Jim Oler (front) walks towards the Cranbrook Law Courts building in February. Oler, who is associated with a fundamentalist Mormon sect, is currently on trial for polygamy charges. (Trevor Crawley/Cranbrook Townsman)

Bountiful trial testimony continues on day 3

Record keeping key to mainstream Mormon faith says church history expert

The trial for two men charged with polygamy continued last Thursday with testimony from a Texas Ranger and an expert in the mainstream Mormon church in Cranbrook Supreme Court.

Winston Blackmore and James Oler are charged with practicing polygamy in Bountiful.

Bountiful is a religious Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) community south of Creston — by allegedly marrying multiple wives over roughly a span of 20 years.

Nick Hanna, with the Texas Rangers, was a law enforcement member who was part of a raid on the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, in April 2008. That action led to the seizure of FLDS marriage records that Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor for the trial, has entered into evidence.

Hanna delivered his testimony on Wednesday, while Dr. Richard Bennett, an expert in archives and records management and mainstream Latter Day Saints church history, spoke about the importance of accurate record keeping to the LDS faith on Thursday.

Bennett, a member of the mainstream LDS church and a professor at Brigham Young University in Utah, outlined the early history of the faith led by Joseph Smith and the origins of religious documents such as the the Old and New Testament, Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Under direct examination, Bennett also broke down the various positions of authority in the LDS church and how priesthood authority is bestowed through religious ordinances.

Bennett also referenced scripture from the New Testament that what is sealed on earth is sealed in Heaven, which is why record-keeping is so important to the Mormon faith.

“There would not be an LDS church without record-keeping,” Bennett said. “There would be no ordinances without record-keeping.”

Documentation includes membership records, financial records, temple records and church history records, all of which are carefully maintained by local chapels and church archives in Utah, U.S.A.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Mayoral nominations open Sept. 1

Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill confirms she will be running for the top job

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Friendship Centre optimistic MMIWG mural will be painted this year

Following trauma-informed healing workshops, project is now in the design phase

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. group renews call for protection of newly discovered glass sponge reefs

DFO says public consultation will play heavy role in future protection measures

Most Read