“Prophet” of The True and Living Church of
Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days
– you know, the one we talk about in the book –
and claimed reincarnation of Jesus Christ,
Joseph Smith and others deceased today
Harmston is a principal figure in the book “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass, the popular memoir by Joanne Hanks, who spent seven years in the TLC before coming to her senses and leaving.
At various times, Harmston claimed to be the reincarnation or, depending, the incarnation of God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost, Martin Luther and others. He also claimed to be the reincarnated Joseph Smith, founder of the original Mormon church. Thus, not surprisingly, his followers see no small significance in the fact that Harmston died today, of all days, because in 1844—cue eerie music—Joseph Smith himself died on June 27.
Harmston suggested more than once that Joanne should join his growing collection of plural wives. Though she accepted Harmston as a prophet during most of her time as a member of his cult, accepting him as a husband tempted her not in the least. Even though he went on record as having received a revelation in which God affirmed that he was “a celestial stud service.”
Cults do not die with their leaders. The TLC will likely prove no exception. Reported contenders for Harmston’s position include TLC “apostle’’ Matt Larson, whose stature within the cult has been steadily growing; Dan Simmons, Harmston’s son-in-law, whose wife (that would be Harmston’s daughter) seems to show by her actions that she accepts polygamy only for other men in the cult; and Harmston’s son Johnny.
We predict that a contest for the reins will result in schisms. Why not? It happened when Joseph Smith died. Contending factions are still bickering.