Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly

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The Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly is a Mormon fundamentalist sect, headquartered in Big Water, Utah, that was founded in 1974 by Alex Joseph.[1][2][3]

Establishment[edit]

The Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly was formed in in 1974 by Alex Joseph after he left the Apostolic United Brethren,[2] a sect he joined after being excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1970.[3]

Joseph established his sect in Cottonwood Canyon, Northeast of Kanab in Southern Utah[3] However, the Kane County Sheriff informed Joseph that he was on public land, and the sect was evicted.[3] The sect them moved to an area called "Bac Bon", 16 miles away.[3] Joseph was again forced to move the sect, this time to Glen Canyon City, since the sub development wasn’t approved and building permits had not been granted.[3] Glen Canyon City was later incorporated as Big Water, Utah.[2]

Confederate Nations of Israel[edit]

The Confederate Nations of Israel is a hybrid church–political organization with roots in the Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly and Mormon fundamentalism. It was organized in 1977 by Alex Joseph and was patterned after the Council of Fifty. The Confederate Nations of Israel is multi-denominational and combines ecumenical spiritual doctrines with ultimate aspirations of quasi-theocratic political control.

While is often classified as a sect within the Latter Day Saint movement[4] the Confederate Nations of Israel is a loosely organized confederation of individuals affiliated from many denominations who may or may not practice polygamy. It combines ecumenical spiritual doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly with the ultimate aspirations of quasi-theocratic political control.

Of the 400 members of the Confederate Nations of Israel members, approximately one-fourth practice polygamy, and very few of these individuals have ever been a member of any Latter Day Saint denomination.[5] In addition to independent Mormon fundamentalists, the organization includes "Catholics, Protestants, Eastern religionists, atheists, and sexually-active homosexuals".[5]

Willy Marshall, a member of the organization, was elected mayor of Big Water in 2001 and became the first openly-gay mayor in Utah history.[6]

Death of Alex Joseph[edit]

After Alex Joseph died in 1998, polygamy practically ceased to exist within Big Water, Utah. The sects children attend public school and women were encouraged to live freely, obtain an education. The Alex Joseph family tended to be involved with the media and speak openly about their polygamous lifestyle because they felt the media provided protection for the group.[7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Stokes, Jerry (2007), Changing World Religions, Cults & Occult, p. 159, retrieved October 7, 2013 
  2. ^ a b c Melton, J. Gordon (1992), Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, retrieved October 7, 2013 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Webb, Loren (December 22, 2012), Southern Utah Memories: Alex Joseph Story, Big Water, Utah: KCSG Television, retrieved October 7, 2013 
  4. ^ See, e.g., J. Gordon Melton (2003, 7th ed.). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Detroit, Mich.: Gale).
  5. ^ a b D. Michael Quinn, "Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 22–23.
  6. ^ Brandon Burt, "Utah's Gay Mayor", Salt Lake Metro.
  7. ^ The Primer, Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities: Fundamentalist Mormon Communities (PDF), Utah Attorney General’s Office and Arizona Attorney General's Office, June 2006, retrieved June 29, 2010