FLDS and LDS–What’s the Difference?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are commonly referred to as Mormons. In recent times, there has been confusion because some groups which splintered off the official church have taken on names similar to the name of the original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition, these groups have some common history prior to the time they broke away from the main church and they share common scriptures. Many of these splinter groups practice polygamy.

Purpose of the Site

christus-jesus-christ-mormonThe Church has a series of thirteen statements of belief known as the Articles of Faith, which were written by Joseph Smith. Included is the following:

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

The purpose of this site is not to disparage the beliefs of another faith, nor is it to enter into the current political or legal debates concerning groups practicing polygamy. Its purpose is entirely to help clarify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not associated in any way with the polygamist religions, and that indeed, our leadership, our lifestyles, and many of our beliefs are entirely different. Polygamist groups aren’t directed in any way by our church or recognized by them as a legitimate form of “Mormonism.” This site will help you learn who the Mormons of today are and how they live, worship, and believe.

Official Church Policy on Polygamy:

From the official church website, LDS.org:

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. At certain times and for His specific purposes, God, through His prophets, has directed the practice of plural marriage (sometimes called polygamy), which means one man having more than one living wife at the same time. In obedience to direction from God, Latter-day Saints followed this practice for about 50 years during the 1800s but officially ceased the practice of such marriages after the Manifesto was issued by President Woodruff in 1890. Since that time, plural marriage has not been approved by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any member adopting this practice is subject to losing his or her membership in the Church.”
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Watch Gordon B. Hinckley speak on Polygamy

Today’s church members are not polygamists. Any member who decides to begin practicing polygamy loses church membership. You will find members of the Church in nearly every community, living in your neighborhood, teaching in your schools, working in your local businesses, and playing with your children. They are not distinguished by their clothing, which is modest, but modern. They aren’t distinguished by their hair, which they wear any way they like. Their marriages resemble those of others in their community—one spouse, and a firm commitment to family life.  They are happy, trustworthy, fun-loving, educated, involved, normal people.

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