Mormon church statement on blood atonement

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  • agkcrbs Holladay, UT
    May 18, 2014 4:20 a.m.

    Should a proven murderer live, or should he die? It's not a complicated question. Call it justice, and most everybody here would want a life for a life; perhaps a few would prefer the living death of life imprisonment; but probably all would demand some form of payment or 'atonement' for the sin. But connote it with doctrine, and suddenly, it's theocracy gone haywire, with people tripping over quotations and statements they have no real wish to comprehend. All along, it's the same question.

  • curiouscat Tooele, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 8:44 p.m.

    Can someone direct me to the official statement on a Church website?

    Where did the Deseret News get this information?

    I have not been able to find it.

  • jrod
    Aug. 10, 2010 12:32 p.m.

    you should all read Bruce McConkie's Letter of Rebuke to Professor Eugene England of BYU. you can find it in any search if you just type it in like i have written it. Page 6 is where McConkie states that Brigham Yound lied. If you read through the next couple of pgs there are many things that are of concern. Mainly about what we believe as LDS... about keeping our mouth shut if we find things that are wrong with church leaders teachings... Anyone know why the Journals of Discourse's that are the teachings of the prophets were removed from homes in the 70's? OH yeah! he says that if we believe our prophets teachings and if they are wrong we lose our souls! But we are taught to believe what the prophets teaches... Right?
    it also states that the only atricles you should write is if it is faith promoting! let me know what you think.

  • JB Idaho
    June 22, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    If you will read the statement carefully you will notice a difference between the first and second paragraph. The first paragraph talks about restitution and a "blood atonement" as alluded to from past leaders. Restitution is one of the steps a person goes through when they fully repent and then after all the required steps take place then the atonement of the Savior makes us whole and clean. The second paragraph only only says that there is nothing we can do on our own merits to make us whole and clean. Only the power of the atonement of the Savior will cleanse us from sin. The statement can be confusing (Only because the two issues of restitution and atonement are convoluted) but I don't see any disagreement between what was taught by prophets of old and the statement issued by the church.

  • The Caravan Moves On
    June 22, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Short, simple, and to the point.

    And most important of all, true.

    The idea of blood atonement is false.

    Just go ask the former king named David....

  • Kimber
    June 22, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    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!

  • Idaho Coug
    June 22, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Kimber
    June 22, 2010 9:48 a.m. 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!

  • Thomas Jefferson
    June 22, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 22, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Kimber
    June 22, 2010 9:01 a.m.

    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!

  • Happy Valley Heretic
    June 22, 2010 8:53 a.m.

    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?

  • Screwdriver
    June 22, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    I don't think killing sinners is christian.

  • HCW
    June 21, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    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.

  • Joggle
    June 21, 2010 7:53 p.m.

    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!

  • Joggle
    June 21, 2010 7:07 p.m.


    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.

  • Grundle
    June 21, 2010 6:14 p.m.


    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 just silly.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  • cynic
    June 21, 2010 4:33 p.m.

    @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.

  • Joggle
    June 21, 2010 3:49 p.m.


    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
    June 21, 2010 2:31 p.m.


    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.

  • cynic
    June 21, 2010 1:39 p.m.

    @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.

  • Thomas Jefferson
    June 21, 2010 1:33 p.m.

    @ jeff:

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

  • Jeff
    June 21, 2010 1:04 p.m.

    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.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 21, 2010 1:03 p.m.

    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.


  • Jeff
    June 21, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    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.

  • Thomas Jefferson
    June 21, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    The entire idea that god had to impregnate the virgin mary to have a son to die for OUR sins that we have because adam and eve ate the fruit therby giving us sin is NOT an idea that makes sense in any way. The fact that so many people are POSITIVE that their way of worshiping this insecure and sometimes powerless god and the rest are doing it wrong makes as much sense, i.e. none.

    If some omniscient god actually exists then I can see no way he would be as described in the 4000 year old book written by goat herders, nor the 1800 year old book written by a man who was starting a religion, nor the 180 year old book written by another man starting a religion based on the other books and a new one which conveniently made him in charge.

    None of it makes ANY sense.

  • HCW
    June 20, 2010 7:09 p.m.

    "A man-made foundation has to keep changing... Now do your own homework"

    Grace and which Church of all the Christian denominations out there did you end up alinging with seeing as Churches are created upon a group of like minded followers interpretation of the bible, hence the reason for all the different Christan beliefs today. If there is one true gospel, explain all the Churches that claim to follow Christ’s word.

  • Joggle
    June 20, 2010 4:17 p.m.

    There is no "mercy or forgiveness" in putting an innocent being to death for any pretext whatever. And for the God (as a Father)to consent to the brutal assassination of his own innocent son (Jesus) upon the cross to gratify an implacable revenge toward his own children (humankind), the workmanship of his own hands, rather than forgive a moral weakness implanted in their natures by a voluntary act of his own, and for which consequently he alone ought to be responsible, would be nothing short of murder in the first degree.

    When a debt is paid, it is canceled, and dismissed from memory, and nothing more said about it. But in this case the sinner is told he must still suffer the penalty for every sin he commits, notwithstanding Christ died to atone for and cancel that sin.

    Where, then, is the virtue of the atonement? Like other nonsensical doctrines from ancient times, it is at war with reason and common sense, and every principle of sound morality, and will be marked by coming ages as a relic of barbarism from an ignorant past.

  • CougarBlue
    June 20, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    Dear UtahRez. There is nothing in BY's statement that supports bloold atonement. He simply used an example of how far a man would want to go to try and receive forgiveness. Nothing in that statement said the man has to do that to receive forgiveness. Life is the most precious thing a man can have on earth and Brigham was simply using that as a focus point to show the extent they might want to go.

    Don't take quotes out of context to make your fallacious argument. I can do that with the bible also.
    Don't read into something which is simply not there.

  • Another Perspective
    June 20, 2010 11:46 a.m.

    to Grace

    You sound like one of these "born again" Christians, am I correct?

    If so, you believe that God is all powerful, he can do anything he wants, you believe that God is extremely loving, more so than can be imagined. You believe that if one happens to be born in a culture where Jesus is not the religious figure, and dies there without accepting Jesus, that he will consign that person to a hell of excruciating pain forever and ever.

    Do you see the illogic of this situation? Do you see that the "born again" tradition which you apparently accept as true, paints God as being worse than Hitler or Osama Bin Ladin?

    Do you see that in accepting this tradition, you have laid aside all logic and reason and you are a sheep of fables? Do you not agree that God gave you reasoning and common sense for a reason? Yet you choose to lay it aside and make God out to be not only a monster, but a creature of illogical and unexplainable paradoxes.

  • Another Perspective
    June 20, 2010 4:10 a.m.

    re John Pack Lambert of Michigan | 5:48 p.m. June 19, 2010


    If nothing else, reading Pres Kimballs book the Miracle of Forgiveness will give a reader a perspective on Pres Kimballs take on things.

    Not on Brigham Young's, but it will tell you what President Kimball thinks about the subject.

  • Igualmente
    June 20, 2010 1:43 a.m.

    Grace dude, I'm not buying that you are former LDS.

  • Grace
    June 19, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    John P.L. of Michigan,

    Thank you for your references here. This has been the 20th century church position and I have the Doctrines of Salvation book, vol. 2 by Joseph Fielding Smith where he says the same things. However, he clarifies exactly which church leaders decided on capital punishment and why. I will submit his quote and refs later tonight.

    I will also give you the refs for all of Brigham Young's teachings, and several of the General Authorities talks on Blood Atonement. What I will never understand is how the leaders can deny that certain topics were taught, when they have such excellent record-keeping archives for General Conference?

    The problem for people who follow modern prophets, (who continually add to and change previous revelations), is that you have to remember what all your previous prophets taught. Then one day you need to write down all the changes from what used to be "God's Word" and what it is today and compare those to the history of the Bible.

    It is also needful to list all the false prophecies and then use God's litmus test for false prophets. (Deut.18: 15- 22).

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    June 19, 2010 5:48 p.m.

    On p. 195-196 of Spencer W. Kimball's book "The Miracle of Forgiveness" he discussed the consequences of murder. It does not mention anything on the lines of blood atonement.

    I would recomend anyone who wants to real understand this matter read Lowell M. Snow's article on Blood Atonement in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. The full text of this article can be found on line.

    The most central statement on the matter in this article is "this view is not a doctrine of the Church and has never been practiced by the Church at any time".

    This statement recently issue on blood atonement was not issued by the First Presidency because the Church has repeatedly stated that Blood Atonement is not a doctrine and that the Church has no official position on the death penalty.

  • Grace
    June 19, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    Dear Fellow Believers in our Lord, Jesus Christ,

    I feel the passion that many here have for the souls of all who come to share their beliefs and opinions. I appreciate the ability to communicate with "cyber-Christians". Truly, how amazing, and if only we could have clear conversations with past prophets, apostles and messengers!

    God could arrange that, but He has chosen to leave us His Word. He knows we will debate it and search for the Truth. We do have so much more in common with respect to our beliefs, and to that end we each ask the Holy Spirit to guide us "unto all truth."

    Jesus said if we love Him we are to make disciples, feed His sheep, be witnesses of Him and receive all power from the Holy Spirit". (Act 1:1- 10). There were disagreements from His ascension on. Maybe it's part of the process, but He also cautioned us of false teachings and to pray always.

    My prayer is that all true seekers hear His voice and "rightly divide His Word. (2Tim.3) "Always be prepared to make a defense, yet ... with gentleness and reverence." (1Pet.3:15)

  • Michiganian
    June 19, 2010 1:19 p.m.

    Only the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary is the one and only true "blood atonement" that should concern all of us today.

  • cjb
    June 19, 2010 11:40 a.m.

    I agree with what you say, he was against vengence, and he wasn't leading a rebellion. I also believe he had compassion on the soldier, who as a younger man had decided on a this as a career.

    Jesus also took the occasion to give wisdom to Peter, telling his of the consequence he must suffer if he killed the soldier.

    Though I agree with everything you have stated explicidly, I sense you disagree with my reasoning. You may disagree with me, thats okay. My purpose is not to get everyone to agree, my only purpose is state what I believe. That what Brigham Young said, is not in left field, scripture can be reasonably interperted to agree with his teachings.

    If you choose to make a different interpertation, that is fine. There is probably no one scripture that everyone agrees on.

    There are things I disagree with Brigham Young on, I disagree with his attitude on slavery, that he didn't care to lift a finger to do anything about it. I more agree with Joseph Smith, who wished in his heart, and stated that it would be done away with.

  • cynic
    June 19, 2010 11:35 a.m.

    I am very happy that your efforts to get closer to Jesus have brought you to a place where you feel the peace that can only come through Christ. I respect you, and agree much more with you than with most of my fellow LDS members. My personal search for Jesus has included questioning everything I was taught and studying much of what drove you from the church. In the end, that search has led me back to the LDS church, but now I'm a born-again Mormon. My conclusions include:
    1. Prophets are fallible. Nobody ever said they weren't. Moses was. David was. Peter was. Brigham definitely was. ETB was. They try really hard, but they make mistakes. Hopefully,
    they continue to lead us closer to a complete understanding of the simplicity of Christ's gospel, but we still aren't there.
    2. Scriptures, revelations and prophets can all help us, but what matters most is our own discovery of the wonder of the infinite atonement, and our own personal relationship with Christ. That's the only thing that can save us.

    Much more to say, but out of room.

  • don
    June 19, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    CJB, "See Mt 26:52",also see Mark 14:43-50 and Luke 22:47-53, The synoptic Gospels on Jesus"s arrest, He was not leading a rebellion, He was teaching against vengeance. Jesus answered,"No more of this!And he touched the man's ear and healed him". (Luke 22:51)

  • brokenclay
    June 19, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    No cjb, that's called speculation, not interpretation. None of that episode even suggests atonement for salvation. Consistently throughout scripture (i.e., the Bible), those who die for their own sins also die the second death. You will search in vain to find anything otherwise.

  • cjb
    June 19, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    re Northern Lights | 8:24 a.m. June 19, 2010

    1) Are conference talks considered scripture?

    2) Are talks in the Journal of Discourses conference talks?

  • cjb
    June 19, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    re Grace | 1:50 a.m. June 19, 2010


    Jesus was telling Peter, that if he killed another person, his own blood couldn't shield him from the penalty, he would have to pay for it with his own blood.

    Perhaps not to you, but to me this sounds remarkably like what Brighan Young said, i.e. there are some sins which the blood of Jesus will not wash away, you have to pay for them yourself.

    Perhaps I am interperting this wrong, or perhaps you are, but you "must" agree this is a reasonable interpertation, given the evidence or scripture that has been passed down to us.


    see Matthew 26:52. "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword".

  • Northern Lights
    June 19, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    The same accusations against the Church on this message board has been used since the late 1800s. It is a false accusation. Church leaders have held a consistent view on this topic as far back as the 1902 General Conference. There is no change in Church doctrine or policy with this week's press announcement.

    The highest punishment the LDS Church can impose on any of its members is excommunication. That's it. The power to take a life is reserved exclusively for the state which continues to exercise that right today.

    Nor, having attended numerous wards throughout the world for many years have I heard this "doctrine" preached. It is none of the church manuals. I have never heard it discussed among members. Not a big deal for members, only for critics it seems.

    Further, A topic mentioned in the Journal of Discourses doesn't make it doctrine. Nor, is the Journal of Discourses considered scripture.

    As for why does God ever change His mind? Just ask Jonah what happened when he was in Ninevah. A fun story to think about.

  • labman
    June 19, 2010 7:35 a.m.

    Certainly, we don't have all the answers, and some days I wonder if I have any answers other than Man must walk by faith and obtain personal spiritual confirmation on every subject. We all progress at different levels; that's the tricky part to speaking as a "prophet".Not all can understand at the same level at the same time. Be quick to forgive and slow to accuse, whether it be each other of the Lord's annointed. Being called the Lord's annointed does not make one perfect or all knowing.... but probably wiser than me.

  • Grace
    June 19, 2010 1:50 a.m.

    Oh, my!! Dear cjb,

    HOW you came up with Matt. 26:52 having anything to do with the shed Blood of Jesus Christ being the ONLY acceptable sacrificial blood, from a Perfect Lamb, is quite amazing.

    I took Hebrew at BYU in 1970-71 and haven't stopped studying and teaching it for 30 years. Words have meanings and you can't concoct your own translation. This scripture refers to those who live by the sword, will eventually die by it. Period.

    Please read all the sermons and doctrinal teachings of Brigham before you try to equate his antithetical revelations on Blood Atonement with anything that Christ taught. Get some Journal of Discourses, some Church History and biographies of your beloved prophet and tell me exactly why he said that a man or woman might have to have their own blood shed for certain sins, "for which the Blood of Christ could not cover".

    "The Unpardonable Sin" is a different issue. If you will reference every verse on Christ's atoning blood in the Bible: Is it sufficient for all sin?

    Brigham is on one side and Jesus is on the other. Man's blood isn't perfect.

  • Grace
    June 19, 2010 1:31 a.m.


    where did you get this weird doctrine? 'Cuz it ain't from the Bible, my friend. You can search and you will NEVER find anything that says your own shed blood will bring you any kind of salvation, glorification, or exaltation.

    You may have to pay for a life you take with your own blood (Mosaic law), but Christ's blood is the only acceptable blood for God's required sacrifice, right? You have read the New Testament reason, I assume: Christ's Blood is the ONLY Blood from a Perfect Sacrifice.

    He is the Perfect Lamb of God. That's why the Apostle Paul calls "all other gospels, than the one we gave you" to be doctrines of demons. The law won't save you, (Romans and Galations), Gnostic wisdom and special powers are false teachings (Jude and 2 Peter 2), Grace and Faith bring you into relationship with Christ, which will give you a spiritual birth and produce true fruit/works (Ephesians and James) and Christ is "above all and has created all" (Colossians).

    That's why ANYONE creating a doctrine that your blood can cover any sins is purely heretical, non-Biblical, and man-made.

  • Grace
    June 19, 2010 1:16 a.m.

    zinnia dear,

    I'm praying that you will find peace and truth. Jesus is total Peace and ultimate Truth. You know the scripture where He said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". Ask Him to clear up any confusion you might have. He promises He will to all who truly seek Him.

    Just keep faithful to where the Holy Spirit leads you, and keep asking for guidance along the way. It's a simple and beautiful journey. If you're on the right track, you'll feel His strong leading. But be warned- you will become so infatuated with everything about Jesus that you won't be able to put down God's Word!

    Read John 10 slowly and deeply for a radical uplift: He's everything from the Door to the Bread to the Light!

    But my favorite is to read John 1:1-14, because of His promise in v.12: "But to all who received Him, He gave the power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God."

    His sheep hear His voice!

  • Grace
    June 19, 2010 12:45 a.m.

    apache1: the only reason Blood Atonement is a big deal here is because it was church doctrine, taught by all the general authorities and has tons of authentic source documents. Homework time.

    Where did you hear that the JDs were not church doctrine? Where do you think those sermons were given? Who do you think the audience was? How many of them have you read? They were carefully transcribed, sent out by God's Prophet and Seer, Brigham Young,to "all the world", and shipped in crates to England. Read his statement in the Forward.

    Try to wrap your mind around the Salt Lake tabernacle filled to over-flowing, with pioneers who had sacrificed the lives of their loved ones crossing the plains from Winter Quarters, and sitting eagerly at the feet of their revered Prophet. My ancestors gave every penny and every ounce of love and devotion to follow every word that came from that pulpit and no one debated what was said, more less what was published.

    After you read what your founding prophets taught at General Conference as God's direct commandments, teachings and revelations, ask yourself why your God changes His mind so often?

  • cjb
    June 19, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    Jesus himself taught blood atonement.

    see Matthew 26:52. "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword".

    Obviously that doesn't happen in this life to all those who murder, however for those who believe in future lives, this prophesy of Jesus still has room to be fulfilled.

    So we have Brigham Young and Jesus on one side of the argument, and LDS church and most other christian denominations on the other side.

  • cjb
    June 19, 2010 12:24 a.m.

    I hope blood atonement is a false doctrine. However the fact that church leaders used to preach it, and not they don't anymore illustrates one obvious fact that many LDS church members are overlooking.

    LDS church leadership can't be counted on to always be right about a particular subject. Just because LDS church leadership says something doesn't mean its true. They may be wrong.

    If Brigham Young was right, then the church today is wrong. Likewise if the church today is right, then Brigham Young was wrong.

    So lets not be afraid to use our own God given reasoning our own logic, and weigh what is said. I think the last thing God really wants is for people to cease to think for themselves and for them to let someone else do their thinking for them.

  • WonderingAloud
    June 19, 2010 12:16 a.m.

    I don't know if blood atonement was ever considered doctrine, but the idea that the atonement does not forgive murder has been taught for decades and decades.

    The church considered those involved with abortion to be murderers. Wondering if that is still the case?

    The church used to not allow convert baptism of people involved in abortions or other types of murders, because baptism could not lead to repentence for murder. Wondering if that is still the case?

    The church used to excommunicate members involved in abortions or other types of murder. I wonder if that is still the case?

    Wondering if the atonement works for all of these people???

    Change, change, change. Cool!

  • Lee
    June 19, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    Zinnia, the problem is that the church has not been straightforward about its history. If it had been, there would not be all this confusion. But in an effort to appear perfect, the church has whitewashed its history, and this has backfired by making the church seem less than truthful.

  • Heathjh
    June 19, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    @goneskiing- Have you actually read the Journal of Discourses? These statements that people have been referring to are hardly taken out of context. I guess you can see it the way Pres. Clinton did -"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is". I guess you can take anything and justify or twist it to fit your beliefs.
    Did BY teach this to the people? You bet he did. Was it wrong and horrible? Yep, even in his day it was wrong and horrible, just like many of the things he taught and said.

  • brokenclay
    June 19, 2010 12:00 a.m.

    goneskiing . . .

    The New Covenant was enacted by Jesus' sacrifice in the first century . . . His sacrifice fulfilled the Old Covenant, and rendered many of its aspects obsolete.

    Are we honestly supposed to believe that a change in priesthood for blacks due to the civil rights movement is on par with that? Or how about giving up that eternal blessing of polygamy just to gain temporal statehood? And denying blood atonement, though Brigham taught it as doctrine? There is a qualitative difference here. Societal pressures are not adequate grounds for changing revelation. And beside that, Christ said He came to fulfill the Law, not to abolish it.

    You will find nowhere in the New Testament that Sunday became the new Sabbath. Sunday is the Christian worship day, but it is never called the Sabbath. There are better explanations here.

    Blood Atonement is in contradiction absolutely with what the New Testament teaches of Christ's atonement-- a read through of Hebrews shows this.

    Orthodox Christianity will welcome with open arms those Latter-day Saints who become disillusioned with these kind of shenanigans.

  • cmtam
    June 18, 2010 11:18 p.m.

    gonesking: Jesus fufilled the ceremonial law(animal sacrifice...etc) not the moral law,the ten commandments,they are still in effect, and Jesus takes them up a notch; The greatest commandments. Jesus said,Love you Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind,that is the first and greatest commanmdment and the second it to Love your neighbor as yourself,All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. (Mt 22:37-39) If you love your neighbor you will not kill,covet or steal from him ...etc. Understanding the law should drive you to Christ.

  • goneskiing
    June 18, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    Broken Clay

    I revere Brigham Young; nothing I have said disrespects him.

    Isn't what God says today to the world more specifically applicable to our lives, than what God said to ancient Israel?

    Should we all then disregard Moses? No, we still learn of Moses and his teachings. Nevertheless, Christians do not live by the commandments within the Law of Moses. The commandments and practices within the Law of Moses are no longer required because our Lord Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice fulfilled all of the purposes and commandments within the Law of Moses. No more need for animal sacrifices to symbolize the Messiah's future sacrifice. Christ fulfilled all righteousness.

    Christianity no longer regards Saturday as the sabbath. Ancient Israelites were commanded to observe the 7th day as the sabbath. Yet today, we observe the 1st day--Sunday--as the sabbath. Why is that? To remember Christ's sacrifice! God commanded Adam on down to ancient Israel to observe the 7th day sabbath to help them remember God's blessings of creation, and that God rested on the 7th day. After the Savior was resurrected, Christians began worshiping on Sunday, the 1st day of the week.

  • goneskiing
    June 18, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    to LDS Revelations: a statement by a LDS church leader is not doctrine simply because it is mistakenly understood that way.

    Nevertheless, church leaders have through the years seen time and again that people can and will take their statements out of context, or even further than intended.

    Such is often how the statements of Brigham Young are taken out of context, misconstrued, or just partially quoted, rather than the entire statement.

    Yet, that is also a prime example of why modern prophets are so necessary--to dispel the confusion by spelling out what are the true doctrines of the church today, as well as to interpret the prior statements of Brigham Young.

    What a living prophet says is more important and relevant to your life, than the statements by a dead one. That's why Mormons are led by living prophets, who are guided by the Lord's modern revelations.

  • goneskiing
    June 18, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    Seattleview: true that! Very well said.

  • zinnia
    June 18, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    Grace- I like your comments and they make sense to me. I am a struggling member and I seem to have hard time with the all the confusion on old church doctrine. The church history has just about done me in.

  • Seattleview
    June 18, 2010 8:23 p.m.

    Once again, people are looking for anyway to distort LDS doctrine and try and make it look like they dont accept Christs atonement.

    As I read the quote from Brigham Young, I interpret it as him saying that giving up your own life might be what is necessary to repent of the sin of murder. Christs atonement is sufficient to cover all sins but Christ still decides who he will forgive and who he wont. That is his judgment alone and is based on the repentance of the individual.

    All things testify of Christ and no church teaches that more than LDS church.

  • apache1
    June 18, 2010 8:18 p.m.

    I hope that the issue of "Blood Atonement" is not going to become a huge deal with people who are trying to make a big deal out of nothing. We follow the LIVING PROPHET and no one else, what Brigham Young said about a certain matter may not be what President Thomas S. Monson may say about the same issue today. The issue of blood atonement is settled when the church issues an "official statement" on the matter as it has now done, that is the current teaching on this matter and that should settle it. The Journal of Discourses was never issued by the church officially as "doctrine" they were not intended to be accepted by the membership of the church as such. I would advise all memmbers of the church to rely on the LIVING PROPHET and THE SCRIPTURES and PRAYER and OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED STATEMENTS issued by the church as the source of guidance on matters that one does not fully understand, there is danger in wandering off the path into the darkness if one uses 'unauthorized sources" to seek for answers.

  • goneskiing
    June 18, 2010 7:56 p.m.

    I agree with John Pack Lambert. The vast majority of confusion discussed and/or criticized here can be resolved by people actually studying the source materials for themselves.

    I did a bit of searching on the LDS church website, and found a devotional sermon by Gerald N. Lund, who served several years as a church general authority, entitled, "Is it revelation?" It is a common sense, straight forward set of advice on how to ascertain divine revelation from everything else.

    I highly recommend it.

  • brokenclay
    June 18, 2010 7:31 p.m.

    Well said, Grace. Your testimony is beautiful. And you understand Mormonism better than any of the members currently posting on here.

    I would never disregard the apostles of the New Testament the way some of the Mormons on here are disregarding the "prophet" Brigham Young and their former "apostles." Either these Mormon leaders are false teachers inspired by the ruler of this world, or the members disregarding their words are bordering on unbelief. Either way is not very happy.

    And btw, J-Pack Lambert, to say that apostles are in some way inferior to a prophet is nonsense-- study the New Testament and you will not find a government like the one used by the LDS Church. If anything, the apostles were the supreme authority in the 1st century.

  • dranoel
    June 18, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    The blood atonement and repentence go hand in hand
    in order to take advantage of the blood atonement of Christ you must repent and make restituion and if that means the sheding of your own blood that is between you and the Lord If your sorrow is true you will be willing to pay the full price to avail your self of the atonement.

  • Wayne Rout
    June 18, 2010 7:17 p.m.

    The trend of the Church to shift to the left continues.

  • JosephONE
    June 18, 2010 6:30 p.m.

    Everyone should read the below over and over and over again. LDS inc has more Lawyers than Stakes. The First Presidency and Monson did not issue this. Brigham did issue Blood Atonement. Guess which is Doctrine and which is PR tomfoolery.

    I can find nothing on the Church's website about "blood atonement".

    If the Church issues a statement, don't they put it on their website?

    Was this statement made at a press conference? Who said it? Did all the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 attach their names to it?

    If not, then it is not "doctrine", is it? Does the Church's PR spokesperson have the authority to declare "doctrine"? Can the PR department or a press agent contradict hundreds of years of preaching by sustained and ordained "prophets, seers, and revelators"?

  • Grace
    June 18, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    Dear Ct98,

    Good luck getting the Church leaders to answer your direct questions about doctrinal changes on controversial topics. But I encourage you to keep trying.

    If you keep a record of all letters and inquiries that you make on any given topics, you will quickly see that you'll get many different opinions from bishops, seminary/Institute teachers, BYU profs, church historians, The Brethren in SLC, Sun. Sch. teachers, etc. These blogs here are a perfect example.

    This is not to criticize the Church, it's just the way it is when you have so many doctrinal changes over the past 170 years. The bottom line is exactly as zinnia, Heathjh and others have stated about the current prophet's declarations: His statements are current doctrine. End of subject.

    But it's not the end of the subject, because even he can change his prior revelation. The "maze" of changes is dizzying and confusing to members; outsiders can never get a grip on this kind of "ever-changing world of Mormonism".

    You will have to accept the fact that polygamy, black priesthood holders, blood atonement, temple blood oaths, BoM text, etc. were only "the truth" in their day.

  • JosephONE
    June 18, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    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."

    Moses came down from the Mount with Commandments from God saying Thou shalt not Kill... and proceeded to kill all idol worshippers.

    "..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."

    It is apparent LDS Leadership, at least in their personal opinion, does not believe the Atonement of Christ is for everyone. How pagan.

  • usmcvetdeb
    June 18, 2010 6:19 p.m.

    To the family of Mr. Ronnie Lee Gardner and to the families of his victims. Please accept my heartfelt sympatheties. My family will keep you in our thoughts and prayers for the remainder of our time on earth. We wish you peace and hope you will accept our sincerity from within our loving hearts, minds, bodies and souls. May the Lord lift you and guide you to a place of peace so your healing may begin.

    The Strong Family in Arizona.

  • Grace
    June 18, 2010 6:04 p.m.

    I left the Church over this basic Biblical teaching 24 years ago, when I became a "born-again" Christian. I hadn't planned to leave the Church in any way, but was just doing deep Biblical reading, trying to "get closer to Jesus". I became enamored with His life and decided that I needed to know more. Born & raised in the church, I was baffled at the strong testament of Christ by my non-LDS friends, to whom I was witnessing.

    I just kept reading and asking the Lord to show me how to get a powerful witness of Jesus, like my "wacky born-again friends". They drove me nuts with all their talk about the "efficacy of the shed Blood of Christ". They challenged me to first understand what the Bible said about Christ, and then to see if my religion agreed. I told them of course my church was Biblical and set out to prove them wrong.

    I dove into ALL the church teachings on the subject & was blown away at what I found our founding prophets taught at every General Conference.

    A man-made foundation has to keep changing... Now do your own homework.

  • 1happycamper
    June 18, 2010 5:51 p.m.

    TO- Wildflower, Good point. We need to worry about OUR OWN salvation and not what someone else has or has not done ( WHICH SHOULD NOT BE OUR CONCERN) It is all up to us as individuals to live a righteous life here on this tiny, little, planet within this vast universe that we dwell :)

  • don
    June 18, 2010 5:35 p.m.

    To John Pack Lambert The real question is why was the blood atoneement taught by Joseph Smith; Oaths discouraged apostates,In Masonry the the degree of knight kadosh resemlbes the Mormon oath taken prior to 1931.

  • Lee
    June 18, 2010 4:54 p.m.

    In 1877, John D. Lee was executed by firing squad at Mountain Meadows on the site of the 1857 massacre. Among his last words:

    "I do not believe everything that is now being taught and practiced by Brigham Young."

  • I M LDS 2
    June 18, 2010 4:32 p.m.

    I can find nothing on the Church's website about "blood atonement".

    If the Church issues a statement, don't they put it on their website?

    Was this statement made at a press conference? Who said it? Did all the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 attach their names to it?

    If not, then it is not "doctrine", is it? Does the Church's PR spokesperson have the authority to declare "doctrine"? Can the PR department or a press agent contradict hundreds of years of preaching by sustained and ordained "prophets, seers, and revelators"?

  • Wildflower
    June 18, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    Personally, I'm not going to worry about that. I'm going to be the best person I can be here in this earth and let God handle the rest.

  • Lee
    June 18, 2010 1:59 p.m.

    John Pack Lambert wrote: "The church does not have a mind."

    Thank you for injecting a note of humor.

  • MisTexas
    June 18, 2010 1:02 p.m.

    OK! The state sent Gardner to his death, not the LDS church! What do they have to do with each other? There are MANY churches that have made mistakes in their past, no church has a clean record AT ALL.

  • CWEB
    June 18, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    In the fullness of the Old Testament Exodus 20:13 is abundantly evidenced as prohibiting unjust killing,[citation needed] rather than a universal injunction against all killing, as retzach is never used in reference to the slaying of animals, nor the taking of life in war, while its most frequent use is in reference to involuntary manslaughter and secondarily for murderers.

  • ADN
    June 18, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    I love how so many people are claiming things which they know nothing about. Look at the context of Brighams comments. You can't just quote a phrase from a prophet without the context. How would you like if I quoted you without any context. Sounds kind of silly doesn't it? Those who have eyes to see, shall see.

  • Rom319
    June 18, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    The law required Ronnie Gardner to die for his sin. God's law requires the same of us, "for the wages of sin is death". We all deserve to die because we have all sinned. God's law reveals our sin and condemns us.

    The amazing thing about Jesus' love for us is that He died for us that no matter how bad we have sinned, He can forgive us - even Gardner if he put his faith in Christ before he died.

    Who goes to heaven? Only those born again through faith in Christ.
    It is possible that Gardner is in heaven right now. It is also possible that the "good" people he murdered are in hell. Unless they were born again, because there are no "good" people according to God.

    The only blood atonement that God recognizes to forgive sin was Jesus' blood on the cross. Jesus said He is the only one who came down from Heaven and the only reason was to lower himself, take on flesh and die as a sacrifice for us. God became man because only He could pay for the sins we committed.

  • brokenclay
    June 18, 2010 12:13 p.m.

    Little Dutch Lambert, you can't stop a flood with your thumb. You'll have to come up with something a little more compelling . . .

  • Not_Scared
    June 18, 2010 12:09 p.m.

    Personally, I going the start worrying when Mormonism makes complete sense to me.

  • Heathjh
    June 18, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan-
    @ John Pack Lambert of Michigan- Brigham Young said, "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture." (Journal of Discourses 13:95
    “The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every rightminded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every number (issue) as it comes forth.“ (President George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Preface, Volume 8.)

  • zinnia
    June 18, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    We are suppose to follow President Monson's teachings and not Brigham Young's. Brigham Young is now history- so are his teachings and I am happy for this. I feel joy that I did not live during Brigham Young's leadership.

  • Screwdriver
    June 18, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    I take it that it's not at all necessary to have capital punishment, it's not going to help save anyone's soul. But the church didn't condemm it either. Knowing our judicial system is as corrupt as any third world country, I don't think we should have the death penalty unless the person confesses directly and then I still think it's the easy easy way out for the criminal.

  • LDS Revelations
    June 18, 2010 11:36 a.m.


    "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."

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    June 18, 2010 11:33 a.m.

    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.

  • Heathjh
    June 18, 2010 11:26 a.m.

    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
    June 18, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    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.

  • ppoe
    June 18, 2010 11:22 a.m.

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

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    June 18, 2010 11:19 a.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    June 18, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    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
    June 18, 2010 11:09 a.m.

    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
    June 18, 2010 11:02 a.m.

    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".

  • Heathjh
    June 18, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    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.

  • LDS Revelations
    June 18, 2010 10:49 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • LDS Liberal
    June 18, 2010 10:37 a.m.

    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....

  • 1happycamper
    June 18, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    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.

  • don
    June 18, 2010 10:09 a.m.

    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.

  • kishkumen
    June 18, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    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.

  • CT98
    June 18, 2010 9:53 a.m.

    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.

  • Mimi
    June 18, 2010 9:37 a.m.

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

  • Big_Ben
    June 18, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    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

  • ratkellar
    June 18, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Cougar Blue
    June 18, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    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.

  • don
    June 18, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    "...And the blood of Jesus, Christ His Son cleanseth us from 'all' sin."(1John 1:7)
    "much more then,being now justified by his(Jesus) blood,we shall be saved from wrath through him (Romans 5:9)
    The Bible versus the Mormonism.

  • SpookyLilGirl
    June 18, 2010 8:11 a.m.

    Judgement day is going to open so many eyes

  • cval
    June 18, 2010 8:06 a.m.

    I am sorry that some of you are confused. Those who are fully committed are not confused, but understand that eternal progression includes our time here on the earth, not just after this life.

    I hope we all continue to progress in our understanding of the principles of the Gospel.

  • BB
    June 18, 2010 7:56 a.m.

    Anyone who understands LDS doctrine (as Brigham Young obviously did) knows that a person cannot "atone" for their own sins, but they can take steps by being "willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground" to help in seeking forgiveness from the Savior.

  • Beowulf
    June 18, 2010 7:26 a.m.

    Why all the fuss? The statement is as straightforward as it can possibly get. It is also how I have always understood blood atonement (so absolutely no surprises for me). The statements made in the 1850s by Brigham Young and others need to be understood in the context of the times. (As should ALL statements of God's prophets, ancient or modern.)

  • Esquire
    June 18, 2010 7:12 a.m.

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

    When the administration of justice is perfect, maybe we revisit blood atonement. Until then, leave it to the man upstairs. The Church is right on this.

  • jzer
    June 18, 2010 6:38 a.m.

    People should be very careful not to read into this statement, from the church, things that are not there. The church did not say that RLG should not be executed. They did not say that the death penalty should not be used. It appears that they were simply makeing it clear that the church has never beleived that a person can atone for their own sins. This is not something new. The church's official doctrine has always taught that Christ is the only one who can atone for anyone's sins.

  • Mayfair
    June 18, 2010 5:50 a.m.

    RE: Heathjh, "If this isn't doctrine then why did prophets like Brigham Young and Joseph Fielding Smith teach it?"

    Much that was the OPINIONS of men (verses actual doctrine) was part of the discourse of many men, prophets included.

    I appreciate the efforts the Church has been making the last few years to differentiate the two--and to issue clearly worded statements to help us see the difference.

  • JosephONE
    June 18, 2010 5:29 a.m.

    From the Book of Mormon, read it and maybe you won't need 'clarifications'?
    Alma 34:
    11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another....12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world...13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away.

  • Levi
    June 18, 2010 4:53 a.m.

    goneskiing - then how do we know when our leaders are speaking as men or as reps of jesus? They don't preface ANYTHING with "now this is just me thinking outloud here, but...."

  • Tahoemormon70
    June 18, 2010 4:44 a.m.

    When Christ was on the cross, he abstained from saving himself as well as the miscreants hanging with him, any other words to say?

  • Hellooo
    June 18, 2010 4:41 a.m.

    "for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do"

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 4:07 a.m.


    For me, the issue is rather simple. I don't know whether God changes his mind, but I know there are some inconsistencies between what Old Testament prophets taught the Jews and what Christ taught his followers in the New Testament. I know there are similar inconsistencies between the teachings of Brigham Young and those of Spencer W. Kimball or Gordon B. Hinckley. Do these represent changes in God's law to adapt to changing times, or improvements in man's (or prophets') understanding of God's law? I'm not sure it matters. Unlike other religions, the LDS Church does not profess that its leaders, even its prophets, are infallible. They are men, very good men, who are doing the best they can to understand and communicate the will of God. I'm glad we have them. It is important for us to be constantly studying and refining our understanding of what God expects of us. I think that's what prophets do, and I know that's what I should do.

  • goneskiing
    June 18, 2010 3:09 a.m.

    LDS Church leaders, at times, share their personal opinions, which are not intended as official statements of church doctrine or policy. LDS Church official doctrines and policies are distributed through official channels, i.e. general conference broadcasts, church magazines, etc. Unless made through official channels, my opinion is that what a church leader says is simply statements of personal expression or opinion.

    LDS church volunteers, such as the bishop mentioned in the news story, visit with and minister to inmates of various faiths or no faith at all. No information is available--as far as I know--regarding the particulars of RLG's religion.

  • Heathjh
    June 18, 2010 2:11 a.m.

    Oh I am also glad they don't still believe it. But I'm just confused as to what the LDS are supposed to believe and when? Is what we believe today to be doctrine going to be disreguarded years down the road? The teachings of the church can change with the changing of the times but the doctrines are forever. Doctrines don't change, unless you think God readily changes his mind.

  • Screwdriver
    June 18, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    I'm glad that's the churches statement. I allready felt that way. There's no benefit but gardner felt he was going to be free and felt sorry and repentant.

  • Heathjh
    June 18, 2010 1:07 a.m.

    If this isn't doctrine then why did prophets like Brigham Young and Joseph Feilding Smith teach it. It is even referenced in the Journal of Discources (which were said by other prophets to be like scripture) and the Doctrines of Salvation. Do prophets teach false things? I'm confused......

  • Lee
    June 18, 2010 1:00 a.m.

    I'm glad that the LDS church changed its mind about "blood atonement." It shows that a church can recognize its mistakes and continue to grow in understanding.

  • UtahRez
    June 18, 2010 1:00 a.m.

    Not Doctrine? “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” (Brigham Young, September 21, 1856, Journal of Discourses 4:53).

  • cynic
    June 18, 2010 12:58 a.m.

    It is sad to me to see how many Latter-day Saints there are who still teach and embrace the doctrine of blood atonement, totally disregarding the statements of their church leaders. Truly sad.