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 The True & Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days 

Raised in the LDS Church, James D. Harmston and his wife broke away from the Church in the 1980s, dedicating a special room in their home to carry out priesthood functions Church members reserve for Holy Temples.  In response to their prayers, they reported that the heavens were opened and they received visits from divine messengers including the Father and the Son.[1]  Specifically on 25 November 1990, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses appeared to Harmston to bestow priesthood keys they had reportedly seized from errant LDS Church leaders.[2]

Harmston and his wife immediately established their own “True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days” (TLC) with Harmston as president, prophet, seer and revelator.  Located at Manti, Utah, they gathered several hundred followers and in 1997 increased their numbers further through the development of a sophisticated website.

With plural marriage an active tenet of the TLC, Harmston accumulated eight wives by 1998, mostly from other fundamentalist groups.  However, that year it was also revealed that he had married a sixteen-year-old girl, which instantly created negative publicity.

One unique doctrine of the TLC is “multiple mortal probations” or MMPs.[3]  Similar in some ways to reincarnation (of Buddhist and Hindu persuasion), Harmston has admitted that he is in fact Joseph Smith, Isaiah, King Arthur and reportedly after viewing the movie Braveheart, he suddenly remembered he had also previously lived as William Wallace.[4]  Members who receive a patriarchal blessing from the church patriarch are commonly told of their former mortal lives as well as this current probation.

One TLC member named “Cindy” recalled that Harmston once prophesied that “Jesus was to come to Manti on March 25, 2000.”[5]  “The members obtained numerous credit cards and maxed them out buying china, silverware, goblets, food, a large freezer, chocolate desserts and fresh flowers.  Jesus was to come to the TLC members, and together they would cleanse the Mormon temple in Manti and feast together on the third floor.”  But the divine appearance never occurred.  “When Jesus didn’t come after we waited all night in the Assembly Hall, Jim told us to go home and find out why and to ask, ‘Is it me that kept him from coming?’“[6]

Reportedly, Harmston’s first wife Elaine is a necromancer.  “She has a special, pink room with an alter where she communicates with the dead ancestors of the TLC members to see if the dead would like to be proxy-baptized into the TLC.”[7]

In 2002 the TLC was comprised of approximately 500 members, with a Quorum of Twelve Apostles and First Presidency.  When asked regarding the authority to seal, Harmston’s first wife expressed sympathy with the priesthood claims of both Lorin Woolley and the LeBarons, but stated that the TLC’s authority came directly from heavenly messengers.

Analysis of Harmston's teachings

 

 


[1]    .  Personal communication with the first wife of James Harmston.

[2]    .  Llewellyn, Polygamy Under Attack, 58.

[3]  Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, 153.

[4]    . Llewellyn, Polygamy Under Attack, 32.

[5]  Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, 156.

[6]  Ibid.,

[7]    Llewellyn, Polygamy Under Attack, 66.