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.

Just Posted

Kid-friendly ski day at Shames

There were 175 children who skied and took lessons for free at the Port of Prince Rupert event

NARA holds open adoption event

Six cats and two dogs were rehomed

‘Avalanche Awareness Days’ emphasize backcountry safety at Shames

The Skeena Bar and Shames Mountain Co-op both holding events this weekend

Wilson returns to Pacific Crest Trail undeterred

Terrace hiker was forced to abandon journey last year due to back injury at 566-mile marker

More exported goods needed for Terrace transloading facility “financially viable,” according to report

Build-out of SIDP lands, potential for micro-LNG facilities could warrant future development

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read