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Joseph B. Thompson 

In 1952 when the Priesthood Council members called by Lorin C. Woolley (Charles Zitting, Legrand Woolley, and Louis Kelsch) along with the seven men called by John Y. Barlow refused to support Musser’s selection of Rulon C. Allred as his “Second Elder,” Musser called seven men to ostensibly replace the previous ten.  In January he released all the members of the Priesthood Council and called Rulon C. Allred, Elsie Jensen, John Butchereit, Lyman Jessop, Owen Allred, Marvin Allred and Joseph B. Thompson as replacements.[1]  In Musser’s eyes these men comprised the true Priesthood Council, displacing the old Council members who had opposed him.  Accordingly, members of the old Council were expected to follow the new Priesthood Council that Musser had just assembled.  In August of 1952 Musser affirmed: “Whatever his former council did, was without authority from now on, unless he [Musser] sanctioned it and then it is done by HIS authority, not their own.”[2]

AUB leaders learned in the mid-1980s that a group of Church members living in Bristol, England, about 200 miles west of London, had interest in both plural marriage and fundamentalist beliefs.  Priesthood Council members Joseph Thompson, William Baird, and David Watson, accompanied by Marianne Watson, were dispatched to proselytize the English investigators.  Over the space of several years, more than eighty joined the AUB with some of them instructed to migrate prior to the end of 1997 when some catastrophic event was going to occur.[3]  They were also told that in Utah, the construction project then moving forward on the interstate fifteen freeway (I-15) would never be finished, nor would the 2002 Olympic games ever be realized.  Of the eighty or so members who left England to join the AUB, today over half have left the group with a few rejoining the LDS Church.

Within the Priesthood Council over the past decade, several members were accused of child molestation causing the release of Joseph Thompson in 1994 and two others.


[1]    .  In 1975, Rulon Allred remembered: “Before Joseph finally died he called in members of the Council who are here and told them that the had spent an entire evening with the Lord, and that the Lord had told him what he should do. That led to the calling of this Council, and it wasn’t done just because Brother Musser was ailing in body and weak in mind.  It was the result of the visitation of the Lord with him for an entire evening.  I want you to take that for what it is worth.”    (Rulon C. Allred, Treasures of Knowledge, 2:132.)

[2]  Joseph Thompson Diary, 24 August 1952; emphasis in original.  In Driggs, “Imprisonment, Defiance, and Division, 87.

[3]  Personal communication with a polygamist who was formerly a member of the AUB who wishes to remain anonymous.