LDS Church stressing its differences from FLDS polygamous sect
Mormon leaders today said they are stepping up efforts to make the public aware of the differences between the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), which has recently garnered widespread national attention.
The Mormon effort is in response to a church-commissioned survey of 1,000 Americans that found a degree of confusion about the two churches. More than a third of those surveyed thought the Texas FLDS compound, which recently was raided by Texas’ Child Protection Services after allegations of child sexual abuse, was part of the LDS Church. Another 6 percent said the two groups were partly related.
FLDS members trace their history and beliefs to Mormonism, which endorsed polygamy until 1890 when it officially discontinued the practice. Since then, the LDS Church has disavowed plural marriage and excommunicates anyone involved in or advocating it.
To end the confusion, Mormon leaders this week made a written appeal to news media to underscore those distinctions. And today, the church posted a series of video interviews on its Web site to illustrate the differences between their members and the FLDS.
To view the videos, visit www.newsroom.lds.org
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– Source: Peggy Fletcher Stack, LDS Church stressing its differences from FLDS polygamous sect, The Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 2008
Theologically, the FLDS is a sect (splinter-group) of the Mormon Church. Both groups are, again theologically, considered to be cults of Christianity — which means that mainstream Christians do not consider either group to be part of the Christian faith.
There are many sects of Mormonism. Nearly all of them separated from the Mormon Church when the latter rejected its doctrine of polygamy.
Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, “described plural marriage as part of “the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on earth” and taught that a man needed at least three wives to attain the “fullness of exaltation” in the afterlife. He warned that God had explicitly commanded that “all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same … and if ye abide not that covenenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.” (John Krakauer, Under The Banner of Heaven, Doubleday (July 15, 2003), pages 5, 6)
However, as the history of the Mormon Church shows, the god of Mormonism constantly changes his mind; reason why the doctrines of the Mormon Church often change (interestingly, whenever doing so is convenient to the Mormon Church).
The Mormon Church’s rejection (sort of…) of polygamy directly led to the formatation of various sects of Mormonism. Though the the LDS/Mormon Church disavows them, collectively these sects are referred to as Mormon Fundamentalists.
As a matter of fact, the doctrines and practices of Mormon Fundamentalists are closer to those of the original Mormon Church than are the doctrines and practices of today’s Mormon Church.