In my notes from last year’s Sunstone Symposium, I gave a list of ten principal differences between Fundamentalist and Mainstream Mormonism as given by Brian Hales. See comment 93 of this thread.
While those are the biggies, there are other, more subtle differences that would mostly be lost on a journalist, yet will be meaningful to a person immersed in either tradition. This list derives from a friend who used to be involved in the Apostolic United Brethren and is now mainstream (some of this may be specific to the AUB and not necessarily applicable to the FLDS). The below is shared with permission.
* They seal men and women to their priesthood leaders under the “law of adoption”.
* They believe they are “the priesthood” and presided over by a council of seven “high priest apostles” that hold higher priesthood keys than members of the Q12.
* 70’s have higher authority than High Priests.
* They ordain some to be “70 Apostles” as members of the 70’s quorum.
* The officiator raises his right arm to the square to bless the sacrament and the other officiators kneel (but not the congregation).
* Only priests and elders administer the sacrament – which includes preparing & passing.
* They use multiple 8oz. glasses for the sacramental water so that the cups are shared and the cup is passed to each member individually without “passing it down the line”.
* Talks are many times given during the passing of the sacrament.
* They lead a person into the waters of baptism by the right hand.
* The long one-piece garment is worn at all times.
* Officiators in Melchizedek Priesthood ordinances raise both arms to the square.
* Persons who are called to positions (like Sunday School Teacher) or ordained to priesthood offices are not presented to the congregation for a “sustaining vote”.
* They do not have a “Fast Sunday”, their day of week to fast is Thursday.
* A member can receive a re-baptism for things such as health & re-commitment.
* A baptism and confirmation into “the Kingdom of God” is given to select members in preparation for the 2nd endowment.
* Women will give a “mothers blessing” as an ordinance prior to childbirth.
* Members are called out of the congregation to give “sacrament talks” without any preparation.
* Joseph Smith is seen as the Holy Ghost and revered as much as Jesus Christ
* Jesus Christ is not recognized as Jehovah or “The Creator”.
* Missionary work is left up to the Church, so they have no full time missionaries.
* Temple ordinances are like the pre-1930’s version and explanatory lectures are given during the Endowment.
Taken alone, many of these are not “fundamental doctrinal differences”, but taken together they do make members of the AUB (and other offshoots) feel different from “orthodox Mormons” and give them a closer fellowship with the early saints. Apart from these differences, they are very much like any ultra-conservative member of the LDS Church who has a literal interpretation of the scriptures and believes that the Church should not change its doctrines or ordinances and that everything Joseph and the other Prophets taught is true and accurate.
Use of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price is the same, but they will frequently use the Inspired Version of the Bible. They use Church manuals for primary classes and some Sunday School classes (with appropriate revisions if necessary). The basic “primary level” doctrines are all pretty much the same, so I would not see them having many differences with “Gospel Principles” or “True to the Faith” and they accept the Articles of Faith in the same way we do.