Comments about ‘Mormon church statement on blood atonement’

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Published: Friday, June 18 2010 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Cougar Blue

Beowulf: You've just opened up Pandorra's box. "Context of the times, as should all statements of God's prophetc, ancient or modern?" Wow, I'll have a days work ahead of me on this one.


Only Christ's atonement is an acceptable sacrifice for sins. However, faith & repentance (inter alia) are necessary to make the atonement effective in an individual's life. There may be cases where offering one's own blood is part of the repentance process. (That may have been David W. Patten's experience. Pres. Kimball said the bandage of repentance must be as broad as the sin.) It does not replace Christ's atonement. As noted in comments above, the works of mortals do not reconcile us with God's Justice, only the Grace of God does that.


The Church is illustrating what it has always taught. Forgiveness of sin (frankly, a relationship with God) is a personal thing to be worked out with God through Christ. I think that some people just look to be offended and so they will be whenever the LDS church makes a statement of any kind


How about all of us just focusing on repentance instead of what's next for Ronnie Lee?


Brigham Young taught blood atonement as well as the Adam-God Theory. Brigham truly believed in those two doctrines. The records of the day prove it. Sometimes, opinions are construed as doctrine. I wish the Church would come out and admit that. Its not a concern for me however as I realize that Prophets are men and not every word that falls from their lips is straight from Kolob.


It definitely gets confusing when the prophet of the LDS church makes strong statements to the congregations of the church, and then later, the church's PR dept. says those statements aren't doctrine. Nevertheless, please keep those press releases coming until all of the sexist, racist, anti-gay, and cruel statements from the prophets have been declared as not doctrine.


RE: JosephONE: anyone who studies Mormon history knows that the blood Atonement was taught from Joseph Smith on,the real question is not "if" but "why". One reason,oaths and apostates.


Looks like the church has made some good doctrinal changes all for the better. No body wants to continue to live in the dark ages now that we have all evolved and grown some brains.

Blood atonement, polygamy?..... What a crying shame.

LDS Liberal

Not Doctrine.

This is why I take issue with so many "Utah Mormons".

It doesn't matter what is official Church Doctrine, published, or taught over the pulpit 10 minutes ago in General Confererence by a Living Prophet.

Some will stick with stupid off the cut comments from someone's opinion 150 years ago.

Which will it be people.

Who are you going to follow?

BTW - The Church is moving FORWARD - with or without you....

LDS Revelations

@ goneskiing-

You fail to acknowledge that opinions of the living prophet are practical LDS doctrine, actual or implicit. LDS live by the words they hear/read in conference/the Ensign. "Follow the prophet" is not limited to canon. Bednar's talk "Quick to Observe" illustrates perfectly. Whether what the prophet says is canon ...members just need to obey.

Anyway if prophets can't tell their opinions aren't doctrine as they speak, how can we trust later prophets to say they were wrong?

B. atonement in BY's day was seen as doctrine. An ancestor of mine after committing a serious sin went to offer himself to BY to be blood atoned. He heard the prophet teach the doctrine and took him at his word. BY instead had him pay a fine/serve a short jail term.

Really it's been seen as doctrine until recently when it became un-PC in the Christian world. The changes David O. McKay required B. McConkie make in the 2nd Ed. of Mo Doc didn't include removing B. atonement. Now as Mo Doc is retired it's embarrassing. Truly the real source of revelation here are current societal opinion.


I like what kishkumen said about keeping these PR statements coming until all the hateful doctrine is gone. So what is being taught today about gays, is that just Hinkley and Monson and others speaking as men? What happens in the LDS church if you feel a prophet is just speaking as a man and you decide to do the opposite? I bet people in Brighams time took him very seriously. I bet they followed his every word just as many of you do with the current prophet today.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan

To UtahRez,
Not every statement of the Prophet is Doctrine. It is ony canonically binding if affirmed as such, and only the First Presidency as a whole can make a statement that is for sure doctrine.

While much of what the president of the Church says is doctrinally correct, it must be understood in the context it is given. In the matter of the quote from Brigham Young you must understand that he was seeking to wake up a largely slothful and spiritually dead membership of the Church.

To Lee,
The LDS Church does not have a mind. That said, you would have to find a statement issued by the WHOLE FIRST PRESIDENCY to be able to claim the Church is "Changing its mind".

John Pack Lambert of Michigan

To Heathjh,
Who where said that the Journal of Discourses were like scripture?

Joseph Fielding Smith wrote the material used in "Doctrines of Salvation" largely as an apostle, and none of it as president of the Church. It was edited by Bruce R. McConkie, who was not an apostle at the time, and he added his own spin into the book at times.

That said, Joseph Fielding Smith and James E. Talmage had opposite views on certain issues relating to evolution. They were mutually exclusive. They were also both apostles. Thus it is possible for apostles to hold incorrect views.

Lastly, I would urge people to consider statements in context. Wilford Woodruff said we would not be lead astray by following the counsel of the Prophet. What was Brigham Young's counsel? Was he speaking in a way urging the passing or upholding of capital punishment? No. Not at all.

Brigham Young was urging people to live up to the covenants God had made and to take seriously the commandments of God. His speech was purely religious and was not meant to advocate for any public policy.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan

To the 5:29 commentator,
If you are trying to use that scripture to make comments about the justification of the death penalty you are wresting the scriptures.

It is clear from actually reading the whole scripture, and not skipping portions as you did in your quote, that the "end to shedding of blood" has no reference to ending capital punishment but is a reference to ending animal sacrifices.

You should also bare in mind that government executions are acts of the state and not religious acts. We should not consider the efficacy of Christ's atonement for the specific sin in considering judicial punishment.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan

To CT98,
Brigham Young's understanding of the Adam-God theory is an issue few have really looked into. The leading scholar of the teachings of Brigham Young insists that what Brigham Young was really saying was that there are two Adam, Adam-God and Adam-Man. Thus, Adam is one of the names of God the Father.


We believe in living the law of the land, and until that is changed, it will be this way.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan

To kishkumen,
It is interesting that you choose the name of a murderer as your moniker.

To began with, the way you write one would think that Thomas S. Monson had made these statements. The statements were made by Brigham Young over 150 years ago. This is not actually an unprecedented statement. The Church has on many occasions pointed out inaccurate rhetoric in the matter of so-called blood atonement. For one thing, Brigham Young was not saying that he thought people should be killed for certain crimes, he was saying that in the ideal system that did not exist this is what would occur.

Was Jesus advocating tieing mill-stones around peoples' necks and throwing them into the sea with his speeh about how it would be better that that would happen to those who "offend one of the least of these"?

Harsh statements caling people to repentance are not always to be taken iterally. This is why the rhetorical style of the speaker in question must be understood.


What is doctrine today will be only opinion tomorrow ..... Or so it seems. What doctrines today do you think will be gone tomorrow? Blood atonement was considered a doctrine by the people of that day. They listened to the prophet. It has been taught over and over " when the prophet speaks the debate is over".

John Pack Lambert of Michigan

To don,
What is your source for Joseph Smith having taught Blood Atonement? Please name one date on which he spoke it, and preferably a source where-in your statement can be cross checked.

In fact, if you could find any reference to blood atonment before the Mormon Reformation of the mid-1850s I am sure you could make a major break-through.

Every study of the matter I have ever read, has clearly dated the first references to it to 1856 and the Mormon Reformation.

LDS Revelations


"Brigham Young taught polygamy. So is it still the doctrine of the Church?"

More importantly to LDS Joseph taught and practiced polygamy too.

But while Church does not practice the Principle currently, there are many things that suggest that plural marriage still is doctrine, although one not currently practiced on earth. D&C 132 is still canon. Men can be and are sealed to multiple women after the death of a previous wife.

Blood Atonement in my view falls in the same category–Doctrine considered to be true but not be practiced now.

In 1978 Bruce R. McConkie wrote of Blood atonement:
"Let me say categorically and unequivocally that this doctrine can only operate in a day when there is no separation of Church and State and when the power to take life is vested in the ruling theocracy as was the case in the day of Moses."

"..we must mention that there are some sins for which the blood of Christ alone does not cleanse a person. These include blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (as defined by the Church) and that murder which is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice."

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