My last blog post was all about how and why there is conflict and confusion about Polygamy and Mormon’s and how so much of it is tied up in a name. I wanted to continue on with that and explain a little more about the Polygamists and names, to hopefully further clarify some of the confusion surrounding these reclusive groups of people.
To begin with let me explain that Polygamists technically can’t and shouldn’t be all lumped together. I can no more tell you what polygamists think and feel, do and believe, any more than you as say a male with brown hair can tell me what all males with brown hair think and feel. Ok maybe that’s taking it a little far but you get the point. I can tell you a few things that should be helpful though.
One final note. Lest there be confusion, as I write and try to explain the beliefs of various different groups of people and religions I am not saying that the information I am giving is either true or false. I am not saying at all what my opinion is on it. I am simply hoping to clarify about various beliefs that are out there.
First thing that it is important to understand is that many, if not all of the Mormon Polygamists ( these would be any polygamist who is living polygamy based on the early teachings of the LDS church) believe that there is one true church of Christ on the earth and that, that church is the LDS church. However, they believe that the LDS church has gone astray and given up the fullness of the gospel as restored by Joseph Smith.
The problem is that when he restored the gospel Joseph said that he was restoring Christs church and the fullness of the gospel to the earth for the last time. So since the LDS Church went astray and gave up certain principles, the Lord had to have a group of people who would keep those principles alive and on the earth in order for that prophesy to be fulfilled.
There is a prophesy common to many of the (for lack of a better word) FLDS people who says that ” One mighty and Strong” will come and set the church in order. Most believe that this person is going to be Joseph Smith returning to earth. So because, the “true church of Christ is here, there can not be another church organized. Therefore, rather than forming an official church the FLDS originally formed simply a group of people who were willing to continue to live plural marriage, (or polygamy) at the risk of being excommunicated from the LDS church. In the beginning there was a small group who did and they got together to have “cottage meetings in each others homes. They felt that while they couldn’t form a church they could meet together as a group.
There were others who felt that they would continue to live plural marriage but didn’t feel that the thing to do was to start developing a group or leaders. They each kind of went their own way and became known as Independents. The others formed various groups and followed various leaders. Each group rather informally came to be called by the name of the leader of the group ie The Allred group, the Kingston group etc. Collectively they went by the name of fundamentalists or FLDS
With time leaders died, disputes happened and groups split. Today there are dozens of groups, each with various differing beliefs and ideas. One of the largest groups (the Jeff’s group) started getting a lot of media attention for some extra young marriages, and for some extreme behavior. the media in referring to them as FLDS pushed the other groups towards wanting to clarify the differences between them and they started to move away from that name. Now days most groups don’t want to be known as FLDS.