The Only Way to Atone

Ronnie Lee Gardner shot and killed an attorney in Salt Lake City in 1985. Convicted and sentenced to death, Mr. Gardner is finally nearing the end of his appeals processes. As he faces the reality of his execution, as allowed by Utah law, he has chosen death by firing squad.

The current news focus on Ronnie Lee Gardner’s fate brings up an interesting point of Utah (and therefore Mormon) history.  Employing a method of capital punishment that sheds the condemned person’s blood is somewhat unique to Utah. Though Utah law changed in 2004 to disallow future executions by firing squad, Ronnie Lee Gardner’s 1985 conviction predated that law. Therefore, he was given the choice of lethal injection or death by firing squad.

According to Martin R. Gardner (no relation that I’m aware of), the early “capital punishment law in Utah was a product of Mormon lawmakers influenced by Mormon doctrine” (“Mormonism and Capital Punishment: A Doctrinal Perspective, Past and Present,” Dialog, A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1979, p. 9). Martin Gardner wrote,

“Existence of the firing squad solely in Utah is no coincidence but instead is a consequence of an attempt by early legislators to effectuate religious belief through the capital punishment law of the state. Mormon justifications of capital punishment were intricately related to blood atonement, a doctrine requiring shedding blood as expiation for certain sins…

“However, the doctrine of blood atonement posits that man can commit some sins so heinous that Christ’s sacrifice is unavailing, but the offender himself may partially atone for his sin by sacrificing his life in a way which literally sheds his blood. The spilling of blood is required because blood is viewed as possessing symbolic religious significance. ‘The man who commits murder, who imbues his hands in the blood of innocence, cannot receive eternal life because he cannot get forgiveness of that sin. What can he do? The only way to atone is to shed his blood'” (pp. 9-10, quoting Charles Penrose, Blood Atonement, p. 21, 1916).

Martin Gardner explained that the LDS doctrine of blood atonement was most fully developed by Brigham Young, who said,

“‘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 spilled 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 were not the case, they would stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world…

“‘It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet, men can commit sins which it can never remit… There are sins that can be atoned for… [only] by the blood of the man'” [p. 11, quoting Brigham Young, “The People of God Disciplined by Trials,” “Atonement by the Shedding of Blood etc.,” Journal of Discourses, 4:51, 53, 54, 1856).

Another early Mormon leader, Jedediah Grant, taught,

“But if the Government of God on earth, and Eternal Priesthood, with the sanction of High Heaven, in the midst of all his people, has passed sentence on certain sins when they appear in a person, has [sic] not the people of God a right to carry out that part of his law as well as any other portion of it? It is their right to baptize a sinner to save him, and it is also their right to kill a sinner to save him, when he commits those crimes that can only be atoned for by shedding his blood. If the Lord God forgives sins by baptism, and…certain sins cannot be atoned for…but by the shedding of the blood of the sinner, query, whether the people of God be overreaching the mark, if they should execute the law… We would not kill a man, of course, unless we killed him to save him” (Deseret News, July 27, 1854, p. 2, col. 1).

So when the territorial government was established in 1851 for the state of Deseret,

“…the General Assembly of the state of Deseret, controlled by members of the Council of Fifty, adopted a criminal code that imposed capital punishment for the crime of murder: ‘Be it further ordained, that when any person shall be found guilty of murder, under any of the preceding sections of this ordinance, and sented [sic] to die, he, she or they shall suffer death by being shot, hung or beheaded'” (p. 12).

The LDS First Presidency in 1851 (Brigham Young, Jedediah M. Grant, and Heber C. Kimball), all advocates of blood atonement, were directly involved in establishing beheading and the firing squad as Utah law. Beheading was dropped as an execution option in 1888, but the firing squad option remained as Utah’s primary method of execution until 2004.

In his paper, Martin Gardner demonstrated the fact that many Mormon leaders have understood the allowance of firing squads in Utah law to be a provision for legally accomplishing blood atonement.

“To quote B.H. Roberts: ‘Latter-day Saints believe that where secular government prescribes capital punishment it is better that such form of execution be adopted as will shed the blood of the criminal; hence in Utah, when the Latter-day Saints, in their capacity as citizens of the state have made the laws, condemned criminals, subject to capital punishment, are permitted to choose their mode of execution either by being hung or shot, the latter mode, or course, resulting in the shedding of their blood, thus meeting the requirement of the law of God as well as the law of the state’ [quoting Comprehensive History of the Church 4:129 n. 41].

“Joseph Fielding Smith concluded that Mormon legislators wrote capital punishment provisions into the laws of Utah so the offender could ‘have his blood shed in harmony with the law of God; and thus atone so far as it is in his power, for the death of his victim’ [quoting Doctrines of Salvation, 1:136, 137]” (p. 15).

The LDS Church today does not support the early Mormon doctrine of blood atonement and offered no objection to the change in Utah law that excluded the firing squad from its modes of execution. Once again modern Mormonism shows itself at odds with the early Restoration and the teachings of founding LDS prophets and apostles.

Martin Gardner related a telling incident from 1849 wherein Brigham Young called for the beheading of an offender:

“Minutes of secret meetings of the Council [of Fifty] show that the doctrine of blood atonement was discussed, at least in passing, by the Council before adoption of the 1851 capital punishment law. [Endnote 29: For example, on March 3, 1849, the council discussed the cases of Ira West and Thomas Byres who had committed crimes serious enough to arouse Brigham Young to say, ‘I want their cursed heads to be cut off that they may atone for their sins, that mercy may have her claims upon them in the day of redemption.’ On the following day the council agreed that Ira West had ‘forfeited his Head.’] Given the political influence of the Council and its commitment to blood atonement, the sudden and novel emergence of beheading and the firing squad in the law of Utah seems to be a religious phenomenon” (p. 14).

One can’t help but wonder at this teaching and behavior of men claiming to be true prophets of God when God Himself, in His Holy Word, said that Jesus’ shed blood on the cross is the full and final sacrifice for all sins for those who believe. Humanity is no longer enslaved under the Old Covenant requiring personal and repetitive sacrificial offerings as atonement for sins. Christ has ushered in the New Covenant, secured by the once-for-all shedding of His own blood on our behalf.

Did Brigham Young, et al., fail to understand the New Covenant provision of Christ’s sacrifice? Or were they just convinced that it wasn’t sufficient? Perhaps they should have read (and believed) Hebrews chapters 9 and 10.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Brigham Young, Early Mormonism, Forgiveness, Mormon Culture, Mormon History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to The Only Way to Atone

  1. falcon says:

    I hate to start this way BUT this is Mormonism. What the Bible says has little or no effect because these boys have a better method for determining the truth and that is progressive revelation. So whatever Mormons post on this subject will be true in the context of Mormonism, I mean as far as they understand it. There’s a lot of creative speculation in Mormonism so hold on to your hats, this could get interesting.
    But this is a religion that has all kinds of gods, their current god of this planet was a sinful man, and their founder Joseph Smith was able to find revealed truth by use of a magic rock. These Mormon gods, I guess, require blood atonement beyond what the Mormon jesus shed. But this is all part and parcel of the works to godhood Mormon program. The whole idea of cults anyway is to pull people away from God’s revealed Word, His Christ and His plan of salvation. So what’s a little personal blood atonement when everything else in the program is meant to displace God.
    I’d quote the Bible here but it would be of no avail. God’s perfect plan is that Jesus died and in the shedding of His blood was the perfect sacrifice for sin. God became a man and did for us what we are unable to do for ourselves and that is atone for our sin. Jesus, being God, was the perfect sacrifice. He was the spotless Lamb, no blemish. He alone could atone for the sin of mankind. Mormons continue in the rejection mode and that is why there is no salvation in Mormonism. They don’t know God, nor His plan of salvation. They would rather embrace far fetched notions that are emotionally appealing but have no place in God’s economy.

  2. SamAyeAm says:

    I’m new to the Blog. I arrived here as a result of your article “Thomas Monson’s Explanation of Luke 9:23-26” in the May-June 2010 MRM Newsletter. I was very impressed in the construction and presentation of that article. I have been equally impressed with today’s Blog article on “The Only Way to Atone.”

    You ask, “Did they fail to understand the New Covenant provision of Christ’s sacrifice?” Regarding Christ’s sacrifice I believe they probably thought as many people think today, “it’s too good to be true!” They think, “It has to be more involved, more complex than what I’m being told.” They just don’t want to realize or accept the simplicity of God’s plan, the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    Thank you again for another excellent article and I look forward to continuing my visits to the Mormon Coffee blog!

  3. iamse7en says:

    Sins worthy of death? Sounds familiar. Oh wait, that’s right. It’s BIBLICAL.

    And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree (Deut 21:22).

    I know that’s under the Law of Moses, but it was a law given from God to his people at that time. Does the principle apply today? Is there sin worthy of death?

    If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it (1 Jn 5:16).

    It says here that there is “sin not unto death” and “sin unto death.” Clearly, there are different punishments for different sins, depending upon the severity the sin. This is the lesson throughout the entire Old Testament, and also taught by Jesus. E.G. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, but other sins can be forgiven. Here, John makes it pretty clear that there are sins worthy of death.

    Blood Atonement is a true principle, but is greatly misconstrued. The Bible teaches that there is sin worthy of death. It also teaches that there is sin that cannot be forgiven (or in other words, not covered by the Atonement). There were a few Mormons who took this doctrine to the extreme, like Danites, who took it upon themselves to be the one inflicting the punishment (death). There are extremists everywhere, but anybody found guilty of killing another (outside the law or by self-defense) was prosecuted legally and religiously.

  4. jackg says:

    Once again, a Mormon reveals what Mormonism is about: pick and choose the passages that seem to support your view and just eisegete the text the best you can. I agree with Falcon: there is no real sense in trying to reason with Mormons. The truth of the matter is that BY preached that God would not have him teach anything contrary to God’s will. When he taught blood atonement, he meant blood spilling onto the ground. He even went so far as to say he would gladly kill a wife and spill her blood over the ground if he were to catch her in adultery. The sick thing about what Sharon posted is that these guys thought they were doing it out of love. Sounds like the Spanish Inquisition.

    I love it when Mormons like iamse7en think they’ve scored a point with their brilliant exegetical presentations. The blood of Jesus is the only blood that can do anthing for our salvation. It’s sad that Mormons don’t get it: WE ALL DESERVE DEATH. WE HAVE ALL SINNED AND ARE WORTHY OF DEATH!! THAT’S WHY WE NEED THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST TO ATONE FOR OUR SINS, BECAUSE WE COULD NEVER ATONE FOR THEM OF OUR OWN DEVICES AND BLOOD!! Yes, imase7en, blood atonement is a true principle, but not the way you think it to be. Following your leaders only leads you away from the Truth and from eternal life with the Only True and Living God.

    BY was nothing more than a false prophet and a fraud, just like JS. And, he was the one in charge of the Danites.

    Praying for Mormons…

  5. slayton says:

    I guess i’m not bothered by the mormon theology as I’m sure most of you are. I’ve gotten to the point where I can just say, “ok those guys are weird” and let them believe whatever they want.

    What really bothered me, although I didn’t find it surprising, was the level of involvement the early mormon church had in Utah politics. I’m sure it still goes on today as the church is by far the most powerful entity in Utah. Thank you for providing evidence of the church’s meddling in politics!

  6. grindael says:

    ‘Vengence is mine, and I have taken a little’ – Brigham Young’s snide comment at the Mountain Meadows Massacre memorial just before he had it torn down. Written by Wilford Woodruff in his diary. What a far cry from our Saviour’s teaching to forgive, forgive, forgive. That’s BIBLICAL too.

  7. iamse7en says:

    “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Jesus’ snide comment. Written by John in the Bible. What a far cry from the teaching to forgive, forgive, forgive.

    “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them.” The Lord’s order to the Israelites. What a far cry from the teaching to forgive, forgive, forgive.

    Clearly, I’m be facetious. You can claim cherrypicking scriptures out of context, but the principle is quite clear from John: there are sins not unto death and sins unto death. You can say we all deserve physical death for our sins, but that’s not what the scripture says. There are also sins NOT unto death. The Lord’s millstone comment also seems to infer that it’s better for one to be KILLED than to allow him to commit a grievous sin.

  8. SamAyeAm, Welcome to Mormon Coffee! Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for joining the conversation.

    iamse7en, jackg responded to your earlier comments very well, but I wanted to stress that I’m not talking in this article about capital punishment. Rather, the idea (and early LDS teaching) I’m addressing is the false teaching that a person sometimes can and must shed their own blood to atone for their own sins and receive forgiveness from God leading to salvation. The fact that Brigham Young supported capital punishment is not the issue; that he said he wanted men beheaded so that “they may atone for their sins, that mercy may have her claims upon them in the day of redemption” is.

  9. messianic says:

    Humanity was never enslaved under the ‘old’ covenant requiring personal and repetitive sacrificial offerings as atonement for sin. These offerings never fully atoned for sin in the eternal sense. They were meant as a temporary covering in order to allow for the people to approach God, but they had nothing to do with eternal salvation. Salvation has always and will always be through the Messiah alone. The OT saints looked forward to this sacrifice while we look back, but it is the same salvation.

    The main point in Hebrews is in regards to the priesthood, not the covenant. This is evident in the following verse:

    Hebrews 8:1-2 “Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest. Who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.”

    If you read on you will find the covenant mentioned in the following verses:

    Hebrews 8:7,13 9:1,18

    The word covenant in these verses was added in by the translators. In most KJV and NASB Bibles it will be in itallics in order to indicate this. The sacrificial system made it possible for God to come down and dwell with men temporarily in the Tabernacle, men had to be clean to approach Him, therefore they needed a temporary covering. Yeshua (Jesus) being sacrificed made it possible for men to dwell in the true tabernacle in heaven in eternity. One was earthly the other was heavenly. They worked together, not replacing each other. The earthly was a shadow of the heavenly as Moses was told to make it after the pattern of the heavenly.

    Maybe, Mormonism was born out of the false teaching that was going on by the Protestant church of Joseph Smith’s time. That same false teaching that permeates the Evangelical church today.

  10. messianic says:

    The Old covenant has nothing to do with it being before Jesus. The Old covenant is what all sinners are under and condemned by until they are born again under the New covenant which is found in faith in the Messiah Yeshua. The OT saints were saved under the New covenant just as we are through faith in their coming Messiah, it had nothing to do with the sacrifices.

    I know this isn’t common Chritian Theology, which is why I mention it, just to give a slightly different perspective to the LDS on this site. And to show that the book of Hebrews is not read correctly without a very detailed understanding of the priestly duties, sacrificial system and Hebrew language. It was written to those that understood this, I believe they were most likely Jewish priests or at least those that were very well studied in the Torah, not the westerners of today.

  11. falcon says:

    Hay, I think Mormons ought to practice blood atonement and that it ought to be done in Temple Square. Get one of those big BYU football players to wield a sword and slice off the offenders head. Put it on TV for the world to see. What wonders it would do for Mormon missionary work. Might even get them some respect in Saudia Arabia. I had a friend working over there and he got invited to an execution. They bring this man and woman out, staggering (they had them a little doped up), got them on their knees and than jabbed them in their sides. When they straightened-up, WHAP! My friend declined the invitation, but got the play-by-play later. That’s the penalty for adultery or it may have been fornication.
    So how many adulterers and fornicators are there in the Mormon church? There could be a whole slew of Mormons getting what they deserve. They could do it at General Conference.
    When Joseph Smith was shot, was that blood atonement? Perhaps divine retribution from one of the Mormon gods. Smith was an adulterer after all. He married multiple women, some of whom were married to other men. That deserves blood atonement in my book.

  12. grindael says:

    Brigham Young’s revenge blood oath [REQUIRED by every Mormon who received endowment in his time]:

    “You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.” (The Reed Smoot Case, vol. 4, pp. 495-496)

    A far cry from: “Forgive them Father…” as Jesus hung upon the cross…Did he teach men to go avenge his death? NO.

    “President Young said The company that was used up at Mountain Meadows were the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and connections of those that murdered the prophets. They merited their fate, and the only thing that ever troubled him was the lives of the women and children, but that under the circumstances, this could not be avoided.” – John D. Lee

    These TEACHINGS only bred hatred in men:

    “About 4:30 p.m. this meeting adjourned and was followed by a meeting of Presidents Woodruff, Cannon and SMITH and Bros. Lyman and Grant….Bro. JOSEPH F. SMITH was traveling some years ago near Carthage when he met a man who said he had just arrived five minutes too late to see the Smiths killed. Instantly a dark cloud seemed to overshadow Bro. Smith and he asked how this man looked upon the deed. Bro. S. was oppressed by a most horrible feeling as he waited for a reply. After a brief pause the man answered, ‘Just as I have always looked upon it—that it was a d—d cold-blooded murder.’ The cloud immediately lifted from Bro. Smith and he found that he had his OPEN POCKET KNIFE GRASPED IN HIS HAND in his pocket, and he believes that had this man given his approval to that murder of the prophets HE WOULD HAVE IMMEDIATELY STRUCK HIM TO THE HEART.” (Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Dec. 6, 1889, pages 205-206 )

  13. rvales says:

    There is so much I want to reply to some of these posts and yet everytime I think about really digging in I feel exhausted. Because of this I am so very grateful for the MC bloggers and the faithful posters here who are steadfast in their proclamation of the gospel and God’s sovereign grace!

    Keep up the good work!!!

    Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in
    Christ Jesus with its eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:10

  14. grindael says:

    Let’s look at 1 John in CONTEXT.

    “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not LEAD to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin LEADING to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. (1 John 5:16,17)

    John says “all unrighteousness is sin,” but there is “sin not leading to death.” Every form or kind of unrighteousness is sin. John isn’t saying there is some unrighteousness that is not sin; it is sin – but if the sinner turns from the sin in repentance, it is sin “not leading to death.” Sin is sin, but does not lead to (spiritual) death, when it is dealt with honestly, with repentance, confession and request to God for forgiveness in Christ.

    Jeremiah 7 helps to illustrate this:

    “Therefore, do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you,” (Jer. 7:16).

    Why? Look back in Jeremiah 7, and find the list of their transgressions in verses 6-11. The people were guilty of oppression, shedding innocent blood, theft, murder, adultery, lying, idolatry and other sins. While practicing all this iniquity they would “come and stand” before God in His house and claim they were permitted to do such things (verse 10). God spoke to them about their rebellion, but they did not listen or answer (verse 13). God said to them,

    “I will cast you out of My sight.” Thus God said, “do not pray for this people.” They were continuing in sin, leading to their own destruction.

    Sin that does not lead to death is sin we repent of. Sin LEADING TO DEATH is continual, habitual sin that is unrepented of. It is up to us to let GOD judge, and personally, I would keep praying for a person, and forgive others always, though it may be hard.

  15. grindael says:

    How Brigham Young twisted and perverted that scripture makes my blood run cold just to re-read this:

    “THIS IS LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is NECESSARY TO SPILL HIS BLOOD on the earth in order that he may be saved, SPILL IT. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin REQUIRING THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood SHOULD BE SPILLED, that you might gain that salvation you desire. THAT IS THE WAY TO LOVE MANKIND.” (Sermon by Brigham Young, delivered in the Mormon Tabernacle, Feb. 8, 1857, printed in the Deseret News, Feb. 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pp. 219-220)

    Did Brigham Young fail to understand the New Covenant provision of Christ’s sacrifice? Certainly. Anyone teaching such heresy fails miserably. This man was not a follower of Jesus. He was a tyrant and a dictator.

  16. grindael says:

    I would ask how many COVENANT BREAKERS there are in this city and in this kingdom. I believe that there are a greatmany; and if they are COVENANT BREAKERS we need a placedesignated, WHERE WE CAN SHED THEIR BLOOD.” (Young – Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 49-50)

    “Modern governments DO NOT TAKE THE LIFE OF THE ADULTERER, and some of them have done away with the supreme penalty where murder is involved-all of which is further evidence of the direful apostacy that prevails among the peoples who call themselves Christians.” (McConkie – Mormon Doctrine, 1958 ed., p. 104)

    “Let me suppose a case. Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and PUT A JAVELIN THROUGH BOTH OF THEM, YOU WOULD BE JUSTIFIED, AND THEY WOULD ATONE FOR THEIR SINS, AND BE RECEIVED INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would DO IT WITH CLEAN HANDS… “There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, YOUR OWN BLOOD MUST ATONE FOR IT;…” (Young – Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247)

    “…the wickedness and IGNORANCE of the nations forbids this principle’s being in FULL FORCE, but THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THE LAW OF GOD WILL BE IN FULL FORCE. (- Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pp. 219-220)

    I pray THAT DAY will NEVER COME. I think McConkie is the one who had a problem being a Christian. His ignorance about Jesus is evident in his heretical teachings.

  17. grindael says:

    And finally:

    “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or what you should say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say (Luke 12:9-12).

    The general application of Jesus’ warning against blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to not reject repeated warning: “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken and there is no remedy” (Proverbs 29:1).

    Jesus Atonement COVERS ALL. If we do not accept HIM we continue in sin leading to death. There is no blood atonement of men needed. Jesus died for us all and if we repent and turn from sin it has no power over us, even unto death.

  18. falcon says:

    Great job grindael,
    Of course we Christians don’t understand this because we are not examining the things BY said in light of Mormon truth. I love the way our Mormon posters can find justification for anything that leads them to conclude, “therefore the church is true”. Once a Mormon gets the “feeling” which is the Mormon god’s confirmation that Mormonism is true, nothing can be discredited in the eyes of the TBM. I must admit that I take perverse pleasure watching the Mormon posters twist themselves into the ground trying to find justification for this and many other aspects of Mormonism. It’s a cultic delusion that find themselves in a form of thinking that I am glad to have been spared of.
    I’m just wondering why Mormons aren’t practicing what the prophet preached? There should be daily executions going on in the Mormon church I would think. BY was an avenging angel. I guess the religion has gone soft!

  19. jackg says:

    Great job, Grindael. Thanks for supporting my comments with the actual quote.

    Peace and Grace…

  20. falcon says:

    I was just pondering tonight about how you always tell me that we have to exercise patience with Mormons because they have been deceived by the cult…..and I’ll add an actual spirit of deception. Knowing that gives me the perspective I need to keep posting.
    You were there (in Mormonism) and have thought and felt what Mormons are thinking and feeling. I don’t know if we make much headway with the Mormon posters but for those who are going through the “contemplative” stage, what we share here is of help to them I’m sure.

  21. grindael says:


    Aww, shucks. I ’bout got em all memorized.

  22. Olsen Jim says:

    At its core- I have no problem with “blood atonement.” But I think “atonement” may not be the best word.

    I believe there are some sins for which there is no complete forgiveness- namely, denying the Holy Ghost and murder.

    As iamse7en alluded to, there is a scriptural basis for capital punishment in some situations. That is beyond argument.

    Sharon- you can’t really separate the concepts of “blood atonement” and the death denalty. How many EVs here believe in capital punishment for murderers?

    The question is not “is the murderer capable of rehabilitation”- the central question is the matter of justice- at least that is supposed to be the central question in our earthly system. (Our modern system often clouds the issue by focusing solely on the question of rehabilitation).

    Bottom line- in taking the life of another innocent person, you are taking something that is priceless and that cannot be restored. You are possibly taking away the possibility of salvation for another soul, depending upon their spiritual state at the time of their murder.

    If I steal a car- I can make restitution. If I embezzle my company’s funds, I can make restitution by paying it back.

    Murder is a different deal. No matter how much a person may try to make restitution, saying sorry to loved ones, serving others, showing love, etc. etc., he or she cannot bring another back to life.

    The closest thing a person can do to approach restitution is to fulfill justice to the greatest degree possible- and offering one’s life comes closest.

    If you are against the death penalty, fine- I can understand. But there is plenty of logic and reason behind the death penalty, which is at the core of “blood atonement.”

    Ultimately, giving one’s life to satisfy justice to the degree most possible, one cannot atone for himself FULLY.

    For those EVs here who support the death penalty for any reason, how do you rationalize your position while criticizing the Mormon view?

  23. Ralph says:

    Before the Law of Moses, God said – Genesis 9:5-6 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

    I think that’s very clear AND it was not part of the Law of Moses.

    When we look through the OT esp Numbers 35, it states quite firmly that murderers are to be put to death. Other places state that adulterers, witches, fornicators, etc are to be put to death. These were commands from God. This is echoed in the NT in Romans 1:21-32. Jesus also taught that “God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death” (Matt 5:4). All of these people referred to in these scriptures are breaking the first 6 commandments. But also, the people referred to ALREADY HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE of the true God – thus they are guilty of blaspheming the Holy Ghost which the Bible declares is the only sin that does not receive forgiveness (Matt 12:31).

    In the Law of Moses there were sacrifices for sin. Although these did not actually cover the sin, they were performed to keep the people reminded of and focussed on the coming Messiah whose sacrifice would cover sin, but they still were needed to be performed for forgiveness. However, when it came to the people who sinned against the first 6 commandments, they were not given a chance to perform a sacrifice, they were put to death straight away. So where was their ‘chance’ to place Jesus’ atonement in place in their lives – why didn’t the sacrifice cover them then? There is an inference (note I am not saying its concrete) here that the atonement did not cover all sins and that the blood of the sinner needed to be shed as well. But note – it is only those who have a knowledge of the True God who this applies to.

  24. grindael says:

    I don’t believe in capital punishment. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, the
    murderer might repent. Look at Paul. How many innocent men have been put to
    death being wrongly convicted. It’s wrong, and Young was a vicious, controlling

  25. iamse7en says:


    You said:

    The fact that Brigham Young supported capital punishment is not the issue; that he said he wanted men beheaded so that “they may atone for their sins, that mercy may have her claims upon them in the day of redemption” is.

    Ah, but capital punishment and blood atonement are so closely related. You miss the point of the teaching. See, capital punishment is death for a grievous crime or sin (JUSTICE). Blood atonement is also death for a grievous sin (JUSTICE), but the REASON for death is that “MERCY may have her claims upon them in the day of redemption.” See? The only difference between the two is blood atonement goes into greater detail for the purpose of the punishment. Capital punishment is connected to the state, blood atonement to the religion. When the religion and state are ONE, as in Moses’ day, they are the same. When I show biblical teachings that confirm that there are sins worthy of death – or that men must be killed because of their actions – and that there are sins that CANNOT be forgiven of, where the Atonement has no efficacy – I am effectively teaching blood atonement.

    Brigham Young (and other Presidents) did not perform these blood atonement murders, and there is no solid evidence that he ordered them either (Mtn Meadows included), unless by proper legal force and support. And clearly, the doctrine (blood atonement) affected the law (capital punishment) in Utah. I’m sure when a man committed a crime worthy of capital punishment, Brigham believed it was of God, and that it was necessary according to the laws of justice AND mercy.

  26. iamse7en, Ralph and Olsen Jim,

    Why are you trotting out scriptures from a book you don’t trust?

  27. messianic says:

    There is a huge difference between capital punishment and blood atonement. Capital punishment is an earthly punishment. Yes, the Torah teaches that the punishment of murder is death, this has nothing to do with the shedding of blood or the forgiveness of sin. Someone sentenced to death only dies in this life. If he repents before dying and places His faith in the one who died for him (Jesus) he will have eternal life when he dies.

    The problem with Brigham Youngs blood atonement is that it wrongly teaches that somehow the shedding of the guilty persons blood can cover their sin and make them saved, only the blood of Jesus can save a person. A sinners blood is not good enough and never will be.

    Utah’s laws allowed for a type of death that literally sheds blood because the LDS somehow believe the blood of a sinner could save them. If any life would do I think we could all just go and commit suicide right now in order to save ourselves. The blood has to be innocent and without blemish, the only blood that fits this is Jesus and it was sufficient to cover all sin in order to bring us into the presence of God. No other blood, be it that of goats and bulls in the OT, or your own (according to Brigham, can give you eternal life. They never could and they never will. Even the OT saints had no eternal life under the sacrificial system, their eternal life came from their trust in the coming Messiah.

  28. jackg says:

    As I read the responses of the Mormon posters, I can’t help but remember how I used to use these same arguments. Now, that God has freed me from Mormonism, I can see how lacking in substance such arguments are. They are arguments based on the teachings of men who claimed and claim to be prophets, and who knew/know absolutely nothing about the biblical text. All this talk about blood atonement and sins that the blood of Christ can’t cover is rooted in the arrogance of man. Mormons have exchanged the truth of God’s Word for a lie. It seems that no matter what God reveals to them through His Word, they will always defer to a false prophet. But, nonetheless, it is our call to speak the truth of God’s Word to nonbelievers. So, here’s what God says regarding the Law, which Mormons want to live by, and being justified by faith–which Mormons just can’t seem to grasp, or don’t want to understand: “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under supervision of the law” (Gal.3:24-25).

    There it is: the purpose of the law is to point us to Christ. It’s to show our need for a Redeemer, because the law kills, and we are all subject to death because of the law. There is not a thing that we can do to atone for our sins. The blood of Jesus Christ alone covers me, and His righteousness is imputed and imparted to me. This is grace! “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Gal.2:21).

    It’s all about Christ. Mormonism has exchanged this truth for a lie, and makes it all about us.

    Again, the foundational issue is that the Bible is not authoritative for Mormons, while it’s authoritative for us. And, even while saying this, I know they will make the ridiculous charge that I worship the Bible. Oh well, such accusations come with the territory.


  29. messianic says:


    While your assessment is correct, you need to be careful that you don’t put too much emphasis on the idea that we are not under law and that the laws sole purpose was to bring a man to Christ by pointing out his inability to keep it. This is a mis teaching in the church today. You must remember that Paul also said in Romans 3:31

    “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.”

    And Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19

    “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    So the sole purpose of the law is really to define the holiness and righteousness of God that we must live up to perfectly to be saved. It is our sinful nature that makes us condemned under the law, not the law itself. The Law is simply an expression of God, a picture of what perfect holiness looks like. We, as sinners, can never follow this and so it only points out our fault and leads us to a Messiah that did follow this Law perfectly. It is through Him(Yeshua/Jesus) that we are justified. But, once saved through Christ we should press on to righteousness having the Law written on our hearts and the Holy Spirit guiding us to become more and more holy. We should keep the Law in our process of becoming sanctified.

  30. messianic says:

    The difference is that the LDS reverse this. They try to be holy without realizing they cannot be perfectly holy except through the One that was perfectly Holy. And they try to follow laws of men instead of God’s holy Law. they don’t follow God’s Law’s as they are written in the Torah, they follow the Laws of the Mormon church, which are a completely different and made up guideline. I know my LDS friends are trampsing around eating pork and shellfish all the time. I have never seen them keep Passover etc…If you are going to keep a Law , it should be God’s Law.

  31. LDSSTITANIC says:

    I hate to stomp on the toes of a fellow believer but please keep in mind the context of Romans 14. We are Gentiles and Jews who are now ONE BODY in Messiah. However, those of us who were never under the Law are not about to stop eating bacon and eggs and/or biscuits and sausage gravy anytime soon!! Remember “whatever is not from faith is sin” (verse 23) Blessings to the just who live by FAITH!!

  32. messianic says:


    1 John 3:4:
    “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

    What Law is being talked about here? We are not saved by the Law, but the Law is still the Law and it is the means by which we define righteousness and Holiness. What exactly is sin if it is not the breaking of God’s Law? What Law did Jesus have to keep? Do you really think Jesus died for our sin so that we could go out and have a slab of ham and some sausage gravy?

    I don’t mean to be harsh, I was once where you are now, but the more I studied the more I realized that I want to obey God, and if He said don’t eat pork, then I won’t. If the NT really did away with the Law, then it is not true, because it would make God a liar when He said He does not change. It would make Jesus a liar when He spoke Matthew 5:17-19.

    Study it out and you will see. In the meantime rest in the knowledge that believing in Him through faith and seeking after His will is completely sufficient for salvation.

    I only bring this topic up because I see the LDS view of the Christian church. They look at the Evangelical theology that floats around and see it as hypocritical. Evangelicals are always pointing toward the Bereans and saying that you must study God’s Word alone and anything that comes after must match and yet they quickly forget what the Bereans studied. They had the OT only at that time. If Paul had really been saying go ahead and eat pork, God’s laws don’t matter any longer, he would have been rejected. So either we misunderstood Paul, or we must reject Christ. After studying for the last year or so I have come to understand that we misunderstand Paul. Even Peter conceded that Paul was difficult to understand:

    2 Peter 3:15-16
    “….even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood…”

  33. Olsen Jim says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    1. Are there any sins for which there is no forgiveness?

    2. What happens to those who do not accept Christ’s atonement and payment for sin? They will suffer, correct? WHY- why will they suffer? Because there is a law that must be fulfilled and a payment that must be met.

    So saying that Christ’s atonement paid for all sins does not accurately portray the situation. His atonement doesn’t guarantee that every person will not suffer, does it?

    Pulling out the knee-jerk response that Mormons don’t fully accept Christ’s atonement is easy and not thought out. I can just as easily say that since Christ suffered for all sins, nobody should suffer- even those who do not accept Christ. Your disagreeing with that is evidence that you don’t fully accept Christ’s atonement in the same way.

    Those who do not accept Christ will suffer themselves to pay the debt to justice- they did not accept the payment that has been offered them.

    This argument about blood atonement and capital punishment must consider these truths. Just like the fact that some will have to suffer because they didn’t accept Christ, some will need to suffer as a result of commiting the unpardonable sin of murder. And offering one’s own life prematurely is a humble attempt at approaching justice and payment.

  34. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Well I think Paul is crystal clear in the book of Romans…specifically chapter 4 when he lays out Abraham as his shining example of justification OUTSIDE of the Law of Moses. As their supreme father figure I’m sure his Jewish readers got the point as well. Blessings!!

  35. liv4jc says:

    I am 7. The Mosaic Law didn’t grant forgiveness of sins when someone was put to death. The death penalty was punishment, not atonement. Atonement occurred with a sin offering in the tabernacle or in the temple. If you read closely, however, starting in Exodus 19, the Mosaic Covenant was never for personal salvation, it was for national prosperity. The Mosaic covenant was established so that Israel could show that when they obeyed YHWH they were blessed above all other nations, and when they disobeyed his commandments and went after idols they were cursed. Personal salvation and forgiveness of personal sin has always been by grace through faith as we read in Genesis 15, Romans 4, Ephesians 2, etc. Those who would have salvation by grace through faith were written in the Lambs Book of Life before the foundation of the world before they had done either good or bad, sacrificed, spilled their blood, etc. That Lamb is Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb that was slain (for the forgiveness of sin Isaiah 53) before the foundation of the world. Salvation is by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone. If you go out and cut your own throat all you will achieve is death.

  36. messianic says:

    1. The only sin that is unforgivable is that of rejecting God in any form. I would ask you to show me where in the Bible it says that murder is unforgivable. Using this logic you must believe that the Apostle Paul as well as King David are condemned as both committed murder.

    2.I actually don’t believe in eternal suffering the way that most Evangelicals view it. I believe that the only eternal suffering is for Satan and His demons, fallen angels. The rest of humanity that does not accept the Messiahs covering for sin will face the second death, meaning they will be thrown into the lake of fire and consumed. Men are not eternal beings, we only gain eternal life in 1 of 2 ways, perfectly aligning with God’s Law, or accepting that Jesus did that in our substitute. The first option has never worked out to well for anyone I know, so I am sticking with Jesus!

    Death in this life is not the same as eternal death. Punishment by death for a sin does not decide ones eternal life or death.

  37. falcon says:

    I don’t want to get off on a track of the relationship of Christians to the Law but it might be an interesting topic for those of us who are Christians to discuss. It’s not a discussion for Mormons. Anyway take a look at Acts 10:9-16. Personally, I don’t plan on living under the law as I proceed through the process of sanctification through God’s grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

    In regards to men shedding their own blood to atone for a serious sin, it may be time for me to at least present, for the umphteen time, at least a partial list of what the cults typically attack the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, by extension, orthodox Christianity.
    Here’s three of the nine:
    *The Bible is the Word of God.
    *The deity of Christ.
    *The blood atonement.
    As to our current discussion, Mormons discount the shed blood of Christ first of all by claiming that they are going to become gods based on their own efforts, perseverance, and a host of good works. The blood of Christ, I surmise, is effective in that it provides general salvation for everyone who has ever lived regardless of their faith or lack of it and however they lived their lives. Now we have our Mormon posters running hither and yon through a scripture they don’t find as very reliable, trying to find justification for the notion that the shed blood of Christ must have added to it, the sacrifice and shed blood of the sinner.
    I must keep reminding myself that this is Mormonism and this is what they believe and that is why they are not Christians. They’re something else, defined by their own bizarre traditions and false teachings. So if they want to start shedding the blood of LDS sinners, I say have at it. Put it on Pay-Per-View and raise some money for the morg. It may prove to be a real profit center for the Mormon church. I still think they should do it in Temple Square during General Conference. If these Mormon posters are so gung ho for it, maybe they could serve as executioners.

  38. falcon says:

    And besides, the Bible is pretty clear if someone has broken one of the laws, they have broken all of the laws. Have our Mormon posters ever broken even one of God’s laws? If so they are guilty of the whole law and they need to have their blood shed, according to Mormon teaching. The way I see it, every Mormon man, should execute everyone in his family that has reached the age of reason because the Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So every Mormon, according to the Bible and Mormon teaching needs to shed their blood to atone for their sins. After each man has executed his family, he should report to temple square, for the prophets of the LDS to execute him/them. Then the top prophet should execute the top twelve and then kill himself.
    Temple Square would then run red with the blood of these Mormons and perhaps that would be enough blood to satisfy the Mormon god’s requirement, in Mormon terms, of the shedding of blood. How much Mormon blood will it take anyway?
    For me, the blood of Jesus Christ was sufficient to fullfill God’s requirements. He took upon Himself the punishment that I deserve. I should have hung on the cross, but God did it for me. These Mormons want to climb up on their own crosses (so-to-speak) because the sacrifice of the Mormon jesus was not sufficient. What fools these people are!

  39. Olsen Jim says:


    I do not believe, nor does the Church of Jesus Christ teach that a person’s death for punishment of murder will atone for their sin. We do not believe that eternal salvation (meaning exaltation) is really possible after a person knowingly kills another innocent person.

    So Please understand- I and other LDS are not saying that we can atone for our own sins and receive salvation.

    Jesus said it would have been better had Judas not been born. He said the same thing of those who “offend” children.

    Why would it have been better? Sounds like there are things that one has a problem being forgiven of? Why else would it be better for a person never to have been born?

    We believe that David lost his exaltation by his action toward Uriah. But that does not mean we believe he will burn in hell forever either.

    I think Paul thought he was simply enforcing the just law- a totally different matter in my book.

    I too would ask you to show me where it says in the Bible that those who do not accept Christ will cease to exist at any point.

    Death doesn’t mean end of existence.

  40. messianic says:


    The reason I keep bringing it up is for the LDS readers more than the Christians. I want the LDS to see the truth and I believe that the Christian church has deviated so far from the truth of scripture that it is harmful to witness to the LDS. It gives them the ammunition to turn the conversation into a chaos of Christian thought because the Christians have presented ideas that are not scriptural. Statements like the law has been done away with cause the Mormons to say well, if God did away with it once and changed the rules why couldn’t He do it again? When the truth of scripture is taught there is no room for inconsistency or error, all scripture works together and everything begins to make sense.

    I won’t go into a big long explanation of dietary law and Peter’s vision as it is way off topic, but if you are interested in checking into it here is a great blog article:

  41. grindael says:

    Jim said,

    “I do not believe, nor does the Church of Jesus Christ teach that a person’s death for punishment of murder will atone for their sin.”

    Here is Joseph Fielding Smith:

    “Man may commit certain grievous sins — according to his light and knowledge — that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved, he must make sacrifice of his Own life to atone — so far as in his power lies — for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail. . . . Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 133-138.)

    This doctrine is not supported by the New Testament or Mormon Scriptures. It is entirely an invention of Smith & Young misinterpreting the Bible. For my full treatment on this subject, go here:

  42. falcon says:

    You appear to be practicing a particular brand of Christianity and find fault with what is known as traditional orthodox Christianity. To that end you kind of remind me of a guy with a new set of tools searching for something in the house to fix. In order to debate you, I’d have to spend a lot of time and effort studying your religion and critiquing it. I don’t really know if I want to do that so I’ll tell you what, why don’t you point me to some information that is critical of your perspective. It’s got to be out there some where. I’m sure someone has kind of taken your deal a part and has commented on it. Point me in that direction, it will save me a lot of time.

  43. Olsen Jim says:


    I really don’t have a problem with JFS’s statement.

    But do note the phrase “as far as possible” which provides the appropriate limit on a person’s degree of forgiveness/salvation.

    A person who murders another innocent person repents to the greatest degree possible by offering their own life. But it still does not result in complete redemption from that sin. They have thereby made restitution “as far as possible.”

    Anybody want to comment on Christ’s statements on those form whom “it would have been better had they not been born?”

    What does that mean? Anybody? What are the implications?

  44. Above, grindael quoted Brigham Young, who was reacting to the possibility of finding one of his wives committing adultery

    I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart

    (Young – Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247)

    Well, I’m sure he would not have missed one or two wives out of his collection of, what, 40 or so? He could afford to stick javelins through their hearts, and he thought he would have been doing them a favor if he had done so.

    And if his stock did get diminished by some punitive disciplinary measures, he could easily replenish it by, say, some compulsory acquisitions from any number of his married colleagues (in the Name of the Lord, BTW).

    Mormons want me to abandon my reliance on the Bible and trade it for reliance on such guys like Brigham Young. How absurd!

  45. grindael says:


    The ‘as far as possible’ is not needed, or called for, or taught in the Bible.

    Christ is talking about the penalties of those who do not repent, AFTER THEY DIE. Atoning through the spilling of your own blood will make no difference at all. It doesn’t NEGATE the murder. Did Jesus ask Paul to atone for his murders through the shedding of his blood? NO. He called him as an apostle. Mormons won’t even baptize a murderer. (But they will reinstate murderers to their ‘blessings’ after they die) yeah, that makes sense. Will the Mormon Church ever call a former MURDERER to be an apostle. I doubt it.

  46. falcon says:

    Hay boys, this is Mormonism. It all fits through the lenses of those magical LDS glasses those folks wear. In stead of calling out these mega-wackos like BY, they scour the Bible, lift a few verses and call it a day secure in the notion that their equilibrium in their belief system and “prophets” has been maintained. If we were to put a theological “level” on their heads they’d be more than a couple bubbles off of plum. No this LDS pinball machine is always going “tilt” but they think they’re still playing with free balls. Thus is the mindset of the cultist, but they’re happy.

  47. grindael wrote

    Atoning through the spilling of your own blood will make no difference at all.

    Absolutely. Why make it so unnecessarily complex.

    Here’s the metaphor. A guy commits murder, and gets pulled before the judge. The judge sentences him to death. Then the guy says, “I know I’ve done wrong, but let me repay the debt by relinquishing my life” (spilling blood).

    What do you say to the guy? Hopefully, something like “You fool, your life is already forfeit. You can’t bargain with it. It’s not yours to bargain with. How can you pay for the debt when you have nothing to offer, not even your own life?”

    On a more serious note, I chanced upon an interesting article about the evolution of sin (, or more properly, the evolution of the theory of sin.

    In this article Gary Anderson explores how the defining metaphor for sin started out as a weight in the OT, and evolved into a debt.

    The difference is that with a debt metaphor, the sin can be extinguished, annulled or paid off (by a virtuous action, perhaps). The weight metaphor doesn’t allow this possibility; the weight might be carried away (by the “scapegoat” – Anderson also comments on the term), but it never ceases to be a weight.

    We Christians freely talk about how Christ paid our debt (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but I wonder if we’ve lost the sense that He carries (and continues to carry) our weight.

    In this latter sense, the spilling of blood does nothing to reduce the weight of our sin. In fact, it might only add to it.

  48. jackg says:

    It is clear that Mormons believe a certain group of sinners don’t have a chance to be saved–that the Work of Jesus Christ is not powerful enough to save them. In the Mormon mind, there are a couple of things operating here, and it reminds me of when I worked as a correctional officer in the Colorado prison system. Law breakers are in prison. They all deserve to be in prison because they have broken a law worthy of imprisonment. It doesn’t matter that they broke different laws of society requiring imprisonment, they were all in prison. There is a human need to measure ourselves against each other. “I might be a murderer, but at least I’m not a child molester” is how the thinking is expressed. Well, I find this thinking in Mormonism, as well. “I might lie, but at least I don’t cheat on my wife” is how a Mormon might express the same thinking. Here we have a liar and an adulterer, and both are guilty of breaking the Law. It could be inverted, where the adulterer says, “Well, I might be an adulterer, but at least I’m not a liar.” We are so into comparing ourselves against each other that we lose sight of the fact that we are to be measured against the Holiness of God, which was and is revealed through Jesus Christ. We all deserve death (prison) because we have all broken the Law. It doesn’t matter what we have done–we are all Law breakers. If a Mormon, or anyone for that matter, wants to try and claim that they aren’t sinners, then they make God out to be a liar. My ex-wife (a Mormon) once told me that she doesn’t sin. Such a statement can only be the result of false teaching. So, I imagine that guys like OJ think they’re in the clear because they don’t murder or cheat on their wives, etc. We are all “dead men walking” until we accept and believe on Jesus Christ, who spilled His blood that we might have life in Him!


  49. LDSSTITANIC says:

    This is a reply to Falcon’s request…this writer takes the opposing position from messianic but alot of the viewpoints are fleshed out. Hope it helps you get a feel for the torah-observant crowd. Blessings!

  50. Olsen Jim says:


    It is interesting how you will make judgements about me in structuring your argument against a religion. I find that ironic given your main point that we are all law-breakers.

    Tell me, if there is absolutely no distinction between sins, or no differences in severity of offenses, why did Jesus not say of all of us that “good were it that they were not born?”

    Would it be just for a 13 year old boy who stole a candybar in a store to receive the same sentence as a repeat rapist murderer? That is what you are arguing, and I think it is pure nonsense. Is God less just than our justice system here? Or do we just “not understand God’s ways?”

    It seems some are willing to let go of logic in viewing their own religion while simultaneously criticizing LDS for believing the BOM, etc on the basis of logic.

    Why give any commandments? If there is no difference between the 80 year old woman who has lived a good, humble, quiet life and the gangster who sells meth to 9 year olds, why even give instructions and commandments to humanity?

    I know some would say that we are given commandments to show us how badly we fail. That may be a small component of the purpose. But in my opinion, it leaves one lost to the grander purpose of the creator.

    I find the topic of this article interesting, but also find it interesting how a person can take one small element of a religion and make such hefty judgements about it and its people. Is it possible to say “wow, that is something I disagree with, but find it intellectually stimulating to any degree?” Does every difference have to translate into hostile dismissal and judgement between two groups?

    Grindael- why was capital punishment ever commanded by God?

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