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

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Cedar Street development raises concerns at council

Mission councillors raise issues with home lot sizes. traffic and other aspects of the proposal

Facebook post leads to woman’s arrest

Mission RCMP have charged a woman after she was caught rummaging through a car

Man steals police car, goes for a slow ride

Mission RCMP have arrested a man after he took a joy ride in a stolen police car

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

VIDEO: Mission Strong Youth Challenge

Highlights from the obstacle event on Oct. 21

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read