Latter Day Church of Christ

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Latter Day Church of Christ
Classification Restorationist
Orientation Latter Day Saint movement
Theology Mormon fundamentalism
Polity Hierarchical
Leader Paul Elden Kingston
Associations Davis County Cooperative Society Inc.
Headquarters Salt Lake City, Utah
Founder Ortell Kingston (Elden Kingston was founder of the Davis County Cooperative Society)
Origin January 1, 1935
Bountiful, Utah
Separated from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[1]
Members 3,500

The Latter Day Church of Christ[2] is a Mormon fundamentalist denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement, and is referred by News Articles as the Kingston Clan, the Kingston Group, and is a part of The Order, or the Davis County Cooperative, and The Co-op Society.[3] There are approximately 3,500 members of this group.[4]


The church was created in 1978 by Ortell Kingston, the then leader of the Davis County Cooperative Society Inc.,[5][verification needed] a cooperative organized as a United Order on January 1, 1935 and incorporated in 1941 as a legal cooperative.[6] The Latter Day Church of Christ is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In 1926, Charles W. Kingston became disenchanted with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) because of its abandonment of plural marriage.[7] Kingston began preaching polygamy amongst fellow members of the LDS Church as well as distributing pamphlets and the book, Laman Manasseh Victorious: A Message of Salvation and Redemption to His People Israel, First to Ephraim and Manasseh, which he had co-written. This eventually resulted in his excommunication from the LDS Church in 1929. By 1935, following the excommunication from the LDS Church, they moved to Bountiful one family at a time with the intention to live United Order as defined by Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants.[8] On February 7, 1941, the community founded by Charles Elden Kingston officially declared themselves the Davis County Cooperative Society Inc. The corporation produces goods and services that are used by members, and sold or traded to other cooperatives and to the public.[9] Seeing the need for a church within the Cooperative, in 1977, Ortell Kingston began to file for legal recognition of church later organized as The Latter Day Church of Christ.[5]


Over the decades, the Cooperative has maintained extreme secrecy while developing an extensive cooperative system with assets at an unconfirmed value of over $150 million.[10] Their secrecy comes from a fear of arrest for living plural marriage, which originated in 1959-1960 when being investigated by the Davis County Grand Jury, which they claim was organized by LDS Apostles Mark E. Peterson & Spencer W. Kimball.[11][12]

Financial holdings include: a 300-acre (1.2 km2) dairy farm in Davis County; a 3,200-acre (13 km2) farm in Tetonia, Idaho; a coal mine in Emery County;[13] and 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) in Terreton, Idaho; a cattle ranch and a discount store; Desert Tech Firearms; Washakie Renewable Energy; a grocery store; restaurant supply in many western cities including Tucson, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Boise, and Portland. It has been rumored that it owned the United Bank, but this has now been confirmed as incorrect.[citation needed] J. Ortell Kingston aggressively pursued a financially expansive agenda for the Davis County Cooperative Society Inc.[14]


The Davis County Cooperative Society claims to maintain the original beliefs and teachings of Joseph Smith. It began the practice of plural marriage shortly after the establishment of the cooperative.[15][16] Members of the Latter Day Church of Christ are also members of the Davis County Cooperative Society (a separate legal entity) which practices the law of consecration and United Order.[8]

During the first years of the Davis County Cooperative Society, Kingston and his followers wore unique outer garments that led to people referring to them as "blue-coats." Men and boys wore blue coverall-type suits tied with strings; women and girls wore plain blue dresses. As a symbol of their renunciation of worldly goods, the outer clothing contained no pockets in which possession could be carried, although later an inside pocket was provided for the sanitary measure of carrying a handkerchief. All went bareheaded and barefoot.[17]

The community practices plural marriage. In Utah there have been numerous legal issues; there have been a number of charges brought against members of the community, but only three convictions have resulted over 60 years.[14]

Following the Teachings of Brigham Young on January 27, 1860: "I am a God to this people and so is any man who is appointed to lead Israel or the kingdom of God. If the people reject him they reject the one who sent him.",[18] Charles W. Kingston taught that "Every individual ... no matter what authority, standing, or station he is in, is responsible to the one above him in exactly the same way as if that individual was the Savior himself .... We must look at the one above us in the same light as we look at the Savior."[19] This doctrine is known as the Law of One-above-another. (See the Book of Abraham Chapter 3,[20] from the Pearl of Great Price as produced by Joseph Smith, as well as John 13:13-20[21])

The church emphasizes family values, education, and self-sufficiency, and members believe that every child is a priceless blessing. Children are allowed to attend public school and many go on to college. The church recently established a private school, which almost all of the children now attend.[3]


Intra-family marriages[edit]

Following the Teachings of Early LDS prophet, Brigham Young: "I believe in Sisters marrying brothers, and brothers having their sisters for Wives.",[22] the Kingstons believe that God's direction in marriage supersedes incest law.[23] Ex-members, who lack knowledge of early LDS teachings on the matter, claim that the theories on genetics were developed at the Kingston Dairy, owned by the co-op in Woods Cross, Davis County, Utah,[4][24] and that use of these theories encouraged incestuous marriages of close relatives in order to "perfect" the Kingston bloodline.[24] Those marriages, if proven, could be considered illegal under Utah's consanguinity laws.[25] Connie Rugg, an embittered ex-member, stated: "Ortell Kingston experimented [with] inbreeding with his cattle, and then he turned to his children."[4] Although ex-members make such claims, the members themselves claim to follow "Direction" or personal revelation from God in determining their mate.[23]

Some examples include:

Example of Intra-family Marriages within the Kingston Clan
Mary Gustafson
LuAnn Kingston[b]
John O. Kingston
Jeremy O. Kingston[a]
LaDonna Peterson
Charles W. Kingston
Joseph O. Kingston
Orlean Kingston
Luwanna Gustafson
Clyde Gustafson
Marriage of Jeremy Ortell Kingstona and Aunt/Cousin LuAnnKingstonb
Hales (2006), Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalists, p. 399
  • LDCC member Jason Ortell Kingston married his half-sister, Andrea Johnson, who became pregnant in 1992. She suffered from preeclampsia (toxemia) before being brought in for medical treatment. A C-section was performed to save the baby, but Andrea died. Utah state officials believe that obstetrical care was withheld because of the possibility that the incestuous relationship would be discovered.[26]
  • Jeremy Ortell Kingston was sentenced to a year in prison in 2004 for having taken LuAnn Kingston, who was his cousin and aunt, as his fourth wife in 1994.[27]
  • LDCC member David O. Kingston married 15-year-old Mary Ann Kingston, who attempted to run away but was apprehended by her father. Mary counted 28 lashes before passing out.[28] He was arrested and pleaded “no contest” to the charge of child abuse and served seven months in jail. David O. Kingston was convicted of incest and unlawful sexual conduct and sentenced to a 10-year prison term, of which he only served 4 years. Mary Ann later filed a $110-million lawsuit against members of the Kingston Clan, alleging intentional sexual abuse of a child and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[29]

Child marriage[edit]

It is believed that the Latter Day Church of Christ, for a period, practiced child marriage of girls just attaining puberty, non-members and ex-members claiming that Kingston Clan leaders who claim a "pure bloodline" are given priority over almost any other members when choosing plural wives.[4] It is believed by some that girls as young as 13 were coerced into marriage as new plural wives.[30]

However, Charles W. Kingston in his autobiography denied all of these claims stating: "...inferred in news paper clippings and in public utterances that the Davis County Cooperative Society was [g]uilty of 1 - Living off of Relief 2 - Marrying teen age girls, two of the worst practices that people as a whole condemned the most. The first charge...The Davis Co Cooperative Society records will show that more than fifty one % who joined, were taken off relief rolls and put in a position to make their own living; thus saving the Government and the State more than two hundred thousand dollars in relief money in the last 25 years. The second charge is just as absurd and unreasonable as the first."[31]

Financial fraud[edit]

As stated in newspaper articles some families have been found living in unclean conditions.[32] Often in the past, members' homes consisted of only small rundown clapboard houses with peeling paint and broken windows.[10] Connie Rugg, an embittered ex-member, stated: "The men in the Kingston group do little or nothing to support their many wives and children".[10] Sometimes wives will "go gardening," scrounging through garbage cans to provide food for their children and themselves.[10]

Although this claim has been made, it has been found that the Davis County Cooperative as an almost zero unemployment rate and most of the children attend college, getting degrees in science, engineering, and the medical field.[3] Members claim that as a result of the Great Depression, the families were taught to focus on saving and working for DCCS owned businesses to add to the United Order storehouse, leading to many lacking in home maintenance for sometime in the past.[33] But a team within the group, called "Homemakers in Zion" has been organized to help members maintain their homes within an acceptable societal standard.[32]

The Latter Day Church of Christ has also been accused of engaging in welfare fraud and tax evasion.[34] The members have larger families, which is typical of the older Mormon teachings. John Ortell Kingston was accused of tax evasion and fraudulently obtained welfare by having his wives claim to be single mothers, claiming that he was not the father of their children. Ortell's holdings were estimated at $70 million. In 1983, Utah sued Ortell Kingston for repayment of welfare subsidies his plural wives had received. While admitting no wrongdoing, Ortell paid the state $250,000 and the case was dropped.[citation needed]


Kingston Group assets[edit]

The Utah holdings of the Davis County Cooperative are estimated at more than $2 million.[4] including the following:

  • A-1 Disposal
  • AAA Alarm
  • AAA Security
  • Advanced Copy (located next to Family Stores True Value)
  • Advance Vending
  • AM Security Alarm Co.
  • American Digital Systems
  • ANR Company Inc.
  • Arrow Real Estate
  • Bail Bond Specialists
  • Best Distributing Amusement Games
  • C.O.P. Coal Development Co.
  • C.W. Mining Co. (Related entities: Co-Op Mine; CoOp Mining Co.)
  • Coalt Inc.
  • D.U. Company Inc.
  • Davis County Cooperative Society Inc.
  • Desert Tactical Arms
  • Johns Market
  • Family Stores True Value
  • Fidelity Funding Corp.
  • Fountain of Youth Health & Athletic Club
  • Garco Industrial Park
  • H.K. Engineering Inc.
  • Hiawatha Coal Co. Inc.
  • Holtz Inc.
  • IA Castle Corp.
  • Kalvin Property Company
  • Kingston Dairy
  • Little Red School House Montessori
  • L.P.M. Corporation[35]
  • Men's Shoe Repair and Men's Store
  • Mountain Vendors Machine Distributors
  • Mountain Coin Machine Distributors
  • N.U.B. Corp.
  • National Business Management Inc.
  • P.M.C. Inc
  • PGAC Inc.
  • RE Company Inc.
  • Speciality Consulting Services Inc.
  • Spezialized Inc.
  • Sportsman's Bail Bond Specialists
  • Sportsman's Fast Cash
  • Sportsman's Pawn Shops
  • Standard Industries Inc.
  • Standard Restaurant Equipment Company
  • Stevens Wearhouse (located also by Family Stores on the opposite side)
  • The Larken Ranch
  • U.P.C. Inc
  • North Low Creek Irrigation & Power Co.
  • Westmark Inc.
  • Western Enterprises
  • Washakie Ranch
  • Washakie Renewable Energy[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, pp. 75–81 
  2. ^ Utah business entity number 689669-0140.
  3. ^ a b c Utah Attorney General's Office and Arizona Attorney General's Office. The Primer, Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities Archived 2013-01-27 at the Wayback Machine.. Updated June 2006. Page 23.
  4. ^ a b c d e Moore-Emmett, Andrea (2004). God's Brothel. San Francisco, CA: Pince-Nez Press. pp. 28, 67, 85, 88, 146 & 146. ISBN 1-930074-13-1. 
  5. ^ a b Utah business entity number 561222-0140.
  6. ^ Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, pp. 151–152 
  7. ^ The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage
  8. ^ a b Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, pp. 141–142 
  9. ^ Articles of Incorporation of the Davis County Cooperative Society, 7 February 1941. As found in: Shields, Steven L. (June 1, 1990). Divergent Paths of the Restoration. Independence, MO: Herald Pub House. pp. 134–35. ISBN 0-942284-13-5. 
  10. ^ a b c d Quinn, D. Michael (Summer 1998), "Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 31 (2): 19, fn. 56, retrieved 2013-09-16  His information source was an interview with "Jane Doe Kingston," a member of the clan. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DMQ" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  11. ^ "Salt Lake Tribune". Davis County Clipper. July 7, 1959. Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  12. ^ Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, pp. 60–64 
  13. ^ Hales, Brian C. "The Kingstons". 
  14. ^ a b Hales, Brian C., "John Ortell Kingston (Elden's Brother) Leads 1948-87",, archived from the original on 2013-10-18, retrieved 2013-09-16 
  15. ^ "Clan leader pleads guilty to incest". Chicago Tribune. November 7, 2003. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  16. ^ Ginos, Becky (July 31, 2008). "Patterns of Polygamy Davis County's Kingston clan - County's polygamy roots run deep". Davis County Clipper. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  17. ^ Wright, Lyle O. (1963). Origins and Development of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times (Thesis). Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University. OCLC 13952557. 
  18. ^ (PDF), Ssandy, Utah: FAIR Conference, 2009  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, pp. 141–142 , spelling and punctuation standardized.[full citation needed]
  20. ^ Book of Abraham, Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ 
  21. ^ The Gospel of John: The King James Translation, Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ 
  22. ^ Teachings of President Brigham Young Vol. 3, Collier's Publishing, p. 362 
  23. ^ a b ABC Order Standards, retrieved 2017-04-20 
  24. ^ a b Burton, Greg (April 25, 1999), "When Incest Becomes a Religious Tenet", The Salt Lake Tribune, Archive Article ID: 100EEB119553820E (NewsBank) 
  25. ^ "Title 30 Husband and Wife: Chapter 1 Marriage: Section 1", Utah Code, Utah State Legislature  |contribution= ignored (help)
  26. ^ Nii, Jenifer K. (August 25, 1998). "Probe into death in clan reopens". Deseret News. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  27. ^ Thomson, Linda (October 31, 2003). "Kingston pleads guilty to incest charge". Deseret News. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  28. ^ Nichols, Judy (October 15, 2003). "Wives suing to bring end to abuse under polygamy". The Arizona Republic. p. A1.  As found in: Harris, Sam (January 22, 2007). "God's Hostages". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  29. ^ Rivera, Ray (July 23, 1998), "16-Year-Old Girl Testifies Of Beating", The Salt Lake Tribune, p. B1, Archive Article ID: 100F3A528F528F0F 
  30. ^ Tracy, Kathleen (2002) [2001], The Secret Story of Polygamy, Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, p. 95, ISBN 1570717230, OCLC 46858494 
  31. ^ Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, p. 59 
  32. ^ a b Breton, Ana (August 11, 2007), "Polygamist's home found in squalor", The Salt Lake Tribune 
  33. ^ Autobiography of Charles W. Kingston, pp. 152–13 
  34. ^ Salt Lake City Tribune, August 16 and 23, 1998, and January 1999.[full citation needed]
  35. ^ L.P.M. Corporation is a Nevada Corporation, Entity number C5790-1989, NV Business ID NV19891023178, President J. A GUSTAFSON, Secretary & Treasurer C. R. FINLEY. David E. Kingston represented L.P.M Corporation in LPM CORPORATION, a Nevada corporation, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Paul C. SMITH and Sandra A. Smith, Defendants and Appellees. No. 20050950-CA. Decided: June 22, 2006. Gustafson & Kingston are identified as members of the Kingston family at L.P.M Corporation owns a 95-acre farm on the outskirts of Kaysville, UT in the Boynton Road area (Davis County UT parcels no. 110410012, 110410026, 110410029, 110410036, 110410047), including a 1-acre parcel with a home owned by Ruth C. Finley (parcel no. 110410032). Davis County property ownership verified 2 Nov 2016 at A Salt Lake Tribune article of 1 July 2004 identifies Ruth C. Finley as grandmother of children of "Joshua Paul Kingston, 25, oldest son of Kingston clan leader Paul Kingston". "Judge leaves Kingston clan kids with grandma" by Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune, July 1, 2004.