Sunday, January 8, 2012
BRIGHAM YOUNG AND BLOOD ATONEMENT
We believe that the doctrine of blood atonement & the following statements about it, do not belong in any church that claims to follow Jesus. It was never taught by Jesus or His Apostles.
"Vengeance is mine ... and I have taken a little..."
In 1978 a Lawyer contacted Bruce McConkie to ask him if Blood Atonement was a doctrine of the Church, and this was McConkie’s reply:
“If by blood atonement is meant the shedding of the blood of men to atone in some way for their own sins, the answer is No.” (Thomas McAffee Letter, 1978)
Three paragraphs later, McConkie qualifies the statement with this comment:
“In order to understand what Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Charles W. Penrose and others have said, 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. However, and this cannot be stressed too strongly, this LAW has not been given to the Church at any time in this dispensation.” [Yeah, and that’s what Smith said about Polygamy when he was practicing it] There are two crucial points that Mr. McConkie makes and it is that there ARE some sins for which the blood of Christ does not ‘pay in full’ & that this law has not been given to the Church at any time in this dispensation. He then goes on:
“There simply is no such thing among us as a doctrine of blood atonement that grants a remission of sins or confers any other benefit upon a person because his own blood is shed for sins. 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. From the day of Joseph Smith to the present there has been no single instance of so-called blood atonement under any pretext.”
He then says this, which is an outright lie & it is sad that those that call themselves Apostles of the Lord Jesus feel the need to have to stoop to such deception in order to deny something in the light of ‘Mainstreaming’ their Church.
“Brigham Young and the others were speaking of a theoretical principle that operated in ages past and not in either their or our day. As I recall, Brigham Young’s illustrations were taken from the day of Moses and the history of ancient Israel and could not be applied today.” (source above)
How long did it take him to come up with this totally flimsy and deceptive statement? Why did he put ‘As I Recall' in the sentence? Did he not have every statement and diary in the Church Historians Office at his disposal? I find it hard to believe that the ‘Scripture King’ of the Mormon Church could not know about the following quotes. Keep in mind that this is what McConkie said:
1. There is no DOCTRINE in the Mormon Church about ‘the shedding of the blood of men to atone in some way for their own sins.
2. There are some sins for which the blood of Jesus ALONE does not cleanse a person.
3. He says there is no such thing as a doctrine of blood atonement that grants a remission of sins or confers any other benefit upon a person because his own blood is shed for sins.
4. This DOCTRINE (didn’t he just say there was none?) can only operate in a day where there is no separation of Church & State.
5. From the day of Smith to the present there has been no instance of blood atonement under any pretext, also concerning blood atonement, there “has no application in any dispensation when there is a separation of Church and State”.
6. Any statements made by leaders pertains to a theoretical principle that was neither revealed of practiced by the Church.
7. Blood Atonement is only a synonym for Capital Punishment. Well that should be the end of it, the ‘Apostle’ has spoken. But is it? Is McConkie lying? Let's see.
1. There is no doctrine: A). False. McConkie himself said there was, three paragraphs after he said there was none.
2. McConkie gets this right. A). True. There IS a Doctrine on Blood Atonement.
3. There is no such doctrine that grants a remission of sins because his own blood is shed…A). Really? Read these quotes, and this is by no means ALL of them:
“if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood.” -Jedediah Grant, JOD:4:50 (1856)
Speaking of covenants, you can include the Temple Ceremony under Blood Atonement, for it was taught (before they changed it) that if you thought you might babble about what you learned there, you would voluntarily have your throat slit. ( I can see 'em lining up for that one!)
"Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; & under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands… There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt.The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it;... (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247)
Gee, looks like it's a few more sins than murder..but these guys were just bloodthirsty, cause they list more:
“… if men turn traitors to God and His servants, their blood will surely be shed, or else they will be damned, and that too according to their covenants” (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p.375).
“If you want to know what to do with a thief that you may find stealing, I say kill him on the spot, & never suffer him to commit another iniquity. I will prove by my works whether I can mete out justice to such persons, or not. I would consider it just as much my duty to do that, as to baptize a man for the remission of his sins.” – Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, pp. 108-109
What did Jesus say about if some one stole your coat from you? KILL HIM ON THE SPOT? I don't think so. He said give them your cloak too. But then, Young was pretty rich when he died, wasn't he?
“I swore by the Eternal Gods that if men in our midst would not stop this cursed work of stealing & counterfeiting their throats should be cut” (“Manuscript History of Brigham Young,” Feb. 24,1847).
Notice the rhetoric here. They are not talking about past dispensations, they are talking about the current one.
I know, I know, it was the old west, they were worried about food, yeah that sure justified the rhetoric (& subsequent actions) from followers of Jesus. Sure. You bet.
4. Blood Atonement can only operate where there is no separation of Church and state. A). False. See this quote:
“The people of Utah are the only ones in this nation who have taken effectual measures… to prevent adulteries and criminal connections between the sexes. The punishment, for these crimes is death to both male and female. And this law is written on the hearths and printed in the thoughts of the whole people.” – Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 223 (I know SOME things in the SEER were said to be ‘false doctrine’ but this is not one of the ones mentioned in the Rebuke of 1865)
We would not kill a man, of course, unless we killed him to save him…” – Apostle Jedediah M. Grant, Deseret News, July 27, 1854
5. No instances of Blood Atonement Under ANY circumstances…or in ANY dispensation where there is a separation of Church & State:
A. False. Here is one (according to Heber C. Kimball) that took place at the time of Christ:
“Jesus said to His disciples, `Ye are the salt of the earth, and if salt loses its saving principle, it is then good for nothing but to be cast out.’ Instead of reading it just as it is, almost all of you read it as it is not. Jesus meant to say, `If you have lost the saving principles, you Twelve Apostles, and you believe in my servants the Twelve, you shall be like unto the salt that has lost its saving principles: it is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.’ Judas lost that saving principle, and they took him and killed him it is said in the Bible that his bowels gushed out, but they actually kicked him until his bowels came out.” (Heber C. Kimball, JOD:6:125,126) Wasn't that in the Temple Rituals too? The disembowelment procedure? (And the Israelites were living under Roman law.)
Here is a chilling account by Mormon Bishop John D. Lee of Blood Atonement in action:
“Rasmos Anderson was a Danish man who came to Utah… He had married a widow lady somewhat older than himself… At one of the meetings during the reformation Anderson and his step-daughter confessed that they had committed adultery… they were rebaptized and received into full membership. They were then placed under covenant that if they again committed adultery, Anderson should suffer death.
Soon after this a charge was laid against Anderson before the Council, accusing him of adultery with his step-daughter. This Council was composed of Klingensmith and his two counselors; it was the Bishop’s Council. Without giving Anderson any chance to defend himself or make a statement, the Council voted that Anderson must die for violating his covenants.
Klingensmith went to Anderson and notified him that the orders were that he must die by having his throat cut, so that the running of his blood would atone for his sins.Anderson, being a firm believer in the doctrines and teachings of the Mormon Church, made no objections… His wife was ordered to prepare a suit of clean clothing, in which to have her husband buried… she being directed to tell those who should inquire after her husband that he had gone to California.
“Klingensmith, James Haslem, Daniel McFarland and John M. Higbee dug a grave in the field near Cedar City, and that night, about 12 o’clock, went to Anderson’s house and ordered him to make ready to obey Council. Anderson got up… and without a word of remonstrance accompanied those that he believed were carrying out the will of the “Almighty God.” They went to the place where the grave was prepared; Anderson knelt upon the side of the grave and prayed.
Klingensmith and his company then cut Anderson’s throat from ear to ear and held him so that his blood ran into the grave..
“As soon as he was dead they dressed him in his clean clothes, threw him into the grave and buried him. They then carried his bloody clothing back to his family, and gave them to his wife to wash… She obeyed their orders…. Anderson was killed just before the Mountain Meadows massacre. The killing of Anderson was then considered a religious duty and a just act.
It was justified by all the people, for they were bound by the same covenants, and the least word of objection to thus treating the man who had broken his covenant would have brought the same fate upon the person who was so foolish as to raise his voce against any act committed by order of the Church authorities.” (Confessions of John D. Lee)
May 25, 1861: While on a trip to the southern settlements with Brigham Young, we visited the Mountain Meadow Monument put up at the burial place of 120persons killed by Indians in 1857. The pile of stone was about 12 feet high, but beginning to tumble down. A wooden cross was placed on top with the following words: Vengeance is mine and I will repay saith the Lord. President Young said it should be "Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little." (Wilford Woodruff Diary)
6. Theoretical Principle never revealed or practiced by the Church. A). False. See quotes above.
7. Blood Atonement ONLY a synonym for capital punishment. A). False. As shown above there were many other sins covered under the doctrine. This statement is really partially true, & a smokescreen to hide what Blood Atonement really is.
These are all quotes by Mormons. But again, I will say, there is NO REASON for ANY statements like the above to be made by any ‘so-called’ followers of Jesus. HIS teaching was clear: Turn the other cheek. It is interesting that both Bishop John D. Lee & another murderer, Bill Hickman BOTH had the ‘Restoration of Blessings’ ordinance done for them. This shows that the Church condones the murders they committed, and wanted to make sure they would ‘get their blessings’ and wives in the world to come. _johnny
*This article was shared for educational and informational purposes only. It is not directed against any one person or group. We as a Christian organization do not believe in personal blood shed or personal blood atonement and are against all forms of religious violence. - The Admin Team
(c) 2011 Mormon & LDS Facts Ministry