J. Leslie Broadbent

Joseph Leslie Broadbent (June 3, 1891 – March 16, 1935) was a religious leader in the early stages of the Mormon fundamentalist movement.

J. Leslie Broadbent
Head shot photo of J. Leslie Broadbent
circa 1930
Senior Member of the Priesthood Council
September 30, 1934 (1934-09-30) – February 3, 1935 (1935-26-03)
PredecessorLorin C. Woolley
SuccessorDisputed, including:
  John Y. Barlow
  Joseph White Musser
  Elden Kingston
Personal details
BornJoseph Leslie Broadbent
(1891-06-03)June 3, 1891
Lehi, Utah, United States
Died(1935-03-16)March 16, 1935
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Cause of deathPneumonia
Resting placeWasatch Lawn Memorial Park
40°41′50″N 111°50′57″W / 40.6972°N 111.8492°W / 40.6972; -111.8492 (Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park)
  Rula L. Kelsch
  Fawnetta Jessop
  Irene Locket
  Anna Kmetzsch
ParentsJoseph Samuel Broadbent
Amanda Hermandine Twede

Broadbent was born to Amanda Hermandine Twede and Joseph Samuel Broadbent, who served as mayor of Lehi, Utah, from 1922 to 1928.

In 1910, Broadbent left his studies at Brigham Young University to serve a mission in England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). In June 1915, he married Rula Louise Kelsch, and through his association with her family came to know John Wickersham Woolley. Among his other wives were Fawnetta Jessop, who married him in October 1925, and Irene Locket and Anna Kmetzsch, who had married him by 1933.

In 1927, Broadbent published the pamphlet "Celestial Marriage", which advocated the practice of plural marriage. This was one of the first Mormon fundamentalist tracts and was a factor in his subsequent excommunication by the LDS Church in July 1929. Broadbent was ordained an apostle in the Mormon fundamentalist organization called the Council of Friends by Lorin Calvin Woolley on March 6, 1929, and on May 15 was given the title of "second elder" by Woolley.

Upon Woolley's death in 1934, Broadbent succeeded him as priesthood president. Among Mormon fundamentalists, the succession was largely uncontroversial, and Broadbent traveled widely in support of the fundamentalist movement. In February 1935, he and a number of other fundamentalist leaders visited Millville, Utah, for a meeting with co-religionists. The next month, Broadbent died from pneumonia.

After Broadbent's death, there was a succession dispute between Charles Elden Kingston and John Yeates Barlow. The dispute was resolved in favor of Barlow, and Kingston's followers eventually established the Latter Day Church of Christ, a separate Mormon fundamentalist organization.

According to his friend Louis Kelsch, on the day of his death Broadbent said that he had not experienced any personal vision of heavenly messengers. However, Broadbent also commented, "If they come to get me, I can tell them that I am still in the work," as he pointed to religious books he planned to mail.


External linksEdit

Mormon fundamentalist titles
Preceded by
Lorin C. Woolley
Senior Member of the Priesthood Council
September 30, 1934 - March 26, 1935
Succeeded by
John Y. Barlow
as Senior Member of the Priesthood Council
Succeeded by
Elden Kingston
as Prophet and Presiding Priesthood
Leader of the Latter-day Church of Christ