15 Intriguing Facts About the FLDS

The FLDS is the largest group of fundamentalists within the Latter Day Saint movement.

In recent times, the FLDS has gained attention for their practice of polygamy, which involves a man marrying multiple women simultaneously.

With the media spotlight on this religious group through TV shows and books, it’s time to delve deeper into their history.

Here are 15 interesting facts about the FLDS.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the FLDS, is a denomination of the Latter-Day Saint movement established by Joseph Smith in 1830. Joseph Smith is considered the first prophet of the better-known Mormon/LDS Church, and all Latter Day Saint movements trace their origins to him.

The question of whether the FLDS is Mormon has been a topic of debate for some time. There is a common misconception that the name “Mormon” is exclusively for members of the LDS Church, but this is inaccurate. The term “Mormon” was a popular nickname for followers of Brigham Young, one of several people who claimed to be the next prophet after Joseph Smith’s death. Therefore, any Latter Day Saint group that can trace its apostolic lineage back to Joseph Smith via Brigham Young is considered Mormon.

For a group to be classed as fundamentalist, they must actively believe and practice one of the fundamental aspects of Mormonism as taught by Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. The FLDS still adhere to various fundamental aspects, such as plural marriage and the United Order, which is a form of Egalitarian Communalism.

Over the years, several popular television series have been made about the FLDS, including Breaking the Faith and Escaping the Prophet.

The current Prophet of the FLDS, Warren Jeffs, was once on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list. He fled from charges relating to child marriage and is now serving a life sentence plus 20 years in prison for bigamy and child marriage.

Due to the Church’s beliefs about plural marriage and the requirements for entering the top Kingdom of Glory in Heaven, the Prophet Warren Jeffs has 84 wives.

Since Jeffs’ arrest in 2009, a new doctrine has been established. This new practice states that only 15 men, known as “seed bearers,” are allowed to father children. These men must come from a chosen bloodline and be deemed worthy by their leaders.

The FLDS’s practice of plural marriage presents a significant problem for them as the ratio of men to women has remained constant over the past few decades. As men must marry multiple women to enter heaven, there aren’t enough women to fulfill this idea. Consequently, many young boys and men have been abandoned for breaking rules. Once they leave the Church and its communities, they are not allowed to maintain contact with any friends or family members within the church.

Numerous members have left the FLDS Church and their communities behind in search of freedom over the years, and many of them have shared their experiences. Some of these stories have been documented in books like “Escape”, “Stolen Innocence”, “Lost Boy”, and “Under the Banner of Heaven”. Between 2013 and 2015, between 500 and 1,000 members left the FLDS, and as of 2015, the membership was estimated to be around 10,000. The majority of the members reside in a few ranches located in Arizona, Utah, and Texas, with a large colony in British Columbia, Canada.

Women in the FLDS are recognizable by their pastel-colored clothing that covers their entire body, including their legs, arms, and shoulders. This practice is meant to eliminate personal characteristics and conform to the FLDS’s idea of a perfect woman. The different colored dresses signify which women are married to which husband, with red and black being forbidden due to their association with Satan and Jesus, respectively.

After the death of the 3rd Prophet Leroy S. Johnson in 1984, a small group of members broke away from the FLDS and formed the Centennial Park Group. They call themselves “The Work” and broke away over the Doctrine of the “One Man Rule”, which states that only one man on earth can hold all the Priesthood keys and power of God.

Inbreeding is a common practice among FLDS members due to their gender ratio, with many marrying their first or second cousins. This has led to a high prevalence of fumarase deficiency, a condition that affects the nervous system and causes severe mental issues, within their communities. The current and future leadership of the FLDS is uncertain, as Warren Jeffs resigned as President in 2010 and his status as Prophet is unknown. Lyle Jeffs, Warren’s brother, was next in line for leadership, but Warren removed him from office in 2012.


1. What is the FLDS?

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is a sect that broke away from the mainstream Mormon church in the early 1900s. The FLDS is known for its strict adherence to traditional gender roles, polygamy, and isolated communal living. The group has been involved in numerous controversies, including allegations of child labor, child abuse, and underage marriage.

2. How many members does the FLDS have?

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of FLDS members, as the group is notoriously secretive. However, it is believed that the FLDS has a few thousand members, with the majority living in the border region between Utah and Arizona.

3. Who is the leader of the FLDS?

The current leader of the FLDS is Warren Jeffs, who was convicted of child sexual assault in 2011 and is currently serving a life sentence in prison. Jeffs is believed to still be in control of the group from behind bars, communicating with his followers through letters and phone calls.

4. What is the FLDS belief system?

The FLDS belief system is based on the teachings of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church. However, the FLDS has taken a more extreme interpretation of Smith’s teachings, emphasizing the importance of polygamy and strict obedience to the group’s leaders. Members believe that their leader is a prophet who receives direct revelations from God.

5. What is life like for FLDS members?

Life for FLDS members is highly controlled and regimented. Members are expected to follow strict dress codes, with women wearing long dresses and covering their hair with a scarf. Men and women are segregated in public spaces, and women are not allowed to have any leadership roles within the group. Members also live in isolated communities, with limited contact with the outside world.

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