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 Dayer LeBaron 

Assuming that Benjamin F. Johnson was the presiding priesthood authority on earth, the LeBarons taught that shortly before his death on 18 November 1905, he bypassed all eighteen of his own sons who were then alive in order to ordain one of his 105 grandsons also living at that time.[1]  That chosen grandson was reportedly A. Dayer LeBaron.  Ervil penned: “Shortly before the death of Benjamin F. Johnson, he called his grandson, Alma Dayer LeBaron Sr....   He gave him many instructions and said to him: When I die, my mantle will fall upon you.”[2]

Interestingly, Price Johnson remembered that prior to the 1920s, Dayer LeBaron approached Nathan Clark to obtain an ordination providing him with authority to seal plural marriages in Mexico.[3]  It wasn’t until Dayer was in his thirties that he began claiming to hold some special priesthood authority, though precisely what his assertions were is not now clear.[4]  It appears that Dayer left no testimonial of his beliefs and teachings; his sons and wife Maude would provide the only existing historical record of Dayer’s lofty priesthood office.  

Dayer LeBaron Passes His Alleged Authority on to His Sons 

Ervil LeBaron described the events that he believed occurred shortly before Dayer’s death in 1951: 

Shortly before the death of Alma Dayer LeBaron Sr., he sent for his son F. LeBaron; Alma Dayer LeBaron Sr. sent for son, Joel F. LeBaron, who was at that time working in the mountains in the region of the old Babicora Hacienda.

After a very pleasant and heart-warming visit, as Joel was about to depart, his father called him to his bedside and gave him a very strict and solemn charge.

He there put all of his earthly affairs in Joel's hands and put him under a covenant and promise to carry on the work he had commenced, and to build on the foundation that he had laid, and said unto him:

When I die my mantle will fall upon you, even as the mantle of Elijah fell upon Elisha, and even as the mantle of my grandfather fell upon me; and you will have to round up your shoulders and bear it, because there is no one else qualified. I have tried to qualify your older brothers, but have only met with rebellion and opposition.

After having said these things, together with many other things, he laid his hands upon Joel's head and blessed him and appointed him to hold after he was gone, everything which he had received from Benjamin F. Johnson.

...from that day forth, Joel F. LeBaron has held the scepter in Israel.[5] 

Other accounts would assert that Dayer’s keys were given to the firstborn son, Ben.  Similarly, Ross Welsey claimed “that he was ‘ordained’ by his father Dayer LeBaron some months prior to his father’s death.”[6]  Later both Ervil and Verlan would assume to hold the described office of the “Right of the Firstborn,” although years before Verlan LeBaron had approached Rulon C. Allred to perform his sealing to a plural wife.[7]


[1]  Ancestral File.

[2]   Ervil LeBaron, Priesthood Expounded 19:24.

[3]   Price Johnson in Reminiscences, 2nd ed., 2:83.

[4]    Wright, “Origins and Development,” 89.

[5]    Ervil LeBaron, Priesthood Expounded, 19:30-34, 40.

[6]    Reimann, Plural Marriage Limited, 233.  Also “Benjamin Teasdale LeBaron says that he received it when he was twenty years old, while Ross Wesley LeBaron claims to have receive it in 1950.”  (Wright, “Origins and Development,” 175.)

[7]    Letter from Noel B. Pratt to Lyle O. Wright, 5 September 1961.  In Wright, “Origins and Development,” 151.