Mormon Church Quietly Endorses Polygamous Marriages of Excommunicated Fundamentalists – in the Afterlife

Allred (left), LeBaron
Allred (left), LeBaron
More than a hundred years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) outlawed the practice of polygamy. LDS records, however, indicate that early Mormon leaders, Joseph Smith Jr. and Brigham Young, have both been “sealed” (married) for eternity to hundreds of wives. Despite its current temporal ban on polygamy, the LDS Church promotes polygamy on a perpetual basis. Polygamous unions, mainly on behalf of the dead, using living Mormons as proxies, are routinely performed in LDS temples.

Mormon fundamentalists — representing the sects of Mormonism which embrace early Mormon teachings that made polygamy a central part of the Mormon faith — are among the deceased people whose multiple marriages are now recognized by the LDS Church. Many polygamists who became Mormon fundamentalists were excommunicated from the LDS Church because they supported polygamy. The LDS Church has disowned Mormon fundamentalists. In sharp contradiction, the LDS temple system systematically validates the plural marriages of dead ex-Mormon polygamists through its marriage sealing rituals.

An example of many such individuals is Rulon Clark Allred, who was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1940 for practicing polygamy. Allred was the leader of the Utah-based group of Mormon fundamentalists, known as the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). A naturopath by profession, Allred was murdered in his office in Murray, Utah, on May 10, 1977, on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous group. At the time of his death, Allred was the husband of at least seven wives, the father of forty-eight children, and the spiritual leader of thousands of Mormon fundamentalists.

Mormon records show that Rulon Allred has been sealed by proxy to five of his wives: Katherine Lucy Handy, from whom he was divorced; Beatrice Marjorie Lloyd; Ethel Jessop; Mabel Finlayson; and Ruth Rachel Barlow. Allred was sealed to two of his wives, Ethel Jessop and Ruth Barlow, on December 16, 2008 in the Ogden Utah (LDS) Temple. Ethel Jessop became a plural wife of Rulon Allred in 1945 — five years after his excommunication from the LDS Church. Allred’s posthumous sealing to Jessop in 2008 was an LDS endorsement of Allred’s post-excommunication polygamy.

LDS proxy rituals for Rulon Allred appear to be ongoing. Allred was sealed to Mabel Finlayson on September 17, 2009 in the Panama City, Panama, (LDS) Temple. LDS files also indicate Allred is “Ready” to be sealed to Melba Finlayson, Mabel’s twin sister.

As though killers will share an eternal reward with their victims, Ervil Morrell LeBaron — the Mormon fundamentalist behind the death of Rulon Allred — was sealed by proxy in 2002 to Delfina Salido, from whom he was divorced. LeBaron is in the process of being sealed to several of his other wives. LDS records show that marriage sealings for LeBaron to Maria De La Luz (Mary Lou) Vega and Lorna Chynoweth are currently “In progress.” A marriage sealing for LeBaron to Yolanda (Lina) Rios is listed as “Ready.”


Helen Radkey is a Salt Lake City–based researcher into the practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose groundbreaking research showing that the church was continuing to posthumously baptize victims of the Holocaust sparked outrage in recent years. Her most recent article for Pensito Review was Mormons Posthumously Baptize Notorious Killers.

© Copyright 2009, Helen Radkey—Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.


  • Jean
    October 1, 2009 - 3:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s all a load of BS isn’t it? Why are there so many things being denied today while this kind of nonsense continues?

    God should know who is worthy and who isn’t; who is married to whom etc.

    Keep up the good work Helen; it is so enlightening which is more than can be said for the ‘works of darkness’ that the church engages in. Oh I’m so glad I’m free.

  • joesdaughter
    October 1, 2009 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Are these sealings and the baptisms of the dead income generating rituals ? If you have a relative who has been “exed” or is a “never-mo”, do you make an cash offering to spring them from the dark world ?

  • Helen Radkey
    October 2, 2009 - 6:59 am | Permalink

    In response to “joesdaughter,” Mormon rituals for the dead are not income-generating for the LDS Church. There are no “cash offerings” for dead individuals.

    However, there is a money requirement involved. Mormons who participate in LDS temple rituals are required by their church to be full (10%) tithe payers.

  • October 2, 2009 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    I would like for you to look at this from the person who submitted the names for the ordnance’s point of view. They have been taught that they need to do temple ordinances for their deceased relatives (and only their deceased relatives, those who move on to other people are not following the directives of the church), regardless of their sins. They also know that temple ordinances are subject to the approval of both the spirits involved and God.

    So from the member’s point of view, if they are following the rules given, and they make a mistake anyway, God will have it sorted out.

    As to our understanding of the practice of polygamy, we believe it to be OK when it is ordained by God and practiced righteously. A man must not take more wives than he can support, each wife is a partner in this life, and each person involved makes the choice to enter. Women are not treated as baby factories and are not forced into the practice. The goal is to create a family, not a harem. The practice is of biblical origin and was practiced by some of his greatest prophets (Abraham, Issac) and kings (David, Solomon). To say that all polygamy is a sin is to ignore these great men.

    When Temple Ordinances are performed, we are merely presenting a choice to those involved which is subject to God’s will. It is not our place to judge a man’s or woman’s sins for them but God’s.

  • Helen Radkey
    October 2, 2009 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    In response to “Tsaot”, it is contradictory for the LDS Church to conduct posthumous temple marriage sealings for Mormon fundamentalists, when it was plural marriages that caused these polygamists to be ousted from the LDS Church, in the first place.

    The LDS Church once found it convenient to expel polygamists and their familes.

    Now it is not convenient for the LDS Church to directly address the polygamy issue that once caused plural marriage advocates to be expelled from the LDS Church?

    Instead, LDS Church-sanctioned temple rituals (behind the scenes) would now make ex-Mormon polygamists—and their polygamy—acceptable by Church standards?

    Now Mormons mindlessly leave it up to God to judge the polygamy the LDS Church once judged as wrong?

    And is it okay for a murderer, like Ervil LeBaron, to be sealed by proxy to multiple wives? No common sense used? Is it okay for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to be each sealed to hundreds of wives? This is biblical?

    Some special deal for these characters because of Mormon rank?

    Who is going to swallow this baloney?

  • joesdaughter
    October 2, 2009 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Helen- thank you for your information. I know about temple worthiness, but I also thought that other offerings were involved.

    ” It is not our place to judge a man’s or woman’s sins for them but God’s.”

    Then why dishonor the worthiness of those who are loyal to the faith of THEIR fathers, by baptizing the dead ?

  • October 2, 2009 - 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Why yes Helen, we do believe that God is all knowing and all powerful and is capable of infinite thoughts and actions. We do believe that he knows the hearts of men better than we could imagine. We also believe that it is possible for a man to repent after committing a sin and we believe that God is in charge.

    As to hundreds of wives; Wow, that’s news to me. The highest I’ve ever heard of was for Brigham Young at 65.

    Joesdaughter –
    If you found out that your ancestors, while good people, who were strong in their belief of God, were doomed never to see their creator’s face again because they never had the opportunity to take part in saving ordinances, but that you had the opportunity to correct that and help them along, would you not take it?

    If you found out that it’s possible for your parents, who love each other more than any other, who were married “till death do they part”, to actually have a marriage that allows them to continue to live in their love for one another for time and all eternity, would you not offer it to them?

    No, I do not think I’m dishonoring their worthiness of those who lived their lives to the best of their ability.

  • Helen Radkey
    October 3, 2009 - 7:28 am | Permalink

    “Tsaot,” you must obviously believe in an unjust God if murderers and their victims can potentially receive a similar fate in the hereafter.

    In other words, someone can live the life of a murderous and unrepentant criminal while on Earth. Then, after death, he can conveniently repent, posthumously convert to Mormonism, pay no real price for his crimes against humanity, and the “all-knowing” and the “all powerful” God you describe could permit him to live forever with those who have lived non-harmful lives.

    Not only that, our villain, like Ervil LeBaron, can spend eternity having sex and producing spirit offspring with a bevy of wives? Sounds more like a Mormon madhouse than celestial paradise.

    Speaking of villains, as for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young each having hundreds of wives, this is a fact, according to Mormon records. It is not my problem if your church is not more open about this type of ridiculous information.

    Perhaps you could enquire as to which specific online database shows current LDS ordinance data and obtain a log-in to the relevant site, and find out for youself?

  • October 3, 2009 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    Helen, this is my last comment on your site as instead of engaging in an actual conversation, where ideas are shared and an understanding is reached, you attack and twist my words.

    As I have stated before, temple ordinances are subject to God’s will. We are in no way taking over God’s judgment, merely preparing for it. I’m sorry that offends you.

    I agree with you that there have been evil men who have had their ordinances done. I understand that you believe that evil men should not have an opportunity for salvation. That is your belief and opinion to hold. You have every right to it.

    I believe, however, that Christ has required of all men to forgive all men and that He is the one who decides who will receive His mercy. Those who do evil will be punished for their evil in the afterlife, but not my me.

  • joesdaughter
    October 3, 2009 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Tsaot- Nice try.

  • Helen Radkey
    October 3, 2009 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Tsoat, my article (that your comments are attached to) specifically refers to ongoing marriage sealing rituals performed in Mormon temples for examples of Mormon fundamentalists who were once excommunicated by the LDS Church because of polygamy.

    I have pointed out a major irregularity within your Mormon system. The LDS Church permits marriage sealings for polygamists to be currently performed in its temples, when it once kicked these same polygamists out of its ranks because of polygamy.

    The LDS Church has publicly outlawed the practice of polygamy. Yet, at the same time, polygamous unions for dead polygamists (and others) are occurring willy-nilly in LDS temples.

    Leave it up to God to judge, you say. It is your idea, not mine, that all LDS temple “ordinances” are subject to God’s will and God’s judgment. I believe God’s will and God’s judgment does very well without any LDS rituals.

    Just because you say “Christ has required of all men to forgive all men…” does not justify kooky LDS temple practices, like re-baptizing the likes of dead Ted Bundy, or LDS inconsistencies with Mormon fundamentalists, such as I have described in my report and comments.

  • October 11, 2009 - 9:58 am | Permalink


    I am somewhat new to this concept but from outside it appears theologically pretentious to claim reign over the land of the dead by proclamations of the living. If anything seems to preempt the power of the ruler of the afterlife, this is it.

    If I read this correctly, the HR and records department of the afterlife is run by existing mortals in Salt Lake City?

    I guess that stands to reason for folks that think the moral accounting of our mortal lives is calculated by bookkeepers in heaven. Heavenl and Earth have a quid pro quo.

    Seeing this forum as moderated I am probably typing to the bit bucket.

  • Vickif
    October 11, 2009 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Why is it only men were allowed multiple wives but women were only allowed one husband? Also I know my parents would be horrified if they were bound to each other for eternity by someone else’s church than their own. They were good and proud Roman Catholics not Mormons.

  • semi-adult
    October 11, 2009 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    You’re all nuts.

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster will deny you sauce and you will exist forever dry.

  • B.M.
    January 24, 2010 - 12:29 am | Permalink

    Oh. My. Gosh. What a bunch of complete nonsense. The only truth this article has about real LDS, is that they excommunicate people who become polygamists or become a fundamentalist Mormon or whatever they call themselves. 1 husband. 1 wife. Done. Those posthumous sealings? Thats the fundamentalists doing. Not the real LDS. If you are going to write something, dont you have to get the facts straight? Have you ever heard the word “LIBEL”

  • Matthew
    September 17, 2010 - 1:32 am | Permalink

    If all of this “by proxie” ritualistic, posthumous temple sanctioned sealings, baptisms, marriages and ordinances are part of Mormonism (and they are…I was one, in a modern non-fundamentalist local Ward in the suburbs-not the backwoods of Idaho), what’s the point of living anything other than a hedonistic, self gratifying, indulgent existence, when all my remaining Mormon “loved ones” will perform all these religiously sanctioned things for me “by proxie” in multi-million dollar temples when I’m dead? My mom has been doing baptisms, sealings and endowments by proxie for non-Mormon dead relatives for 40 years. The other side of genealogy. Where is the “God, the same yesterday, today and forever” rock I can stand on in the latter-day revelation driven Mormon faith?

    And who’s to say that a “modern day” revelation 10 years from now won’t nullify what is accepted Mormon religious doctrine today? I remember very well when African Americans would “never” hold keys to the Melchizedek priesthood (“Mormon Doctrine” by Bruce R. McKonkie). Amazingly, that changed by a new revelation right around the time civil rights finally got the voice it deserved. Mr.McKonkie also reveals that polygamy will be the norm in the Celestial kingdom, but it has been removed by a new revelation from the earth for a season (revelation from the US Government-Manifesto 1890). Mormon doctrine still accepts it. They just don’t promote it or openly practice it in the US legally.

    And where the heck are those darn golden plates?

    It doesn’t take much time, research and reading to find just how disconnected this organization’s doctrines are, and how questionable the practices and ethics of its founders were. Most of those initial founders (witnesses)interestingly enough, were excommunicated…

    The daunting amount of information available about this faith speaks for itself. Too bad most Mormons will only look at their own publications, and look to their own sanctioned propaganda for truth, and not actually look beyond the walls of the Wards to see what the rest of the world can see so clearly. Wonderful, moral people…but really troubling beliefs carefully wrapped in a “Christian” package. When I was a kid, Christians were the Apostate church…now Mormons are Christians. Any wonder we’re confused?

  • Servant to the King
    September 25, 2012 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    They really are crazy!

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