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Splinter Group Apostolic Brethren Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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September 25, 2020 6:37 pm

Splinter Group Apostolic Brethren Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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September 25, 2020 6:37 pm

The first of a 2-part series on the Apostolic Brethren splinter group of the Restoration of Joseph Smith. This is also known as the Allred group. To learn more about this organization from a Christian perspective, check our article out at

Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever

Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a Biblical perspective. Viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism Research Ministry. Since 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. If you're familiar with the reality show Sister Wives, you're probably very familiar with the star of that series, Cody Brown. You might say they brought, in some people's estimation, a little bit of respectability to plural marriage, although I certainly wouldn't agree with that conclusion.

Let's take a look at one of the Apostolic United Brethren, and in yesterday's show, we introduce the founder of this movement, a man by the name of Rulon C. Allred, who organized this group in 1954. Let's just be honest, the Browns are public figures because they let the cameras in, and having discussions on a number of issues, everything from financial to marriage problems to kid problems. And so they're open-ended as far as people being able to see what exactly this family is about. But they're open-ended as far as people being able to see what exactly this family is about. They seem halfway normal because we all have those same foibles, the same kinds of issues that they're dealing with. But what I think a lot of people might think, they do bring respectability to the religion that they belong to, and many people probably couldn't tell you.

It's the Apostolic United Brethren known as the AUB, the work, the group, the priesthood, or the Allred group. They probably couldn't tell you those nicknames, but these are not people who are wearing prairie dresses. They're not wearing overalls.

They're looking like normal people. So for a lot of people, they probably think the Browns are a good case for maybe why polygamy ought to be allowed. Yeah, and I'm certainly no fan of plural marriage, that's for sure.

I caught a few of the shows very early on, but I never really became a fan of it, even with its connection to quote-unquote Mormonism. But they did tend to try and make plural marriage not a bad thing. And of course, if you're not really familiar with a lot of the downside of plural marriage, you could easily walk away.

Looking at them and saying, well, gee, what's so wrong with this? Now, as you mentioned, the show, from what I understand, did bring out some of the downside of being in a plural relationship. And this group certainly is known for practicing polygamy.

Let's get back, however, to what we were discussing yesterday. It was founded by a man by the name of Rulon C. Allred. Allred was murdered in 1977, and one of his murderers was a plural wife of Ervil LeBaron. And as I mentioned in yesterday's show, they did a TV show, a TV movie on Ervil LeBaron. The actor who played LeBaron was Brian Dennehy, who passed away in April of 2020. It was called Prophet of Evil, The Ervin LeBaron Story. There were two women who were disguised who went into Allred's chiropractic office in Salt Lake City and shot him to death, because there was a rivalry between Allred's group and the LeBaron group.

Allred is killed, and Owen Allred takes over, and that is Rulon Allred's brother Owen. He passed away in 2005, and as we mentioned, it is currently being run by a man by the name of Lynn A. Thompson, who was born in 1940. But let's look at some of the doctrines. And you had mentioned yesterday, Eric, that it was very difficult to find out a lot of information on this group. They don't advertise a lot of their teachings.

This one, in particular, does not have a website. And so it's very hard to find out exactly what they do believe. Now, we do know that before 1978, when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened the priesthood to all worthy male members, including those of color, that the Apostolic United Brethren, who at one time told their people to stay members of the LDS Church, if they were to go to church, that was their background, to remain in the LDS Church, to keep their temple recommend, which means that they would have to be tithing to the LDS Church. They were encouraged to be a part of the LDS Church, but in 1978, after that position was changed regarding blacks in the priesthood, that's when the Apostolic United Brethren told those members to disassociate themselves with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now, they do have a temple.

In Mexico. But we really don't even know what goes on in that temple. Wouldn't you say, Eric, that it probably would be somewhat at least safe to assume that some of what they do in their temple is very similar to what was done in LDS Temple, simply because they were encouraging their members to remain in the LDS Church in order to utilize those buildings? Most of the membership lives in the United States, and I don't have an answer for that, but that was built in the 1990s for members to be able to travel down there to do this work that apparently is important for them.

Now, in your research and in the article that we have on our website, and give the address to where people can find this article. You can go to slash AUB. AUB stands for Apostolic United Brethren. In your article, you say that this decision to allow blacks to hold the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led to many people converting to the AUB. Now again, confirming that with primary sources and names and faces is a bit difficult, but this is what has been assumed by some who have gone on record, and they're saying that that decision by the LDS Church is what caused many to move over to the AUB or Apostolic United Brethren. And one source that I read said that perhaps a lot of the members of the LDS Church who were associating themselves with the AUB decided they would have to just leave their membership. And so if you're going to leave your membership in the LDS Church, then they're going to come over here.

And so the church actually grew as far as being affiliated with them. Now in August of 2009, the Utah Attorney General put together what was known as a guidebook for law enforcement and human services agencies who offer assistance to fundamentalist Mormon families. Boy, today that whole title would be politically incorrect because Latter-day Saints don't want to use the word Mormon, and they don't like connecting the word fundamentalist with Mormon.

But this was a guidebook for law enforcement, and that did contain some information that helps us get an understanding of where they are coming from. And in this area, when it comes to families, they certainly do not practice some of the things, let's say, that the Kingston group practices as far as arranged marriages. What were some of the things that are included in this document that was prepared by the Utah Attorney General? And you mentioned the Latter-day Church of Christ, the Kingston group. We covered that in a previous broadcast, as well as the fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We covered those two groups. The way that they do marriages in the AUB is much different than what happens in those two groups because they do not arrange marriages. They don't tell you who you should marry.

The other two groups that I mentioned do. And so in this document, this is what they wrote, sex is only allowed between married couples and children are not recruited. The church discourages first-time marriages under the age of 18, and no plural marriages can take place under 18. The leaders do not organize the marriages, and the potential husband must get the approval from his other wives before taking another wife. While the husband father is considered the patriarchal leader, the church suggests consulting with the wives before making decisions. So when it says the potential husband must get the approval from his other wives before taking another wife, in LDS circles, at least in the early years of polygamy, that was known as the Law of Sarah, that you had to have permission. Now, Joseph Smith didn't follow it, but certainly that was something that was in the early years when the LDS people were practicing polygamy. What else is found in this Utah Attorney General guidebook? And it's interesting because this is the Utah Attorney General, and polygamy in 2009, as it is today, is not legal, and yet they're acknowledging that there is polygamy.

They're just wanting to be able to understand better how do they deal in the human service agency with the people that come from this group. They're quoting from the church from 2008, and this statement comes out in 2009. First off, we are and always have been, the church says, wholly opposed to abuse and oppression of any kind, and we feel it is our duty to promptly report any suspected abuse to the proper law enforcement authorities. Second, we do not encourage or permit child-bride marriages or arranged marriages. Instead, it is a fundamental principle of our faith that it is a sacred privilege of all, male and female, when they are adequately mature, to choose whom they will marry.

Forced, arranged, or assigned marriages are not a part of our belief or practice. Third, we try to encourage our people to take care of their own needs and to entirely avoid any reliance upon the government. Though there are some members of our faith who may have received government assistance, they are encouraged to become self-sustaining as soon as possible. Our teachings are to be honorable in all our financial dealings, which includes full payment of all required taxes as well as avoiding debt. And let me just add that this sentence that says, we try to encourage our people to take care of their own needs and to entirely avoid any reliance upon the government, that would certainly be different than, let's say, the fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led by Warren Jeffs, because they even have a phrase for this. It's called bleeding the beast, where you purposely took government assistance in order to pay for your practice of plural marriage. And finally, number four, we believe in being honest in our financial dealings and in providing for our own people. We are appreciative of this good country in which we are allowed to worship Almighty God, and we willingly pay our taxes so that these and other freedoms may be enjoyed by all. We do not condone underage, assigned, or incestuous relationships.

We abhor compulsion and oppression in all its forms and support these laws that seek to properly address these issues. And Bill, I'm going to say, when it comes to fundamentalist groups, when we use that term, you have to ask the question, what exactly does that mean? Because all of the fundamentalist groups that we're covering in this series would say that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, that Brigham Young was a true prophet of God.

The third president of the LDS Church, John Taylor, was a true prophet of God. And yet, when you say fundamentalist, you can't lump them into any kind of category because the first two groups that we talked about do have arranged marriages. We have a problem with the FLDS. They have underage marriages that take place. They're trying to say, we have nothing to do with them. I consider this to be the liberal fundamentalist groups, and I'm going to tell you why. They do not follow, for instance, the word of wisdom. Not at all? Not at all. They're allowed to have hot drinks and alcoholic drinks.

Coffee, tea, and wine is fully allowed. They don't do literal interpretation of the scriptures, and so they wear normal clothes. You probably have met somebody from the AUB, and you wouldn't have even known it. So in this group, the major characteristic is that it is polygamous. But one of the things that they don't do a very good job of is keeping their own children in the church, because I read one statistic that said as many as 50 percent who grew up in this religion end up leaving this religion. If they're leaving this religion, there's an opportunity for us as Christians to be able to share with these folks the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One more time, where can our listeners find your research on all of the groups that we've been talking about?

Then go to slash splintergroups with a hyphen between splinter and groups. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry, we encourage you to visit our website at, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism. You just listened to today's broadcast of Viewpoint on Mormonism. But did you know that you can hear previous shows at your convenience? The Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast is free on the Internet and will help you learn more about the LDS religion. Feel free to listen on your computer or download to your favorite listening device. Just go to and click on the right side where it says On Air. All of our shows are here, so visit today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-27 11:26:17 / 2024-02-27 11:31:43 / 5

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