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The Lorin C. Whooly Story


Olavarria

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Just thought I'd open it up for discussion.

I view it as fiction.

Hi Pedro,

We might as well have this link for everyone:

The Polygamy Story

This 1979 book by J Max Anderson dissects the Woolley claims, and shows a lot of historical problems with them. I had never accepted the Woolley claims, but this book convinced me more that they are not correct.

Today www.mormonfundamentalism.com continues this kind of anti-Woolley research.

On the other hand, I do believe that President Taylor set apart Priesthood holders to continue plural marriages after the church would give it up. Lorin Woolley undoubtedly knew about this, and based his claims according to this fact-- knowing many others also knew about this.

And I also believe that D&C 132 clearly requires Plural Marriages at times, and it has been a mistake for the LDS to completely abandon their effort to live this law in its fullness. Many others have also seen this, and thus the Woolley claims played into their understanding.

The adversary is pretty sneaky, isn't he?

Richard

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Hi Pedro,

We might as well have this link for everyone:

The Polygamy Story

This 1979 book by J Max Anderson dissects the Woolley claims, and shows a lot of historical problems with them. I had never accepted the Woolley claims, but this book convinced me more that they are not correct.

Today www.mormonfundamentalism.com continues this kind of anti-Woolley research.

On the other hand, I do believe that President Taylor set apart Priesthood holders to continue plural marriages after the church would give it up. Lorin Woolley undoubtedly knew about this, and based his claims according to this fact-- knowing many others also knew about this.

And I also believe that D&C 132 clearly requires Plural Marriages at times, and it has been a mistake for the LDS to completely abandon their effort to live this law in its fullness. Many others have also seen this, and thus the Woolley claims played into their understanding.

The adversary is pretty sneaky, isn't he?

Richard

Now this is really confusing. I don't know much about this Wooley claim but it would not be out of the rhealm of possibilities I suppose. I wonder though, could it be like the explaination of Eve in the garden that God could give two contradictory commandments? I mean, Eve knew she had to violate the commandment not to partake of the fruit, yet also knew she had to in order to fulfill the ultimate distiny of the human race. If a person practices polygamy they are kicked out of the Church for apostacy yet if polygamy is as essential as some Church leaders said it was in the 1800s could it be that they will still reach exhaltation since they are striving to live a higher law? Yep, really confusing.

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What parts of it do you view as fiction?

How do you think Lorin Woolley was able to persuade his father John Woolley, and others such as Daniel Bateman and his father Samuel Bateman to support his story?

John Whooly: Is there any record as to what he actually belived regarding 1886? I belive the JT rev is legit and think its possible that he did say something along the lines of , Id rather get my right hand chopped off than sign a manifesto. The issue here is the "ordinations". JW leaves no record of such things. Am I wrong? So we dont know what JW was or was not saying during the 1920's.

Samuel Bateman: Please show me were SB supported the story about his purported ordination.

Daniel Bateman: He himself admitted that he never saw the actual ordination of the 5.

The ordiantions supervised by a resurrected JS is what Im disputing.

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... I don't know much about this Wooley claim ...

The Lorin Woolley authority claims for many fundamentalists are like the Joseph Smith claims for Mormons.

If Woolley was a fraud, those today claiming the D&C 132:7 Priesthood sealing keys from him are frauds. One could say, they have the "woolley" pulled over their eyes.

This would include the leader of the AUB, the FLDS, the Kingston group, the Peterson group (The Righteous Branch), and several other groups. I am pretty sure all these groups claim the other groups are apostate, by the way. They all have a separate line of men who they say was the "one man on the earth" who could authorize plural marriage-- all starting with Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and John Taylor.

(The various LeBaron groups often accept the Woolley claims, but they have further claims of higher authority through Benjamin F Johnson, whom they say was adopted to Joseph Smith.)

Here are some Woolley claims:

http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com/LCW-Bio.html (Part 1)

http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com/LCW-BIO%20Part%202.html (Part 2)

Part 2 has the more controversial claims Lorin Woolley made. Here is one interesting example:

In the days of Peleg the earth was divided -- so says the Bible. Peleg was a great prophet. He was persecuted by those who claimed to live the Gospel and was vilely used and abused even to the extent of having been unsexed. He forgave his seducers and persecutors in accordance with the principle laid down in Doc. & cove. Sec. 98, not only four times but even ten times; then they were stricken though claiming to be Saints of God, are went [sic] to hell, while he and his faithful followers were taken away on the planet of earth as was Enoch. After being unsexed, his body was restored, or renewed, in accordance with the Lord's promise in Doc. & Cov. 84. He had 61 wives and had 25 children born to them after being renewed. What a prophet! (Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser pp. 22-23.)

Richard

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Just thought I'd open it up for discussion.

I view it as fiction.

In the book "The Polygamists", Benjamin Bistline discusses the problems with Woolley's claim.

From page 24:

There is no written testimony from anyone other than Lorin Woolley of these ordinations taking place, and the account of event was not written until forty-three years later in 1929, a year after his father, John W. Woolley had died.

Fundamentalists rely on Daniel Bateman's testimony--which poses a problem. Bateman backs up claims of others, yet he admits he was not present. As Bistline says, "If he was not present when the ordinations took place, can he be considered a legitimate witness?" I would say 'no'. Also, he points out "there is no other written testimony of anyone witnessing the ordinations".

Another who it was claimed was at the meeting was George Earl. Bistline says Earl was approached many times by Fundamentalists to corroborate the story and each time he denied it, though he did reiterate his respect for the Woolley family. He wrote and signed a statement to this effect in 1949.

My answer is that it is fiction.

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What parts of it do you view as fiction?

How do you think Lorin Woolley was able to persuade his father John Woolley, and others such as Daniel Bateman and his father Samuel Bateman to support his story?

Lorin Woolley did not write his story until a year after his father's death, so we aren't able to know what his reaction would have been to his son's claims.

At the time he wrote this account, he admitted he was the only survivor of the five men to whom John Taylor had given special permission to keep polygamy alive.

Therefore, we've got one witness to the claims that are written regarding this incident. I don't know about you, but one witness is not good enough--and it is not in keeping with the way things are done in the Lord's church.

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Lorin Woolley did not write his story until a year after his father's death, so we aren't able to know what his reaction would have been to his son's claims.

At the time he wrote this account, he admitted he was the only survivor of the five men to whom John Taylor had given special permission to keep polygamy alive.

Therefore, we've got one witness to the claims that are written regarding this incident. I don't know about you, but one witness is not good enough--and it is not in keeping with the way things are done in the Lord's church.

Exaclty, LCW is just like James Strang and Jim Harmston. They are the only witnesses to their vision/ordination.

Also, I have the following from a fundamentalist site

In the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses

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.

(4 May, 1934, Daniel R. Bateman, Sworn Statement)

But lets look at the complete quote:

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 [in the room] 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 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.

4 May, 1934, Daniel R. Bateman, Sworn Statement

Another thing I don't like is the "recovered memory" explanation from the 1929 statement.

Said LCW:

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.

The game fundamentalists like to play is what I call "historical wedge". This is something fundies of all religious stripes play. Basically, it goes something like this:"when it all started the 1st generation did xyz this way; you do it another way. We do it the original way ergo we are right and you are wrong." They depend on this because the LCW isnt very strong.

Here are some other doosies

T[heodore] R[oosevelt] joined Church, received endowments shortly after ascending to Presidency after death of McKinley. (Book of Remembrance of Joseph Musser, p. 45.)

Hoover apparently leans to Catholicism, while Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the Council of the Kingdom of God, and entered the Patriarchal Order of Marriage (i.e. polygamy). (Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser p. 15; Reminiscences. 5:36.)

Ex-President Coolidge died suddenly today of heart failure. He was a member of the Grand Council -- an honorable man -- and did yeoman service. He held the Priesthood. (Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser p. 22. January 5, 1933.)

Franklin D. Roosevelt is much like his cousin Theodore. He believes in religious liberty and those who live the Patriarchal Order of Marriage as a religious rite he claims cannot be interfered with under the constitution. He has been consulted and promised to do the right thing if elected. Roosevelt split with Taft over matters pertaining to the Mormons and the Church and Kingdom of God. (Items from a Book of Remembrance of Joseph W. Musser, p. 23.)

http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com/LCW-BIO%20Part%202.html
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Lorin Woolley did not write his story until a year after his father's death, so we aren't able to know what his reaction would have been to his son's claims.

At the time he wrote this account, he admitted he was the only survivor of the five men to whom John Taylor had given special permission to keep polygamy alive.

Therefore, we've got one witness to the claims that are written regarding this incident. I don't know about you, but one witness is not good enough--and it is not in keeping with the way things are done in the Lord's church.

Nope, check this out: LINK

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Anything in particular you want us to look at.

Cut and paste works too :P

1st hand accounts are best.

The whole thing is relevant, particularly the quotes that show that John Woolley and Samuel Bateman supported Lorin Woolley's story.

John Woolley was a patriarch, stake high councillor and temple worker and was in his late 80's and 90's when the fundamentalists started carrying on their work independently from the Church. He would have known for certain whether or not his son was telling the truth. So why did he support him and tell the same story rather than denounce him as a liar?

Why did John Woolley's granddaughter (who never joined the fundamentalists) say that she was present when Joseph F. Smith came up to John W. Woolley and was apologetic regarding his excommunication and discussed getting him back into the Church? If the story is true, it doesn't fit well with the story that Joseph Fielding Smith and John Widtsoe told about Joseph F. Smith getting John Woolley to confess his lack of authority and then him getting excommunicated as a result.

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The whole thing is relevant, particularly the quotes that show that John Woolley and Samuel Bateman supported Lorin Woolley's story.

...

Hi kamenraider,

I would be very willing to consider another examination of the Lorin Woolley claims. I found "The Polygamy Story" convincing, but I can also believe that Anderson's bias to support the church leadership could have led him to miss important things. I did once read Fred Collier's defense of Lorin's claims, but it has been long time, and I also am wary of Fred's biases.

Here is what Quinn said:

As a historian, I have no evidence that there was a setting apart or an ordination... in 1886. However, I do have as early as 1906 a reference by loyal Church members that there had been men who had been set apart to keep plural marriage alive no matter what. And that certainly is a support for the account of 1886, but it doesn't refer in any specific way to the 1886 ordination... I would be more than happy to find verification, and if I did find it, I certainly wouldn't conceal evidence of the ordination of men in 1886... to continue plural marriage. But aside from the one reference I gave to you, in 1906, I find no evidence of that event prior to Lorin Woolley's detailed statements on various occasions in the 1920s concerning the 1886 ordination. Link
.

I also have issues with the biases of Quinn, but I am sure he would not keep back any evidence he found that supported the Lorin Woolley claims. He surely loves to bring out everything controversial he finds.

Quinn's report from "loyal church members" that "there had been men who had been set apart to keep plural marriage alive no matter what" supports 2BC 28, by the way.

Richard

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The whole thing is relevant, particularly the quotes that show that John Woolley and Samuel Bateman supported Lorin Woolley's story.

John Woolley was a patriarch, stake high councillor and temple worker and was in his late 80's and 90's when the fundamentalists started carrying on their work independently from the Church. He would have known for certain whether or not his son was telling the truth. So why did he support him and tell the same story rather than denounce him as a liar?

Once again, we do not know how John Woolley would have reacted to the claims that Lorin Woolley made in his written version of the events, since he died the year before it was made. And we have no way of knowing if Lorin Woolley exaggerated the events and the claims in a way that was not what his father would have supported. Without other witnesses to corroborate his version, as well as the fact that one 'witness' of the event even denied Woolley's statement, it should be looked at with suspicion.

Why did John Woolley's granddaughter (who never joined the fundamentalists) say that she was present when Joseph F. Smith came up to John W. Woolley and was apologetic regarding his excommunication and discussed getting him back into the Church? If the story is true, it doesn't fit well with the story that Joseph Fielding Smith and John Widtsoe told about Joseph F. Smith getting John Woolley to confess his lack of authority and then him getting excommunicated as a result.

This is not unreasonable-of course he was sorry that John Woolley was excommunicated. No doubt he was sorry to see many good people have to be excommunicated, but he understood that 'obedience is better than sacrifice'--something the fundamentalists and those leaders who continued to perform marriages when the authority to do so had been rescinded by the Prophet failed to understand.

Joseph F. Smith was a counselor to John Taylor while he was president. As his counselor, we should expect that Joseph F. Smith would have been informed about this incredible revelation that removed the authority of the church away from the Prophetic line of apostles and transferred it to the Woolleys, who even when the Prophets (who they claimed to have gotten their authority from in the first place) told them to stop, they would defy. And then, we are to believe that Lorin Woolley, who's claims to authority are supported by no other witnesses, had the authority to call six men to help him in his work. These men, who carried on the marriages received their 'authority' solely from the 'authority' of Lorin Woolley. It was the influence of a couple of these later men after Lorin's death that the people organized into a 'church'--against the wishes of the Woolleys, from whom they'd gotten their 'authority'.

And all this was done on the basis of an event that supposedly happened years before and of which, we have only one witness to 'testify' of it.

The fundamentalists' claim to authority rests with the statement by Lorin Woolley written up in 1929, one year after his father's death and 43 years after the event supposedly took place. This was a life changing, monumental event which if true, would wrest control of the Lord's work on the earth away from his established Prophets and church and give it to a small group of members, yet there are no other written testimonies of it--all we have is Lorin Woolley's version. We must rely on his testimony alone to believe it. The scriptures state that 'out of the mouths of two or three witnesses shall all things be established'. On this basis alone his claims should be rejected and his version of the event should be looked at with careful suspicion.

edited to remove a double posted line

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Hi kamenraider,

I also have issues with the biases of Quinn, but I am sure he would not keep back any evidence he found that supported the Lorin Woolley claims. He surely loves to bring out everything controversial he finds.

Quinn's report from "loyal church members" that "there had been men who had been set apart to keep plural marriage alive no matter what" supports 2BC 28, by the way.

Richard

I agree, he wouldn't have kept anything back if he'd found any evidence to support it.

And I don't doubt there were members who knew of the fundamentalist's claim--we would have expected them to have heard that some members believed they were to keep plural marriage alive.

And I don't doubt they were "Set apart" even...but by what authority? That is the $64,000 question. The answer to me is that the authority used was not from the President of the Church, the only man who could legitimately bind on earth and have it recognized in heaven.

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Once again, we do not know how John Woolley would have reacted to the claims that Lorin Woolley made in his written version of the events, since he died the year before it was made. And we have no way of knowing if Lorin Woolley exaggerated the events and the claims in a way that was not what his father would have supported.

John Woolley told the same story as his son (and he would know if it were true if anyone would, since the events happened in his own house):

I was almost fifty years old before the Lord put His finger on me. He said He wanted me to get prepared for another work when He called me into the apostleship. About four or five years before that, I visited Brother John W. Woolley who was then head of the Priesthood--God's chosen servant in the earth. He was the first to hold the presidency after John Taylor in this line of Priesthood. My brother took me to see him, introduced me to him. I sat down on the couch after shaking hands with Brother Woolley. He looked a hole through me for a moment. I thought, "Oh, this man is going to tell me of all the trials and tribulations I have had."

He startled me by saying, "Get up, young man, and come over here. I want to feel your hand again." I don't know whether I was shaking or whether I wasn't. I know I had a feeling that I was being tested. He looked me in the eye and said, "My boy, you'll do. You'll do." He told me to go and sit down, and I did. He says, "Now I know that I am among friends." And he opened up and told me of the revelation of 1886 and the eight-hour meeting.

--June 3, 1978 Canada, Sermons of LeRoy S. Johnson 4:1575-1576.

Joseph Lyman Jessop visited with John W. Woolley and wrote in his journal afterward (April 8, 1923) that Bro. Woolley was "an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, having been ordained to such by Pres. John Taylor."

Price Johnson related another occasion where John Woolley spoke of the events of Sept. 1886:

[John W. Woolley] took me into the room on the south where the Savior and Joseph Smith in his resurrected body had their long interview with John Taylor on the night of September 26, 1886. John Woolley said, "This is the room where the Savior and Joseph Smith visited. The couch over there is where they sat. The Savior was here until midnight; Joseph Smith stayed until morning
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Not trying to be a brat,but what difference does any of that make?

What do you suggest?

I would just suggest that Max Anderson and his protege Brian Hales may not exactly be the best sources for information regarding fundamentalists. Here's a letter from John W. Taylor's son Samuel, who was an active LDS member and a historian, novelist and scriptwriter:

14 February 1980

Dear S ...,

I got the three boxes of material, and I've got to admit that this is the high-water mark in the literature of the Mormon apologist. It is hard to believe that someone like Max Anderson would be so completely lacking in integrity in examining the evidence. But what really boggles me is how he could spend the time and effort on these manuscripts, which literally fit the definition of pornography, being utterly and completely devoid of any redeeming feature. Of course I realize that he thinks he is protecting the faith: but it is apparent at a glance that he is not a scholar at all. His thesis is that the official mythology is completely true to the last comma, and that any evidence to the contrary is nothing but apostate lies from the minions of Satan. It is really too bad that he didn't have just a little integrity. Inasmuch as I grew up in a plural family, and my father sacrificed high church position and his membership for the Principle; inasmuch as I interviewed my father's wives in depth; inasmuch as I have made notes on interviews with many old-timers and modern polygamists; and inasmuch as I have seven books and considerable shorter material on the subject - in view of this, I would consider myself something of an expert. Yet I don't know where to begin in trying to evaluate Max Anderson's material. It is like trying to criticize home movies as compared to a Hollywood motion picture. There is no meeting ground for me and Max Anderson. His material is, from a historian's viewpoint, completely unreliable and worthless. But what really surprised me was that Dean Jesse accepted Max Anderson at face value. I've never met him; but I had seen reference to his work on the Fundamentalists and I assumed it was based on scholarship. It is amazing that anyone working in the Church Historical Dept. wouldn't know better, wouldn't know that Anderson's stuff was complete trash. The unfortunate part is that Dean Jessee was in a position to know, and certainly he did know, what was what, but that he, also, said what was expected of him. I really don't think that deliberate distortion of the facts by so-called historians does the Church any good. It is actually a dangerous practice; it lays us open to being demolished by the simple truth. Nobody's faith is bolstered by the realization that the truth doesn't come from Salt Lake.

Best,

[signed] Samuel Taylor

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John Woolley told the same story as his son (and he would know if it were true if anyone would, since the events happened in his own house):

This is not John Woolley's telling the story, this is Leroy Johnson telling it--decades later. That's not the same thing.

Joseph Lyman Jessop visited with John W. Woolley and wrote in his journal afterward (April 8, 1923) that Bro. Woolley was "an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, having been ordained to such by Pres. John Taylor."

Price Johnson related another occasion where John Woolley spoke of the events of Sept. 1886:

Joseph Musser also told of an occasion where Joseph Smith appeared to John Woolley and Lorin Woolley and told them of John's approaching death, upon which they submitted the names of J. Leslie Broadbent and John Y. Barlow to be considered by the priesthood on the other side of the veil to be called to the same calling that they had (a few months later Lorin Woolley claimed his father, then deceased, appeared to him and told him to proceed to ordain the two men):

These quotes are irrelevant to my post. These are statements by other people who believed Woolley or had their own claims to authority.

It's funny to me, by the way, how people like Max Anderson have ignorantly criticized such details of the meeting as John Taylor being raised in the air while speaking and having a glow about him. He wrote:

Here's an example of the exact same thing happening to George Q. Cannon on another occasion in Hawaii:

There were other witnesses. Samuel Bateman's daughter said he told their family about it, and his next door neighbor, a Bro. Finlayson said that he had told him about it also. Who denied it, George Earl? He denied that he had seen anything supernatural in the 8-hour meeting (which he had been in and out of to do chores), but he didn't deny Lorin Woolley's statement -- on the contrary, in his signed statement he wrote "I always have had the feelings of the highest regard for all the Woolly family, and still do."

The Woolleys claimed to have been set apart by John Taylor and to have been "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," however they were told "not to begin our work until told to do so by proper authority." They thus looked to Joseph F. Smith as their leader unless and until he told them to begin their work.

Edwin D. Woolley Jr., in a reminiscence dictated to Elizabeth Woolley Jensen in March 1920 said:

Owen Allred said in a meeting on on March 31, 1996 that:

Well, in The Most Holy Principle, Vol. 4, pgs. 148-149 it says "Furthermore, in 1909, President Joseph F. Smith called Elders Nathan Clark, Bishop McKean, and Joseph W. Musser and gave them commission to keep celestial plural marriage alive in this last dispensation. It was a command."

That wasn't the first time that Joseph Musser had received such a commission from a Church President:

Joseph Musser also wrote that he had a messenger from Lorenzo Snow relate to him that he was chosen to enter plural marriage and to help keep the principle alive shortly after he and his wife had received their second anointings in 1899. Additionally he wrote that "In the year 1915 an Apostle conferred upon me the sealing power of Elijah, with instructions to see that plural marriage shall not die out." So I wouldn't say that someone such as Joseph Musser received his authority solely from Lorin Woolley.

But anyway, Lorin Woolley would not have agreed with the incorporation of the FLDS church.

Like I show above, there were multiple witnesses. As Drew Briney pointed out though, there's no contemporary documentation for the 1886 meeting, or the fall of Adam, the Atonement of Christ, or the first vision of Joseph Smith either. There actually might be for the 1886 meeting, however the First Presidency has the last months of 1886 of George Q. Cannon's journal, the 1886 volume of L. John Nuttall's journal, John Taylor's office journal, etc., locked in their vault and restricted from access.

Kamenraider, this is irrelevant information in response to my post.

You seem to think that if you post something lengthy with tons of quotes you have won the debate--that only works if it addresses the problem.

The quotes you offer do nothing to change the FACT that the 1886 revelation is worthless with only one witness to corroborate it. That's what you've got...one single witness (Lorin Woolley who wasn't even the main recipient of the 'call') who wrote it down and signed his name to it--conveniently after all the others had died. And you dismiss John Earp's denial of events because he said he had regard for the Woolley family? He did not support Woolley's story, he denied it. What he did with that last statement was try to 'soften' the damage he was doing to Woolley's reputation. Clearly he is denying Lorin's written statement.

As long as you have no written statement by John W. Woolley (the one who was supposedly the main character), and one or two who were actually there to offer their witnesses, you only have the son's story to go by. We have no statement by John Woolley, we only have claims by others of what he was supposedly told to do. That's not good enough--no matter how many of those kinds of quotes you can dig up.

Your quotes also rely on the later players in the fundamentalist movement--some who claim authority from this 'revelation' and others who have their own claims...K, this isn't how we do things in the church--this is how break offs do things. Witnesses are important, following the order of the church is important. These guys defied the leadership of the church and they offer only one witness, themselves, to the events or the authority they claim to hold. Those who claimed to follow Woolley's authority completely veered from what he'd taught them, once they were in control--Warren Jeffs is latest 'prophet' of the main group that grew out of Woolley's claim--and look how far the FLDS are from Woolley's original inception. And we know the mess of some of the other groups, Lebarons, Harmstons etc. How can anyone think these people were given 'authority' from God to do what they've done. :P

The quotes you provided do nothing to bolster Lorin Woolley's claim to authority--it only provides evidence that he was influential in getting others to believe his claims and repeat them. Many of these people were good people who just could not let Polygamy go--they'd built it up in their mind to something much more than it was ever meant to be. They couldn't let it go, their 'calling' that set them apart from the average around them. They couldn't humble themselves and accept the authority of the living Prophets, they looked to dead ones and defied the living ones so that they be 'special', called to a higher calling than the rank and file masses of the church. This same line of thinking drives good, deluded people to the polygamy cults today.

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