Apostolic United Brethren
The Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) is a polygamous Mormon fundamentalist church within the Latter Day Saint movement. The AUB has had a temple in Ozumba, Mexico, since the 1990s or earlier, and an Endowment house in Utah since the early 1980s. The AUB is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
The title "Apostolic United Brethren" is not generally used by members, who prefer to call it "The Work", "The Priesthood", or "The Group". Those outside the faith sometimes refer to it as the "Allred Group" because two of its presidents shared that surname. Members of the AUB do not refer to their organization as a "church" and, unlike nearly all other Mormon fundamentalist groups, regard the LDS Church as a legitimate, if wayward and diminished, divine institution. The sect does not have ties to other Churches of the Brethren or associated groups.
The AUB furnished a detailed description of their beliefs and practices in August 2009 to the Utah Attorney General's "Polygamy Primer". This booklet is used to educate the general public and social relief agencies involved with similar groups.
As of 1998 there were approximately 10,000 members1 of the AUB, most in Utah and Mexico. The headquarters of the AUB is in Bluffdale, Utah, where it has a chapel, a school, archives, and a sports field.
The AUB has communities in Rocky Ridge, Utah; Harvest Haven (in Eagle Mountain, Utah); Cedar City, Utah; Granite Ranch, Juab County, Utah; Pinesdale, Montana; Lovell, Wyoming; Mesa, Arizona; Humansville, Missouri; and Ozumba, Mexico. It operates at least three private schools; many families also home-school or send their children to public or public charter schools.
The AUB's members tend to integrate with their surrounding communities, much more so than some other Mormon fundamentalists, such as members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This can largely be attributed to the AUB's former prophet, Owen A. Allred, and his desire to be up front with local law enforcement and the news media, especially when it came to ending rumors of underage, arranged marriages that many other fundamentalist Mormon groups were known for. Allred believed that transparency was key in helping the community see that the AUB and its members were not a threat.
The AUB is headed by a President of the Priesthood. Next in authority is a Priesthood Council (of which the President is a part). Below the Priesthood Council are Presidents of the Seventy, the Seventy quorum members, High Priests, Elders, Aaronic Priesthood members, the Women's Relief Society, Sunday School, Young Women's, Boy Scouts, and the children's Primary organizations (which may be different according to region). On a local level there are Bishops, Priesthood Council representatives, and patriarchs.
General Sacrament Meeting (which is open to the public) and Sunday School meetings (as well as many private family Sunday Schools) take place on Sundays, as do Priesthood meetings.
Relief Society (a women's organization), Young Women's, Primary, and Scouting take place throughout the week.
Dances, firesides, musical events, plays, and classes are often held at meetinghouses.
The AUB regard the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture, as well as the Bible, and accept the Articles of Faith, written by Joseph Smith, Jr, to summarize Latter Day Saint beliefs. They believe the LDS Church is still fulfilling a divine role in spreading the Book of Mormon and other basic doctrines of Mormonism, and in doing genealogy.
Perhaps the AUB members are best known for their belief in plural marriage. Other key beliefs include the United Order, the Adam–God doctrine, and what is commonly called the 1886 Meeting (see History section). While not all members take part in plural marriage, it is considered a crucial step in the quest for obtaining the highest glory of heaven.
Child and spousal abuse, as well as incest, are considered serious sins, and those members who perpetrate such crimes are excommunicated and the victims are encouraged to report the incidents to the police.citation needed
The AUB's claims to authority are based around the accounts of John Wickersham Woolley, Lorin Calvin Woolley and others, of a meeting in September 1886 between LDS Church President John Taylor, the Woolleys, and others. Prior to the meeting, Taylor is said to have met with Jesus Christ and the deceased church founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., and to have received a revelation commanding that plural marriage should not cease, but be kept alive by a group separate from the LDS Church. The following day, the Woolleys, as well as Taylor's counselor, George Q. Cannon, and others, were said to have been set apart to keep "the principle" alive.
Members of the AUB see their history as going back to Joseph Smith and to the beliefs he espoused and practices he established. They believe that the LDS Church has made unacceptable changes to doctrines and ordinances. The members of the AUB see it as their responsibility to keep them alive in the form they were originally given and to live all the laws God has commanded. Each doctrine or practice changed or abandoned by the LDS church is in turn perpetuated by the AUB.
Until the 1950s, Mormon fundamentalists were largely one group, but with the ordination in 1951 of Rulon C. Allred by Joseph W. Musser, who then presided over the fundamentalists, the fundamentalists in Colorado City, Arizona (formerly known as Short Creek), became more distant. Within a few years they formed their own group, which is now called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The shooting of Rulon C. Allred by Rena Chynoweth on May 10, 1977 (under the direction of Ervil LeBaron) brought the AUB into the spotlight. Allred was succeeded by his brother, Owen A. Allred, who died in February 2005 and was replaced by his appointed successor, J. LaMoine Jenson.
Rod Williams, a Secret Service agent involved in Watergate and a member of the Apostolic United Brethren, claimed in sworn testimony, as part of the Virginia Hill lawsuit, that he stole copies of LDS Church's Temple ordinances from the Seattle temple at the behest of Owen Allred, a claim denied by Allred.2
According to one former member, attorney John Llewellyn, "plural wives [of AUB men] are sent into nearby Hamilton to apply for welfare as single mothers. The informant reported that welfare checks are often taken directly to the priesthood leaders."3
- Factional breakdown: Mormon fundamentalist sects
- List of Mormon fundamentalist churches
- List of Mormon fundamentalist leaders
- Bennion, Janet (1998). Women of principle: female networking in contemporary Mormon polygyny. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-19-512070-1.
- Cantera, Kevin; Vigh, Michael (January 12, 2003). "Temple Rituals Allegedly Stolen". The Salt Lake Tribune.
- John R. Llewellyn (2004). Polygamy Under Attack: From Tom Green to Brian David Mitchell (Agreka Books ISBN 1-888106-76-X), Chapter 2.
- The Four Major Periods of Mormon Polygamy, by Todd M. Compton, at signaturebookslibrary.org
- Bradley, Martha Sontag, Kidnapped from That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists
- Van Wagoner, Richard S. Mormon Polygamy: A History