Blood Atonement

Sherman

Active member
I have been reading the book Wife Number 19 about Blood Atonement as it existed in the early days of Mormonism. Here is a Wikipedia quote on the topic.

Blood atonement is a disputed doctrine in the history of Mormonism, under which the atonement of Jesus does not redeem an eternal sin. To atone for an eternal sin, the sinner should be killed in a way that allows his blood to be shed upon the ground as a sacrificial offering, so he does not become a son of perdition.

The reliability of Wikipedia is disputed since it is built by people all over the internet.

Discuss.
 

Janice Bower

Well-known member
I have been reading the book Wife Number 19 about Blood Atonement as it existed in the early days of Mormonism. Here is a Wikipedia quote on the topic.

Blood atonement is a disputed doctrine in the history of Mormonism, under which the atonement of Jesus does not redeem an eternal sin. To atone for an eternal sin, the sinner should be killed in a way that allows his blood to be shed upon the ground as a sacrificial offering, so he does not become a son of perdition.

The reliability of Wikipedia is disputed since it is built by people all over the internet.

Discuss.
Mormons aren't likely to admit that their members ever believed in blood atonement, but if you look at Utah's history, the firing squad was an option for those who were given the death penalty and Mormons so convicted could choose the firing squad as opposed to hanging.
 

Janice Bower

Well-known member
September 21, 1856 (from a sermon of Brigham Young)

"There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.

"I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them....

"And further more, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further; I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins.

"It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit.... There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, or a calf, or of turtle dove, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man."

(Sermon by Brigham Young published in the Mormon Church's Deseret News, 1856)


 
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Janice Bower

Well-known member
Whoever's. And did the Utah firing squad option apply only to Mormons, or could anyone choose it?
I was asking if the convict or the law officer requested it. I'm not accusing Mormon officers of demanding it as revenge. Read what Brigham Young wrote.
 

Janice Bower

Well-known member

February 8, 1857 sermon


"Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved... and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, 'shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?'

"All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers and sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant....

"I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance... if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the Devil... I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them....

"This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it....if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind."

(Sermon by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, printed in the Deseret News, February 18, 1857)
 

organgrinder

Super Member
Mormons aren't likely to admit that their members ever believed in blood atonement, but if you look at Utah's history, the firing squad was an option for those who were given the death penalty and Mormons so convicted could choose the firing squad as opposed to hanging.
Gary Gilmore chose that option because of that belief. I remember reading the news stories to that fact.
 

Janice Bower

Well-known member
JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES, VOLUME 4, PAGE 220:


Now take the wicked, and I can refer to where the Lord had to slay every soul of the Israelites that went out of Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua. He slew them by the hands of their enemies, by the plague, and by the sword, why? Because He loved them, and promised Abraham that He would save them. And He loved Abraham because he was a friend to his God, and would stick to Him in the hour of darkness, hence He promised Abraham that He would save his seed. And He could save them upon no other principle, for they had forfeited their right to the land of Canaan by transgressing the law of God, and they could not have atoned for the sin if they had lived. But if they were slain, the Lord could bring them up in the resurrection, and give them the land of Canaan, and He could not do it on any other prin

I could refer
you to plenty of instances where men, have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother Jesus Christ raises them up—conquers death, hell, and the grave. I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.

(A Discourse by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, February 8, 1857.)

No link because this Journal of Discourses is owned by me.
 

organgrinder

Super Member
I think he hated his father.
I don't know about that but I know he committed murder and asked to be shot so his blood could be spilled in accord with the blood atonement teaching. The court agreed as I recall. Execution was at Point of the Mountain prison in Utah near Salt Lake in 1977 as I recall. It has been a while so I might be fuzzy on some things but I do remember the blood atonement argument and the court agreeing to the request. His other option was hanging.


There was also a movie titles "The Executioner's Song". Blood atonement is still on the legal books in Utah, although there was an attempt this year to have it removed. The move was narrowly defeated..
 
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Sherman

Active member
Mormons aren't likely to admit that their members ever believed in blood atonement, but if you look at Utah's history, the firing squad was an option for those who were given the death penalty and Mormons so convicted could choose the firing squad as opposed to hanging.
Pretty hideous. I have read the chapter in Wife Number 19 on Blood Atonement. It curled my toenails.
 
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