W[hen] they enact tyrannical laws, forbidding us the free exercise of our religion, we cannot submit. . . . God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven we will be ranged under the banner of heaven and against the Government. The United States says we cannot marry more than one wife. God says different. . . . Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been handed down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on earth can prevent it, nor all the nations on earth combined; these are my sentiments and all of you who sympathize with me in this position will raise your right hands. I defy the United States; I will obey God.
— John Taylor
Third president, prophet, seer, and revelator of the Mormon Church
January 4, 1880
during a Sunday assembly in Great Salt Lake City