Chronology for Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism
1831 Joseph Smith learns that plural marriage may be acceptable to God.
1834 An angel appears to Joseph Smith, commanding him to practice plural marriage.
1835 Joseph Smith marries first plural wife, Fanny Alger. The marriage dissolves quickly.
1836 Sealing authority is restored through a visitation from the Old Testament Prophet Elijah in the Kirtland Temple.
1841 Joseph Smith begins anew plural marriage in Nauvoo.
1842 Other men in Nauvoo become polygamists.
1844 Joseph Smith is martyred, Brigham Young becomes the key holder of sealing authority.
1852 Brigham Young announces to the world the previously secret practice of polygamy.
1862 The first federal legislation against polygamy is passed by the U.S. Government.
1877 Brigham Young dies and John Taylor becomes the “one” man holding the sealing keys.
1882 Additional federal laws are passed against plural marriage.
1887 John Taylor passed away leaving Wilford Woodruff as the “one” man.
1889 More federal legislation against polygamy.
1890 The “Manifesto” is presented by Wilford Woodruff telling the Saint that plural marriage is no longer commanded by God. Plural marriages are still secretly permitted.
1899 Wilford Woodruff dies. Lorenzo Snow becomes Church President and the “one.”
1902 Lorenzo Snow passes on. Joseph F. Smith becomes the key holder and Church President.
1904 President Smith issues the “Second Manifesto.” Thereafter new marriages are not permitted.
1904-1920s Scattered individuals attempt their own plural marriages without the Church President’s permission and are excommunicated. No organized groups or leaders exist.
1912 Lorin Woolley writes an account saying that in 1886, John Taylor received a visit from Joseph Smith while staying in the Woolley home.
1914 Lorin Woolley’s father, Patriarch John W. Woolley, is excommunicated for performing plural marriages. He claims Apostle Matthias Cowley gave him authorization.
1918 Joseph F. Smith dies. Church President Heber J. Grant holds the sealing keys.
1921 John Woolley’s son, Lorin, remembers that back in 1886, he and four other men were ordained with authority to seal plural marriages independent of the Church. None of the other men left any similar record.
1920s Polygamists band together for meetings but without any identifiable leaders.
1921 Joseph Musser is excommunicated for plural marriage.
1921-1934 Lorin Woolley tells many stories. He expands his 1912 account saying that in 1886, there was an eight hour meeting with thirteen in attendance and that he was afterwards ordained to a previously unheard of office of “High Priest Apostle” and made a member of a previously unheard of priesthood quorum, “The Council of Seven Friends.”
1925 Monogamist Lorin Woolley is excommunicated for telling lies about Church leaders.
1928 John Woolley dies outside of the Church, having lived as a polygamist (with two wives) for only six years of his life (1886-1892).
1929 Charles W. Kingston is excommunicated for polygamy.
1929-1934 Lorin Woolley calls six other men to fill his “Council of Seven Friends”: J. Leslie Broadbent, John Y. Barlow, Joseph W. Musser, Charles F. Zitting, LeGrand Woolley, and Louis Kelsch. They assert authority over the Church. Church President Heber J. Grant ignores their claims.
1933-1934 Woolley, Broadbent, Barlow and Musser publish three booklets describing their priesthood organization. Most polygamists unite under them without ascribing to all of their ideas.
1934 Lorin Wolley dies. J. Leslie Broadbent becomes the leader.
1934 J. Leslie Broadbent ordains Elden Kingston with an undisclosed priesthood authority.
1935 Broadbent succumbs to pneumonia. John Y. Barlow assumes leadership. Truth magazine is started by Joseph Musser. Musser and Barlow visit Short Creek, Arizona. Polygamists are arrested.
1935 Elden Kingston, son of Charles W. Kingston, reported receiving visits from angelic messengers giving him knowledge and power.
1836 John Y. Barlow is asked if he holds the sealing keys and answer in the negative. Musser explains that he also doesn’t know where the keys are located.
1941 John Y. Barlow calls and ordains new “High Priest Apostles.”
1941 Elden Kingston organizes the Davis Council Cooperative Society.
1942 The United Effort Plan (UEP) is started in Short Creek, Arizona.
1944 Law enforcement official conduct a raid, arresting fifteen men who are convicted and incarcerated the next year.
1945 Eleven of the fifteen men sign a “Manifesto” agreeing to abandon plural marriage and are paroled after six months.
1945 Heber J. Grant passes away and George Albert Smith becomes Church President.
1948 Elden Kingston dies. His brother, Ortell Kingston leads the Kingston organization.
1949 John Y. Barlow dies, having added seven new members during his tenure. The Council of Seven Friends now contains eleven High Priest Apostles. Musser assumes the senior position.
1950 Joseph Musser ignores the seniority of the other ten Council of Friends (commonly called the “Priesthood Council”) members and ordains Rulon C. Allred as his successor.
1950 A. Dayer LeBaron dies. His children and wife testify that he had special priesthood authority. Joel LeBaron claimed angelic visitations and authority from his father.
1951 David O. Mckay becomes President of the Church and sealing key holder.
1952 Rebellion occurs among Priesthood Council members who refuse to accept Rulon C. Allred. Musser releases the old Council and calls seven new Council members (seldom referred to as High Priest Apostles by this time). A split occurs with Musser and Rulon Allred presiding in Salt Lake City over the new Priesthood Council and Leroy Johnson presiding in Short Creek. Charles Zitting, LeGrand Woolley, and Louis Kelsch refuse to be involved.
1953 State official raid Short Creek apprehending 122 adults and 263 children. The men are quickly charged, convicted, and paroled. The mothers are allowed to accompany their children who are sent to foster homes, but eventually released. Three years later, all have returned to Short Creek.
1954 Musser, who had been incapacitated by several strokes, dies. Rulon Allred presides.
1955 Joel LeBaron incorporates the Church of the Firstborn. His brother incorporates the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times. Both claim authority from their father.
1970 Joseph Fielding Smith is new Church President and “one” man holding the sealing keys.
1971 Ervil LeBaron organizes his own Church of the Lamb of God.
1972 Ervil LeBaron sends followers who kill his brother Joel.
1972 Harold B. Lee becomes President of the Church and controller of sealing authority.
1973 Spencer W. Kimball succeeds Harold B. Lee.
1975 The Allred Group incorporates themselves and the Apostolic United Brethrenn or AUB.
1977 Rulon Allred is shot by followers of Ervil LeBaron. Owen Allred becomes the new AUB leader. Ervil is prosecuted and incarcerated.
1981 Ervil LeBaron dies in prison.
1983 The State of Utah sues Ortell Kingston for welfare subsidies fraud. He pays $250,000 and the case is dropped.
1984 Leroy Johnson releases Priesthood Council members Marion Hammon and Alma Timpson (called years before by John Y. Barlow). They split off to form Centennial Park.
1984 Ron and Dan Lafferty murder their sister-in-law and her daughter.
1985 Ezra Taft Benson become President of the Church and “one” man.
1986 Leroy Johnson passes away. Rulon Jeffs becomes leader. They incorporate as the FLDS Church.
1987 Ortell Kingston dies. His son, Paul Elden Kingston assumes the leadership role.
1994 Howard W. Hunter is the new Church President and holder of the sealing keys.
1995 Gordon B. Hinckley succeeds Howard W. Hunter.
1999 David Ortell Kingston is convicted for incest and John Daniel Kingston for felony child abuse.
2000 Jeremy Ortell Kingston is convicted of incest in his marriage to his fifteen year old cousin. Tom Green is convicted of bigamy and criminal non-support.
2002 Rulon Jeffs dies. Not believing in a Priesthood Council of any size, neither Jeffs or Johnson, called new members. The leadership vacuum is filled by Warren Jeffs, who had been his incapacitated father’s spokesman for several years.
2002 Brian David Mitchell kidnaps Elizabeth Smart.
2003 Warren Jeffs excommunicates all potential rivals. He acquires land in Eldorado, Texas.
2005 Temple in Eldorado Texas, FLDS compound is dedicated. Warrant for Warren Jeffs arrest is issued.
2005 Owen Allred dies and J. LaMoine Jenson succeeds him as leader of the AUB.
2006 Warren Jeffs hides and is placed on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List. Later he is arrested.
2007 Warren Jeffs is convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice. He also abdicates his position as Prophet to the FLDS.
2008 Thomas S. Monson become LDS Church President and the “one” man holding all sealing keys.
2008 Texas law enforcement official raid the Eldorado compound, taking over 400 children into custody.