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Chapter Four

As reviewed in chapter three, many modern polygamists claim sealing authority through a man named Lorin C. Woolley and his alleged 1886 ordinations. However, polygamists in the twentieth century have also attempted to utilize other sources of sealing authority to solemnize their polygamous unions. Two of these include:

1. Unauthorized Church Leaders

2. "Patriarchal" Priesthood

In 1905, two members of the Quorum of the Twelve, John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley, resigned from the Quorum because they were out of harmony with their fellow leaders regarding the scope and meaning of the Manifesto issued by Wilford Woodruff.(79) It was widely known that they had performed more than a few plural marriages after the Manifesto was issued.(80) John W. Taylor was excommunicated six years later for marrying another plural wife after his resignation. It appears that at least a few modern polygamists tried to access the sealing keys through these two men.

One example is John W. Woolley, a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple and father of Lorin C. Woolley, claimed that sometime prior to 1914, Apostle Cowley instructed him to perform polygamous marriages which Woolley later did. John Woolley was a close friend of President Joseph F. Smith and confided in President Smith that he had performed polygamous sealings by directive of Matthias Cowley. Upon learning of this, President Joseph F. Smith notified Francis Lyman, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.(81) A Church Court was held which resulted in Woolley's excommunication. In an attempt to retain his membership, John W. Woolley wrote the following:

At Centerville, Davis County, Utah on the 16 day of January, A.D. 1914, Prest. Francis M. Lyman and Anthony W. Ivins called at my home, and in answer to questions asked I make the following statement:

Some months ago I met Matthias F. Cowley on the street and he asked me if I was familiar with the sealing ceremony. I told him I was. He said, "If any good men come to you don't turn them down." I believed from that statement that it was still proper that plural marriages be solemnized, and that President Smith had so authorized Cowley to instruct me.

Since that time I have married wives to Nathan G. Clark, Joseph A. Silver, Reuben G. Miller, and P.K. Lemmon, Jr.

The ceremony in the case of Miller was performed in the S.E. part of Salt Lake, the woman being a widow whose names I do not know. The Lemmon ceremony was in Centerville, the name of the woman, I think being Johnson.

(sig.) John W. Woolley(82)

Some modern polygamists have claimed that Matthias Cowley may have personally authorized others to perform polygamous marriages after the 1890 manifesto. There doesn't seem to be any evidence to support this and Cowley himself denied it.

Another alleged source of sealing authority, improperly claimed by some modern polygamists, relies on D&C 124:92-93 and verse 124 where the Lord states:

92. That from henceforth [the Church Patriarch] shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,

93. That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

124. First I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you. [Emphasis by the authors.]

In these verses the Lord observes that the Church Patriarch holds "sealing blessings" so that "whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." If these three verses were all that the Lord had given on the subject of sealing authority or the duties of Patriarchs, confusion might exist concerning the scope of a patriarch's sealing authority. However, the Lord has been specific in scripture and through His anointed in defining the authority and calling of patriarchs to the Church.(83) Church Patriarchs only hold "sealing authority" to seal patriarchal blessings upon the heads of Church members. Prior to the Twentieth Century, few, if any Church members, proposed that the Patriarchal Priesthood contained the authority to seal plural marriages or was any way related to the "one" anointed and appointed. In 1910 Judson Tolman, a stake patriarch, was excommunicated for performing plural marriages utilizing his "patriarchal priesthood."(84)


The claimed source of sealing authority for most Fundamentalists is derived from ordinations that purportedly occurred September 27, 1886. Sometime in the early 1920's, Lorin C. Woolley remembered that he and his father, John W. Woolley, along with three other men had been set apart by John Taylor in 1886. Woolley recalled that the authority purportedly given to him and the others at that time was to allow them to carry on plural marriage regardless of the path taken by the Church respecting polygamy.

For over a decade prior to the 1920's, Lorin Woolley had been relating interesting recollections of his purported personal experiences with the priesthood leaders hiding from the law during the 1880's. Available evidence fails to support the notion that Lorin Woolley was significantly involved with the brethren during that period. The diary of Samuel Bateman, a bodyguard of the leading authorities during the late 1880's, reports Lorin C. Woolley was active in carrying the mail for the brethren, but Bateman's entries challenge Woolley's claims of any intimate association or participation in any extraordinary activities during that period.(85) Nevertheless, Lorin C. Woolley was known for making many fascinating claims and his apocryphal stories and testimony were popular among the neophyte Fundamentalists.


In 1912 Lorin C. Woolley signed a statement that:

In the latter part of September, 1886, the exact day being not now known to me, President John Taylor was staying at the home of my father, John W. Woolley, in Centerville, Davis County, Utah.

At the particular time herein referred to, President Taylor was in hiding (on the under-ground). Charles H. Bearrell and I were the "guardsmen" on watch for the protection of the President. Two were usually selected each night, and they took turns standing guard to protect the President from trespass or approaching danger. Exceptional activity was exercised by the U.S. Federal Officers in their prosecutions of the Mormon people on account of their family relations in supposed violation of the Federal Laws.

Soon after our watch began, Charles H. Bearrell reclined on a pallet and went to sleep. President Taylor had entered the south room to retire for the night. There was no door-way entrance to the room occupied by President Taylor, except the entrance from the room occupied by the guardsmen. Soon after 9 o'clock, I heard the voice of another man engaged in conversation with President Taylor, and I observed that a very brilliant light was illuminating the room occupied by the president. I wakened Bearrell and told him what I had heard and seen, and we both remained awake and on watch the balance of the night. The conversation was carried on all night between President Taylor and the visitor, and never discontinued until the day began to dawn -- when it ceased and the light disappeared. We heard the voices in conversation while the conference continued and we saw the light.

My father came into the room where we were on watch, and was there when President Taylor came into the room that morning. As the President entered the room he remarked, "I had a very pleasant conversation all night with the Prophet Joseph." At the time President Taylor entered the room his countenance was very bright and could be seen for several hours after. After observing that some one was in conversation with the President, I went out and examined all of the windows, and found them fastened as usual.

The brethren were considerably agitated about this time over the agitation about Plural Marriage, and some were insisting that the Church issue some kind of edict to be used in Congress, concerning the surrendering of Plural Marriage, and that if some policy were not adopted to relieve the strain the government would force the Church to surrender. Much was said in their deliberations for and against some edict or manifesto that had been prepared, and at a meeting that afternoon, at which a number there were present and myself, I heard President Taylor say; "Brethren, I will suffer my right hand to be cut off before I will sign such a document."

I, Lorin C. Woolley, of Centerville, Utah, do hereby certify, that I have carefully made and read the foregoing statement of facts and the same is true to the best of my knowledge. Dated this 6th day of October, 1912.

[Underling by the authors.] (signed) Lorin C. Woolley(86)

This 1912 account, which gives no exact date for the 1886 occurrence, says nothing of any priesthood ordinations or the conferral of authority to continue plural marriage. It does describe two important incidents Woolley claimed occurred:

1. John Taylor received a vision of Joseph Smith lasting an entire night.

2. An afternoon meeting was held the next day where John Taylor exclaimed: "Brethren, I will suffer my right hand to be cut off before I will sign such a document" as a manifesto.


Sometime after 1920, Lorin C. Woolley apparently recalled additional details that supposedly occurred in conjunction with the two listed above:

1. John Taylor's vision included a visitation from the Savior, not just Joseph Smith.

2. The meeting actually started in the morning (not the afternoon) of the 27th and lasted eight hours.

3. A revelation was given to John Taylor on the New and Everlasting Covenant during the meeting described.

4. Sometime after the meeting, five men: Lorin C. Woolley, John W. Woolley, Samuel Bateman, Charles Wilkins, and George Q. Cannon, were ordained with authority to continue plural marriage.

During the 1920's, Lorin C. Woolley's memory supposedly improved allowing him to remember additional important details. Exactly when Woolley was able to recall the new particulars is difficult to determine. Rulon C. Allred, former leader of the United Apostolic Brethren Church centered in the Salt Lake Valley, indicated that Woolley came forth with his recollections of authority in about 1921.(87) In 1922, Joseph W. Musser first mentioned Woolley's recollections concerning the priesthood ordinations in his journal.(88)

The many statements made by Woolley between 1921 and 1929 were eventually compiled by Joseph W. Musser in 1929 and then presented to Woolley for his signature. The 1929 account of the 1886 activities is the most complete.(89) A copy of it is included in an appendix to this chapter.


Implementing the newly-remembered details of the alleged 1886 activities, was relatively easy for Lorin C. Woolley. All he needed to do was simply elaborate on the story that he had already been sharing for over a decade with the believing polygamists.

The evolution during the 1920's of Lorin C. Woolley's 1912 story into an account that today describes the source of priesthood authority for thousands of modern polygamous marriages involved both the story teller and the story listeners. The decade between 1920 and 1930 was a time of coalescence for men and women who continued to practice polygamy. During those years they sought each other out and shared their misguided testimonies. However, they realized the need for proper priesthood authority and as late as 1922 looked to the Church, not Lorin C. Woolley and his proclaimed authority, for priesthood leadership. This is demonstrated by the feelings of Joseph W. Musser who recorded the focus of leadership devotion and priesthood authority for a group of polygamists on March 19, 1922:

At farm last evening. Beautiful weather today. Attended meeting with "fellow sufferers" in plural marriage, at Dr. Gamble's, Forest Dale. About 25 present. Excellent spirit. Everyone felt under obligation to sustain the present Authorities and patiently await the Lord's pleasure in all things.(90) [Underlining added.]

Either these "sufferers in plural marriage" had not yet heard Lorin C. Woolley's claims, or he had not yet began to expound them. Most likely it was sometime after that date that Lorin C. Woolley began to more fully develop(91) the story of his alleged experiences with President John Taylor in September of 1886. Woolley's elaborations would include a claim to priesthood authority which was exactly what the groups of polygamists were searching for. His recollections also served to elevate his own stature within the movement. The "sufferers in plural marriage" believed Lorin Woolley because his unscrutinized story provided access to the sealing authority which they had been "patiently awaiting." The acceptance by the polygamists of Woolley's claims of authority and his lofty priesthood calling came slowly,(92) but by 1929, Woolley, with the help of Joseph W. Musser, had formulated a story, acceptable to thousands of polygamists. That narrative would be quoted over and over for decades to come by Fundamentalists in their attempts to legitimize their sealing authority.


An examination of the 1929 account of the 1886 activities reveals four components worthy of special consideration:

1. John Taylor's vision which supposedly occurred throughout the night of September 26-27, 1886

2. The meeting of September 27, 1886 which started early in the morning and lasted eight hours

3. An alleged revelation to John Taylor purportedly given during the eight hour meeting (five copies were supposedly made)

4. After the proposed eight hour meeting, five men were allegedly ordained and commissioned to continue plural marriage


As noted above, Lorin Woolley's 1912 account did not include any visit of the Savior to John Taylor (with Joseph Smith) during the purported vision of September 26-27, 1886. It is puzzling to contemplate how such a detail could have been overlooked. Some may conclude that the discussion was too sacred to mention in 1912, however, Musser felt impressed to circulate it widely in 1929.(93)

Since John Taylor was a very spiritual man and priesthood leader, he could have received many visions during his lifetime. However, there is absolutely nothing to support the dates of September 26-27 for any remarkable vision, except for Lorin Woolley's recollections recorded decades later. In order to support Lorin Woolley's 1929 claims of John Taylor's divine visitation, Fundamentalists and others will sometimes recruit a statement by President Spencer W. Kimball in April conference of 1978 to support Woolley's assertion. President Kimball stated:(94)

"I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ lives," said John Taylor, my predecessor, "for I have seen him." I bear this testimony to you brethren in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.(95) [Italics added.]

Shortly after that April, 1978, conference, President Kimball admitted that it was the lack of adequate time to finish his prepared discourse that had caused him to attribute a quote from George Q. Cannon to John Taylor.(96) The authors do not wish to minimize President Kimball's testimony of that date, but he was in fact quoting George Q. Cannon who stated:

I know that God lives. I know that Jesus lives; for I have seen Him. I know that this is the Church of God, and that it is founded on Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. I testify to you of these things as one that knows -- as one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ that can bear witness to you today in the presence of the Lord that He lives and that He will live, and will come to reign on the earth, to sway and undisputed scepter.(97) [Underlining ours.]

Therefore, utilizing President Kimball's quotation to support Lorin Woolley's claims is not warranted. Also, it should be noted that even if a vision did occur, it would not imply that men were ordained to continue plural marriage on September 27, 1886, as Woolley also affirmed.


An examination of the individuals who reportedly participated in an eight hour meeting on September 27, 1886, reveals five possible diaries that could confirm or refute Lorin Woolley's story about the meeting or ordinations which supposedly occurred after it. Those diaries include:

Samuel Bateman (documented body guard)
First Presidency's office journal
George Q. Cannon's personal diary
John Taylor's personal diary
L. John Nuttall (secretary to the Church President) diary

Two of these five diaries are unavailable for study. L. John Nuttall's diaries for the 1885 through October, 1886 period while he was constantly moving about on the underground are apparently lost. John Taylor's diaries are reportedly located in the First Presidency's Office Vault and are not available for research.(98) The entries in the other three diaries are listed below and show clearly that there were no meetings or ordinations of any kind held at the John W. Woolley home on September 27, 1886. Samuel Bateman recorded:

The 27 All day at Do [John W. Woolley home in Centerville], reading, pitching quoits. Helped load two load of barley,. At night went with the mail. Called at Sister B's, met A. Burt, sheriff of Salt Lake County. Got back at two o'clock all right.(99)

There is no hint of any meetings being held (or ordinations being performed) in the entry quoted above. "Pitching quoits" was a common pastime and in modern vernacular would be throwing horseshoes.

The First Presidency's Office Journal for September 27th recorded:

Monday, September 27, 1886. President Cannon still improving in his health. The rest of the party all well.

President Taylor signed several recommends. A letter was received from Elder F. D. Richards, enclosing one from Bro. E. W. Davis of the 17th Ward, City, in regard to his call as a missionary and needing help.... Also gave his views in regard to those of the brethren who are in jeopardy, being sought after and sent on missions, etc. This letter was answered.

A letter was received from Bro. A. Miner dated Sept. 20th stating that he had perfected the re-incorporation of the Tooele Stake Corporation.... [Financial matters discussed]

A letter was received from Bro. Wm. M. Palmer at Council Bluffs September 22, 1886, giving an account of his labors to that time.

A letter was received from Ellen Norwood Billingsly of Orderville. [Personal matters discussed]....

A letter was written to Elder Enoch Farr, President [of the] Sandwich Islands Mission in answer to his letter received September 7th.

A letter was also sent to Bro. Thos. G. Webber of Z.C.M.I. [Financial matters discussed]....

A letter was written to President W. Woodruff in reply to his letter received September 25th, etc.

President Taylor pitched quotes a while this morning, also this afternoon.

President Cannon in the house most all day; he sat out of doors awhile in the after part of the day.

Brother Bateman carried in our mail.(100)

George Q. Cannon recorded simply:

Monday, Septem [sic] 27/86

Attended to our usual business. I was not well, but improving.(101)

These journal accounts are consistent with one another and fail to mention anything even remotely resembling the reception of a revelation, an all day meeting or ordinations on the date in question.(102)


One significant detail discussed in the 1929 account, but not mentioned in Woolley's 1912 story was that of a revelation allegedly received by John Taylor, dated September 27, 1886. The reception of this revelation supposedly occurred in conjunction with the eight hour meeting purportedly held that day. For decades, Fundamentalists have been proclaiming that a revelation existed which fit Woolley's 1929 description. Photocopies of a piece of paper(103) that purports to be a genuine revelation in John Taylor's handwriting have been circulated for years by Fundamentalists.(104) John W. Taylor, a son of the prophet and member of the Quorum of the Twelve, reportedly discovered it among the his father's papers a few months after President Taylor passed away.(105)

Since it was promoted as genuine by polygamists in the 1920's and 1930's, Heber J. Grant issued the following statement concerning it in 1933:

It is alleged that on September 26-27, 1886, President Taylor received a revelation from the Lord, the purported text of which is given in publications circulated apparently by or at the instance of this same organization [polygamists].

As to this pretended revelation it should be said that the archives of the Church contain no such revelation; nor any evidence justifying a belief that any such revelation was ever given. From the personal knowledge of some of us, from the uniform and common recollection of the presiding quorums of the Church, from the absence in the Church Archives of any evidence whatsoever justifying any belief that such a revelation was given, we are justified in affirming that no such revelation exists.

Furthermore, so far as the authorities of the Church are concerned and so far as the members of the Church are concerned, since this pretended revelation, if ever given, was never presented to and adopted by the Church or by any Council of the Church... the said pretended revelation could have no validity and no binding effect and force upon Church members, and action under it would be unauthorized, illegal, and void.(106)

While the authenticity of the purported 1886 revelation to John Taylor is still questioned, several important points should be made concerning it:

1. The alleged revelation contains the statement that God would "not revoke this Law." Fundamentalists interpret that to mean that the practice of plural marriage could never be suspended,(107) the "Law" is not strictly plural marriage. Likewise, the Lord has commanded His people in times past to suspend the practice of plural marriage without "revoking" an eternal covenant.(108) Additionally, the promises found in D&C 132:19-20 for those who marry in the New and Everlasting Covenant are given in a monogamous context: "if a man marry a wife by my word..." and apply to any marriage entered into according to the Lord's direction.

2. The alleged revelation does not talk about authorizing individuals to perform plural marriages outside of the Church then or at any time in the future. It does not mention any ordinations or priesthood callings. The five men Lorin C. Woolley claimed were set-apart with sealing authority and their purported ordinations were not discussed in any way.

Matthias Cowley who was apparently familiar with the alleged revelation was questioned concerning it by Charles W. Penrose at Elder Cowley's membership trial. Cowley clearly acknowledged that the revelation "would not justify" him in continuing to perform plural marriages.(109)

John W. Taylor, an apostle and son of President John Taylor, was also aware of the alleged 1886 revelation but he identified no authorization for the perpetuation of concealed polygamist unions in its contents. He stated:

There is no authority as far as I can see, in that [1886] revelation, no authority given to man to exercise such authority in marrying anyone...(110)

3. The date written on the top of the purported revelation was undoubtedly the source of the date for Lorin C. Woolley's 1929 version of the 1886 events. In 1912 Woolley recorded a "Statement of Facts;" no date was "remembered" but 17 years later, after gaining a knowledge of the alleged revelation, Woolley recalled the exact dates.

4. Even if the alleged revelation was genuine, Fundamentalists would have to admit it was only a personal revelation to John Taylor because it was never presented to the Church or the priesthood leadership for acceptance.(111) John W. Taylor reported concerning it:

My father received a revelation which, however, was never presented to the Church, and I refer to this not because it was a revelation to my father; I don't think a revelation because it came through him was any greater than one received through any other President of the Church....(112)

Likewise, it is noted that President Taylor did not circulate anything like it, though, if valid, he would have had it in his possession for almost nine months prior to his death on July 25, 1887. What justification could modern polygamists possibly have to distribute the purported revelation?

In addition to Woolley's claim that John Taylor received the alleged revelation, Woolley taught:

President Taylor had L. John Nuttall write five copies of the revelation. He called five of us together: Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, George Q. Cannon, John W. Woolley, and myself... He then gave each of us a copy of the Revelation.(113)

Not a single one of these five copies has been located or even subsequently mentioned. If five additional copies of the alleged revelation were in circulation, it would have taken much less time for the Fundamentalists to discover its existence. If Woolley possessed a copy, or even had access to a copy, of the purported revelation in 1912, it is likely he would have been able to derive the date of the proposed eight-hour meeting from it. It is also probable that he would have referred to it in the 1912 account.

Most individuals would have a high regard for a copy of such a revelation. Hence, we would expect at least one of the copies to be in existence to this day. Even a passing reference to them would be useful, but none exist. If John W. Woolley had even known about the revelation in 1914 when he was excommunicated from the Church, we might have expected him to have referred to it, but he made no such reference.


The 1929 account refers to the priesthood ordinations twice. The narrative records:

[John Taylor] called five of us together: Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, George Q. Cannon, John W. Woolley, and myself [Lorin C. Woolley].

He then set us apart and placed us under covenant that while we lived we would see to it that no year passed by without children being born in the principle of plural marriage. We were given authority to ordain others if necessary to carry this work on, they in turn to be given authority to ordain others when necessary, under the direction of the worthy senior (by ordination), so that there should be no cessation in the work...

John Taylor set the five mentioned apart and gave them authority to perform marriage ceremonies, and also to set others apart to do the same thing as long as they remained on the earth; and while doing so, the Prophet Joseph Smith stood by directing the proceedings...(114)

From this report of the 1886 ordinations, Woolley taught that these five men were "set apart" and given priesthood power to do three things:

1. Perform marriage ceremonies.

2. Set apart others to perform marriage ceremonies.

3. Ordain individuals with the authority to ordain others to perform marriage ceremonies under the direction of a "worthy senior."

Woolley's statement regarding the conferring of sealing keys is striking because of its simplicity. This simplicity conforms well with Fundamentalist doctrine in general because most Fundamentalists wish to believe that they have authority to seal polygamous unions, regardless of how that authority came into their possession.

The Ordinations Examined

The 1929 account of priesthood ordinations does not attempt to correlate the authority purportedly conferred with the numerous statements on the priesthood found in the Doctrine and Covenants.(115) Specifically, it does not address three important questions:

1. What priesthood office and authority were given, if any? Musser stated they were ordained as High Priest Apostles,(116) but some sources state Woolley declared he received the apostleship(117) which is consistent with the ideas promoted by other Fundamentalists.(118)

2. What priesthood council was organized or reorganized? Was it a Council of Friends or a Quorum of High Priest Apostles (see chapter three)? Did that council preside over the Church and Kingdom(119) as Musser later instructed, or did they receive the authority to just continue plural marriages?(120)

3. What was the calling and authority of the "worthy senior"? How does his authority relate to the "one anointed and appointed," the Senior Apostle, the President of the High Priesthood and the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Does he hold the keys of the gathering of Israel given to Joseph Smith in 1836(121) and promote missionary work?(122) Does he hold all the sealing keys of Elijah(123) and promote temple work for the living and the dead?(124)

None of these questions were addressed in the most expanded recollection of Lorin C. Woolley's ordination, the 1929 version. Secondary sources serve to enlighten us on a few of these points, but overall, we must look to subsequent Fundamentalist authors, like Joseph W. Musser, for the details.(125)

As one views the many teachings on the priesthood that the Lord has given through the scriptures, it is a striking contrast to suggest that He might allow John Taylor to confer on those five men an authority described in such general terms. Numerous prophetic pronouncements have been given to help believers understand the priesthood, its offices and authority. It is problematic to believe that the Lord would ignore those teachings and create a new priesthood office and authority on that date without specifically addressing it. Likewise, if the ordinations were similar to others already present in the priesthood, it is curious that Woolley (or the Lord if He were actually involved) didn't indicate so.

Investigating The Five Men

The 1929 account listed five men, George Q. Cannon, Samuel Bateman, Charles Wilkins, John W. Woolley and Lorin C. Woolley, as having received three things on September 27, 1886:

1. Authority to continue plural marriage.

2. A commission to see that "no year passed without children being born in the principle of plural marriage."

3. A copy of the alleged 1886 revelation.

An examination of the teachings and actions of the five men is useful to determine whether they actually received the authority or commission mentioned. It has already been noted that none of the five copies of the alleged 1886 revelation have ever been seen or even referred to.

George Q. Cannon

George Q. Cannon, First Counselor in the First Presidency to both John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, was a polygamist and received the sealing authority when ordained an apostle on August 26, 1860. As an apostle, he needed no ordination in 1886 to obtain the authority to seal for time and all eternity. Counselor Cannon continued to promote polygamy during the 1880's and 1890's, but he also was a staunch public supporter of the 1890 Manifesto. It would seem inconsistent for Cannon to support a manifesto in 1890 if he had witnessed President John Taylor forcefully declare in 1886 that he would rather have his hand cut off than sign a manifesto. The 1929 account states that Taylor was actually floating above the floor with an illuminated face when he said it. This would impress most individuals and probably convince them they too would do well to not advocate such a document. Next to Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon was the Manifesto's best public supporter.

Samuel Bateman

Samuel Bateman was a bodyguard of the brethren. He is an important potential participant because he kept a personal journal which is available for us today.(126) This journal contains nothing to support the idea that he was given authority in 1886 to perform plural marriages or commissioned to "see that no year passed without children being born in the principle of plural marriage."(127) The lack of evidence is so complete that some Fundamentalist writers have suggested that the polygamist activities are recorded in his text in code.(128) No one has broken the proposed code and a simple reading of the record reveals a text consistent with other journals of the period, using a few abbreviations for commonly used words, but otherwise just describing his daily activities. The journal contains nothing to suggest that Bateman ever performed a plural marriage or authorized someone else to perform one. His journal does include references to sermons he made, prayers given at Church meetings and ordinances he participated in. One example from May 5, 1901:

After meeting was over, Joshua Terry and I assisted in blessing one of Bro. Terry's grandchildren after dinner. Bishop Bergen of Union Ward was mouth, it being his grandchild.(129)

Despite these types of entries concerning priesthood ordinances, his journal contains no references to his performing marriage ceremonies of any kind. However, his journal does specifically mention that it was Joseph F. Smith who performed the sealing of Bateman's daughter.(130) It is unlikely that he would not have recorded his own involvement with sealing ordinances if he had ever been associated with any.

There is a complete lack of evidence in Samuel Bateman's journal concerning any participation in 1886 ordinations or the other alleged activities. In addition, the testimony of Samuel's son, Daniel Bateman, that he never heard his father teach of the ordinations is compelling. In 1936, Daniel Bateman bore his testimony concerning the source of his knowledge of his father's proposed ordination and Joseph Musser's recorded it in his journal:

Being called upon, Daniel R. Bateman... bore testimony that Mormonism is true. His father, being one of the five set apart, did not tell him so, but did testify to Bro. Findlayson of the fact, and the latter had written to him of the event. (December 21, 1936.)

Daniel Bateman admitted that he never heard his father tell him about his proposed ordination to the office of High Priest Apostle and to the Council of Friends. This is a curious concession. If Samuel Bateman had ever received such a calling, it would probably have been difficult to have hidden that knowledge from members of his family. Samuel Bateman had a close relationship with his son, Daniel. During the year after the proposed 1886 ordinations, Samuel Bateman recorded in his journal over 111 meetings with his son and having corresponded with him 27 times.(131) During subsequent years, Samuel and Daniel continued to be close.

Daniel Bateman claimed to have been present for the eight hour meeting purportedly held September 27, 1886, even though none of the available journals, including that of his father, place him at the Woolley home that day. Regardless, we are told that Daniel Bateman admitted he was unaware of the ordinations that supposedly occurred after the eight hour meeting he had attended. Likewise, we are expected to believe that Samuel Bateman never mentioned that ordination to his son during the next 25 years. During those 25 years, the two men had thousands of conversations. Since the two spent so much time together, it is equally difficult to believe that Samuel Bateman could have so effectively hidden his lofty calling and responsibilities from his devoted son. The actions of Samuel Bateman and the testimony of his son in 1936 cast serious doubt upon the possibility that Samuel Bateman received the proposed ordination in 1886.

Charles Wilkins(132)

Charles Wilkins was a body guard to John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith. While less is known about him than the other four proposed witnesses, available evidence fails to suggest that he ever performed a plural marriage for anyone before or after 1886. Wilkins was a polygamist prior to the 1890 manifesto, but his marital relationships were always consistent with the counsel continually received from the Church Presidents he was guarding. This included obeying the Manifesto. Wilkins died in 1914 in full fellowship of the Church, apparently having failed to use the authority Lorin C. Woolley would later claim he received in 1886 and also in the charge to see that no year passed without children being born in plural marriage.

John W. Woolley

When Lorin C. Woolley began to make his authority claims in the 1920's, the only other living potential participant was his father John W. Woolley who was in his nineties at the time. Some secondary sources suggest that John W. Woolley supported his son's claims, while others submit that Lorin did all the teaching.(133) There doesn't appear to be any primary source to support the notion that John Woolley believed his son's ideas. John Woolley did indeed perform plural marriages after the Manifesto and when Joseph F. Smith learned of it, he was excommunicated.(134) However, during his excommunication proceedings, John W. Woolley did not attribute his authority to any 1886 ordination, but assumed authorization from the Church President through Apostle Matthias Cowley.

Prior to his excommunication in 1914, John Woolley worked as a temple sealer and was familiar with the sealing ceremony. John W. Woolley claimed that Matthias Cowley directed him to continue to perform plural marriages so that if any good men came to him, he was not to "turn them down."(135) Additionally, John W. Woolley did not have any children after 1885. These actions seem inconsistent with a man who might have received the authority and commission thrust upon him by his son Lorin.

Lorin C. Woolley

As a witness of the proposed 1886 ordinations to continue plural marriage, even Lorin C. Woolley has problems. The Lord has stated that "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."(136) Lorin C. Woolley appears to be the only primary witness of these alleged priesthood conferrals. Daniel Bateman, the son of Samuel Bateman, has been promoted as a second witness, but he specifically admitted as discussed that he was not present for any ordinations.(137) Daniel Bateman also admitted that he never heard his father, Samuel, discuss the ordination, but had to hear about it from a stranger.

Secondary sources can be used to enlist John W. Woolley as the only second witness of the ordinations, but such an approach contrasts significantly with the emphasis placed on making first-hand statements of the Lord's witnesses available in the past.(138) There is no record of John Woolley even knowing of any 1886 ordinations until the 1920's when his son Lorin recalled the event.

A second concern of Lorin C. Woolley as a witness involves the many false statements he proclaimed were true. A few examples include his erroneous claim to have been a member of the U.S. Secret Service commissioned to follow polygamous leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.(139) When Lorin Woolley was excommunicated in 1924, it wasn't for practicing polygamy,(140) but for spreading "pernicious falsehoods" as this. Woolley also declared that he had taught Theodore Roosevelt the gospel and baptized him and that Roosevelt was also a practicing polygamist.(141) Additionally he claimed that Calvin Coolidge was a member of the Church and, with Roosevelt, a member of the "Grand Council of the Kingdom."(142) He advanced teachings that Kings would pay him tribute and had dreams which exalted him above all other priesthood authorities including the Church Presidents.(143) He also made the impossible claim that, "He knew the Manifesto, because he helped to make it."(144) On several occasions he declared that he had been transported to the Yucatan by one of the three Nephites and viewed a temple similar in size to the one at Salt Lake City, Utah and there gave his priesthood keys to an Indian Prophet.(145) These are but a few of the fantastic teachings of Lorin C. Woolley.

While it appears that Lorin C. Woolley promoted plural marriage in the 1920's, his own life is a testimony that he did not receive the authority or commission he claimed. Woolley himself did not take a plural wife until 1932 and had no children by a plural wife. His four children and his first wife all rejected his claims to divine authority and priesthood calling.

In review, several problems exist for those who choose to believe Lorin C. Woolley's 1929 account of 1886 ordinations:

1. The priesthood conferred appears to greatly contrast the authority described by the Lord in the scriptures.

2. The lives and teachings of George Q. Cannon, Samuel Bateman, Charles Wilkins, and John W. Woolley fail to support the notion that they received authority and a commission to continue plural marriage in 1886.

3. Lorin C. Woolley's actions prior to the 1920's and his own personal participation suggest that he too had never received that authority or commission.

4. Lorin C. Woolley is the only primary witness of these important ordinations.

5. Lorin C. Woolley made other fantastic claims which were obviously untrue.


Some modern polygamists may have attempted to perform their marriages with authority from unauthorized Church Leaders or utilizing the "Patriarchal Priesthood." However, the 1920's and 1930's represent the time during which a majority of polygamists united behind authority claims of Lorin C. Woolley. Woolley himself representing a case of "being in the right place, at the right time" with the right story. The right place was Utah; the right time was the 1920's; and the right story was one that included authority to perform polygamous marriages.

To better understand the likelihood that ordinations were performed in 1886, one must also examine the associated activities and the possibility that they also transpired. This is important because Fundamentalists may mistakenly believe that if one of the incidents actually happened, then therefore they all must have occurred (see box).

While Fundamentalists should not be overly criticized for believing Woolley's claims to authority, a more in-depth analysis reveals an abundance of evidence which strongly suggests that the alleged ordinations in 1886 never occurred.
Alleged September 27, 1886 Events
John Taylor's 1886 Revelation Questionable
John Taylor's Vision Possible
Eight Hour Meeting NO EVIDENCE
Five men ordained to continue plural marriage NO EVIDENCE



1929 Standard Account

While the brethren were at the Carlisle residency [in Murray, Utah] in May or June of 1886, letters began to come to President John Taylor from such men as John Sharp, Horace Eldredge, William Jennings, John T. Caine, Abraham Hatch, President Cluff and many other leading men from all over the Church, asking the leaders to do something, as the Gentiles were talking of confiscating their property in connection with the property of the Church.

These letters not only came from those who were living in the Plural Marriage relation, but also from prominent men who were presiding in various offices of the Church who were not living in that relation. They all urged that something be done to satisfy the Gentiles so that their property would not be confiscated.

George Q. Cannon on his own initiative selected a committee comprising himself, Hyrum B. Clawson, Franklin S. Richards, John T. Caine and James Jack to get up a statement or Manifesto that would meet the objections urged by the brethren above named. They met from time to time to discuss the situation. From the White home, where President Taylor and companions stopped, after leaving the Carlisle home, they came out to father's. George Q. Cannon would go and consult with the brethren of the committee, I taking him back and forth each day.

On September 26, 1886, George Q. Cannon, Hyrum B. Clawson, Franklin S. Richards, and others, met with President John Taylor at my father's residence at Centerville, Davis County, Utah, and presented a document for President Taylor's consideration.

I had just got back from a three days trip, during most of which I had retired to rest.

Between one and two o'clock P.M., Brother Bateman came and woke me up and asked me to be at my father's home where a Manifesto was to be discussed. I went there and found there were congregated Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, L. John Nuttall, Charles Birrell, George Q. Cannon, Franklin S. Richards and Hyrum B. Clawson.

We discussed the proposed Manifesto at length, but we were unable to become united in the discussion. Finally George Q. Cannon suggested that President Taylor take the matter up with the Lord and decide the same the next day.

Brothers Clawson and Richards, were taken back to Salt Lake. That evening I was called to act as guard during the first part of the night, notwithstanding the fact that I was greatly fatigued on account of the three days' trip I had just completed.

The brethren retired to bed soon after nine o'clock. The sleeping rooms were inspected by the guard as was the custom. President Taylor's room had no outside door. The windows were heavily screened.

Sometime after the brethren retired and while I was reading the Doctrine and Covenants, I was suddenly attracted to a light appearing under the door leading to President Taylor's room, and was at once startled to hear the voices of men talking there. There were three distinct voices. I was bewildered because it was my duty to keep people out of the room and evidently someone had entered without my knowing it. I made a hasty examining and found all the window screens intact. While examining the last window, and feeling greatly agitated, a voice spoke to me, saying, "Can't you feel the Spirit? Why should you worry?"

At this I returned to my post and continued to hear the voices in the room. They were so audible that although I did not see the parties I could place their positions in the room from the sound of the voices. The three voices continued until about midnight, when one of them left, and the other two continued. One of them I recognized as President John Taylor's voice. I called Charles Birrell and we both sat up until eight o'clock the next morning.

When President Taylor came out of his room about eight o'clock of the morning of September 27, 1886, we could scarcely look at him on account of the brightness of his personage.

He stated, "Brethren, I have had a very pleasant conversation all night with Brother Joseph." (Joseph Smith) I said, "Boss, who is the man that was there until midnight?" He asked, "What do you know about it, Lorin?" I told him all about my experience. He said, "Brother Lorin, that was your Lord."

We had no breakfast, but assembled ourselves in a meeting. I forget who opened the meeting. I was called to offer the benediction. I think my father, John W. Woolley, offered the opening prayer. There were present at this meeting, in addition to President Taylor, George Q. Cannon, L. John Nuttall, John W. Woolley, Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, Charles Birrell, Daniel R. Bateman, Bishop Samuel Sedden, George Earl, my mother, Julia E. Woolley, my sister, Amy Woolley, and myself. The meeting was held from about nine o'clock in the morning until five in the afternoon without intermission, being about eight hours in all.

President Taylor called the meeting to order. He had the Manifesto, that had been prepared under the direction of George Q. Cannon, read over again. He then put each person under covenant that he or she would defend the principle of Celestial or Plural Marriage, and that they would consecrate their lives, liberty and property to this end, and that they personally would sustain and uphold that principle.

By that time we were all filled with the Holy Ghost. President Taylor and those present occupied about three hours up to this time. After placing us under covenant, he placed his finger on the document, his person rising from the floor about a foot or eighteen inches, and with countenance animated by the Spirit of the Lord, and raising his right hand to the square, he said, "Sign that document, -- never! I would suffer my right hand to be severed from my body first. Sanction it, -- never! I would suffer my tongue to be torn from its roots in my mouth before I would sanction it!"

After that he talked for about an hour and then sat down and wrote the revelation which was given him by the Lord upon the question of Plural Marriage [the alleged 1886 revelation to John Taylor]. Then he talked to us for some time, and said, "Some of you will be handled and ostracized and cast out from the Church by your brethren because of your faithfulness and integrity to this principle, and some of you may have to surrender your lives because of the same, but woe, woe, unto those who shall bring these troubles upon you." (Three of us were handled and ostracized for supporting and sustaining this principle. There are only three left who were at the meeting mentioned -- Daniel R. Bateman, George Earl and myself. So far as I know those of them who have passed away all stood firm to the covenants entered into from that day to the day of their deaths.)

After the meeting referred to, President Taylor had L. John Nuttall write five copies of the revelation. He called five of us together: Samuel Bateman, Charles H. Wilkins, George Q. Cannon, John W. Woolley, and my self.

He then set us apart and place us under covenant that while we lived we would see to it that no year passed by without children being born in the principle of plural marriage. We were given authority to ordain others if necessary to carry this work on, they in turn to be given authority to ordain others when necessary, under the direction of the worthy senior (by ordination), so that there should be no cessation in the work. He then gave each of us a copy of the Revelation.

I am the only one of the five now living, and so far as I know all five of the brethren remained true and faithful to the covenants they entered into, and to the responsibilities placed upon them at that time.

During the eight hours we were together, and while President Taylor was talking to us, he frequently arose and stood above the floor, and his countenance and being were so enveloped by light and glory that it was difficult for us to look upon him.

He stated that the document, referring to the Manifesto, was from the lower regions. He stated that many of the things he had told us we would forget and they would be taken from us, but that they would return to us in due time as needed, and from this fact we would know that the same was from the Lord. This has been literally fulfilled. Many of the things I forgot, but they are coming to me gradually, and those things that come to me are as clear as on the day on which they were given.

President Taylor said that the time would come when many of the Saints would apostatize because of this principle. He said "one-half of this people will apostatize over the principle and possibly one-half of the other half" (rising off the floor while making the statement). He also said the day will come when a document similar to that (Manifesto) then under consideration would be adopted by the Church, following which "apostasy and whoredom would be rampant in the Church."

He said that in the time of the seventh president of this Church, the Church would go into bondage both temporally and spiritually and in that day (the day of bondage) the One Mighty and Strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants would come.

Among many other things stated by President Taylor on this occasion was this: "I would be surprised if ten percent of those who claim to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood will remain true and faithful to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the time of the seventh president, and that there would be thousands that think they hold the Priesthood at that time, but would not have it properly conferred upon them."

John Taylor set the five mentioned apart and gave them authority to perform marriage ceremonies, and also to set others apart to do the same thing as long as they remained on the earth; and while doing so, the Prophet Joseph Smith stood by directing the proceedings. Two of us had not met the Prophet Joseph Smith in his mortal lifetime, and we -- Charles H. Wilkins and myself -- were introduced to him and shook hands with him.

(Signed) Lorin C. Woolley


I was privileged to be at the meeting of September 27, 1886, spoken of by Brother Woolley, I myself acting as one of the guards for the brethren during those exciting times.

The proceedings of the meeting, as related by Brother Woolley, are correct in every detail. I was not present when the five spoken of by Brother Woolley were set apart for special work, but have on different occasions heard the details of the same related by both Lorin C. Woolley and John W. Woolley, and from all the circumstances with which I am familiar, I firmly believe the testimony of these two brethren to be true.

(Signed) Daniel R. Bateman

(Supplement to the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, pp. 56-62. An examination of a few of the many historical problems with the above narrative can be found in Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact.) [Underlining by the authors.]

79. Church History in the Fulness of Times, p. 470.

80. Ibid.

81. Letter from Joseph Fielding Smith to Dean Jessee, July 13, 1956. Photocopy in the possession of one of the authors.

82. This affidavit is found in the Anthony W. Ivins papers, Utah State Historical Society.

83. D&C 107:39; See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 38-39, 151. HC 3:381. Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret New Press, 1922, pp. 168-169. John Taylor, Times and Seasons, 6:928. Additionally it should be noted that these verses alone could not possibly authorize a patriarch to act independently and seal an eternal marriage. Utilization of the keys of sealing are always subject to the "one" anointed and appointed mentioned in D&C 132:7, 18, 19.

Once Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch to the Church, performed a sealing ordinance without the Prophet's direction or sanction and was reprimanded by him for doing so. Brigham Young wrote of this to William Smith, Hyrum's successor as Patriarch:

Hyrum held the Patriarchal office legitimately, so do you. Hyrum was counsellor, so are you. But the sealing power was not in Hyrum legitimately, neither did he act on the sealing principle only as he was dictated by Joseph in every case. This was proven for Hyrum did in one case undertake to seal without counsel and Joseph told him if he did not stop it he would go to Hell and all those he sealed with him.

(Brigham Young to William Smith, August 9, 1845, quoted in Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact, pp. 101, 126-127.)

84. Journal of Reed Smoot, Archives and Manuscripts, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, October 1, 3, 1910.

85. Samuel Bateman's diary (photocopy of typescript in possession of the authors) for the period of 1886-1890 places Lorin Woolley in the position of mail carrier, but never as a body guard to the brethren. Between August of 1886 and February 5, 1887 (last entry in his journal until January 1, 1899), Bateman refers to Lorin C. Woolley 12 times in the following activities:

1886 Oct. 21 "went with the mail"

Nov. 1 "to supper"

19 "went with the mail"

Dec. 10 "came with the mail"

25 "changed mail

31 "went in my place"

1887 Jan. 7 "sent with the mail"

11 playing checkers, "came"

29 "came"

Feb. 3 "came"

5 "brought the mail"

transported George Q.


The only other reference to Lorin C. Woolley during the period between February 5, 1887 and March 16, 1888 mentions that Woolley was on a mission to the "Indian Territory." Woolley produced many exciting accounts of his activities with the brethren throughout the "underground days." However, there is little evidence that he served as anything more than a simple mail carrier, seldom interacting with the authorities otherwise.

To Chapter Five


86. Lorin C. Woolley, "Statement of Facts", 1912. Quoted In The Polygamy Story, Fiction and Fact, pp. 2-3.

87. Gilbert A. Fulton, Jr., editor, Gems, Salt Lake City, Utah: Gems Publishing Company, 1967, Vol.1, pp. 4-5.

88. Journal of Joseph W. Musser, April 9, 1922.

89. Supplement, pp. 56-61.

90. Journal of Joseph W. Musser, March 19, 1922.

91. Lorin C. Woolley expanded his recollections through a process of remembering things he had forgotten. One example occurred August 6, 1922, when Woolley stated:

One thing which I had forgotten which [John Taylor] told us, that now comes to my memory, was that in the day of the seventh President of the Church [Heber J. Grant], the Church would come into bondage, both temporally and spiritually, and in that day (the day of bondage) the One Mighty and Strong spoken of in the 85th section of the Doctrine and Covenants would come. (Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser, p. 5.)

This process results more in the fabrication of history than in acquiring knowledge of "things as they really were" (D&C 93:24). The prophecy Woolley "remembered" above was not fulfilled "in the day of the seventh President of the Church" or anytime since.

92. Musser himself heard the story from the lips of Lorin C. Woolley as early as April 9, 1922 (see Musser's journal for that date), but Musser continued to align himself with a man named John T. Clark who claimed to be the "One Mighty and Strong" from D&C 85:7 and also the "most literal descendent of Jesus Christ on the earth (Ibid. May 16, 1922). Woolley did not share Musser's belief in John T. Clark, but that did not deter Musser from spending many hours with Clark helping him publish his claims (see entries for May 20, 22, 24, June 8, 10, July 21, 29, 31, and August 4, 1922), even allowing Clark to bless him (December 18, 1922). It does not appear that Musser, in 1922, identified Lorin C. Woolley as the conduit through which the sealing keys would be made available to modern polygamists. See chapter ten.

93. See Journal of Joseph W. Musser, July 26, 1934 and also chapter 12.

94. Personal correspondence between one of the authors and Samuel W. Taylor.

95. Ensign, May, 1978, pp. 45-48.

96. The conversation occurred between the prophet and Henry W. Richards.

97. Deseret News Weekly Oct. 6, 1896, (53:610). Quoted in George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, Jerreld L. Newquist ed., Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1987 (two volumes in one), p. 106.

98. John Taylor's personal journal undoubtedly contains many private entries that required confidentiality for years after his death. It is probable that the policy of isolating his journal was made by either President Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, or Joseph F. Smith during their tenures as Church President and no subsequent LDS President has felt inclined to change that policy.

99. Quoted in The Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact, p. 46.

100. Ibid., pp. 46-47.

101. Copy of original diary entry reproduced in The Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact, p. 34, (46).

102. Prominent fundamentalist author, Ogden Kraut, has refrained from specifying the exact dates of the proposed meetings and ordinations. He reports that it was sometime in September of 1886. He is undoubtedly familiar with the date problems associated with Lorin C. Woolley's 1929 account of the proposed September 26-27, 1886, activities.

103. Description used by Anthony W. Ivins in a Letter, February 10, 1934, Church Archives, Salt Lake City. Supplement p. 15. Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact p. 68, footnote 9.

104. Some historians believe the document genuine, but its authenticity has not been established. See Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact pp. 64-70.

105. Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, March 29, 1892, quoted in Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact pp. 65-66.

106. Official Statement, Deseret News, Church Section, June 18, 1933.

107. Here is the text circulated by Fundamentalists:

My son John: You have asked me concerning the New and Everlasting Covenant and how far it is binding upon my people.

Thus saith the Lord All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by my name unless they are revoked by me or by my authority and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant

For I the Lord am everlasting and my covenants cannot be abrogated nor done away with; but they stand forever.

Have I not given my word in great plainness on this subject?

Yet have not great numbers of my people been negligent in the observance of my law and the keeping of my commandment, and yet have I borne with them these many years and this because of their weakness because of the perilous times. And furthermore it is more pleasing to me that men should use their free agency in regard to these matters.

Nevertheless I the Lord do not change and my word and my covenants and my law do not.

And as I have heretofore said by my servant Joseph all those who would enter into my glory must and shall obey my law

And have I not commanded men that if they were Abraham's seed and would enter into my glory they must do the works of Abraham.

I have not revoked this law nor will I for it is everlasting and those who will enter into my glory must obey the conditions thereof, even so Amen. (Quoted from Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact pp. 63-64.)

Fundamentalists believe that the "law" referred too in the last sentence is the same "law" discussed in D&C section 132. However, D&C 132:7 defines "the conditions of this law" and plural marriage is not listed as one of those conditions.

108. D&C 132:34 and Jacob 2:27

109. Matthias F. Cowley File, May 10, 1911, Church Archives, Salt lake City. Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact p. 66.

110. John W. Taylor File, February 22 and March 1, 1911, Church Archives. See also Samuel W. Taylor, Family Kingdom, Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics, Inc., 1974, pp. 274-279.

111. See a letter from Anthony W. Ivins dated February 10, 1934 quoted in Supplement, pp. 13-22.

112. John W. Taylor File, February 22 and March 1, 1911. Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact pp. 66-67.

113. Supplement, pp. 59-61.

114. Supplement pp. 56-61, see also the appendix to this chapter.

115. D&C 20, 84, 107, 110, 124, 132.

116. A Priesthood Issue, p. 25.

117. This is interesting because Lorin C. Woolley claimed in 1922 that he was ordained an Elder at age 13 and sometime later an apostle by John Taylor and Geo. Q. Cannon. (Journal of Joseph W. Musser, entry for April 9, 1922). By 1929, the story had changed and he asserted that he was given the apostleship at the age of 13 by Brigham Young, not John Taylor and George Q. Cannon (see Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser, N.p. N.d. p. 10 and Truth 4:130). Church records show that he was ordained an elder on March 10, 1873, at the age of sixteen by John Lyon (Church Membership Records, South Davis Stake - quoted in The Polygamy Story: Fiction and Fact, p. 145). Charles Zitting, a so-called High Priest Apostle ordained by J. Leslie Broadbent in 1932, believed that Lorin C. Woolley's original ordination came from John Lyon, not Brigham Young. (Life of Charles Frederick Zitting, p. 61.)

118. Rulon Allred taught they were ordained as "Apostles." Gems 1:9-10, 21-22.

119. The "Kingdom" referred to is generally thought to be referring to the Council of Fifty. See chapter three, footnote 21.

120. Rulon C. Allred taught that the five men involved were only given enough authority to continue plural marriage and not preside over the Church or Kingdom etc. (See Gems 1: 4-5, 21-22.) This clearly contradicts Joseph W. Musser's teachings on the subject.

121. D&C 110:11.

122. John Taylor taught:

You who are familiar with the history of the Church know that there was a Temple built in Kirtland, Ohio, and that while the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were seated in their proper places in that Temple, there were several important personages appeared to them, and gave unto them several keys, powers and privileges, and that among these heavenly beings was Moses, who represented what is termed the Gathering dispensation. His mission to earth was to restore the keys of the Gathering dispensation, which should gather Israel from the four quarters of the earth, and also restore the ten tribes... Moses conferred these keys of authority upon the prophet Joseph Smith, and he afterwards conferred them upon the Twelve Apostles and others, who when they were ordained received them as part of their ministry and priesthood, to prepare them for the work that was to be done. And when these elders went forth in the performance of their duties, calling upon the people among whom they traveled to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins... (JD 19:238-239.)

123. D&C 110:13-16.

124. Joseph Smith taught in March of 1844:

I wish you to understand this subject, for it is important; and if you will receive it, this is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah. (HC 6:252.)

125. Also Stephen L. and Lynn L. Bishop wrote Keys of the Priesthood Illustrated, which approaches Lorin C. Woolley's teachings from the view of a "Woolley" Independent Fundamentalist.

126. Bateman's journals cover two distinct periods. The first starts in August 26, 1886 and ends March 16, 1888. The second begins after a 12 year interruption on January 1, 1899 and ends in mid-1909. Holograph is 3 volumes and is located at the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Typescript includes 422 pages and is also located at the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU with a copy at the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. See Davis Bitton, Guide To Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, Provo, Utah, 1977, page 21 (entry 147).

127. Woolley's 1929 account. See the appendix to this chapter.

128. Keys of the Priesthood Illustrated, 172-173.

129. Journal of Samuel Bateman, entry for May 5, 1901.

130. Ibid., August 17, 1904.

131. Samuel Bateman recorded meetings with his son on the following dates during the first year after the proposed September 27, 1886 ordinations: (for the remainder of 1886) September 30; October 8,11,12,16,17,25; November 3,11,13,22,24,27,29; December 5,6,8,13,15,16,17,22,23,25. For 1887: January 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,12,14,18,20,29,30; February 4,7,10,18,19,20,26; March 2,5,7,8,9,10,12,13,21,24,27,28,29; April 2,5,7,8,9,11,13,19,23,25,30; May 1,3,4,7,9,14,16,20,21,31; June 2,11,12,14,16,17,28; July 4,5,10,25,26,27,28; August 2,3,4,5,7,8,15,16,18,20; September 6,8,14,16,18,19,20,23,26. Letters were sent to or received from Daniel Bateman on the following dates (1886) September 28; October 1,10,22,23,25; November 10. For 1887: January 22,25; February 1,7,18,23; April 16; May 2,4,25; June 7,8,30; July 2,13,15,22,28,31; August 1.

132. Also spelled "Wilcken."

133. Reminiscences of John W. Woolley and Lorin C. Woolley, Vol. 1 (interview with Olive Woolley Coombs held June 13, 1971), page 5.

134. Joseph F. Smith and John W. Woolley were friends. Joseph F. Smith's son, Joseph Fielding Smith, was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve when Woolley was excommunicated. Concerning the episode he wrote:

I was well acquainted with John W. Woolley. He was a good man, but permitted himself to be drawn into the performing of a so-called "plural marriage." When this rumor first appeared, John W. Woolley was called into a session with the Council of the Twelve. President Francis M. Lyman reported to President Joseph F. Smith the fact that Brother Woolley had been before the Twelve and that he had disclaimed any association with those who were engaged in this traffic. My father replied to President Lyman that he was very grateful to know that Brother Woolley was clear, for my father had the utmost confidence in John W. Woolley.

Some time later John W. Woolley was in the presence of President Joseph F. Smith, and President Smith said to him, "John, I am happy to know that you have not been involved in any of those so-called plural marriages." John W. Woolley hesitated a moment and then replied: "President Smith, I cannot lie to you. I am guilty." Then he confessed his wrongdoing. Of course action had to be taken. (Letter from Joseph Fielding Smith to Dean Jessee, July 13, 1956.)

135. Affidavit in Anthony W. Ivins papers, Utah State Historical Society.

136. D&C 6:28, 2 Cor. 13:1.

137. Supplement pp. 61-62. Truth 2:120 and Keys of the Priesthood Illustrated, p. 123. See the appendix to this chapter.

138. The testimonies of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery concerning the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood (D&C 13), the Melchizedek Priesthood (D&C 27:12-13), and the Keys of Moses, Elias and Elijah (D&C 110:11-16). See also the three and eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon (preface of any edition except the first where they were placed at the end).

139. Journal of Joseph Musser, April 9, 1922. See also The Polygamy Story, Fiction and Fact, p. 146.

140. Lorin C. Woolley did not enter into a polygamous marriage until 1932, two years before his death.

141. Reminiscences of John W. Woolley and Lorin C. Woolley, Volume 3 (interview with Charles W. Kingston held October 1971), page 9; Volume 5, p. 32. Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser, p. 15.

142. Items from the Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser, pp. 14, 15, 16, 22, 23 and Life of Charles Frederick Zitting, pp. 57-58. See chapter three, footnote 41. The details of Woolley's "Grand Council of the Kingdom" have never been fully elucidated.

143. Reminiscences of John W. Woolley and Lorin C. Woolley, volume 4 (interview with Harold Allred in 1972), page 21, volume 5, pages 12, 38;

144. Journal of Joseph W. Muser, April 9, 1922.

145. Reminiscences of John W. Woolley and Lorin C. Woolley, volume 2 (interview with Price W. Johnson, June, 1971), page 22, volume 4 (interview with William Thomas, 1972), number VI p.16.