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Utah polygamous church leader dies

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Posted at 11:03 AM, Sep 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-04 16:54:45-04

BLUFFDALE — The leader of one of Utah’s largest polygamous churches has died.

Lamoine Jenson, the leader of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) passed away on Tuesday after a battle with colon cancer. He was 79.

“He was probably one of the kindest, gentlest… a very unassuming man,” a church representative told FOX 13, confirming the death. “He was a tremendous leader. He will be greatly missed by many.”

An obituary from the church sent to FOX 13 did not state whether Jenson was a polygamist, but said he was survived by two brothers, one sister and “a large family.” Funeral services were scheduled for Sunday.

The AUB has already named a successor: Lynn A. Thompson, who has served on the church’s priesthood council.

The AUB, based in Bluffdale, is the second-largest fundamentalist Mormon church in Utah, according to an unofficial census kept by the pro-polygamy group Principle Voices. The group estimates membership around 7,500.

The group has been known for its openness about fundamentalist Mormonism and polygamy, speaking to reporters about its beliefs — including support for decriminalization of plural marriage.

Most recently, Kody Brown and his wives — who have been members of the church — won a lawsuit against the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy. A federal judge struck down the cohabitation prong of Utah’s anti-bigamy laws, although attorney general Sean Reyes has said he would appeal.