was during John son’s administration or later under Rulon T. Jeffs’s direction. The people wholly embraced the practice, believing that this was a higher or more divine pattern than when individuals, even with parental and priesthood guidance, chose their own mates. 

The 1953 Short Creek Raid 

The same day that Lyman’s niece was taken to Short Creek, he learned of “recent actions of the LDS Church leaders and attorneys . . . meeting with special Stare officials and FBI officials . . . and others and [of] agreements among them … to stamp out forever the practice of plural marriage.”[101] Less than a year later on July 22, 1953, Lyman learned of the impending Short Creek raid planned by Arizona Governor H. Howard Pyle for that very purpose.[102] It was scheduled to take place four days later, on July 26. Lyman and two other men made an emergency drive to Short Creek to warn the community. Leroy Johnson listened quietly and then commented, “We have heard like stories before and nothing has come of it. We’re not going to run; it wouldn’t do any good.”[103]

Lyman urged, “Now, Bro. Roy, this is not just another fantastic story. They are coming, and they said they would bring 500 cars if necessary. Now of course we are not here to tell you what to do but only to warn you of this event. We have done our best to tell you because of our interest in your welfare.” Lyman said Johnson thanked them but seemed to take the warning very lightly.[104]

The infamous 1953 Short Creek raid and its aftermath were among the most trying events ever experienced by the fundamentalist Mormons in that town.[105] Just days after the raid, Louis J. Barlow “gave a radio ad dress that included a denial of hostile assumptions about arranged marriages at Short Creek.” He stated, “There have been no forced marriages. Everyone is free to leave or stay as he [or she] chooses.”[106] Lyman was “sad indeed” when the newspaper headlines announced the raid two days later because he felt it was so unjust. Many of his immediate and extended family members were among those who were prosecuted and separated from their families. His own father, eighty-four-year-old Joseph Smith Jessop, was among those arrested.[107] He died a month later as a direct result of the physical and emotional distress he suffered from the raid.[108] The raid failed, however, to destroy the Short Creek community or their devotion to their religion, including plural marriage. Eventually, the fathers were released on probation, mothers and children were allowed to go home, and families were finally reunited.[109] While the community picked up the pieces and went on with life, the deep scars from the Raid and the community’s mistrust of government remained vivid—not forgotten to this day. One apparent result of the Raid was the renaming of Short Creek, a community which had straddled the Arizona/Utah border. The part in Arizona became Colorado City and the part in Utah became Hildale. 

Discord in the Priesthood Council 

Priesthood Council member Carl O. N. Holm died April 27, 1972, leaving six surviving members of the council. By the early 1970s, there was evidence of discord among Johnson’s Priesthood Council members over whether the Priesthood Council members all held authority and should govern collectively or whether only one man actually held the keys of priesthood.[110] In 1978 these disagreements led to a permanent division. Three council members, J. Marion Hammon, A. A. Timpson and Guy H. Musser, sustained Johnson as “President of the Priesthood [Council]” while Rulon T Jeffs and Richard S. Jessop sustained him more inclusively as the “keyholder and that one man.” Richard S. Jessop died on October 23, 1978,and Guy H. Musser died on July 11, 1983, leaving only four men on the Priesthood Council, evenly split in opposing views. During the last years of his life, Johnson was most of the time, suffering from shingles. He rallied in 1984 and permanently dismissed council members Hammon and Timpson over the issue.[111] By this act, Johnson established his view that the Priesthood Council government was not needed and that only one man really held the authority to govern. Johnson’s death on November 25, 1986, left Rulon T. Jeffs as Johnson’s sole remaining council member and only successor, the “keyholder and that one man.” 

The Short Creek community fractured as a result of Johnson’s dismissal of Hammon and Timpson. They and those who sustained them established a new community, Centennial Park, three miles away.[112] Rulon Jeffs, with the help of others, broke up several families who had ties to Hammon and Timpson’s community. As Priesthood Council members had done in the early 1950s when they separated from. Joseph Musser, Jeffs persuaded some wives and children to leave their husbands, fathers, or parents because they were considered unworthy, out of harmony, or apostate. He then reassigned them to “more worthy” men. 

In 1991, partially in response to a lawsuit by members of the Centennial Group over property rights, Rulon Jeffs legally organized his group as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[113] He justified his right to rule alone without a quorum and expounded a doctrine which he named “One Man Rule.” In his version of priesthood succession, he used this term to describe how authority had passed from Joseph Smith through others to himself.[114] Jeffs cited Doctrine & Covenants 132:7, which refers in part to the authority to seal marriages, as his premise for the “one man rule” doctrine:”. . . and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power [the sealing power] and the keys of this priesthood are conferred. . . . ” Jeffs considered himself that one man and taught that “the Holy Spirit of God . . . is given down through that channel, His Mouthpiece here on the earth.” He further taught, “You cannot oppose that channel or say that you can get around him and go directly to Jesus Christ. He is the channel, the fountainhead, the mouthpiece of God, because he is the keyholder of the holy Priesthood, which is God.”[115]

Thus, Rulon Jeffs taught that to oppose the “one man,” himself, was to oppose God. This doctrine made obedience to him, even before Jesus Christ, essential for salvation. If there was any doubt what Rulon Jeffs’s message meant, it was explicitly clarified by his son Warren Jeffs. In a December 17, 1994, priesthood meeting in Salt Lake City, Warren expounded the “one man” doctrine. He closed the meeting, testifying about his father, Rulon: “I know that he is God over me, which means I owe him my all. I belong to him, for he is God with us, he being the key holder and God’s representative to us. You will only see the face of your Heavenly Father through coming to a perfect obedience to this man, President Jeffs.”[116]

With placement marriage already well established and no council members to share decision making, his authority over the community and over marriages was absolute. Those who sustained Jeffs felt that his assignments to marry were done in the best interests of the couples. Louis Barlow’s brother Sam, interviewed by Michael Quinn in January 1990, explained, “The Priesthood . . . arranges marriages to give greater assurance of their stability and permanence, and also to be sure that the couples are not related in such a closely knit community.” He did not view arranged marriages as coerced: “The first consideration, as I’ve known it, is to make sure the individuals feel free and at liberty to make their own choices.”[117] Although lip service was given to the idea of free agency to accept or reject an appointed mate, the pressure to conform, both from leaders and the community, was enormous. Individual preferences and parental influence, at best, were merely window dressing if they were genuinely considered at all. Individuals knew that serious long-term religious and community sanctions would result from rejecting a placement-marriage partner. 


Louis Barlow continued to live in Colorado City where he raised a large family and was a teacher, beloved and respected by many. Louis and his brothers, along with several of Joseph Lyman Jessop’s brothers, became some of the foremost leaders in their community.[118] They all whole heartedly sustained the arranged-marriage system. After the death of Leroy Johnson, they advocated complete obedience to Rulon Jeffs, considering him to be the prophet, the Keyholder, and the mouthpiece of God. (Other terms sometimes used to encourage complete obedience were “keeping sweet” or “staying in harmony.”) 

I became acquainted with Louis J. Barlow in the 1970s through a mutual friend. Despite our religious differences and limited contact, 1 came to respect and admire him as a gentleman, an educator, and as a loving husband and father. In 2002, after three of his grown sons were killed in an airplane crash, I attended the funeral in Colorado City.[119] I was impressed by the large display in the meeting house hallway of Louis’s family photos. They showed ample evidence of a proud, happy, and close-knit family. 

My last meeting with Louis, arranged by a mutual friend, was in the lobby of a Salt Lake City hotel. During our visit, we briefly discussed Utah’s intention to pass a law making it a felony for men no marry under age girls in plural marriage.[120] When I voiced the idea that it wasn’t necessary to marry underage girls to live plural marriage, Louis expressed adamant disagreement. It was apparent that he emphatically supported placement marriage, which he thought included the right of the “one man” to arrange marriages for underage young women. For him, the issues were inseparable. 

Ultimately, the requirement of absolute obedience to the “one man” created a cycle of reasoning from which there was to be no escape, even for many of the most faithful and loyal, including Louis Barlow Things began to unravel in the 1990s as the aging Rulon Jeffs physically declined and as his less charismatic son, Warren, increased in power and influence.[121]

By making himself indispensable to his father, Warren carefully and deliberately maneuvered himself into a position to take his father’s place and assume control of the FLDS communities and its assets. It is possible that for over a decade he had secretly taped private conversations of members when they sought his father’s counsel so that he knew intimate details of most members’ lives.[122] By 1998, the Jeffs family had relocated from the Salt Lake Valley to Colorado City. That same year, Rulon Jeffs suffered a debilitating stroke, and Warren took charge of his father, cutting off access to all but a selected few.[123] Warren then persuaded all of the trustees of the community’s communal United Effort Trust Plan (UEP) to redefine powers so that all trustees worked at the “whim and will” of the Trustee in Trust, Rulon Jeffs. Since Warren essentially controlled his father, it effectively empowered him with complete financial control.[124] Like Rulon, Warren was also preaching the end of the world and persuading scores of families to relocate to Colorado City or Hildale.[125]

Warren Jeffs began speaking publicly for his father. On July 16, 2000, Warren preached a lengthy sermon which he announced as “the message [of] our Prophet, against association with apostates.”[126] The aged Rulon endorsed Warren’s words: “That is exactly what 1 wanted presented here to this people. . . . So take this counsel that I have asked Brother Warren to deliver to this people today.” 

Warren began by announcing: “Today our Prophet is drawing another line of guidance for this people, which he does not want us to cross anymore…. He is now calling upon his people to let the apostates alone, and let there be a separation of this Priesthood people from associations, business, and doings with apostates.” He warned them to stop “harboring enemies” by patronizing the businesses of or having professional associations with “apostates,” to quit jobs and break off partnerships. He clarified that he was not talking about “accidental meetings,” such as in “businesses open to the public,” where “our Prophet knows it is hard to tell the difference.” 

He also distinguished between gentiles “who have never known this Priesthood or been a part of it” and an apostate “who has turned traitor.” He denounced apostates as “the most dark person on earth. They are a liar from the beginning. They have made covenants to abide the laws of God and have turned traitor to the Priesthood and their own existence and they are led about by their master, Lucifer. . .. Apostates are literally tools of the devil. They can’t help themselves, even if they were once nice, once energetic in this work, once industrious.” In addition to the implication that “apostates” included any other fundamentalist groups and even some FLDS members, he specifically named Alma Timpson. (J. Marion Hammon had died in 1988.) 

Three times, he announced that the prophet or the Lord (using the terms almost interchangeably) wanted apostates to “leave the Priesthood land,” forbade the congregation to “[bring] apostates on our land,” and stated that “the Lord has asked [that] they be removed .. . upon our land in Short Creek.” Such statements referred to the lawsuits over property that had been dragging on since 1987.[127]

Warren identified apostate “relatives” as the greatest challenge. He admonished: “We need to stop calling them up as some supposed ‘friends,’ because they are our relatives and telling] them what is happening among this people.” He singled out women with a special rebuke for polluting their homes: “If a mother has apostate children, her emotions won’t let her give them up and she invites them into the home, thus desecrating that dedicated home. We want to see them and socialize with them and every time we do, we weaken our faith and our ability to stand with the prophet.” He advised: “Your only real family are the members of this Priesthood who are faithful to our Prophet.” 

Warren sternly warned that if “you choose to go socialize and par take of their spirit, you will become like them,… you are choosing to get on the devil’s ground…. Our prophet will lose confidence in any person who continues to harbor apostates . . . and he means business! . . . so the Lord will know His people and who is with our Prophet and who is not.” 

Warren Jeffs identified “doubt against the prophet and those who support him” as signs of apostasy and quoted a 1959 sermon given by his father that “a complaining spirit, a murmuring spirit” will lead to “undue criticism . . . especially of those who preside over us.”[128] Ironically, Warren Jeffs described his railing denunciations as “a call of peace” and quoted Leroy Johnson as saying “it is a sin to even criticize the apostates. Be kind to everyone, but leave apostates alone.” Jeffs urged his listeners to focus their efforts to “build up the Priesthood businesses, build up the storehouse!;] above all in our physical doing, build up the United Effort Plan.” 

This policy required “faithful” members to prove their orthodoxy by shunning relatives and friends outside the community, even at the cost of quitting jobs, and selling or abandoning businesses. Jeffs’s new policy also impacted me and my family. Soon after his June 2000 sermon, some of my FLDS relatives contacted members of my non-FLDS extended family and informed them: “We love you, but we will not be contacting you again, and please don’t contact us.” In August 2002, when some relatives and I attended the funeral of Louis Barlow’s three sons in Colorado City, our relatives there did not invite us to come to their homes as they had always done on previous occasions. 

As another consequence, many parents had to expel their “wayward” sons or be expelled themselves.[129] Expulsion was no small matter. It meant losing family, property, the right to live in the community, and hope of salvation. Then, two months later in August 2000, Warren Jeffs cracked down in another anti-apostate effort by influencing a mass withdrawal of FLDS children out of public education and into dozens of home schools. Enrollment dropped from more than 1,200 students in Colorado City’s school district to about 250. This action caused the loss of jobs for many and the closure of some public schools in the Colorado City/Hildalearea.[130]

In short, on Warren Jeffs’s watch, a growing intolerance developed for any kind of dissent or transgression, whether perceived or real. If Warren heard of the slightest expression of dissatisfaction or criticism of himself or his father or knew of any moral infraction or anything that could be construed as being “lack of harmony,” a man, woman, or teenager could be ousted from the community. The wives, children, and properties of men who were effectively excommunicated were reassigned to other “more faithful” men. If a man’s wife or wives did not want to be reassigned, they too were compelled to leave. Significantly, Warren “assisted” his father by overseeing arranged marriages.[131] Even before his father’s death on August 8, 2002, Warren saw to it that members who questioned his own authority were excommunicated.[132]

Despite speculations about delay and disarray in succession, Warren Jeffs was announced as the new FLDS president only two months after Rulon Jeffs’s death.[133] Two months after Rulon Jeffs’s death, Warren Jeffs was announced as the new FLDS president. Under his presidency, the FLDS community entered an ongoing state of tension and metamorphosis. Within the year, Warren declared that God was done with die twin towns of Colorado City/Hildale and quietly began sending small numbers of the “faithful” to newly purchased properties, including a site in Texas where they began construction on a temple.[134] He himself went underground to avoid being served a subpoena. Meanwhile, he continued winnowing the flock. Family break-ups and the reassignments of wives and their children to new husbands became commonplace. Some women and their children were reassigned more than once. As families were rearranged, so were their living arrangements, so that almost no family was untouched in the shuffle. Despite statements to the media by “the faithful” or by FLDS attorneys that nothing extraordinary was happening, Warren Jeffs’s self-styled autocracy cast a shadow of fear, uncertainty, and instability over the FLDS community. 

Soon, even Louis Barlow’s lifelong devotion and support mattered little. On January 10, 2004, Louis was deemed unworthy, at age eighty, to stay in his own community. On that day, Warren Jeffs, who had gone on the underground some months earlier, made a surprise appearance in a Colorado City meeting where he excommunicated Louis and more than twenty other men, saying, “God has the right to judge his people.” Reading from what he said was a revelation from God, Warren stripped them of their priesthood, instructed them to turn over their property, wives, and children to him, and ordered them to leave the community.[135] Following the pattern Louis established for himself as a young man, he did exactly as he was told, apparently believing that Warren Jeffs was now “the highest authority on earth” and that whatever he decided “was the will of the Lord.”[136]

Warren Jeffs was methodically eliminating any who might possibly compete with him for power. Some predicted that Louis, his brothers, and other community leaders would not submit to Warren Jeffs’s usurpation of authority and a battle for power would ensue.[137] But except for Winston Blackmore in Canada, no resistance developed.[138] An anonymous letter sent to households in Hildale and Colorado City tried to persuade Louis to take action. The anonymous author said he “was told in a dream by God that a false prophet is leading the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” and that Louis Barlow (as the oldest son of John Y. Barlow) should be leading the church, rather than Jeffs.[139] Louis would have none of it.[140] He died May 24, 2004, in St. George, Utah, apparently still believing that he had done the right thing by yielding his priesthood, family, homes, and possessions.[141]


The story of Louis J. Barlow’s secret marriage in 1948 and the history of twentieth-century fundamentalism before and since that time provide evidence for several important concepts. Most of these are directly or indirectly related to Warren Jeffs’s rise to power and the FLDS communities present state of change and agitation. They are also important for understanding FLDS placement marriage in this larger context. 

First, the story alludes to the prevailing protocol among fundamentalist Mormons in the 1940s for choosing marriage companions. This protocol involved free choice, mutual attraction, and principles of faith along with direct or indirect influence from parents and priesthood leaders. In this process, the father’s or parents’ permission or blessing was considered essential and honorable. 

Second, the story demonstrates that this protocol was being challenged by at least a few fundamentalists who asserted that primary decision-making about marriages belonged to leaders rather than individuals and families. This shift was particularly evidenced by Louis Barlow’s claim of a divine command, probably from his father John Y. Barlow, to marry Christine secretly and his warning that the salvation of Lyman and Chris tine Jessop was at stake if they did not cooperate. Jessop’s journals indicated that this case, though unusual, was one of several during that period. Further support comes from the agreement of John Y. Barlow and Lyman’s brothers, Richard and Fred, that the marriage was valid, even though it was done in secrecy without parental consent. 

Third, this story suggests that the rationale for placement marriage originated with John Y. Barlow and was perpetuated and expanded by the seven men he called to the Priesthood Council. 

Fourth, such changes in protocol laid the foundation for placement marriage for first-time marriages and for reassigning wives and children of husbands or fathers who were considered unworthy, out of harmony, or apostate.

Fifth, placement marriage was linked to the personal salvation of the couple involved and their parents. Individual agency to choose differently was essentially muted, and resistance was equivalent to censure at least and to damnation at worst. Warren Jeffs may have recently eliminated the volunteer aspect of placement marriage by arranging marriages for young women who had not first indicated their readiness for placement. Such a scenario would mean that placement marriage has lost even the surface appearance of permitting free agency and that the only real choice permitted is one between salvation (i.e., willingly submitting herself to the prophet’s instructions) or damnation. 

Sixth, many fundamentalists rejected and never participated in arranged marriages. For fundamentalist Mormons like Joseph W. Musser and Joseph Lyman Jessop, appointed or arranged marriages violated the concept of free agency and thus undermined a prime directive of the 1886 revelation to President John Taylor, the basis of twentieth-century Mormon fundamentalism by rejecting Warren Jeffs. 

Seventh, the community that became known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, to my knowledge, the only large group of fundamentalist Mormons who believes in and practices placement marriages, although it is possible that a few practice some form of arranged marriage. An example is Winston Blackmore’s group, which separated from the FLDS. 

Eighth, the failure of Leroy S.Johnson and Rulon T.Jeffs to perpetuate a quorum leadership or a priesthood council government opened the door for Rulon Jeffs’s “one man rule” doctrine. 

Ninth, the long-time acceptance of priesthood authority over individuals and families in exchange for the promise of salvation made it easy for Rulon Jeffs’s followers to fully embrace his “one man rule” doctrine. Motivated by a desire for salvation, members participate in placement marriage as the greatest possible outward manifestation of faith, perhaps comparable to serving missions as an outward manifestation of faith for today’s LDS members. 

Last, Warren Jeffs’s expulsion of scores of dedicated, loyal, life-long FLDS members (especially many like Louis J. Barlow who were among the stalwarts of the community), and the radical rearrangement of so many families and their living arrangements in such a short period of time have created an atmosphere of tension, fear, and serious internal instability that appears to be intensifying. The community seems to be on the brink of implosion from these radical changes as well as from the loss of legal control over their communal and community assets and the threatened loss of their leader, Warren Jeffs, through prosecution and possible long-term imprisonment.[142] Despite all this, it is likely that many, like Louis Barlow, will cling tenaciously to their religion, as they have known it, no matter what happens. 

In conclusion, this story shows that marriage placement in the FLDS community as it exists today did not exist among fundamentalist Mormons before the 1940s. Rather, over the past fifty years in that community, it evolved from the belief that obedience to the prophet is the only sure way to please God and ensure salvation. As such, placement marriage is the most visible outward symbol of members’ devotion. Without this foundation, it is unlikely Warren Jeffs could wield, through fear alone, so much power with so many. Thus, participation in placement marriage, whether for newlyweds or for reassigned families, is at the very heart of the FLDS members’ seemingly incomprehensible loyalty to Warren Jeffs. 

In the past, threats from the outside have only strengthened the resolve of the FLDS members to maintain their beliefs and practices. Jeffs’s penchant to control through fear and division and the resulting familial and communal turmoil may be evidence of a growing crisis of faith from within. One thing is certain: the FLDS community is in the midst of a watershed period that is changing its course permanently. Because of the people’s deeply held beliefs about obedience and their keen desire for salvation, it is still unpredictable how the community will emerge. It may shatter into pieces, with its members, possessions, and faith going in many different directions.[143] Hit survives, with or without Warren Jeffs, it is likely to continue on a course that is radically different from both its nineteenth-century Mormon roots and from its twentieth-century Mormon fundamentalist foundation. 

[1] Beginning in the early 1990s with the gradual decline and eventual death (2002) of FLDS Church president and prophet Rulon Jeffs, his son Warren Jeffs rose to power. Simultaneously, the FLDS, along with other Mormon polygamous fundamentalist communities have, become the focus of government investigations for allegations of fraud and various kinds of abuse. For an overview of fundamentalist history, see Ken Driggs, “A Guide to Old Fashioned (Fundamentalist) Mormonism,” paper presented at the Western History Association, October 14, 2005, Scottsdale, Arizona, photocopy in my possession. For current and recent online articles on Warren Jeffs and the FLDS community published in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News respectively, see and “Coverage of Warren Jeffs, Fundamentalist LDS,”,1249, 635211550,00.html; see also Wikipedia, “Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” ist_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter_Day_Saints

[2] Nate Carlisle, “Polygamist Makes FBI Top-10 List,” Salt Lake Tribune, May 7, 2006, A-l; Ben Winslow, “Jeffs on FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted,” Deseret Morning News, May 6, 2006, 0,1249,635205554,00.html (accessed May 7, 2006). On July 13, 2005, the Utah and Arizona attorney generals announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to Warren Jeffs’s arrest. Utah Attorney General, Press Release, July 13, 2005. CNN, “Fugitive Polygamist Sect Leader Caught near Las Vegas,” posted 1:20 p.m., EDT, August 30, 2006, http:// 2OO6/LAW/O8/29jeffs.arrest (accessed September 21, 2006); Associated Press, “Fugitive Polygamist Sect Leader Arrested in Las Vegas,” FoxNews, August 29, 2006, transcript,2933,210959, OO.html (accessed September 21, 2006). 

[3] Jeffs and others in his community are facing a number of both civil and criminal lawsuits. Jeffs is named in three civil lawsuits, three lawsuits that involved FLDS property in Utah and Arizona, and in criminal lawsuits in two states for arranging plural marriages of underage girls to older men. Civil charges include a lawsuit that Warren’s nephew Brent Jeffs filed in July 2004 alleging that Warren sodomized him in the late 1980s. In August 2004, a half-dozen “lost boys” sued the FLDS Church and its leaders, including Warren Jeffs, for alleged economic and psychological injury resulting from being driven out of the community. In December 2005, “M. J.” sued Warren, saying he had forced her into a spiritual marriage with a man many years her senior. Brooke Adams, “Warren Jeffs: A Wanted Man,” Salt Lake Tribune, May 10, 2006, A-l, A4. 

Bruce Wisan, court-appointed accountant in charge of the FLDS trust fund, filed criminal charges against Jeffs on May 27, 2006, Wisan claimed that Jeffs and four others had been “fleecing trust assets.” Associated Press, “Lawsuit Filed against Warren Jeffs,” KUTV (Salt Lake City), May 27, 2006, transcript, (accessed September 25, 2006). 

On April 5, 2006, Utah issued an arrest warrant for Jeffs on felony charges for rape as an accomplice (arranging and performing plural marriages) in Washington County, Utah, “State of Utah v. Warren Steed Jeffs,” photocopy of legal complaint, (accessed September 25, 2006). Jeffs was indicted in June 2005 on charges of acting as an accomplice in sexual misconduct (arranging and performing plural marriages) in Colorado. Each Utah count carries a penalty of five years to life in prison. “Polygamist Leader Charged with Child Sex Abuse,” ABC 4 News, June 12, 2005, _with _child_sex_abuse.html (accessed September 20, 2006); see also Associated Press, “Key Witness Told Judge Why She Won’t Testify,” Salt Lake Tribune, Septem ber 25, 2006, B-6. 

Pamela Manson, ‘Eight Hit with Teen Bride Sex Charges,” Safe Lake Tribune, July 12, 2005, C-5. The first trial resulted in a guilty conviction of Kelly Fischer. Brooke Adams, “First of Eight Polygamist Trials Begins against Arizona Men,” Sod Lake Tribune, July 5, 2006, A-l, A-10; Brooke Adams, “Verdict Is Called a Message,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 8, 2006, A-l, A-8. A second trial against Donald Barlow resulted in an acquittal. Associated Press, “FLDS Member Found Not Guilty of Sexual Conduct with a Minor,” September 8, 2006, B-2. As of this writing, the remaining cases have not yet been tried. 

[4] In striking contrast to his predecessors, Warren Jeffs has excommunicated hundreds (mostly men and young boys), rearranged scores of families and their living arrangements, and called “the faithful” among his flock to build new communities in Colorado, Nevada, South Dakota, and Quintana Roo, Mexico. The most visible new community is near Eldorado, Texas, where the FLDS colony has constructed a temple. Brooke Adams, “FLDS Completes Temple at Its Texas Site,” Salt Lake Tribune, February 4, 2006, B-2; Ben Winslow, “FLDS Temple Appears Complete,” Deseret Morning News, January 31, 2006; http//,1249,635180342,00. html (accessed September 21, 2006). Jeffs refused to respond to lawsuits against him and went into hiding. These actions eventually threatened the loss of the FLDS’s communal land and properties, held by the United Effort Plan Trust and worth about $ 110 million, and led to his loss of legal control over the trust which is now in the hands of a court-appointed receiver. John Hollenhorst, “Polygamy Leader Apparendy Sitting Out of Court Fight,” KSL-News Channel 5, aired February 28, 2005, transcript, http://www. (accessed September 20, 2006); “Utah A.G. Asks to Freeze FLDS Assets,” KSL-TV Channel 5, May 27, 2005, transcript, (accessed September 20, 2006); “Court Seizes $ 100 Mil in Polygamist Sect’s Funds,” Arizona Republic, May 28, 2005, arizonarepublic/news/articles/05 28coloradotheft28.html (accessed September 20, 2006); Austin Smith, “Meet the New Neighbors,” Attain Chronicle, July 29, 2005, http;// oid%3A281915 (accessed September 20, 2006); Brooke Adams and Pamela Manson, “The Modern Raid on Polygamy,” Salt Lake Tribune, August 21, 2005, A-6; Linda Thomsen, “Ruling Guides Operation of FLDS Trust; Religious Influence over UEP Assets Is Eliminated,” Deseret Morning News, December 15, 2005, 2OO51215/ai_nl5947551 (accessed September 20, 2006). 

[5] “Placement marriage” is the term coined by those who became known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) for their system of arranged or appointed marriages. 

[6] The existence of priesthood leadership quorums among some fundamentalist Mormon groups may serve as check and balance systems to the authority of any one man. See also Driggs, “A Guide to Old Fashioned (Fundamentalist) Mormonism.” 

[7] D. Michael Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” Dialogue; A Journal of Mormon Thought 31, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 34.

[8] Ibid. Quinn’s statement reflected the pre-1986 era when a Priest hood Council existed in the group. 

[9] James, quoted in ibid., 34. James also explained that some youths “try to get ‘sneaky dates.’… .They’d sneak and go places and talk,” If caught, the offenders were “led to the Priesthood. They were told they were not allowed to see each other again.” 

[10] James, qtd. in ibid., 35. 

[11] Martha Sonntag Bradley, “The Women of Fundamentalism: Short Creek, 1953,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 23 (Summer 1990): 15.

[12] James, qtd. in Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” 34. 

[13] Bradley, “The Women of Fundamentalism,” 15. 

[14] A. S., interviewed by Marianne Watson, May 20, 2006. She was born and raised in Colorado City/Hildale and grew to adulthood there in the early 1990s. Although she “turned herself in” at age eighteen during the time when Rulon Jeffs was the prophet, she was not called in for placement and did not marry until age twenty-two, after she had graduated from college. She was a first wife. She believed this long delay was because her family was in less favor with the prophet at the time, indicating that family and community politics played a role in the involvement of Rulon Jeffs in marriage decisions. She reported that the usual age for marriage was eighteen to twenty-five and did not know of any girls during her adolescence who married as young as age fifteen, although she was aware of girls chat age marrying in Canada. She also indicated that family and community politics played a role in how responsive the prophet was to certain families. She also said she wished, because she had reproductive problems that increased with age, that she could have married at age fifteen so that she could have had more children. However, “the Prophet does not take into consideration those kinds of things, “she told me. This repore was consistent with chat of a woman who lived in Colorado Cicy in the 1970s who said, “It was uncommon to be married at fourteen” in that community. Caroline Dewegeli Daley, interviewed by Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” 36. The 1953 Short Creek raid and investigation showed that “the average age at first marriage for fundamentalist women in Short Creek was sixteen, though fourteen and fifteen were not uncommon.” Bradley, “The Women of Fundamentalism,” 14.

[15] Ibid. 

[16] Caroline Dewegeli Daley, paraphrased in Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” 36, reported that, when she was young in Colorado City, “only a couple of her friends expressed the desire to marry prior to the Priesthood’s choice, in which case the marriage occurred after much contrary counseling and a long waiting period,” 

[17] Daley, quoted in ibid., 36. 

[18] Sam S. Barlow, interviewed by Michael Quinn, January 30, 1990, qtd. in ibid., 35, 

[19] Some of my FLDS relatives claimed that a precedent for arranged marriages had been set by early LDS prophets, in particular Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. When I asked for references, they did not provide specific cases or records. 

[20] Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” 35; see also A. S., interviewed by Watson. A. S. felt the man to whom she was as signed was not right for her, and she wished there had been greater leeway both socially and religiously to say, “Hey, wait a minute here. Let me think about this.” She described the first two years of her marriage as “hell.” Eventually, she and her husband put more effort into making their marriage work. By the time she began to have children, she felt she was really in love with her husband. 

[21] The condition of being apostate was construed from a number of actions such as abuse, infidelity or adultery, cheating or stealing, overt rebellion against priesthood leadership, leaving the religion, or joining another fundamentalist group. During the last part of Rulon Jeffs’s administration and during the entirety of Warren Jeffs’s, these definitions were broadened to include any disloyalty, perceived or real, determined entirely by Jeffs, either with or without (most often without) a hearing or an interview with the accused. Women, whether first or plural wives, married to men who are judged apostate are given priesthood “releases,” a form of divorce. A legally married first wife usually obtains a legal divorce as well, although this is not a prerequisite, before she is reassigned to another husband. 

[22] When a wife is reassigned (presumably after a “priesthood release”), she is sealed for time and eternity to the new husband. Any children she had in the past, including adult children, are regarded as sealed to the new husband. The many reassignments in the last few years have created a community where nearly everyone’s last name is changing. One newspaper article captured the essence of this resulting “wild surname web.” Brooke Adams, “Ousted FLDS Dads Stuck with Aching Stigma,” Salt Lake Tribune, June 15, 2006, A-l.A-10, comments that “William Barlow became William Rickert after his father, Louis Barlow [the subject of my article], was kicked out.”

[23] The ceremonies for most marriages of widows were usually for time only, rather than for time and eternity. This form may have changed under Warren Jeffs’s leadership. 

[24] Two of the criminal lawsuits and one civil lawsuit against Warren Jeffs involve two women who claim that Jeffs arranged marriages when they were minors, without their expectation and over their personal objections. These marriages were alleged to have occurred in 2001 and in 2002, both before Rulon Jeffs died. “Testimony of Candi Shapley,” grand jury transcript, September 1, 2006, mony.html (accessed September 30, 2006); Ben Winslow, “Victim in Jeffs Case Is Also Suing him,” Deseret Morning News, October 10, 2006, http://www.deseretnews.eom/dn/view/0,1249,650197718,00,html (accessed October 10, 2006); Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press, “Jeffs’ Accuser in Criminal Case Also Has Civil Case Pending,” Las Vegas Sun, October 10, 2006, 101010O55.html (accessed Ocober 10, 2006); Brooke Adams, “Rape Case Witness Suing Jeffs,” Sail Lake Tribune, October 10, 2006; http://www.sltr. 

[25] Joseph Lyman Jessop, Diary, 3 vols. (Midvale, Utah: Privately published, ca. 1993-98); hereafter cited by volume and date. 

[26] In December 1945, Joseph Lyman Jessop was released on parole from the Utah State Penitentiary after serving a sentence for unlawful cohabitation (polygamy). In March 1946 Newell Steed and Lyman’s brother, Richard, proposed constructing a grain elevator in Black Canyon, about ten miles south of Antimony, Utah, and twelve miles north of Widtsoe, Utah. They took their proposal to the Priesthood Council to be considered as a priesthood project. On March 6, Guy H. Musser, a council member, offered Lyman Jessop the opportunity to help build the mill and move part of his family there if the parole board would permit it. On April 26, 1946, Lyman’s parole officer approved his move to Antimony with his legal wife, Winnie, and her children. In July 1946, he moved his second wife, Maleta, to Antimony as well but left his third wife, Beth, in Salt Lake City. Two years earlier he had been forced to separate his families, who previously shared the same home in the Salt Lake Valley, to comply with the terms of his parole. Conditions of parole included ceasing to live with any but his legal wife and providing adequately for all his children and wives. Until he separated his families, he was not allowed to stay overnight in his home nor could he visit his family except by the permission of and arrangement with his parole officer. He was told he could not father any more children with his plural wives and that they were free to marry someone else in monogamy. So although the separation of his families was difficult, at least in this remote canyon, he was able to live with his families. Jessop, Diary, 3:October 3 and November 16, 1945; March 6, 23, 29, April 12, 16-18, 22, and July 27, 1946. 

[27] Antimony is about 150 miles from Short Creek, which in 1948 was a three- to four-hour drive, depending on the condition of the roads and the vehicle. 

[28] Louis Jessop Barlow’s first two wives were Lucy Johnson and Isabell Johnson. 

[29] Louis Jessop Barlow, son of John Yeates Barlow and Martha (“Mattie”) Jessop Barlow Joseph Lyman Jessop’s sister), was born August 9, 1924- Lyman Jessop’s diary does not record his views on marriages between first cousins or close relatives. None of his thirty-five children married first cousins; three married second cousins. 

[30] Jessop’s journal gives no indication whether this marriage was consummated after the ceremony was performed but before Christine returned home. It is my opinion that it was probably not consummated since it would have been difficult for Christine, who had traveled to Short Creek with family members, to keep it secret, if that were the case. 

[31] Jessop, Diary, 3;September 5, 1948. 

[32] Ibid. 

[33] Joseph Lyman Jessop and John Y. Barlow had been brothers-in-law since 1924 and had known each other for more than twenty-five years. Lyman loved John and respected him in many ways. However, Lyman’s journal contains several references to issues and events involving Barlow in which Lyman felt that John’s actions leaned heavily toward autocracy. In many instances, Lyman clearly disagreed with Barlow’s reasoning and his decisions. For example, in 1935 Lyman disagreed with John’s proposals for a united order, which he felt infringed far too much on individual agency. Marianne T. Watson, “Short Creek: ‘A Refuge for the Saints,”1 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 36, no. 1 (Spring 2OO3); 71-87. 

[34] Jessop, Diary, 3:March 21, 1948. Jessop earlier noted in his diary the interest of at least one other man in Christine prior to this occasion. The term “permission to see” a girl basically meant a boy or a man had asked the father for his blessing to allow him to get to know die girl by association in dances or in other group social settings. In some cases, it meant permission to court, including one-on-one dates. It did not mean permission to marry her. It was expected that a man would ask the father for permission or his blessing before asking his daughter to marry. 

[35] Ibid., 3:September 20-25, 1948. 

[36] Jessop believed that “the patriarchal law” was another term for the Abrahamic Order which was “the only family order in the Heavens.” He believed the patriarchal or Abrahamic law had a two-fold nature. First it meant the right and obligation of a father to provide for, bless, and direct both the temporal and spiritual affairs of his family. Inherent within it was an obligation to honor parents and priesthood leaders including his wives’ fathers or the fathers of any women he might want to marry. It also meant that no man had a right to marry another man’s daughter without his permission or blessing (especially if that man was striving to live the patriarchal law himself). 

Second, the Abrahamic law meant living the law of plural marriage in a way that fostered the co-existence of patriarchy and matriarchy. In other words, there could be no true patriarchy without matriarchy. The Abrahamic law of plural marriage was impossible without the law of Sarah, in which a wife or wives freely chose to participate in plural marriage. This meant wives were to be or become co-equal with their husband in priesthood and ordinance although he presided for the sake of order. Jessop believed that a particular object of living plural marriage for both men and women was to obtain a fulness of priesthood, through the ordinance of the second anointing as promised in the temple endowment. One event that demonstrated this belief as it related to a woman’s role in the fulness of priesthood was when he gave a blessing to Joseph W. Musser, assisted by Musser’s wife, Lucy, who laid on hands with him. This was outward evidence that all three involved had received the “fulness of priesthood” ordinances. Jessop, Diary, 2: December 21, 1939; February 7-8, 1940; 3:January 12, February 2, 3, 12, 14, and December 3, 1952; February 10, 1953; January 1, 1954- Joseph Musser received his second, or higher, anointing in the Salt Lake Temple in November 1899. Joseph W. Musser, Journal of Joseph White Musser ([Salt Lake City?]; Privately published, [1945?], photocopy in my possession. 

[37] Joseph Lyman Jessop was born February 10, 1892, in Millville, Utah. He served a Southern States mission from 1910 to 1913. Jessop, Diary, l:November 12, 1910 to January 17, 1913. Jessop married his first wife, Winnie Porter, on July 25, 1917, in the Logan Temple. Jessop, Diary, 1 July 25,1917. 

[38] Joseph Lyman Jessop married his second wife, Maleta Porter, on January 20, 1924, and was excommunicated from the LDS Church (Salt Lake East Mill Creek Ward) on September 16, 1924. Jessop, Diary, l: November30, 1924; 3:January 20, 1950 (a retrospective record). He married his third wife, Beth Allred, on January 6, 1934; Jessop, Diary, 3;January 6, 1934- See Violet Jessop Jenson, Beth: A Life History of Beth Allred Jessop (Eagle Mountain, Utah: Gems Books, 2004), 128. Much later, about 1959 or 1960, he married Bern’s divorced sister, Olive Allred Kunz Neilson, as a fourth wife. Jenson, Beth, 329-30. Olive Allred Kunz Neilson, “Biography of Olive Allred Kunz Neilson,” n.d., typescript autobiography, photocopy in my possession, contains no mention of this marriage. Joseph Lyman Jessop died February 11, 1963, in Murray, Utah. 

[39] “A Revelation of President John Taylor, Given at the Home of John W. Woolley, Centerville, Utah, September 26-27, 1886,” Truth 7, no. 8 (February 1942): 206; Fred Collier, Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Colliers Publishing, 1981), 145-46. A copy can also be found in John Taylor Papers, Box 1, bk. 2, 548-49, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. See Martha Sonntag Bradley, Kidnapped from That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1993), 17-19; [Auditor wishes to remain anonymous pending publication], “1886 on Trial; A Compilation of Accounts and Preliminary Response to Criticisms of Fundamentalist Claims Surrounding the 1886 Revelation,” unpublished manuscript, 2003, photocopy in my possession. This study systematically organizes and analyzes the various first-hand, hear say, and circumstantial accounts of the 1886 events and evaluates published critiques. Copies of this manuscript may be requested at [email protected]. Joseph W. Musser stated that George Q. Cannon, a counselor in the First Presidency, told him: “President John Taylor had, during his lifetime, under the direction of the Lord, perfected arrangements for the perpetuation of plural marriage, even after the Church should reject its practice.” Joseph Musser, “Abraham H. Cannon” (editorial), Truth 7, no. 12 (May 1942); 277.

[40] Jessop, Diary, l:March 28, April 8, and July 1, 1923. 

[41] Lorin C. Woolley, “Statement, September 22, 1929,” Truth 20, no. 1 June 1954): 28-33; see also Joseph W. Musser, ed., The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage: An Interpretation of Celestial Marriage, Plural Marriage (Salt Lake City: Truth Publishing, 1934), 47. According to Musser, “Daniel R. Bateman,” Truth 8, no. 1 (June 1942): 14, Daniel R. Bateman “frequently… exhibited his Journal bearing a copy of the 1886 Revelation which he claimed to have copied from the original in Prest. Taylor’s own handwriting.” An other source, which I have not verified but which is cited in “1886 on Trial” is a quotation from Dr. Reed C. Durham, past president of the Mormon History Association and L.D.S. Coordinator of Seminaries and Institutes in Salt Lake City, recorded in the minutes of the high priests’ quorum meeting, Salt Lake Foothill Stake, February 24, 1974- It states: “There was a revelation that John Taylor received and we have it in his handwriting. We’ve analyzed the handwriting. It is John Taylor’s handwriting and the revelation is reproduced by the fundamentalists. That’s supposed to prove the whole story because there was indeed a revelation. The revelation is dated September 27; that fits the account of a meeting, 1886.” 

[42] Ibid., March28, 1923. 

[43] Charles Henry Wilcken (born Carl Heinrich Wilcken on October 5, 1830, in Germany) was recently identified as a polygamous ancestor of current Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Thomas Burr, “Could Ancestors Haunt Romney?” Salt Lake Tribune, August 21, 2006, http://www. (accessed September 20, 2006). 

[44] Lorin C. Woolley said that President Taylor prophesied: “The day will come when a document similar to that (Manifesto) dien under consideration would be adopted by the Church.” Woolley, “Statement, September 22, 1929,” 28. 

[45] Fundamentalists frequently cite Doctrine and Covenants 84, which they claim refers to a priesthood council or hierarchy of seven men. designated as “high priest apostles.” In April 1873, Brigham Young announced a quorum of seven in that month’s LDS general conference: “The Mormon people will most likely be astonished upon reflection to find that Brigham Young has created a new quorum of priesthood, and that, too, one higher than the Twelve Apostles. The Mormon President stated at Conference that the order of the priesthood gave him the right of sewn counselors, and die seven were duly given him by the ‘congregation of Israel,’ including the vote of the ‘apostles themselves.'” “A New Quorum of Priesthood,” Salt Lake Daily Trilwne, April 10, 1873, 2, CISO ROOT=/sltl&CISOSHOW=16742&CISOSHOW2=16770 (accessed September 25, 2006). Citing scriptures and various LDS sources, Joseph W. Musser explained his views that a quorum of seven had existed anciently as well as in the early days of the LDS Church. Musser, Supplement to the New and Everlasting Covenant (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1934), 102-3, 105-6, 110-12, 123- These views are disputed by Brian C. Hales, “Is FUNDAMENTALISM Fundamental?” (1993) (accessed September 20, 2006), See also Brian C. Hales and J. Max Anderson, The Doctrines of Modern Polygamy: An LDS Perspective (Salt Lake City: Northwest Publishing, 1978) chap. 11; Hales and Anderson, Priesthood of Modern Polygamy; An LDS Perspective (Salt Lake City: Northwest Publishing, 1992) chaps. 6,10. 

[46] John Taylor quoted in Woolley, “Statement, September 22, 1929,” 28. Woolley’s statement reads in part: “We were given authority to ordain others if necessary to carry this work on, they in turn to be given authority to ordain others when necessary, under the direction of the worthy senior (by ordination), so that there should be no cessation in the work John Taylor set the five mentioned apart and gave them authority to perform marriage ceremonies, and also to set others apart to do the same thing as long as they remained on the earth; and while doing so, the Prophet Joseph Smith stood by directing the proceedings. Two of us had not met the Prophet Joseph Smith in his mortal lifetime, and we, Charles H. Wilkins and myself were introduced to him and shook hands with him.” See also Marianne T Watson, “John W. and Lorin C. Woolley: Archangels between Nineteenth-Century Mormon Polygamy and Twentieth-Century Mormon Fundamentalism,” Pa per presented at the Mormon History Association annual meeting, May 22, 2004, Provo, Utah. 

[47] Jessop, Diary, 2:January 13, 1934- “Journal of Joseph White Musser,” March 31, 1930, typescript, 55, photocopy in my possession.

[48] Lorin C. Woolley ordained bod Joseph Leslie Broadbent (1891-1934) and John Y, Barlow (1874-1949) on March 6, 1929, and Joseph W, Musser (1872-1954) on May 14, 1929, Under Woolley’s direction, Broadbent ordained both Charles F. Zitting (1894-1954) and LeGrand Woolley (1887-1965) on July 22, 1932. and Louis Alma Kelsch on June 26, 1933. 

[49] Louis A. Kelsch, “Brief History of Meetings Pertaining to the School of the Prophets, and to the Special Calling of the Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood,” typescript, 1934, photocopy in my possession; Laura Tree Zitting, The Life of Charles F. Zitting: One of God’s Noble Men ([Salt Lake City?]: Privately published, 1988), 54. 

[50] The term “Friends” was apparently derived from Doctrine and Covenants S4;63, 77: “You are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends. . . . And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth, I shall call you friends, it is expedient that 1 give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with diem, traveling to preach the gospel in my power” (D&C 84:63, 77).

[51] John Y. Barlow clearly presided by order of seniority. However, Rula Broadbent and Joseph W. Musser testified to various individuals that J. Leslie Broadbent, just before he died, designated Musser to succeed him as the “worthy senior.” Jessop, Diary, 3:November 14, 1952; Owen A. Allred, “Fire side Meeting on the History of the Work” (June 8. 2003), in History of the Priesthood Split and Additional Historical Items (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 2003), 47-48. After Broadbent’s death, Barlow immediately assumed leadership. Musser sustained John Y. Barlow after Broadbent’s death because Barlow did not know of Broadbent’s appointment of Musser and because it had not been witnessed by other members of the Priesthood Council nor was it established before the people. Joseph Lyman Jessop recognized Barlow as the presiding elder, although he believed as early as 1937 that Musser was nearer to God than any man he knew and considered him to be the mouthpiece of God. jessop, Diary, 2:February23, June 13, 1937, July 2, and December 8, 1937. In my opinion, further research should be done about the differences between Musser and Barlow as the possible beginnings of what eventually became the 1950s split, resulting in two distinct fundamentalist Mormon groups. 

[52] Leroy S. Johnson (1888-1986) and J. Marion Hammon (1905-88) were both ordained apostles on December 14, 1941. Guy H. Musser (1910-83) and Richard S. Jessop (1894-1978) were ordained about April 1945 before Rulon T. Jeffs (1909-2002) who was ordained April 20, 1945. Carl O. N. Holm (1917-72) was ordained about 1948. Alma A. Timpson (1905-97) was ordained by John Y. Barlow on December 27, 1949, two days before Barlow’s death. The quorum consisted of more than seven members at times during the 1940s although two members, LeGrand Woolley and Louis A. Kelsch, withdrew from active participation. At the dme of Louis Barlow’s 1948 secret marriage, the Priesthood Council effectively consisted of nine: John Y. Barlow, Joseph W. Musser, and Charles F. Zitdng and the first six men called by Barlow. 

[53] Watson, “Short Creek: ‘A Refuge for the Saints.'” 

[54] Jessop, Diary, 2:March 7 and May 24, 1944; 3:May 15-December 15, 1945. See also Bradley, Kidnapped from That Land, 6; Ken Driggs, “Imprisonment, Defiance, and Division: A History of Mormon Fundamentalism in the 1940s and 1950s,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 38, no. 1 (Spring 2005)- 65-95; D. Michael Quinn, ]. Rsub&n Clark The Church Years (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1983), 183-86; Marianne T. Watson, “The Fred E. Curtis Papers: LDS Church Surveillance of Fundamentalist Mormons, 1937 to 1954,” paper presented at the Sunstone Symposium, August 10, 2001, Salt Lake City. 

[55] The term fundamentalists, when describing twentieth-century excommunicated Mormons who continue to practice polygamy without LDS Church sanction, came into use in the early 1940s probably after Joseph Musser used that term in a letter to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in which he stated: “We are asked by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers to present a brief statement for and the aims of the so-called faction in the Mormon religion frequently but erroneously referred to as the ‘Woolley Group,’ the ‘Barlow.’ ‘Musser,’ or ‘Polygamy, etc., Group.’ Actually this group may be called the ‘Priesthood Group’ or the ‘Fundamentalists’ .. . because of their refusal to accede to certain changes in the fundamentals of the Gospel.” Joseph Musser, quoted in (no author), Religious Seen, and Cults That Sprang from M.or monism (pamphlet) (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers Central Company, 1942); Joseph W. Musser, “Factions” (editorial), Trwth 9, no. 24 (September 1943): 94-96. Newspaper articles announcing the 1944 polygamy raids used “fundamentalists” in the text or in photo captions but not in the headlines. “Polygamy Probe Names 46,” Salt Lake Tribune, March 7, 1944, and “Forty Arrested on Indictment in Polygamy Probe,” Deseret News, March 7, 1944- Unless otherwise noted, the newspaper quotations are from the photocopy of a scrapbook containing these articles, most of them without page numbers designated. Joseph Lyman Jessop’s diary did not include the word “fundamentalist” until 1945 when he was in the Utah State Penitentiary. Jessop, Diary, 3:August 27 and 31, October 8, and December 2, 1945. Apparently Jessop did not know of Musser’s letter to the DUP and objected to the term. For example, in a letter to Joseph W Musser, he protested against the wording of the Declaration of Policy, a document compiled by prison officials describing die polygamists as “Fundamentalists.” Jessop wrote, “It [the Declaration of Policy] tries to force an acknowledgment from us that there is [an] organisation known as Fundamentalists, and that we are officers in the same. Such an organization does not exist, so far as I know.” Jessop, Diary, 3:August 31, 1945. In the aftermath of the 1944 raid, Apostle Mark E. Petersen respond formally to curiosity about the Church’s involvement in the raid in a statement that was published by United Press International and printed in at least two Salt Lake City newspapers. This statement, in part, acknowledged that the Church had been “actively assisting federal and state authorities in obtaining evidence against the cultists, and helping to prosecute them under the law.” It also said the Church regarded the name “fundamentalists” as a misnomer because it “gave the impression (which is what the cultists sought) that they are old line Mormons, which they are not.” Quoted in Bradley, Kidnapped from That Land, 86-87; for other references to the letter, see Salt Lake Telegram, November 10, 1944, and Sak Lake Tribune, November 11, 1944-Letter partially reprinted in Joseph Musser, ed., “The Conspiracy Cases,” Truth 12, no. 9 (February 1947): 246. 

[56] Jessop, Diary, liDecember 14, 1924 and January 17, 1926, 3:June 21, 1945. The term “setting in order” among fundamentalists usually referred to Doctrine and Covenants 85:7: “And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God.” Jessop understood the one mighty and strong to be the resurrected Prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph W. Musser recorded that Lorin C. Woolley told him that “he was told by the voice of his [deceased] Father under the direction of Joseph Smith that his mission was not to set the Church in order, but to do what he was set apart to do.” Joseph W. Musser, Diary, March 31, 1930. 

[57] “A Revelation of President John Taylor, . . . 1886,” 206; emphasis mine. 

[58] Jessop, Diary, 3:September 26, 1948. 

[59] Ibid, 3: January l5, 1949. 

[60] Ibid. In this entry, Jessop quotes Musser as saying that “he had urged the brethren to not take [marry] girls under age.” 

[61] Ibid.; 3:September 20-25, 1948. This entry also states: “Louis said he had been to see Bro. Joseph Musser who advised him to come tell Lyman that he had lived [sexually] with Christine as a wife. I was surprised to learn that their relationship had gone that far.” However, as it turned out, this statement was completely opposite to Louis’s testimony a year later that he had never “had a chance to live with [Christine]” as a wife. Jessop, Diary, 3 February 25, 1950. Thus, it remains uncertain whether Louis and Christine ever consummated this marriage. Louis’s claim that he lived with her may have been a tactic to obtain Lyman’s consent to the marriage. 

[62] Jessop, Diary, 3:September 20-25, 1948. 

[63] Ibid. 

[64] Ibid., 3:September 26, 1948. 

[65] Ibid., 3:November 1-6, 1948. 

[66] Ibid.

[67] Ibid, 3:December 9, 1948. 

[68] Ibid., 3: January 26, 1949. 

[69] Ibid., ^September 10, 1923. John Y. Barlow married Martha (“Mattie”) Jessop, daughter of Joseph Smith jessop and Martha Moore Yeates Jessop, on September 10, 1923. Louis J. Barlow, born August 9, 1924, was John and Martie’s first child. 

[70] Ibid., 3 January 26, 1949. 

[71] Ibid. Although Joseph Lyman Jessop was not explicit about his disagreement over John’s claim of what Lorin Woolley said, it is clear from his journal he did not agree with Barlow’s interpretation. He was sure Woolley did not mean that anyone could impose his will on others in die name of priesthood. It is probable that if Woolley made such a statement, it was relative to the idea that “it is the authority of the Priesthood, not the place, that validates and sanctifies the ordinance.” J. W Musser, The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage (Salt Lake City: Truth Publishing, 1933), 82.

[72] Ibid. 

[73] Ibid. 

[74] Ibid.,3: February 5, 1950. 

[75] Ibid., 3; January 4, 1950. 

[76] Ibid.,3; January 29, 1950. 

[77] Ibid., 3; January 29 and February 8, 1950. On January 29, Musser told Lyman, “[Christine] should be released, and I shall take up the matter with my brethren and we’ll act upon it.” Lyman asked if Musser must consult with others of the Priesthood Council about the case before he could act by himself. Musser said he could act by himself, but he would like to see Chris tine personally first and get her expressions firsthand; he then intended to discuss the matter in the council. 

[78] Ibid., 3; February 25, 1950. 

[79] Ibid. Also 3January 29, 1950. Jessop said this statement was made in the presence of “Dan Bateman also in the presence of his uncle Moroni Jessop and in our home (at 3574 South 9th East) about the time of the birth of our son Paul [January 21, 1929]. I told him I have asked Uncle Rone [Moroni Jessop] if he remembered this event and saying of Uncle Lorin Woolley |and] he said he remembered it (my conversation with Uncle Rone was at the home of I. W. Barlow on evening of Jan. 25, 1950) B[rother] Musser agreed.” 

[80] Jessop, Diary, 3;January 20, 29, 1950. 

[81] Ibid., 3:February 25, 1950; see also January 29, 1950. 

[82] Family records in my possession! see also Jessop, Diary, 3:December 2, 1950.

[83] Jessop, Diary, 3:June 23, 1950. 

[84] Driggs, “Imprisonment, Defiance, and Division”; Driggs, “A Guide to Old Fashioned (Fundamentalist) Mormonism.” 

[85] AJlred became involved with fundamentalists in 1935 while trying to “save” his father, B. Harvey Allred, who had published A Leaf in Review (Caldwell, Ida.: Caxton Printers, 1933). This book castigated LDS leaders for apostasy and included an account of John Taylor’s 1886 revelation and the events leading to it. Rulon married Ruth Barlow, John Y. Barlow’s daughter, as a plural wife on November 14, 1935. 

[86] This ordination occurred September 18, 1850. Musser apparently felt he was following the precedent set by his predecessor, Lorin C. Woo Hey, who appointed J. Leslie Broadbent as his Second Elder. Musser stated, “I wanted to appoint my son, Guy, as my Second Elder, but the Lord would not give his approval.” As part of the ordination, he told Allred: “Henceforth, you will stand at my side as Leslie did to Lorin and as Hyrum did to Joseph … and you shall stand in this office as long as I live.Rulon Allred understood that his calling included serving on the council and as Musser’s Second Elder but that, in seniority, he would take his place according to order of ordination after Musser died. Rulon C. Allred, Minutes of [Fundamentalist] Meeting held in Poulson, Montana, May 17, 1959, transcription, published in History of the Priesthood Split and Additional Historical Items, 67-72. Allred explained: “In the Priesthood a man as President of the Priesthood [president Council Member] has a Second Elder, In the Church a man has presidency and two counselors. And the appointment is exactly the same. Joseph Smith had Oliver Cowdery as his Second Elder. Hyrum, his brother, was chosen to fillthat office when Oliver fell.” Seventies Meeting Minutes, home of Richard Kunz, Murray, Utah, May 12, 1974, transcription, published in ibid., 85. 

[87] Seventies Meeting Minutes, May 12, 1974, 80. 

[88] Ibid. 

[89] Members of the council claimed that Allred used his influence as Musser’s physician during Musser’s physical incapacity to persuade Musser to put hands on his head and give him a blessing so he could claim ordination to the apostleship. Another reason cited was whether Musser could act authoritatively without getting the entire council’s approval, even though three of them had been called privately by John Y. Barlow before it was made known to the others. In a priesthood meeting on December 3, 1950, the council members told Allred that “they were empowered to accept or reject Joseph [Musser]’s actions, and that they had decided Rulon [Allred] was not a member of the Council, nor an Apostle as Joseph had told him. The Council informed him that he held only a commissioned authority and was an assistant to Joseph … during the life of Joseph. They said that Joseph was mistaken in the diings that he had told Rulon about his holding keys and being one in the Council.” Ibid., 83. For an FLDS version of Allred’s “supposed ordination,” see Rulon T. Jeffs, History of Priesthood Succession in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times and Some Challenges to the One Man Rule (Hildale, Utah: Twin City Courier Press, 1997), 252-53. Leroy Johnson told Joseph Musser and Lyman Jessop, “If the Lord wants to use an incapacitated leader (referring to Joseph Musser) to lead some people astray, that is the Lord’s business.” Jessop, Diary, 3:July 2, 1952. Vera Cook Allred recorded on May 2, 1952, that those opposing Musser were saying, “He is old and incapacitated and doesn’t know what he’s doing.” Vera AUred, “A Personal Witness,” in History of the Priesthood Split and Additional Historical Items, 103. See also Rulon C, Allred, Minutes of [Fundamentalist] Meeting Held in Poulson, Montana,” 71- Robert Eaby recorded, “There are those going about telling that Joseph has lost his mind because of his infirmaries [sic]. . .. I told him that I believed he was not demented as some say.” Robert Eaby, Diary, June 16, 1951, typescript copy of entry, photocopy in my possession. 

[90] Jessop, Diary, 3:March 19, May 27, December 6,9, 1951; January 12 and February 3, 1952. The other Priesthood Council members were Charles F. Zitting (originally called by Lorin C. Woolley), and seven men called by John Y. Barlow between June 1941 and December 29, 1949: Leroy S. Johnson, J. Marion Hammon, Guy H. Musser, Rulon Jeffs, Richard S. Jessop, Carl N. Holm, and Alma Adelbert Timpson. Louis A. Kelsch and LeGrand Woolley were still living but did not participate in any council matters. Kelsch continued to perform plural marriages when requested, but he never asserted himself in the leadership of the fundamentalists after about 1945. 

[91] The families of Louis A. Kelsch, Arnold Boss, Morris Kunz, Ianthus Barlow, Albert Barlow, and others were in this category. 

[92] Jessop, Diary, 3:March 19, May 6 and 27, and December 6 and 9, 1951; January 12 and February 3, 1952. On January 12, 1952, Joseph W. Musser called Rulon Clark Allred, Margarito Bautista, John Butchereit, Eslie Devoe Jenson, Owen Arthur Allred, Marvin L. Jessop, Joseph Blaine Thompson, and Joseph Lyman Jessop. Ibid., 3:January 12, 1952. 

[93] Quoted in “Witness and Testimony by Marvin L. Allred,” published in History of the Priesthood Split, 139. Meeting November 15, 1952, with his new council, “Joseph forcefully told us that if these brethren [of the council who had rejected Musser] continued further in the council of the Lord, they must come in after any who are present at his speaking. Musser then stated, “They have been rejected because they would not accept the word of the Lord.” Jessop, Diary, 3:November 15, 1952,

[94] Charles F. Zitting died July 14, 1954. In 1978 I saw in the homes of Short Creek (Colorado City) relatives priesthood succession charts, with photos, that included J. Leslie Broadbent and Charles F. Zitting. When I visited there in 1991, I saw new charts in which Broadbent and Zitting did not appear. These latter charts were consistent with Rulon T. Jeffs’s published history of priesthood succession. Jeffs, History of Priesthood Succession, 277.

[95] Barbara Owen Kelsch, Louis Alma Kehch, 1905-1947 ([Salt Lake City?]: Privately published, ca. 1975), 86. 

[96] Jessop, Diary, 3; February 2, 1953. 

[97] Ibid., 3; August 23-24, 1952. 

[98] Ibid.; also 3:September 10, 1952. 

[99] Ibid.,3; February 2, 1953. 

[100] Ibid., 3; December 8-13, 1953. 

[101] Ibid. 

[102] Bradley, Kidnapped from That Land, 111-47. 

[103] Jessop, Diary, 3 July 22-23, 1953. Leroy Johnson’s decision not to run may have been similar to a decision Joseph W. Musser had made a year earlier relating to the threatened prosecution of the polygamists in the Salt Lake area. Joseph W. Musser said, “‘I’ll get the word of the Lord on the matter’ and two days later said, ‘I have received the word of the Lord, viz: we are not to run away. We will stay put and let them do their damndest. They will not be able to do what they think they can. . . . We can hold our meetings. They can’t do any more to us.” Jessop, Diary, 3:August 28 and 31, September 6 and 7,1952. The negative media coverage and political backlash against Arizona’s Governor Howard Pyle resulting from the Short Creek raids may have prevented further prosecution of polygamists at that time. 

[104] Ibid. 

[105] Bradley, Kidnapped from That Land, ix-x, 111-213. 

[106] Louis J. Barlow, interviewed on KSUB shortly after July 26, 1953, quoted in Quinn,’ Plural Marriage and Mormon. Fundamentalism,’ 33-34.

[107] Ibid., 132-33 (photos); Jessop, Diary, 3:September 1-2, 1953.

[108] At the funeral, Lyman learned that, before his father’s death, he “spent hours weeping among the cedar trees for his own kin and friends who are the victims of the unhallowed raids upon this peaceful village (of Short Creek).” Lyman considered that his father “was greatly weakened by this raid and imprisonment and died a martyr to the cause of truth and freedom,” Jessop, Diary, 3:September 1-2, 1953. Joseph Smith Jessop died of kidney failure exacerbated by the lengthy journey by bus without bathroom stops to Kingman, Arizona, after he was arrested. Because of his age and infirmity, he was soon released, only to die soon afterward.

[109] Bradley, Kidnapped from That land, 148-59. 

[110] Division over one-man rule versus a council government began as early as 1935. Watson, “Short Creek:’A Refuge for the Saints.'” In November 1936, Joseph Musser spoke to John Y. Barlow about the “present [united effort] set-up” in Short Creek and that “there seemed a disposition toward one man rule.” Musser advised that Barlow resign from the management of UEP affairs and “confine his labors more particularly to the spiritual field; that our [priesthood] work was especially along the line of keeping faith in patriarchal marriage alive, and not in the directing of colonizing.” The next morning at a priesthood meeting, the majority of those present expressed the belief that Barlow “held the keys to Priesthood and was the mouthpiece of God on earth” while some expressed that he held “authority to seal [marriages] and was the senior member of the Priesthood group, and as such presided.” Musser, Journal, November 8-13, 1936. 

The issue in the 1970s and 1980s centered on interpretations of Doctrine and Covenants 132:7: “There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom the keys of the sealing powers and keys of the holy Priesthood are conferred.” J. Marion Hammon and Guy H. Musser were teaching that the parenthetical matter in that verse, “(and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys on this priesthood are conferred),” was not in the original revelation. They therefore argued that the concept of “never but one on the earth at a time” was false. In contrast, Leroy Johnson and Rulon T. Jeffs taught that only one man at a time holds the keys of the sealing power, and those who act during his administration are only acting under a delegated authority.” Johnson and Jeffs also declared invalid the 1880 revelation given to Wilford Woodruff which states, in part: “And while my servant John Taylor is your President. .. [and] although you have one to preside over your Quorum, which is the order of God in all generations, do you not, all of you, hold the apostleship, which is the highest authority ever given to men on earth? You do. Therefore you hold in common the Keys of the Kingdom of God in all the world.” The 1880 revelation was published by fundamentalist Mormons in The Four Hidden Revelations (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1948). The LDS Church Archives are identified as his source for this revelation in Max Anderson, Polygamy: Fact or Fiction (Salt Lake City: Publisher’s Press, 1979), 119. 

[111] On February 19, 1984, Leroy Johnson refused to allow J. Marion Hammon and Alma Adelbert Timpson to sit on the stand as members of the council. He told them: “The Lord gave you men five and a half years to change your thinking on this principle of having one man holding the sealing powers in the earth at a time, and you have made a miserable mess of it by coming here and preaching over this pulpit that I was about to die because of my attitude towards this principle.” Shordy afterward, Johnson permanently dismissed Hammon and Timpson as council members. Rulon Jeffs made it clear that these two men and their followers were the worst of apostates. Leroy S.Johnson, Leroy S. Johnson Sermons, 7 vols. (Hildale, Utah: Twin City Courier Press, 1984), 7:51; Jeffs, History of Priesthood Succession, 329-54.

[112] Hammon and Timpson held their first separate priesthood meeting on May 13, 1984. They dedicated their own meetinghouse on September 27, 1986, a hundred years after John Taylor’s 1886 revelation, an event that gave their town its name. This community believes rliat Rulon T Jeffs wrongfully influenced Johnson in the last years of his life, taking advantage of him in sickness, which culminated in the wrongful dismissal of the two council members. After the death of Hammon and shortly before his own death, Timpson called his son, John, and bestowed upon him the same appointment and calling he himself had received from John Y. Barlow. After the elder Timpson’s death, John Timpson called others and reestablished a priesthood council, which maintains that it is the true heir of John Taylor’s legacy to perpetuate plural marriage. 

[113] The name of the corporation was “The Corporation of the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” February 6, 1991, #495,512, cited in Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” 14; Ken Driggs, “”This Will Someday Be the Head and Not the Tail of the Church’: A History of the Mormon Fundamentalists at Short Creek,” Journal of Church and State 43, no. 1 January 2001): 201; and his “A Guide to Old Fashioned (Fundamentalist) Mormonism.”

[114] Jeffs, History of Priesthood Succession. Jeffs also identified the “one man” as the “Keyholder.” His list of keyholders in order of their presidencies were: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, John W. Woolley, Lorin C. Woolley, JohnY. Barlow, Leroy S.Johnson, and Rulon T. Jeffs.

[115] Ibid., 1-3; emphasis mine. 

[116] Quoted in Benjamin G. Bistline, The Polygamists: A History of Colorado City, Arizona (Scottsdale, Ariz.: Agreka Books, 2004), 343.

[117] Sam Barlow, quoted in Quinn, “Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism,” 14, 33. 

[118] Louis Barlow’s brothers included Dan Barlow (former mayor of Colorado City), Sam Barlow (former sheriff), and Joe, Alma, Truman, Alvin and Nephi. Joseph Lyman Jessop’s brothers who lived in Colorado City were Richard, Virgil, Fred, and later Dowayne Jessop. 

[119] “Plane Crash Victims Mourned,” Spectrum, August 16, 2002, (accessed September 24, 2006). Killed were Gregory Holm, 38, and three of Louis J. Barlow’s sons: John O., 39; Ronald O., 49; and Michael D., 44- 

[120] This law (H.B. 307, passed in 2003) specifically targeted polygamists marrying minors. It became Utah Code Annotated, Child Bigamy 76-7-101.5. This statute states that any person “IS years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or she has a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, the actor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age: (a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or (b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age. This is a second degree felony which is punishable by one to fifteen years.” In November or December 2001, Utah’s attorney general and later FLDS Church attorneys had advised that a showdown with Utah and Arizona authorities could be avoided by ending marriages between adult men and minor girls. Influenced by Warren Jeffs, Rulon refused to agree, making the practice a test of faith for the FLDS. Winston Black- more, interviewed by Marianne Watson, Anne Wilde, and Linda Kelsch, April 2004, stated that Rulon Jeffs initially agreed that it was not necessary to continue marriages of adult men to underage women but that he (Blackmore) saw Warren Jeffs lean over and whisper to his father, so that the elder Jeffs changed his words to say the opposite. Sam Barlow, in a sermon delivered in Colorado City in April 2002, alluded to the laws regarding sexual conduct with minors. See “The Polygamy Files,” the Salt Lake Tribune’s polygamy blog: “The FLDS Battle for Plural Marriage,” April 4, 2006, (accessed April 4, 2006), and “The FLDS Battle for Plural Marriage, Part Two,” April 5, 2006 (same blog site).

[121] Adams, “Warren Jeffs: A Wanted Man,” A-l, A-4. Warren, the son of Rulon Titnpson Jeffs and Marilyn Steed, was born December 3, 1955, in San Francisco. 

[122] According to Richard Holm, a former FLDS member and son of Carl Holm, Warren Jeffs, with his father’s knowledge, secretly recorded thousands of members’ personal conversations with Rulon Jeffe, These tapes detailed community members’ transgressions, confessions, and other personal matters. Holm felt that Warren had used these tapes on assuming control of the FLDS Church in 2002 to identify those he deemed undesirable. Richard Holm, interviewed by Marianne Watson, January 2004. See also John Dougherty, “The Man behind the Curtain,” Phoenix New Times, January 29, 2004, html (accessed January 29, 2004).

[123] Winston Blackmore, interviewed, “Bustup in Bountiful,” aired January 25, 2006, at 9:00 p.m. on CBC_TV, transcript, fifth/bustupinbountiful/interviews_winston.html (accessed July 15, 2006).

[124] Ibid. 

[125] To prepare for the end, Warren Jeffs preached increasing isolation from the secular world. He urged his flock to avoid newspapers, television, the internet, and other exposure to “gentiles” (outsiders). The town radio station shunned popular songs with lyrics, broadcasting mostly upbeat, patriotic instruments Is. Jeffs also prophesied a mass lifting-up during which only the most devout would rise to heaven. The ascension was supposed to take place from the community garden in the center of town. Jeffs reportedly named several dates that came and went with no apparent heavenly rapture. Susan Greene, “Polygamy Prevails in Remote Arizona Town,” Denver Post, March 4, 2001, (accessed July 24, 2006). 

[126] Warren Jeffs, “Our Prophet’s Call: ‘Leave Apostates Alone. Severely,’ Lesson, general meeting, July 16, 2000, at the Leroy S. Johnson Meeting House, Colorado City, Arizona, photocopy of minutes in my possession. See also “Warren Jeffs FLDS Sermon,” Salt lake Tribune, July 27, 2006, http://www.childbrides.o rg/news _control_sltrib_Warrens_sermon.html (accessed September 24, 2006); Brooke Adams, “Jeffs’ Sermon Railed against Outside Thinking,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 27, 2006, B-2. 

[127] These statements reflected frustration because legal action had not succeeded in removing Centennial Park members from properties in Hildale and Colorado City owned by the United Effort Plan. The UEP held title to the homes and lots on which people from both the Johnson and Jeffs groups lived and for which they had contributed money and labor. At the 1984 fracture, RulonJeffshadacquiredcontroloftheUEPand, in 1986, declared that those living on UEP land were tenants at will, giving him the power to legally evict those with whom he disagreed. No such understanding had existed before Jeffs’s declaration. In 1987, several of the Hammon-Timpson families filed an action in federal court to determine their property rights. The UEP countered with actions in state courts in 1989 and 1993 against some of the Hammon-Timpson claimants. The state court stayed these cases, pending a resolution of the federal action. In 1993, the federal district court dismissed the federal claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and dismissed the pending state claims without prejudice. The Hammon-Timpson claimants then filed an action in Utah’s district court in Washington County. The state court consolidated its action with the UEP’s previously filed suits. On September 1,1998, the Utah Supreme Court upheld the district court’s ruling allowing the Hammon-Timpson claimants to remain on the land for their life times or requiring the UEP to compensate the claimants if it sought to remove them. However, it found errors in the previous decision and could not determine whether any or all of the claimants had life estates. It therefore remanded that issue back to the trial court. Jeffs et al. v. Stubbs et al, Utah Supreme Court, Case No. 960454, 970 P.2d 1234 (Utah 1998), http//www. (accessed September 27, 2006). 

[128] Rulon T. Jeffs, April 19, 1959, Words of President Jeffs (Salt Lake City:, 67, quoted in Jeffs, “Our Prophet’s Call ‘Leave Apostates Alone, Severely,'” [4]. 

[129] Rachel Olsen, “Polygamy’s ‘Lost Boys’ Struggle to Fit in,” (St. George) Spectrum, August 5, 2004, HFTCB_spec_helping_lost_boys.html (accessed September 27, 2006); Da vid Kelly, “Polygamy’s ‘Lost Boys’ Expelled from the Only Life They Knew,” Los Angeles Times, June 19, 2005, knew/?page=2. In August 2004, six “lost boys” sued the FLDS Church and its leaders, including Warren Jeffs, for the economic and psychological injury they said resulted after being driven out of the community. Nancy Perkins, “FLDS Church, Leaders Sued by 6 ‘Lost Boys,'” Deseret Morning News, August 28, 2004, boys.html(accessed September 27, 2006). 

[130] Howard Fischer, “State Officials Prepare to Seize Control of Colorado City School District,” Arizona Daily Star, August 11, 2005, http://www. (accessed September 25, 2006). 

[131] LuAnn Fischer, an FLDS member who was excommunicated in September 2001, said Warren Jeffs began assigning dozens of young wives to his father about ten years previously as a way of preventing them from marrying other men. She believed that the younger Jeffs did this so he could then marry them off in exchange for leverage, money, or favors after his father’s death. Fischer did not believe that the elderly Jeffs consummated these marriages, Valerie Richardson, “Flaunting Polygamy as the Law Gets Tough,” Washington [D.C.] Times, March 27, 2001, (accessed July 24, 2006).

[132] LuAnn Fischer said she and her husband were excommunicated after they questioned Warren Jeffs’s, not Rulon’s, authority. Susan Greene, “Polygamy Prevails in Remote Arizona Town,” Denver Post, March 4, 2001, (accessed July24, 2006); Associated Press, “Polygamist Leader Rulon T. Jeffs Dies,” posted 9:22 AM EDT (1322 GMT) September 9, 2002, (accessed September 98, 2002); Tom Zoellner, “Polygamist’s Death Creates Tension in Enclave,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 10, 2002, (accessed July 23, 2006).

[133] Mark Havnes, “Thousands Flock to Funeral of FLDS Leader,” Suit Lake Tribune, September 13, 2002, (accessed September 26, 2006); Angie Parkinson, “Jeffs’s Funeral Draws 5,080: FLDS Prophet Laid to Rest in Service Thursday,” (St. George) Spectrum, September 13, 2002, http://www. (accessed July 26, 2006); Michael Janofsky, “Years May Pass before Fundamentalist LDS Name Successor to Jeffs,” New York Times, September 15, 2002, (accessed September 24, 2006); Associated Press, “FLDS Names Warren Jeffs New President,” Suit Lake Tribune, November 23, 2002, and Associated Press, “Warren Jeffs New Head of Fundamentalist Church,” November 28, 2002, both at 

[134] Adams, “Warren Jeffs: A Wanted Man.” This article identifies sites in Eldorado, Texas; Mancos, Colorado; and Pringle, South Dakota, and speculates that others, as yet unknown, also exist. “Eldorado, pop, 1,838, Stands out. The FLDS have poured millions into a 1,691-acre property, creating a small city with a dairy, cheese factory, orchard, barracks, homes, meeting hall and a massive limestone temple. The estimated population ranges from 150 to 600.”

[135] Jane Zhang, “Mayor, Others Ousted from FLDS Church,” (St. George) Spectrum, January 11, 2004, 5630/mayor-others-ousted-from-fIds-church (accessed September 24, 2006); Pam Manson and Mark Havnes, “FLDS Prophet Thins Flock,’ Salt Lake. Tri bune, January 12, 2004, prophet-thins-flock (accessed September 24, 2006); Nancy Perkins, “Colo rado City Mayor Quits after FLDS Action: Polygamist Church Strips Him, Others of Their Priesthood,” Deseret Morning News, January 12, 2004, http:// (accessed September 24, 2004); “Colorado City Called Tense,'” Lake Havasu News-Herald, January 13, 2004, amy/polygamyl51.html (accessed September 24, 2006); Jane Zhang, “Mayor Resigns in Colorado City after Ouster of about 20 Men from Polygamous Church, City Power Changes,” (St. George) Spectrum, January 13, 2004, (accessed September 24, 2006); Associated Press, “Men Ordered to Leave Polygamist Community without Families,” KUTV Channel 2 News, January 13, 2004, html (accessed September 24, 2006). 

[136] The quoted words were Louis’s expressions to the Priesthood Council in 1950 when they heard about his secret marriage to Christine. Jessop, Diary, 3: February 25, 1950. Louis’s first wife, Lucy Johnson Barlow, was reportedly reassigned to Warren’s cousin, Richard Allred, who was young enough to have been her son. Lucy died a year later on October 20, 2005. “Lucy Johnson Allred” (obituary), (St. George) Spectrum, October 22, 2005, http// (accessed October 27, 2005); “Anonymous,” blog entry posted October 22, 2005, 11:34 PM, http://texaspolygamy.blogspot. com/2005/10/obituaries.html#cll3004208015010416. 

[137] Zoellner, “Polygamist’s Death Creates Tension in Enclave”; Brandon Griggs, “FLDS Leadership Battle Is Predicted,” Salt Lake Tribune, September 12, 2002,’ ship-battle-is-predicted (accessed September 24, 2006); Manson and Havnes, “FLDS Prophet Thins Flock”; Brian Haynes, Dave Berns, and Dave Hawkins, “Power Struggle: Trouble Brewing in Towns,” Las Vegas Review Journal, January 15, 2004, trouble.html (accessed September 24, 2006); Associated Press, “States Brace for Trouble in Polygamist Communities,” Arizona Daily Sun, January 19, 2004,, html (accessed September 24, 2006). 

[138] Winston Blackmore, interviewed by Watson, Wilde, and Kelsch, April 2004, reported that, after Rulon Jeffs’s debilitating 1998 stroke, Warren Jeffs gready restricted access to his father. For awhile, Blackmore was one of the privileged few, but ultimately, Warren also excluded Blackmore. Ac cording to Blackmore, it was obvious that Warren, not Rulon, was making all the decisions. See also Blackmore, “Bustup in Bountiful”; Fabian Dawson, “Polygamists inThree-Way Struggle for Control of Sect,” Province (British Columbia), September 10, 2002,, also posted at for-control-of-sect, posted September 11, 2002 (accessed September 24, 2006). 

[139] In his dream, the anonymous author “beheld John Y. Barlow command unto his son [Louis Barlow] to step up to his calling and to forsake his birthright no more, that his time of remaining quiet has passed, that he was chosen before the world was created to do an important work and that the time for his calling had come.” Quoted in Jane Zhang, “Letter: Barlow Has Right to Lead,” (St. George) Spectrum, January 14, 2004, and Nancy Perkins, “Anonymous Letter Decries FLDS Leader,” Deseret Morning News, January 15, 2004, 

[140] He may have been hoping for reinstatement After his excommunication, one anonymous source was quoted as saying, “They know what they have to do. They could have their jobs back tomorrow, if they wanted to.” Perkins, “Anonymous Letter Decries FLDS Leader.” Richard Holm said riiat Warren Jeffs led him to believe that his excommunication was temporary, a test, and that he would be reinstated if he complied and repented. Despite Holm’s conformity, he was not reinstated. Holm, interviewed by Watson, January 2004. 

[141] Pamela Manson and Brooke Adams, “Ousted FLDS Leader Louis Barlow Dies,” Salt Lake Tribune, May 25, 2004, http://www.’flds’leader-louis-barlow-dies May 26, 2004 (accessed September 24, 2006); Associated Press, “Excommunicated Member of Prominent Polygamist Family Dies,” May 25, 2004, (accessed Sep tember 24. 2006). Louis had experienced heart problems before his excom munication. My Salt Lake Valley relatives who attended Louis Barlow’s fu neral reported his continued loyalty to Jeffs. Doug Cooke, an ousted FLDS member whose wife of twenty-one years had been reassigned, was quoted as saying: “When a man loses his family, he loses the chance to buiid a ‘celestial family,’ and ‘your whole life was wasted up to that point.’ ‘1 wanted to die,’ Cooke recalled when his wife was ‘remarried’ to Fred Jessop, the FLDS church’s longtime bishop who recently disappeared. ‘1 wanted God to take me home.’ Cooke said he met Barlow a week ago [before his death] at the Village Inn restaurant. Barlow refused to shake his hand, Cooke said, saying, ‘We have nothing in common.” Barlow apparently considered Cooke, but not himself, an apostate even though both had been excommunicated. Jane Zhang, “Louis Barlow Dies in St. George Home,” St. George Spectrum, May 25, 2004, trol_spec_Louis_Barlow_dies.html (accessed September 24, 2006). A mutual friend (name withheld) told me that he contacted Louis after learning of Louis’s excommunication. Louis re fused to discuss the situation in any detail and did not make any negative re marks about Warren Jeffs or others. 

[142] The FLDS in particular have been targeted because of their stated determination to continue directing underage brides, ages sixteen and seventeen, into plural marriages, although they are willing to stop arranging marriages for brides younger than sixteen. This announcement was made by a delegation of FLDS brethren, including Sam Barlow, in a December 2001 meeting with staff members of the Utah Attorney General’s office. Statement reported by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, meeting with Mary Batchelor, Anne Wilde, Linda Kelsch, and Marianne Watson, January 2002. Because of Warren Jeffs’s refusal to respond to lawsuits and because of other irregularities, the community lost legal control of the Colorado City school district and the United Effort Plan Trust in 2005. Most damaging was the loss of control over the trust, valued at more than $110 million, which holds title to most of the FLDS property and assets in Colorado City, Arizona; Hildale, Utah; and other places. Brooke Adams and Pamela Manson, “The Modern Raid on Polygamy,” Salt Lake Tribune, August 21, 2005, A-l. 

[143] Religious influence over UEP assets was legally eliminated in 2005. “Ruling Guides Operation of FLDS Trust,” Deseret Morning News, December 15, 2005, http://www.childbride,org/control_des_ruling_ guides _operation_of_UEP.html (accessed September 24, 2006). Further, it appears that FLDS communal property will be privatized. According to court-appointed receiver Bruce Wisan, “It’s [the UEP Trust] broken, and 1 don’t think it’ll ever be the same.” Quoted in Ben Winslow, “FLDS Trust in Judge’s Hands,” Deseret Morning News, July 14, 2006, http://deseretnews. com/dn/view/0,1249,640194645,00. html (accessed July 14, 2006).