Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an early twentieth century offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church claims that the revelation given to the mainline church to stop practicing polygamy was false.
As the name implies, it is more radical than other churches of the Latter Day Saints. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes everything in the Book of Mormon and is strongly opposed to homosexual acts, women's equality, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.
Members still practice polygamy today, but prosecution is difficult and rare because the wives typically decline to testify. A notable exception was the arrest and conviction in 2007 (on a charge of being an accomplice to rape) of FLDS leader and prophet Warren Jeffs (b. 1955). Jeffs had previously been on the FBI's Most Wanted list. That conviction was later overturned by the Utah Supreme Court because of erroneous jury instructions. Jeffs was then transferred to Texas to face charges of sexual assault on two underage girls in November 2010, after the Utah Supreme Court refused to block his extradition. In July 2011, a jury convicted him on two counts, and in August 2011, the jury took less than 30 minutes to sentence him to life in prison.
FLDS communities are located in remote, small towns, mainly in the American Southwest, where the church's leadership takes care to prevent surveillance. They resemble groups of Mormons that left the U.S. for Canada and Mexico about 1900. The colony known as Bountiful, British Columbia is still active in Canada.
- Utah Supreme Court reverses Warren Jeffs conviction Metcalfe, Dan and Chris Vanocur, July 27, 2010, abc4.com, retrieved August 24, 2011
- Polygamist sect leader Jeffs arrives in Texas Ward, Mike, December 1, 2010, statesman.com, retrieved August 24, 2011
- Warren Jeffs gets life in prison for sex with underage girls Whitehurst, Lindsay, August 9, 2011, Salt Lake City Tribune, retrieved August 24, 2011