I wrote this document in a writing class I had a few years ago, but revised it here for format and additional content. The purpose of this document is to show the differences between the two best known “Latter Day Saint Movement” churches (as some would like to call it – not me, but it works well for this post). These two are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) – often referred to, although incorrectly, as Mormon Churches (there really is not such thing as the “Mormon Church” and anyone claiming to talk about such a church most likely does not understand the subject well enough to be considered an expert).
It’s important to understand some people misunderstand that the so called “Mormon” faith, is some how all one large movement or main church (similar to how other churches have their own sects, but still repot back up to one main governing body), because it’s all derived from the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. There are actually many different churchs that all claim the “Mormon” nick name, and none of them are in any other way connected to one another. Characteristics that distinguish the LDS and FLDS churches, and others in this movement, are actually very different and separate.
The biggest distinction is of course Polygamy; which started within the early LDS Church but was discontinuation over a century ago – largely for compliance with new federal laws unconstitutionally aimed at the so called “Mormon Problem” – which caused the split off of the FLDS church. Today there are a great number of differences in the currently widely used practice of polygamy among FLDS church members, and the original and very limited practice of Plural Marriage during early LDS Church. The LDS church today only allows legal marriages verses the FLDS church’s practice of illegal marriage ceremonies contradictory to the 12th Article of Faith, written by Joseph Smith, that says: “We believe . . . in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”.
The differences extend well beyond just polygamy, such as with the FLDS Church using of a perverted form of the Law of Consecration and sucking funds from publicly financed programs for their own benefit, and funnel all church members pay checks into a single fund. Compare this to the LDS church that encourages its members to give tithes and offerings to fund its vast array of buildings and service oriented programs. The LDS church uses standard accounting practices and obeys tax laws in their financial dealings, and does not accept funding from government or political sources.
The LDS church has an outward reaching missionary program that also offers service to those in need along with proselytizing. The LDS church also has a worldwide membership of over 13 million members. Compare this to the reclusive behavior within the FLDS church that lives in compounds like the Yearning for Zion Ranch. LDS president’s travel the world and some have even made appearances on national TV with well known and renowned reporters including Larry King, verses FLDS president’s Warren Jeffs who hid from the law while on the FBI’s most wanted list, and is now in prison on charges related to rape.
The LDS church puts a high priority on families and taking care of each other. The FLDS church kicked out a bunch of young boys likely because they had no wives for them as all the young girls were already destined to be married off to older men.
What does the FLDS Church or the Texas Sect Have to Do with the “Mormon” Church? -Personal Response by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel
Fundamentalist Mormon Similarities to and Differences from the Mainstream LDS Church
Q&A about the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints – Dallas News
– Posted by S.J. Hollist