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However, immediately after the state of Utah convicted him of being an accomplice to rape, it was widely reported in the press that Warren Jeffs resigned his leadership of the FLDS Church, though the statement made by his attorneys only addresses Jeffs' resignation from his fiduciary post as "President of the Corporation of the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Inc." Since no public statements had been made by church officials indicating Jeff's successor, it is not known who led the FLDS Church in the interim, although it is possible that Warren Jeffs remained at the church's helm during this period as well.

Short Creek soon became a gathering place for polygamist former members of the LDS Church.

In 1935, the LDS Church excommunicated the Mormon residents of Short Creek who refused to sign an oath renouncing polygamy. Barlow began to lead a group of Mormon fundamentalists who were dedicated to preserving the practice of plural marriage. Barlow, Charles Zitting, Joseph White Musser, Le Grand Wooley, and Louis A. In 1932, these leaders created the organization known as the Council of Friends, a group of seven high priests that was said to be the governing priesthood body on Earth.

Other newer church settlements are 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Pringle, South Dakota and Mancos, Colorado Members of the FLDS Church have owned machine shops that have sold airplane components to the United States government, and from 1998 to 2007, the receipts of these components totaled more than $1.7 million.

The residents in the area of Hildale and Colorado City have a long history of practicing plural marriage, dating to the mid-19th century.

The FLDS Church headquarters were originally located in what was then known as Short Creek in Arizona, on the southern border of Utah.

The settlement eventually expanded into Utah and became incorporated as the twin municipalities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.He was succeeded by Joseph White Musser, who was the church's leader during a government crackdown on polygamy known as the Short Creek raid, in 1953, in which all the FLDS Church members of Short Creek were arrested, including 236 children.Musser led the community until a contentious appointment of Rulon Allred to a high position of authority in 1951 angered some members of the Short Creek community.Musser had appointed Allred to be his successor, but Allred was not accepted as his successor by the Short Creek community.This led to a schism, with many followers breaking off and joining Allred; this offshoot became known as the Apostolic United Brethren.After the formal abandonment of plural marriage by the LDS Church, many members around Short Creek and elsewhere continued, and even solemnized, plural marriages.In 1904, the LDS Church issued the Second Manifesto and eventually excommunicated those who continued to solemnize or enter into new plural marriages.According to this interpretation, the original authority conferred by Lorin C.Wooley was only for the purpose of initiating plural marriages, not for the establishing of a new church, and many early Short Creek polygamists continued to regard the LDS Church as authoritative but "out of order" on the matter of polygamy.These contentions eventually led to the subsequent schisms that created the multiple Mormon fundamentalist organizations that now exist, including the FLDS Church, the Apostolic United Brethren, and the Latter-day Church of Christ or Kingston group.One researcher has suggested that the concept of the FLDS as a separate church entity did not fully arise until a 1987 lawsuit, when the full name of the church first appears.

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