Open main menu

Ogden Kraut

Ogden Wedlund Kraut (June 21, 1927 – July 17, 2002) was an American author who wrote about his independent Mormon fundamentalist beliefs.[1] He was set apart as a "seventy" by Joseph W. Musser, a leader of the early Mormon fundamentalist movement. He also served as a missionary in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in southern California. He was one of the last missionaries to serve in the church "without purse or scrip" (financed entirely by donations from the church or from those to whom they taught), and wrote a book about his experiences.[2] He wrote books, some self-published, on Mormon fundamentalist topics. His 95 Theses, named after a document by Martin Luther, includes specific charges against doctrinal changes in the LDS Church.

Ogden Kraut
Ogden Kraut2.jpg
Born Ogden Wedlund Kraut
(1927-06-21)June 21, 1927
Shelley, Idaho, United States
Died July 17, 2002(2002-07-17) (aged 75)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation author
Language English
Nationality American
Genre theology
Subject Mormon fundamentalism
Spouse Anne Wilde

Kraut was known to be keeping a distance from the emerging fundamentalist groups. He believed they had no authority to build their own churches and defended his independent lifestyle:

John Taylor authorized and set apart several men to perpetuate the principle of plural marriage and gave them the calling to perform such marriage, regardless of what the Church or the government might say or do .... There is no mention of setting up a church, taking tithing, having weekly meetings, or setting up a colony somewhere. Their calling (or keys) was to (1) live plural marriage, (2) perform plural marriage sealings, and (3) set apart others with this same calling.[3]

In 1972,[4] Kraut was excommunicated from the LDS Church for advocating polygamy. The FBI investigated claims that the church had conducted a wiretapping operation against Kraut.[5][6]

In 1988, when a polygamist family was in a stand-off with law enforcement agencies, Kraut, who was acquainted with the family, was permitted to bring them food and supplies. He carried letters between the governor and the polygamists. Authorities wished to counter public perceptions that they were employing "psychological warfare" and "siege tactics". In vain, they hoped that Kraut or the governor's letter would influence the outlaws to negotiate or surrender.[7][8] Anne Wilde, co-founder[9] of the polygamy advocacy group "Principle Voices",[10] was a plural wife[1] of Ogden Kraut.


  1. ^ a b "Author Ogden Kraut, 75, dies". Deseret News. Associated Press. 2002-07-21. He wanted to be known as a "fundamentalist Mormon," said Anne Wilde, one of Kraut's wives. "He considered himself a Joseph Smith Mormon — a follower of original Mormonism."
  2. ^ Quinn, “Plural Marriage, 1998,” 29.[full citation needed]
  3. ^ Kraut, Holy Priesthood, 6:250,257
  4. ^ "Some Still Hold Stock in Dream Mine". Salt Lake Tribune. 1999-05-16. p. C1. Kraut, a retired military photographer, was excommunicated in 1972 for his beliefs, including polygamy.
  5. ^ "Mormon Spying Probe Reopened". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. 1975-04-08. p. B8. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. attorney's offices here have reopened an investigation into allegations of wiretapping in connection with a Mormon Church excommunication action, the FBI says.
  6. ^ "Wiretapping Warning To Mormons". Lodi News-Sentinel. UPI. 1975-03-22. p. 8. Lockhart said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was still making inquiries in a second case, involving charges the church used illegally recorded telephone conversations in excommunicating a man for advocating polygamy
  7. ^ "The Nation". Los Angeles Times. 1988-01-27.
  8. ^ "1980 - 1989 / Return to Marion". Utah Department of Public Safety.
  9. ^ "Survey Finds Increase In Polygamous Communities". Principle Voices co-founder Anne Wilde says [...]
  10. ^ Ben Winslow (2008-10-25). "Guide details candidates for polygamists". Deseret News. Principle Voices' Anne Wilde made some candidate calls to compile the survey [...]

External linksEdit