<Previous      Next>

Question 49


As reported in Deseret Morning News 4 September 2003, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism and past LDS Church statements say "blood atonement was never a doctrine of the Church." Yet many Mormons believe it was and is, evidenced by their opposition to the elimination of execution by firing squad in the state of Utah.

If blood atonement was never a doctrine of the LDS Church, how is it so many members of the Church believe there are some sins which can only be atoned for by the shedding of the sinner's own blood?


if the mormon church teaches blood atonement was never a doctrine then the mormon church is not being truthful to its people and therefore cannot be the true church it claims to be.

in the 1958 mormon doctrine (i just happen to own), page 314 under HANGING bruce m says, "as a mode of capital punishment, hanging or execution on a gallows does not comply with the LAW OF BLOOD ATONEMENT FOR THE BLOOD IS NOT SHED." this has been removed from the newer version.

under BLOOD ATONEMENT bruce m says it is a false teaching with in the church, yet he goes on to say "but under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of christ does not operate and the law of god is that men must have there own blood shed to ATONE FOR THEIR SINS." bruce goes on later to say, "this doctrine can only be practiced in its fulness in a day when the civil and ecclesiastical laws are administered."

regardless of how it can be practiced, it is still understood that it *can* be practiced after saying it was never taught. it is also taught in: the jod volumes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10; history of the church vol 7; doctrines of salvation. blood atonement is taught in too many mormon books to be mere opinion. i own all that i've listed and read all to insure no misunderstanding. some mormons say, "we don't use the jod," then why are all 26 volumes quoted under "books cited" in gospel principles? and why is the king follet discourse said to be j smith's greatest teaching if it is from a book mormons don't use? for further talks write me at "[email protected]" -RB (non-LDS)

The Mormon Church has a history of changing their own doctrines to suit the needs of the times and then presenting the present doctrines as if they were the only ones they ever held. This can be seen in many examples, too many to list here. But there are old documents that can be found if one searches hard and long enough to prove that the doctrine of blood atonement was believed and taught AS a doctrine. -BJS (non-LDS)

The question is invalidated by its condition: blood atonement was practiced as a doctrine by the LDS Church. -ABM (non-LDS)

In my opinion, the statement that Blood Atonement was never a doctrine of the LDS church is historically false.

Brigham Young said, "Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the Kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands... There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, YOUR OWN BLOOD MUST ATONE FOR IT;" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247).

Joeseph Fielding Smith said, "...the founders of Utah incorporated in the laws of the Territory provisions for the capital punishment of those who willfully shed the blood of their fellow men. This law, which is now the law of the State, granted unto the condemned murderer the privilege of choosing for himself whether he die by hanging, or whether he BE SHOT, AND THUS HAVE HIS BLOOD SHED IN HARMONY WITH THE LAW OF GOD; AND THUS ATONE, so far as it is in his power to atone, for the death of his victim..." (Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, Vol. 1, p. 136).

Also see - (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Vol. 5, p. 296)

"Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test." -- President Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young (p.126). -MC (non-LDS)

Blood atonement never was a doctrine of the church. In order to become binding doctrine on the church, something must be received by common consent (D&C 28:13).

I have never heard the term "blood atonement" mentioned in church. The first time I heard it was on my mission when a kind minister of another faith politely informed me that it was a major tenet of my religion.

I think this thing is something the media jumped on and blew out of proportion because it was made an interesting story. -AH (LDS)

Mormon doctrine teaches that some sins could only be atoned by the shedding of the sinners own blood. Joseph Smith taught this very thing, "...If these offenses are commited, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them form their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone..." (Doctirnes of Salvation by Joseph F. Smith Vol. 1. P. 135) Even the book of Mormon teaches that nothing except the blood of Christ will be sufficient for the sins of the world. (See Alma 34:10-12; Doctrine and Covenants 76:41; and 2 Nephi 9:7) The true norm and source of Christian doctrine, which is holy scripture, clearly says that the blood atonement necessary for salvation is the blood of God incarnate (Jesus Christ) who atoned for the sins of the world. This is the primary teaching of scripture. This is justification by Christ and the true teaching on which the church stands and falls. (1 John 1:7-10; Romans 5:8-9) 1 Peter 1:18-20: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" -SVM (non-LDS)