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Gerald Peterson and the Righteous Branch of the “Christ’s Church” 

Born in 1917 in Wyoming, Gerald Peterson joined the LDS Church at the age of sixteen.  In the 1970s he united with the Allred Group and claimed that he was called by Rulon to established a united order in Richmond, Utah; then to settle Cedar Valley, Utah; and lastly to start a community in “Southern Utah.”[1]

Gerald Peterson believed himself to be the prophet to succeed Rulon Allred and to organize “Christ’s Church”:  “On the sixth of April, in the year, one thousand-nine-hundred-and-seventy-eight, in the city of Provo, I the Lord did establish the ‘Branch’ of my church and I have directed my servant to call it by my name, sayeth the Lord, even: Christ’s Church, as it is to be called among men and the members of my house...” (1 Gerald 4:9 ).

Peterson taught that he was given the Keys of the Priesthood by Rulon C. Allred: “Rulon Allred, did lay his hands upon my head, and ordain me to the office of a High Priest Apostle, a Patriarch in Israel, and gave unto me the Keys of the Holy Priesthood and the Keys of Elijah the Prophet with all the rights, keys, powers and authority pertaining to the office of the one like unto Moses, who is supposed to lead the Priesthood and Church in these last days” (1 Gerald 1:40).  He affirmed that priesthood keys did not continue with Owen Allred, Rulon’s successor in the Allred Group. (1 Gerald 1:77.)

Gerald explained his close association with Rulon Allred before and after Allred’s death: “Within an hour, after Rulon C. Allred was killed, he was seen entering my office [as a spirit]...  This happened about 5:00 p.m. on 10 May 1977.  He came to where I was sitting in my chair, and spoke to me, very clearly and plainly He said, ‘Jerry, I have come to re-confirm your calling and to tell you to begin the mission which you have been waiting for... to which I have formerly set you apart to, while in the flesh.’“ (1 Gerald 1:59).  Peterson elaborated in 1979: “[Rulon Allred] has never left me to this day... the same voice which I knew was Rulon still continues to talk with me” (1 Gerald 1:69).

On 8 April 1979, Peterson and his followers held a “General Conference” at Provo, Utah.  In his concluding remarks he stated: “Brothers and sister, we’ve had a wonderful conference B the Spirit of the Lord has been with us...”  (1 Gerald 3:1).  His teachings largely parallel the beliefs of the Allred Group.

Reportedly they have constructed a temple on a “sacred hill” near Cedar City, Utah.[2]  Gerald W. Peterson, Sr., died 9 January 1981 and passed the mantle of his leadership to his son, Gerald W. Peterson, Jr. who moved the headquarters of the group to St. George, Utah.[3]

[1]    .  In Writings of Gerald W. Peterson, 1:38.

[2]  Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, 185, 188.

[3]    .  Shields, Divergent Paths, 204.