The conviction was the first legal action against a member of the FLDS Church since the Short Creek raid.

Woolley, of a purported 1886 divine revelation to then-LDS Church President John Taylor.

They see this 1886 revelation as precluding validity of the 1890 Manifesto against new plural marriages by church members, issued by Wilford Woodruff, whom the LDS Church recognizes as Taylor's successor.

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.

Such members held hope that the LDS Church would one day come back "into order" and re-establish the practice of polygamy.

In 1984, a schism formed within the FLDS Church just before the death of Leroy S. A small group of FLDS (known as the Centennial Park group) took issue with the "one-man rule" doctrine that altered the leadership structure of the church and that was implemented fully when Rulon Jeffs assumed his position as sole leader of the organization.

He was succeeded by Rulon Jeffs, who assumed the position of prophet, a title his predecessor refused to use.

In Jeffs' later years, his poor health led to his son Warren Jeffs serving as leader of the church in his stead, and upon Rulon's death in September 2002, Warren Jeffs became leader of the FLDS Church.

The core group in the Short Creek area instead followed Charles Zitting as its leader. Johnson was chosen to lead the church in Short Creek.

Johnson led the FLDS Church until his death in 1986.

The historic location of the church was in Hildale and Colorado City, but the church also has a long-standing colony in Bountiful, British Columbia.