“And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.”
Doctrine and Covenants, 84:7, 8.
Continued from “Pt 34-D: The Mexico-LeBarons and Their Messianic Missions:”
Mama said, as per her father Dayer LeBaron’s dead grandfather BFJ coming to him in the middle of the night as a resurrected being, awakening him, and giving him the sceptre of power:
“My father could feel his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson’s hand upon his shoulder as plain as day. The grip was so strong he could still feel his grandfather’s hand there the following morning, though his grandfather had long since left.”
This yarn has become more convoluted, confounded, and embellished with each passing decade … and each significant person who tells the tale of this LeBaron lore.
Example: In my Aunt Charlotte Kunz LeBaron’s compilation of “Maud’s Story,” she NOW has Grandmama Maud claiming B.F. Johnson actually gave this sceptre/scepter of power/mantle to her husband, my grandpa Dayer, before he died! How strange! Fundy stories change!!
In my youth, I looked forward to Sunday when Daddy finished the newspaper, then tossed me the “Sunday Funnies.” Now I find the “Fundy Funnies” almost as funny!
For example: My G.G. Grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson’s immediate progeny say, in writing, their father/grandfather never, EVER mentioned having any scepter of power passed on to him from the Prophet Joseph Smith before he died! In fact, they never heard of ANY such claims from their father/grandfather BFJ!
In Benjamin F. Johnson’s autobiography “My Life’s Review,” he never mentions a word about having any special “scepter of power”/”mantle” passed on to him by Joseph Smith — though he mentions MANY great responsibilities and missions he carried out for the Prophets Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others!
I first heard the “OM&S/ BFJ/Scepter of Power” story around 1957, when I was eleven years old — shortly after Uncle Joel LeBaron had visited my parents and convinced his sister Esther/Mother an angel had come to him and ordained him to be the “one mighty and strong” prophet.
At that time, he was claiming he became “The One Mighty and Strong” prophet when an angel visited him while he was up in a cave in the mountains near Colonia LeBaron, Chihuahua, Mexico, fasting and praying in order to learn what part, if any, he played in his father’s (supposedly) saying one of his sons would be the OM&S to carry-on in his place and prepare the world for Christ’s second coming.
How THAT story has changed—been revised since 1960 when, shortly after my family and I gathered to “Zion/ Colonia LeBaron, my sweet, young Aunt Gayla, one of Uncle Joel’s wives, related to me how her husband became “the one mighty and strong.”
(To be continued)
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~ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron
Continued April 5, 2019: “Pt 34-F: The Mexico-LeBarons: Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?”