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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To Joggle and Thomas Jefferson: You both speak with great confidence about something you don't and can't know. You also make assumptions about the doctrine of the atonement based on your imposition of character traits on a God you don't believe in.

In order to explain the atonement to you, we would have to go back to the very beginning and try to correct your assumptions and impositions one at a time.

LDS Liberal

The very fact that the LDS church had to make a public statement just goes to show the extremism that exists in the hearts and minds of some of the most Conservative believers.

We keep hearing, and are warned about extremeism.



To Grace: You have much more confidence in the "excellent" transcribers of Brigham Young's speeches than most Latter-day Saints. No wonder you left the Church if you put your faith in the Journal of Discourses, your BYU professors, and your study of Hebrew (which would not have helped in understanding the New Testament) rather than the more carefully edited Standard Works of the Church.

You also seem to be curiously confused about the difference between doctrine and practice in the Church. The things you list as doctrines that have changed are more correctly practices that have changed.

For a former Latter-day Saint you show a remarkably non LDS expectation of how a prophet works or communicates, and what responsibility the people have toward the varied sorts of declarations a prophet may make.

The debates among the early apostles over circumcision and certain parts of the Law of Moses help to illustrate how the Lord sometimes works with his prophets. Revelations are sometimes received by the Lord's prophet but are not fully understood; the prophet may sometimes express personal opinions; a prophet may need to be redirected by his counselors or advisers.

Thomas Jefferson

@ jeff:

I will gladly listen to any point that I made which is wrong if you would kindly point them out.


@Thomas Jefferson:
You are absolutely right. Religion does not make sense. It is illogical, unscientific, unprovable, and requires great leaps of faith. Of course, it's also important to remember that the human mind is imperfect. Science is finite, incomplete and ever-changing. Using such a limited belief system to try to evaluate religion is also illogical. It is to hold religion to a standard you would not require of science. At least in science we recognize that there is much we don't yet understand, much that science can't yet explain. But we don't abandon science, we keep using it to perfect our knowledge and understanding of the universe. I choose to use religion the same way.



You don't have any idea of what I know or don't know so it is wrong of you to make assumptions about it. Just because I disagree with the Blood Atonement Doctrine doesn't mean I don't know what the religious view of it is. How is my logic wrong?

As Thomas Jefferson says: I will gladly listen to any point that I made which is wrong if you would kindly point them out.



I try to believe what I have to believe, not what I want to believe. I do consider religious beliefs or doctrine as an explanation, but as you stated yourself it is... illogical, unscientific, unprovable, and requires great leaps of faith. I'm not willing to simply fill in the gaps in knowledge with the unproven and illogical. The ancients postulated a god or gods to explain the natural order. Today, however, we find the universe understandable in terms of physical laws and have no need to invoke supernatural powers. I believe modern knowledge supercedes ancient knowledge and humans need to progress with modern knowledge rather than looking to an ignorant past for answers that have yet to be proven certain and probably never will be. I am nearly convinced based on modern knowledge and the scientific method that science is simply incomplete rather than limited and is completely deterministic. Religion is very limited in it's knowledge except in the realm of imagination.


@Joggle: I respect your point of view, and ask only that you also respect mine. I rather enjoy leaps of faith. Much of what we now call science also once existed only in the imagination of some pretty free thinkers.



Well said...thanks.

I feel the same way. I find it amusing that we argue religious points of view and that one faith is labeled mystical or outlandish while defending another.

I find comfort and meaning in my Mormonism. I find spritual fulfillment and enlightenment. I believe that others find the same in their faiths, whatever that faith may be.

So...To argue a point of doctrine that from the perspective of a "Thomas Jefferson" is folly, or from my perspective is heresy, or from your perspective is truth...is just silly.

Thanks again for your comments.



Please keep in mind that I can't automatically agree with someone. It's not disrespectful to disagree with someone. It has more to do with the manner. I'm trying to be civil, but I'm not in control of your reaction to words not meant to offend.

Scientists, religion, and humans in general don't have all the answers. I think we can't blindly adhere to rituals set out before man knew about electricity, bacteria, distant universes, and so on, because intellect has matured to the level of needing to understand such proclamations. Hence the inbuilt downfall of a religion built on blind faith. Yes, things that only existed in the imaginations of free thinkers has now been created or verified by science. On the other hand...much that is within relgious text remains unproven or in many cases has been disproven. Science progresses and is self-correcting. Religion progresses slowly, if at all. Most people no longer believe that the earth is flat or the sun goes around the earth. There are major conflicts between science and religion and history supports that religion wins very few of these disputes.


Do some of you who oppose disagreeing with religion think those disagrreing with it are calling for religion to be banned? Not true. All of this alleged disrespect occurs because those that disagree with religion give an opposing opinion. For most religious people, their religion and their belief in God are very important to them – even constituting the very center and focus of their lives. Given just how important religion is to people, it's not surprising that people will react to criticism negatively and become defensive. That, however, doesn't justify labeling disagreement and criticism as, disrespectful, silly, heresy...or whatever other ad homininem I've seen on this forum. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and so should you. That is why I'm not saying anything about the disrespect I could possibly perceive here...or insinuating that you are intolerant of my opposing beliefs? It goes both ways you know!


About this blood atonement doctrine; If you read the 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants you will notice that when it describes the inhabitants of the telestial kindom, it lists all those who qualify, but nowhere in the description is the most serious sin, murder, ever mentioned.

There are some sins which cannot be forgiven.

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."

Matt 12:31

Delving a little deeper:

"The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God"

D&C 132:27

BY may have taught blood atonement, but there is no recorded verifiable account that it was ever carried out.


I don't think killing sinners is christian.

Happy Valley Heretic

Is this the new LDS mantra "It was Never doctrine" yet for many who's skin was dark it was used as doctrine to Not allow them the same rights as white members. Blood Atonement was never doctrine? Plural Marriage Not doctrine.
Sounds to close to making it up as we go along depending on the attitudes of the sitting Prophet or is it President now?

God is perfect. So why keep changing doctrine?


Everybody should research where this idea of "blood atonement" actually came from. In ancient times (maybe still in certain 3rd world countries) some groups of people would sacrifice to appease their God. In their minds this would aid in their crops, weather and other ways that "God" could help them. This is a ritual that carried on into Christianity, but some now know (as I do) that this is just a "carry over". There is no reason that a "God" would require a sacrifice or a "blood atonement" to appease them. A loving Highter Power doesn't need sacrifices! It's time to come into the 21st century!

LDS Liberal

Happy Valley Heretic | 8:53 a.m.

Those who go the "it was never doctrine" are the hard-core, conservative types who chant that "God is the same yesterday -today -and forever".

They belong with the FLDS, not the LDS.

But, that's what makes me progressive as opposed to their regressive.

Thomas Jefferson

to kimber:

"A loving Highter Power doesn't need sacrifices!"

Nor would it need worship. Nor would it need to have its 'son' crucified so that 'he' could forgive us of our sins. Could 'he' not just forgive us? Nor would it need fancy million dollar buildings for strange ceremonies. In fact, all those things seem to belong to HUMAN nature.


Exactly...it does Thomas Jefferson. I am a Deist that does not believe that a Higher Power or "God" is involved in these ways in our lives. I believe humans made all these things. I do believe that a man named Jesus came and taught some wonderful teachings (as Buddists believe that Buddha taught some beautiful things) but I don't believe he came to make a "blood atonement". I believe that is what the Christians wanted to say about his crucifixtion because of their ancestors beliefs in sacrifice. But all of these things are HUMAN BELIEFS. I don't beieve in this type of a Higher Power's involvement in human beings' lives. There are many of us. Sometimes, you call us atheists, but we are not (although there are those that believe in nothing) Have a wonderful life!

Idaho Coug

I appreciate that things like blood atonement, plural marriage, and the Priesthood ban have been reversed or clarified over time. But I think we have to be honest in acknowledging that it is not always easy (and can actually be quite difficult at times) to distinguish between actual LDS doctrine from opinion, tradition, culture, administration, and LDS myth. It seems that once a church leader has been dead for 20 years, every word they uttered is likely to be defined simply as opinion.

It seems that as of late, Public Relations, apologists, and scholars have had the primary job of clarifying doctrine. Actual LDS leadership has been very careful not to make definitive statements or state personal opinion that could be considered controversial. Talks tend to be very generic and fairly mainstream Christian - minus the occassional Brother Holland Book of Mormon type of sermon.

This certainly is not a negative thing - just very, very different from the preaching style of earlier church leaders.


And it tells us something of the human desires to have someone to "save us" Idaho Coug. It tells me all of the things I said above. You have good points to share and I believe people like you will come to the same conclusions that I have. We don't need to be scared either...we are all apart of a wonderful universe!

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