June 22, 1806 – May 10, 1877
“A person who is fundamentally honest doesn’t need a code of ethics. The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are all the ethical code anybody needs.” — Harry S. Truman
Sometimes truth is a hard commodity to come by. For Aaron Johnson’s clan it was always in short demand as they plowed through life rationalizing their shoddy behavior. While we aren’t privy to their personal conversations, evidence remains showing a Mack truck could be driven through their trough of manipulating lies.
As stated later in this report, our look at Aaron Johnson’s life marks the thirty-third family we’ve researched in our series, Polygamy & Mormon Church Leaders. To date, if this isn’t the worst case of pedophile behavior and incest I’ve seen thus far, it’s right near the top. His predatory behavior rivaled even that of his beloved prophet, Joseph Smith.
Equally alarming was the wholesale endorsement of this guy by no less than David O. McKay, 9th prophet of the Church. His glowing recollections of ‘bishop and grandfather Aaron Johnson’ is very telling, even by today’s standards. Glaringly absent in McKay’s remarks were facts. His grandfather was a 45 year old man when he married a 16 year old girl and her 17 year old sister. (McKay’s grandmother was the younger of the two and they were wives #5 and #8 respectively.) We must ask; would he allow one of his own daughters to marry such a character?
Nevertheless, by the time he married the Ford sisters Johnson’s bad behavior was well underway, and as you’ll see, he had a penchant for marrying his brothers’ daughters. Almost half of Aaron’s twelve wives were his young nieces (14-17 yrs of age). Everyone in the family has some level of culpability in this scenario by allowing him to marry the little girls born into their families.
Another sad highlight in all this is what wasn’t found in their histories. Finding any personal info on the talents or interests of the wives was as difficult to mine out than the truth they denied. Not surprisingly you can find book after book written about his stalwart bravery in being the founder of Springville, UT, being one of the first bishops in the area, the first postmaster, an elected mayor, a UT County judge, and the list goes on…ad nauseam…
You can read our short bio on Johnson and his 12 wives here.