RIGHTEOUS BRANCH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS




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Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Coordinates: 37°42′30″N 113°49′01″W / 37.708384°N 113.816949°W / 37.708384; -113.816949 (Temple Location)

Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Pyramid-shaped temple located near Modena, Utah
Pyramid-shaped temple[1] located near Modena, Utah, west of Cedar City, Utah.[2]
Classification Mormonism
Polity Hierarchical
Leader Gerald W. Peterson, Jr.
Origin April 6, 1978
Temples 1

The Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as The Righteous Branch, The Branch Church, The Peterson Group and Christ's Church, is a fundamentalist Mormon sect of the Latter Day Saint movement. There are approximately 100 to 200 members, who mostly live seven miles west of the area of Beryl, Utah, on Utah State Route 56,[2] which is close to Modena, Utah. The ranch property itself was part of the original Gerald Peterson, Sr.[2] property outside of the area Cedar City; however it is not part of either incorporated city.[1] Additionally, a large number of sect members have relocated near Tonopah, Nevada, in the Big Smoky Valley.


Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints History


The Righteous Branch was organized on April 6, 1978, by Gerald Wilbur Peterson, Sr. (born October 8, 1917 in Lusk, Wyoming, died January 1981).[3] Peterson claimed that after Rulon C. Allred (leader of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) from 1954–77) was murdered by followers of Ervil LeBaron, Allred appeared to him and instructed him to preside over the presiding keys of the priesthood.[4]

As with other Mormon fundamentalist groups, the Branch believed that a priesthood organization and council existed outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The keys of the priesthood were believed to have passed from John Woolley to Joseph Musser to Rulon Allred and then to Gerald Peterson, Sr. A key distinction between the Righteous Branch and the LDS Church is that when in 1978 the LDS Churchgave the priesthood to black people, the Righteous Branch believed this was the final act of apostasy. Peterson relieved the LDS Church's First Presidency from its duties and reorganized a new church body with a new temple. This was done on April 6, 1978, two months before the LDS Church's First Presidency claimed to have received inspiration to ordain people of African descent. Peterson claimed that he had foreknowledge of this coming apostasy through revelation. It was organized in the same manner as the LDS Church with a First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve Apostles, Presiding Bishopric and other priesthood and auxiliary organizations, with full responsibility for all the functions of the original church. In contrast, other Mormon fundamentalist groups such as the AUB still believe the LDS Church to be the one true church, but that some functions of the priesthood continue with its organization (such as plural marriage and the United Order), whereas the keys of missionary work and genealogy primarily lie with the LDS Church.

After the death of Peterson on January 9, 1981, leadership was passed to his son Gerald W. Peterson, Jr., who then moved the headquarters of the sect to St. George, Utah.[3]

A pamphlet published by Christ's Church Inc. (the legally incorporated name of the Righteous Branch) [1] entitled "A Broken Heart & Contrite Spirit" gives a very brief history of the above events [2]. While this is not an "official" Branch website, there are no official online sources of information for the Branch so fair use must dictate linking to other known contact information for the group until such time as an official website becomes available for the public to visit.

There is copyrighted material identified as coming from Christ's Church, Inc. on Gerald Jones' website, however, Jones does not explicitly identify himself as an Apostle in that organization. Even were he an apostle, he may not be able to speak on behalf of the entire quorum of apostles (the governing body of his faith).

Regarding Peterson Sr.'s claim to succeed Allred, the Branch claims that Peterson Sr. was Allred's "worthy senior" chosen to succeed him, supporting that statement with a claim that Peterson was ordained a patriarch and a "high priest apostle" (the latter being a priesthood office unique to some Mormon fundamentalist groups). There is no evidence that Peterson Sr. was a member of Allred's Priesthood Council and no ordination date has been provided.


Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Offshoot


Roger Martin, a former member of the Branch First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, organized a congregation known as Covenant Yeshua Messiah Patriarchal Lineage Ephraim (CYMPLE) [3] which has been referred to with the moniker "The Twig" as it is an offshoot of "The Branch." While Martin's name does not appear on the main site page, a whois registry search for that web domain lists a Roger Martin of Provo, Utah as the registered website owner [4]

According to the site's glossary [5] CYMPLE practices the Mormon fundamentalist practice of "united order." "The latter day independent patriarchal consecrated united order that hosts CYM, the congress of independent consecrated united orders. It is also dedicated for the preservatons and advancement of the covenants and values of this, the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times." According to this glossary, CYMPLE is a "restorationist" church as it accepts Joseph Smith's restoration. "The latter day restoration of the Gospel and Priesthood through Divine revelation to living prophets and apostles, beginning in 1820, when Yoseph Testator received direct testimony of the Father and Son, being followed by the incremental restoration of all principles spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the days of Adam, as a forerunner to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth and the dawn of the Millenial reign of Messiah."

These members who have departed believed that Gerald Sr. and the Prophet Joseph Smith also guide Martin in other independent callings.[citation needed]


Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Doctrines and practices


The Righteous Branch practices plural marriage (polygamy) and teaches the Adam–God doctrine, the Curse of Cain doctrine, and lives the United Order (United Order).[5] Adherents are modern in their dress and do not allow women under 18 to be sealed into plural marriages.[citation needed]

The Righteous Branch built a pyramid-shaped temple near Modena, Utah,[5] making it one of seven Latter Day Saint denominations to have built a temple.[6]


Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Prominent members


Gerald Peterson, Jr. has a doctorate of osteopathic medicine[7] and practices homeopathy in Tonopah, Nevada.[8] Peterson served as a medical officer in the United States Army and received training there before deciding to practice in the private sector.

Gerald Peterson, Sr. also practiced homeopathic medicine.[citation needed]

Prominent Mormon fundamentalist Tom Green was a member and apostle of the Righteous Branch for a short time.[9]


Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints See also



Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints References


  1. ^ a b Utah Attorney General’s Office and Arizona Attorney General's Office. The Primer, Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities. Updated June 2006. Page 23.
  2. ^ a b c Spencer, James R. (December 2004), Spying Out Polygamy in Utah, mazeministry.com, pp. 1–4 
  3. ^ a b Shields, Steven L. (1990) Divergent Paths of the Restoration, 4 edition. Herald Pub House. ISBN 0-942284-13-5
  4. ^ Hales, Brian C. (2009) Gerald Peterson and the Righteous Branch of the Christ's Church".
  5. ^ a b Moore-Emmett, Andrea. (2004) God's Brothel. Pince-Nez Press. ISBN 1-930074-13-1
  6. ^ The other six are the Church of Christ, the LDS Church, the Community of Christ, the Apostolic United Brethren, the Church of Christ (Wightite), and the FLDS Church.
  7. ^ Gerald W Peterson DO Hmd in Tonopah, Nevada
  8. ^ Tonopah Based Business see Professional Services: DR. Gerald Peterson Jr. D.O.
  9. ^ Hales, Brian C. (2009) "Tom Green".

Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints External links





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