The Differences Between FLDS vs. LDS

28 July

Just in Case You Didn’t Know…

After watching various news reports about Warren Jeffs over the past few months we felt it might help the casual visitor to understand the differences between the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) in Eldorado, Texas (also in various towns throughout Utah) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Contrary to reports on cable news channels like Fox News, the FLDS is indeed a breakaway branch of the mainstream Mormon Church.  I would imagine the Church tries its hardest to make sure they tell everyone they’re not affiliated with the FLDS and technically speaking they do not control the FLDS.  However, with that being said, it has to be noted where the ideas of the FLDS originated.

Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church in April of 1830.  With the advent of his death in June of 1844, the Mormons packed their wagons and headed west in the late summer of 1846.  The first settlement in Utah took place on July 24, 1847 under the leadership of Brigham Young.  Just as Smith practiced polygamy, so did ol’ Brigham.

Fast forward another fifty-seven years and the mainstream Mormon Church was still practicing polygamy with the last Mormon prophet of the polygamy age, Heber J. Grant, having no less than three wives.

Now when the mainstream Mormon Church denounced polygamy so they could obtain statehood status, not everyone was thrilled about the situation.  Needless to say the divisions became many and the true Mormons became the rebellious breakaway clans who settled in southern Utah.  The leaders of these clans have varied over the years and have become the public thorn in the side of Salt Lake City.

Today, the FLDS is run by a notorious prophet by the name of Warren Jeffs who is on trial right now in Texas for having sex with two underage girls whom he married by revelation of their god.  UPDATE: Jeffs was found guilty and is serving life + 20 yrs for his conviction of selling girls into pre-arranged marriages and child endangerment. 

The residual fruit of Mormonism just keeps on giving with no end in sight.  Jeffs has a following of at least 10,000 adherents.  When you talk to any of the people who’ve escaped this horrible scenario the numbers are vastly different; 30,000-50,000.  Not all of those belong to Jeffs’ group, but most of them do.

While the FLDS Church doesn’t acknowledge many of the scriptures the mainstream Church does, it’s interesting to note they do believe in the Book of Mormon, some of the Doctrine and Covenants (formerly known as Book of Commandments) and some of the sermons by a few of the earlier prophets.  And even more curious indeed is how the mainstream Mormon Church still has the commandment of polygamy needed for salvation in their Church authorized canon.  My, what a tangled web we weave.

Up until about five years ago, the legal marrying age in Utah was 14 years.  Now they’ve pushed it all the way up to 16…

Ironically enough, if Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were alive today neither would be worthy enough to enter the Mormon Temple because of polygamy.

Michelle Grim

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42 Responses to “The Differences Between FLDS vs. LDS”

  1. exmorman July 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    the flds church is the true church that joe smith started,.the lds church of today is about money in the pocket of the prophet tom monsen..but they are both false churches..get out and jion a christian church

    • John July 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      wish you knew how wrong you are.

    • jseph February 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      The Mormon faith began in the 1800’s, almost two thousand years after Jesus was crucified. It is a made-up faith that abuses women and children. Secrecy is always essential to abuse. Crazy people hurting children have no place claiming to be disciples of God.

    • shannon December 16, 2013 at 3:29 am #

      Attually its not the true church bc it was a break away branch. And it not about money bc if you werent taking notice that the mormon church donates thousand of blankets,food,clothes, etc… but of course you wouldnt know bc your not an memeber (btw the blankets,food,clothes, and etc… are also for non memebers who NEED help)

    • John March 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      LDS is the way to go, go Mormons !

    • John March 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      LDS rules!!!

    • - julene March 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      .. my friend I encourage you to find out for yourself that The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints is the only true church in earth today … I also encourage you to read the book of mormon , ponder it . ask the Lord and pray for it and I know that It will surely be answered. visit :

  2. CamdenC July 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Don’t think that the money thing hasn’t infiltrated the FLDS church as well. I have seen reports that the members of the FLDS down in Texas receive 10 million dollars (or more) in Government money. Yes folks, that is correct. Your tax dollars are going to help fund a society of egotistical pedophiles. The law there for marriage (as God ordained it in the Bible) is one wife only. So the other “wives” of the polygamist man have to file for state and federal assitance for their children. You basically have one married couple living with several “single moms”.
    Sadly there are children that are born into that society and many innocent victims left in the wake of the twisted leadership, that have basic needs.
    There are other “scams” they pull as well… different Gov. subsidies and fraud they perpetrate.

    We lived just North of their compound in Abilene, Texas when the raid went down… it broke our hearts to see those innocent children caught up in the web of lies. And the women are brought up to think that it is all normal and of God. What normal thinking woman, or man for that matter, would support their 12 year old daughter marrying and having children with a man old enough to be her grandfather???

    Tragically, a lot of the young girls are groomed growing up with the hopes of being able to marry Jeffs. They are told that they will live like princesses and will automatically get the “golden ticket” to the Celestial Kingdom by being his bride. Of course the brides parents get fringe benefits as well, so the incentive to “pimp-out” their daughters to the “prophet” is of great value to them.

    PLUS, “it is a commandment from God and the prophet”. I have heard reports from former FLDS women who say that many of them don’t like the situation, but it is God’s plan and the prophet says that they should do it or face judgement (Pretty much the same words written by Joseph Smith in D&C 132: 62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
    63But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed;)
    Break out the Kool-aid!!!

  3. kyle rasmussen August 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    you are so right on but the thing i find interesting is the flds church is living the true church of jesus christ of latterday saints.tom and the boys have about 12 or 15 men choosen to live polygamy under cover and not known by many but a john tayler said the lds church will always have polygamy..and they do but they swear that they gave it up in 1890 but that to was a lye because there were sevral marrages done up ninto the 1900 hundreds

    • lifeafterministry August 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      i agree 100%. The FLDS Church is indeed living true Mormonism. My great-great grandfather traveled to England in 1904 and married two sisters and brought them back to the states to join the other 3 wives he had here already. One of those 2 sisters was my great-great grandmother. It was March of 1904 when he did this – one month before the final polygamy manifesto published by the church. Tell me that was a coincidence…hmmm…as I’ve stated many times before, if Smith or Young or any of the early “prophets” were alive today none of them would be temple worthy.
      Michelle Grim

    • lifeafterministry August 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

      I forgot to ask if you were Mormon?

  4. CamdenC August 4, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    So true. In fact many members and heirarchy of the church were still practicing it (secretly) into the 1940’s. It took a 40 year generation to ween them off preying on little girls and “trading in” their old wives for newer models.

    Michelle – Have you heard about the audio tape they played at the Jeffs trial??
    Oh my gosh! He had quite the harem of “sex slaves” at his disposal…

    Wake up women!!! You have to know in your hearts that polygamy never was and will never be, acceptable behavior… EVER!

    Please, if you are reading this as a female member of the church, ask yourself; Do I really believe that an all Holy God would command His precious daughters to “share” their husband with other women? Could you do it? What if the prophet came out today and said that he had a revelation from God saying that polygamy was being reinstated (secretly of course)? Would you be “on board” with that prophecy?

    • lifeafterministry August 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      Camden –
      Yeah unfortunately I was watching the news and heard this. It is another confirmation for me personally how wrong this is. The degrading way women and children are treated is reprehensible. You can just imagine how warped your thinking would be after 20-30 years of this nonsense.
      Be watching for our upcoming series on the side by side comparisons of mainstream Mormonism, FLDS and teachings/lifestyles of the early church. It’s a real eye opener.
      Michelle Grim

  5. CamdenC August 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Judgement has come down… Warren Jeffs – GUILTY!!!

    Now he gets to suck the tax dollars out of Texans while he appeals the decision…

  6. Matt November 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    You forgot the largest difference. The flds size : a few thousand. LDS size : 15 million, missionaries :80,000. So the missionary size of the LDS church is several times larger than the flds church, it is a fraction group. If you ever see a mormon missionary, it is the lds church.

    • LifeAfter December 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      Matt –

      I’m not clear as to what your point is. Yeah, if you see missionaries like those who showed up on my doorstep yesterday – they’re mainstream Mormons. I still maintain the biggest difference is that the FLDS Church is practicing true Mormonism and those in SLC are not.


  7. ashley December 10, 2013 at 2:45 am #

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and what the flds did/does is completely wrong but if it wasnt for them i wouldnt have this wonderful church i have today….so id live to thank the flds….

    • LifeAfter December 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      Ashley –

      Exactly what did the FLDS do for the mainstream Mormon Church in SLC? I’m confused about your comment so could you please clarify what you meant? Thanks.

      Michelle Grim
      1 Cor 1:18

    • Melissa December 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Could you actually see yourself living that life today? Can you see yourself sharing your husband with other women just because the prophet says it’s what God wants? I can’t. What Smith imposed on the early LDS was awful.
      If you think about it there really isn’t that much of a leap from the LDS to the FLDS, which is why it’s not very hard for a few ex-LDS to convert to Fundamental Mormonism. Both religions are cut from the same cloth. Sure you don’t practice plural marriage at the moment, but according to your doctrines many Mormons will practice it in the Celestial Kingdom. – Melissa Grimes

    • pat February 17, 2014 at 2:01 am #

      Very good point Melissa and I think no one has the right to force a religion on anyone . I know a few religions that say they are the true church. I feel if you like it fine if not find something you like. I know i wouldn’t want my husband having any other wife but me for one thats clearly cheating

    • Melissa February 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Pat- I don’t see how it’s not considered cheating. I feel bad for these women who are raised to think its part of God’s plan for you to share your husband, when it’s nothing than an ego trip for the man.

  8. John March 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    LDS rules!!! It’s the only way to go

    • Melissa March 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      John- Wow, that statement is very telling, and quite frankly a little sad. To root for your church, your religion as you would your favorite sports team is….. surreal. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life”, and unlike Mormonism He doesn’t need people to act as His cheerleaders. – Melissa Grimes

  9. Gabriel March 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS remains the most true church upon the surface of the earth…all other sects or organisations teach diluted truths and principle but the LDS church teaches pure truths and principles…I KNOW WITH ALL MY HEART that THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS remains and will continue to be the LORD’S:JESUS CHRIST:CHURCH…AMEN visit:

    • Melissa March 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

      Gabriel, you remind me a lot of myself when I was a temple going, true-blue, sold out for the Church Mormon. That all changed when I met Jesus Christ, I’m not talking about the Jesus I was taught to believe in Mormonism who was my elder spirit brother. I’m referring to the real Jesus who is God incarnate, who poured out His blood on the cross for me, and paid the price for my sins. I’m so thankful for His sacrifice, and that I’m saved after nothing I do.

      As a Mormon I truly believed that things like temple works, church attendance, and tithing were all necessary “works” for my salvation. What a contrast it is for me to now have a relationship with Him versus a relationship with a religion. He didn’t come to organize a religion/church He came to form a relationship with all who will repent and put their trust in Him. – Melissa Grimes

    • - julene March 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

      Hey … melissa I don’t think being rude and not respecting others belief will help you have a good relationship with God :)

    • Melissa March 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      julene – Please show me where i’m being “rude” or disrespectful. -Melissa Grimes

    • gypsy June 30, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      how do you figure she is being rude??

    • - julene March 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      attending church will help you become closer with him also, as you will know him better, and as you know Him you will begin to form a relationship with him and strengthen your faith in him as you attend church as well with paying tithing and performing temple works :)

      I just want to let you know that I am respecting whatever you think about us :)

    • Melissa March 23, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

      julene – If temple works are required for not only your salvation but for the dead as well why did Jesus have to come? – Melissa Grimes

    • Kate April 9, 2014 at 5:26 am #

      Melissa, What a beautiful testimony, I have a friend who is sold out to her church and I wish she’d just meet the Jesus we know. What an amazing life altering experience it would be for her. I thank God for those of you helping with the transition from Mormon to true followers of Christ, Please pray for her with me and I will pray for your ministry to those who seek to know the real God, and his Son. God Bless!

    • Melissa April 9, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      Thank you Kate. I definitely keep her in prayer. :)

  10. Kate April 9, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    I’ve just recently delved into the world of Mormonism as I wanted to know why they called themselves Christians when they were not Christians at all, the fundamental Doctrines could not be any more different. It made no sense to me and it bothers me because it is being deceitful.

    Needless to say I talked to a friend who is Mormon, I talked to a new friend I met that has left the Mormon church and is now a Christian and I’ve researched on my own. The amount of brainwashing that goes on is pretty ridiculous.

    The bible is THE WORD OF GOD, and yet if the book of Mormon contradicts it, then the book of Mormon is right and the bible is mistaken. The bible gives direct instruction on how to prove if a prophet of God truly is whom he claims to be and yet, they excuse, the multiple prophecies that were made and never fulfilled by Joseph Smith, away with excuse after excuse.

    Do NOT call yourselves Christians when you call the word of God flawed, or wrong, That is not Christian that is MORMON. Even demons believe in Jesus. That’s not good enough. Calling yourselves Christian because you believe in Jesus is like me saying I’m Mexican just because I can say Hola. Not Quite.

    Christians were given their name by outsiders who observed them, because they acted like Christ, their lives looked like Christ’s. They were his followers, they believed everything he said, He is God son, he makes no mistakes as he IS GOD, and God is all powerful omniscient and omnipresent. SO how can Mormons be Christians, when that’s not them at all……

    Sorry I went off on a tangent. Your last comment Melissa made me think of that whole conversation again.

    The bible states in Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. BUT in 2 Nephi 25:23 it says: We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. SO one of the many contradictions between the 2 books, but the reality is it’s either one or the other, if 2 Nephi 25:23 is right, then Jesus didn’t need to come, God just could have extended his Grace and that would have been that. It makes a complete mockery of the sacrifice that Jesus suffered through! How can you say you believe him to be The son of God but not believe what he or God clearly states?

    • Melissa April 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      I know it’s unbelievable. Mormons remind me of the verse in Romans 10 that says “For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)
      They have a lot of “zeal” for God, it’s just not the one true God. They’re very passionate about their faith, but who do they have faith in? The Jesus of Mormonism has no power to save them, because his hands are tied until they’ve “done all they can do”.

      All we can do is pray for them and share our faith with them.

  11. Katie April 20, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    James 2:26 – For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    James 2:18 – Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    Titus 1:16 – They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

    Here are just a few of the many BIBLE verses that talk about works. It seems as though a lot of Christians are quick to say that works don’t matter. However, the word of God clearly says that they do matter. Grace is first applied, then we must do all we can. Just a little food for thought.

    • LifeAfter April 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Hi Kate, I think it really depends upon what you mean by “works”. Are you saying works, in addition to the grace of Jesus Christ will allow you into the presence of God? Or are you saying that good works are a result of your salvation, and the grace Jesus has given to you?

      If you’ve been born again and are a follower of Jesus Christ you desire to do “good works”, these works are a manifestation of the work the Holy Spirit has inside of your heart. If you’ve given your heart and life to God you naturally want to obey Him, you want to do good things and be the light of Jesus Christ to the world.

      The link below references James 2:18.

      We can’t make up for the grace Jesus has given us; He paid it all on the cross at Calvary. His work for our salvation was perfect and complete, and to think otherwise is to dilute the grace He’s freely given us. It would be like taking a pitcher of lemonade and throwing it into a swimming pool; you couldn’t still call it lemonade, could you?

      It’s the same with His grace, to add any work on our part takes away from it’s power on our lives. – Melissa Grimes

  12. Katie April 24, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    Hi Melissa,

    It’s Katie, not Kate. :) I never could get Kate to stick. Anyway, the reason I commented back to you is because you said that “The Jesus of Mormonism has no power to save them, because his hands are tied until they’ve “done all they can do”.”

    I disagree. 100%. No where in our doctrine is it taught or do we say that Jesus has no power to save us until we’ve done everything we can do.

    It’s disappointing that you spread extremely false information like that. Now, I can’t speak for every LDS out there but I know for myself (as a convert to the church) that Jesus Christ is my redeemer, without him, I could NEVER return to the presence of my Heavenly Father. According to scriptures (specifically the Bible), we are asked to obey Him, keep His commandments, and make sacrifices. Those are all what you would call “works” of this life. and the desire to do them is because of Jesus Christ, He did something so extraordinary for me (and everyone else) that the least I could do are the things he has asked of me. On judgement day, we will be judged according to our works though….so it’s not true to say that those things don’t matter. It’s also not true to say that LDS believe that Jesus has no power over their works. it’s the other way around, LDS believe that our works have NO power over the atonement of Jesus Christ!

    • LifeAfter April 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      I’m sorry Katie, I was looking at the posts I’d written to people before yours and confused your name with Kate’s.

      You can disagree with me all you like but the Book of Mormon would say otherwise. 2 Nephi 25:23 clearly states that your religion believes you’re saved by grace after all you can do.

      “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

      So which is it, are you reconciled to God through your works or through the work Jesus did on the cross?

      If you truly believed you’re saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ why do temple works? If a non-Mormon passes away why are Mormons so quick to be baptized by proxy for them? If that individual died professing a faith and a testimony in Jesus Christ why do they need to be a baptized member of the Mormon Church? Furthermore why is membership in the Mormon Church a requirement for “full” salvation i.e. exaltation/living in the presence of God?

      Howard W. Hunter said that: “All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple. This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them.” (See link to video below)

      Clearly Mr. Hunter, a prophet of your religion believed that you needed more than Jesus to be permitted into God’s presence. If your religion truly believes Jesus holds the power to redeem you why do you need the temple? Honestly, I can’t get over it.

      It all boils down to this, either you believe Jesus paid it all for your salvation, or you believe it’s works plus grace, and your temple ordinances clearly fall into the category of “works”.

      In regards to other “good works” your religion believes you should preform, what’s the motivation behind them? What’s the attitude of your heart? Is it being to be a good example so that others might join your religion and bring glory to yourself in the next life, or is it to bring others to Jesus, that He would receive all the honor and glory? – Melissa Grimes

  13. jo sutton June 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    I was brought up a Jw until my mother converted to the LDS when I was a teenager, we were told by our bishop that we were to believe in poligamy but our law of the land out-lawed it so the law came first! When I reached 16 my bishop had arranged a marriage for me, my husbant was a 24 year old prison convert and I was told how lucky I was that my husband was so young! There were members of our church with more than one wife but they never leagaly married the second or other wife’s by law but did have a ceremony in our church. We were heavenly controlled with our money, food and what we were expected to do with our so called free time. I was abused by my husband and I later broke away from the LDS but they still persue me today, 30 years later as my name will never be removed from their members lists in Saul lake city. I’m a Christian now and have come to see that previous teaching I’ve had while growing g up was a heap of crap! The ones at the very top of the church benefits very well while the lower ranks were abused and controlled. All this happened in the UK.

  14. Julie June 30, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    I have sat here and read and reread. Could someone please answer the following question.

    FLDS: Plural or singular marriage
    LDS: Plural or singular marriage
    Personally, it looks like both still believe in polygamy.

  15. gypsy June 30, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    here is a subject changer, i am christian that sometimes practices pagan beliefs, but guess what GOD LOVES ME!!!! God comes to me were i can understand him and not loose sight of him. With Christ we are to love everybody, why does it matter what church is true or not? This is not a cross town football game were we pick a team and root for them. This is about having a relationship with God, Jesus, The Holy Ghost, Higherpower, Jehova, Great Spirit, Manito, Kitchi Ogiima, or Kitchi Manito and living life the way we are suppose to by being kind to one another and loving one another. When I die I know I am going to be with God in Heaven, the spirit world, the after life or the selestial kingdom whatever you want to call it. How bout I’m going to Gods house when i’m done on Earth. There is nothing wrong rooting on your religion!! This is actually pretty silly how many of you are acting. It reminds me of a first grader saying “I’m not going to be your friend if you think her doll is better than mine” seriouly!!! we are all the flesh of God! We are all wrong and we all will be judged on judgement day. so with that being said GOD BLESS YOU!!

  16. Jill December 28, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Just something for everyone to think about while they want to sit and criticize others for their beliefs and feelings. John 13:34 ” A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”
    I love my savior and brother Jesus Christ. How can we take his name in all aspects of our lives when we can’t even love one another and respect each others beliefs as they come. If being Christian is to criticize and ridicule others for their beliefs and testimonies then why would anyone want to call themselves a Christian. We should value the name of Christ enough to love and respect all those around us.
    John 13;35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

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