“Love thy neighbor”: Mormonism’s second prophet explains what Jesus meant

Brigham YoungOn Sunday, February 8, 1857 Brigham Young took the stand at the Great Salt Lake City Tabernacle to deliver a discourse to his congregation. On this occasion, Mormonism’s second prophet included some expositional preaching on Jesus’ command found in Matthew 19:19 (also in Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, 33, and Luke 10:27), “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Brigham Young explained:

“When will we love our neighbour as ourselves? In the first place, Jesus said that no man hateth his own flesh. It is admitted by all that every person loves himself. Now if we do rightly love ourselves, we want to be saved and continue to exist, we want to go into the kingdom where we can enjoy eternity and see no more sorrow nor death. This is the desire of every person who believes in God. Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father, and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man of woman in this house but what would say, ‘shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?’

“All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant. He never told a man or woman to love their enemies in their wickedness, never. ShedBloodHe never intended any such thing; his language is left as it is for those to read who have the Spirit to discern between truth and error; it was so left for those who can discern the things of God. Jesus Christ never meant that we should love a wicked man in his wickedness.

“Now take the wicked, and I can refer to where the Lord had to slay every soul of the Israelites that went out of Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua. He slew them by the hands of their enemies, by the plague, and by the sword, why? Because He loved them, and promised Abraham that He would save them. And He loved Abraham because he was a friend to his God, and would stick to Him in the hour of darkness, hence He promised Abraham that He would save his seed. And He could save them upon no other principle, for they had forfeited their right to the land of Canaan by transgressing the law of God, and they could not have atoned for the sin if they had lived. But if they were slain, the Lord could bring them up in the resurrection, and give them the land of Canaan, and He could not do it on any other principle.

“I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother Jesus Christ raises them up-conquers death, hell, and the grave. I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle’s being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.

“This is loving our neighbour 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.” (Journal of Discourses 4:219-220, GospelLink online edition. Emphasis added.)

For sake of contrast, read a contemporary Christian sermon on Jesus’ command as it was preached by Charles Spurgeon on August 9, 1857.

For more information of the early Mormon doctrine of Blood Atonement, visit the Mormonism Research Ministry website, mrm.org

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.
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29 Responses to “Love thy neighbor”: Mormonism’s second prophet explains what Jesus meant

  1. cattyjane says:

    Think I might puke a little. I had heard that this was a belief among the FLDS. I did not realize that this teaching came from Brigham Young.

    This is complete nonsense. The Children of Israel that were killed for worshiping Baal did not make it in this world or in the next. The Old Testament is very clear that unless we repent (turn from our ways to head in the direction of the covenant) that we will not inherit any of the blessings promised us, in this world or the next.

    Remember that the Children of Israel had already had the commandments spoken to them by God himself Exodus 20:1-18. The second commandment was very specific, “you shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth”. They knew that they were not allowed to do this thing and they did it anyway. Romans 2:13 states that hearing of the law does not make a person righteous, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. If a person is killed for a sin that they have done their own blood will not atone for their sin. They broke the law. They will not be found righteous. They are unrighteous because of their transgressions against the laws spoken at Mt. Sinai by the creator.

    God did command blood sacrifice for atonement for sin. In scripture, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is the day that we request atonement from God. Leviticus 16:29-34 explains that this was done once a year for all the people. Yom Kippur is a day of deliverance. This was the only time that the High Priest would be allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and call on the name of the Lord to offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the people.

    There are ten days previous that are called the Days of Awe which are days of repentance. This is a time of preparation marked by fasting and prayer. The people would turn from their ways of transgression and return to the covenant that was made between them and God.

    An interesting fact is that the word Kippur comes from the root word Kofer which means ransom or atoning by offering a substitute. A sacrifice must always be by an innocent; innocent life given for guilty life. That is why an animal was used as an offering. When a sacrifice was given the guilty person would place their hands on the head of the sacrifice and confess their sins over the animal (Lev 16:21 ; 1:4 ; 4:4) and then the animal would be killed or released into the wilderness as the scapegoat Lev 16:20. Lev. 17:11 states that the blood of the sacrifice offered makes atonement for the souls because the blood of all flesh is its life. The entire chapter of Lev. 17 also states that the sacrifice is a ox, sheep or goat. It also states that it must be brought to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting as an offering to the Lord. The High priest would dash the blood against the altar of the Lord and offer the fat up as a burnt offering. This was innocent blood that was shed. Not guilty blood.

    The offering up of a sacrifice was so that we were able to draw near to God. The word sacrifice in Hebrew is Korban. The root word is Karov which means to draw close or to come near. The word Tabernacle is Korbanot. The tabernacle was a place where offerings and sacrificial rituals were performed in order for the person who transgressed the laws of God could be brought near to God. A place where a LIVING person who had transgressed the laws of God could repent and return to the covenant in order to draw near to God. So Leviticus 17:11 corresponds to Hebrews 9:11-28. We see in Hebrews that the Messiah vs. 15 “died as a ranson to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant”. We also see that the Messiah did not go into the earthly Holy of Holies like the High Priest did in the Temple, but he went before the Holy One Himself vs. 24. It also states that the Messiah does not need to offer himself every year like the bulls and goats were offered vs. 25-28, but that he was pure enough to cover the transgressions of all from the beginning of creation.

    This is what we learn from Yom Kippur about how we receive atonement and forgiveness from the Most High. We are first commanded to repent and return to Him in earnestness of heart (the 10 days before the offering is given), then He provides us with the means of reconciliation or atonement with Him. This is done by the offering of an innocent. A guilty person can never atone for themselves or for others because the Almighty is Holy. Only a righteous sacrifice can be given. One without spot or blemish. This is how is was always done, and this is how it is done now.

  2. cattyjane says:

    By the way, I shared this one on my facebook.

  3. falcon says:

    Oh cattyjane…………………………here we go again. You wrote:

    “…………………but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”

    Are you absolutely sure that it is through law keeping that a sinner is declared righteous?
    Now this is what troubles me. You went through your entire post without once mentioning the name of the only One who qualified as the perfect sacrifice.

    Now let me tell you what I think. I think I am declared righteous because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The change in my life upon becoming born again by faith was the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
    I don’t think much about the ten commandments. The Law is written on my heart as the result of my faith in Christ. I think about, meditate on, the Lord Jesus and what He did for me. The life I lead is as a result of my faith in Him.
    Now if you’ve come to Christ in faith, which I’m assuming you have, you have eternal life and your walk is in the Spirit of God not by the Law. It’s called the New Covenant sealed in the Blood of the Lamb.
    Anyway, you seem to like the Law, which is fine as long as you have committed yourself to Jesus in faith. Your focus on the Law, I think, is a little misplaced however since God has shown us a better way………..which is His Son Jesus Christ.

    So do you want to friend me on facebook?

  4. cattyjane says:


    Don’t worry. I have no intention of bringing that topic up again. I was mainly trying to point out that only an innocent is able to die for atonement. Atonement cannot be made by an imperfect sacrifice or a guilty sacrifice. I wasn’t arguing law.

    Sure falcon! Despite the fact that I drive you insane with my comments I would add you on facebook! 🙂

  5. Mike R says:

    I wish Thomas Monson would read that sermon to the Mormon people . Perhaps he could do
    that at Conference next month .

    Mormon leaders were claiming that God had restored the church Jesus had established 1700
    years before and that the gospel of salvation was also now available to man on earth and was
    exclusively being preached by Brigham Young and his colleagues . Non Mormons would
    follow the apostle John’s counsel ( 1Jn 4: 1 ) and thus know Young to be the type of prophet
    Jesus warned would come in the latter days ( Matt 24: 3-11 ) . But sadly , the Mormon people
    were reluctant to do the right , and liberating thing , and dismiss their leader as a latter days
    false prophet .

    Mormons today are reluctant to accept the verdict their leaders preaching track record
    renders — they can’t be trusted to be reliable guides , they’ve exhibited a pattern , an unstable
    one , and Brigham Young’s teachings are only a part of it .
    The Mormon people have been told that to think that their leaders are as likely to be wrong
    as they are to be right in what they teach is to play Lucifer’s favorite game . [ Improvement Era
    6-1945 ] .
    Mormons who criticize their leaders are showing signs of a spiritual sickness , according to
    Harold B. Lee [ Conf . report Oct 1947 p. 67 ] .

    Mormon leaders keep their followers extremely busy with church actives , this combined
    with the rigors of everyday family obligations has made it difficult for them to make time to
    examine the teaching record of their leaders . That is not a safe situation to be in spiritually .
    False prophets can dress nice and act polite and be decent neighbors , the Mormon people
    seem to have lost sight of that fact in their busy lives .
    Jesus said to be on the alert for false prophets in the latter days —Mk 13:22-23

  6. falcon says:

    Well let’s be fair.
    This was just BY’s opinion. It really didn’t mean anything in practical application. He was just engaging in sort of a free flow of consciousness. I think it’s called “blue sky”. Besides, if the people didn’t vote on it at GC then it doesn’t count. And besides, it was a long time ago. It makes you wonder though doesn’t it? How could a guy who is so totally out to lunch become the Mormon “prophet”? Aren’t these guys speaking for the Mormon god and revealing all of these universal truths, wisdom and knowledge?
    So much for the LDS motto about leaders speaking and the thinking being done. Doesn’t appear that BY was too much of a deep thinker.

  7. historybuff says:

    Lest we forget, it was not just Brigham Young’s “opinion” that God required the bloody death of those who left the Mormon Church, among others. (“I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them.”) Remember that President Young stated at least twice for the record that every sermon he has delivered shall be regarded as scripture. And as for “blood atonement”, Utah is as I recall the only state that provides firing squads for Government executions in its desire to accommodate the many Utah voters who recognize Brigham Young’s admonition as he intended: as Scripture.

  8. Mike R says:

    Falcon , Brigham Young had to resort to this bombastic rhetoric , scaring people to submit
    pays great dividends , like more production out of LDS , and he knew it . As the ” living ”
    prophet he could do practically anything he wanted , who cares what Jesus’ apostles taught
    about receiving eternal life , they’re dead ! Inventing new teachings was not a problem for
    him as long as ” Zion ” was being built in the desert of Utah . His expertise was colonizing and
    constructing , he was good at that . However , he failed at providing the world with what
    Mormonism claims to offer , namely, the very same gospel of salvation which Jesus’ apostles
    preached , and the very same church which they were officers of . That claim is a good example
    of clever advertising , almost a bait and switch type of situation .

    The Mormon people did’nt deserve the likes of Brigham Young as church leader then , and they
    still are being short changed by their hierarchy today .
    But freedom is available .

  9. cattyjane says:

    And by the way falcon, you said this.

    “You went through your entire post without once mentioning the name of the only One who qualified as the perfect sacrifice.”

    That was not true, because I said this in my post.

    “We see in Hebrews that the Messiah vs. 15 “died as a ranson to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant”. We also see that the Messiah did not go into the earthly Holy of Holies like the High Priest did in the Temple, but he went before the Holy One Himself vs. 24. It also states that the Messiah does not need to offer himself every year like the bulls and goats were offered vs. 25-28, but that he was pure enough to cover the transgressions of all from the beginning of creation.”

  10. falcon says:


    I just thought it was kind of curious that you didn’t mention His name. After all, it’s the only Name under heaven by which people can be saved. At least that’s what the NT says.
    He is God after all. The exact representation of the invisible God.
    Mormons see Him as the spirit offspring of one of the Mormon gods and one of his plural wives. Jehovah Witnesses see Him as a sort of super angel.

    So cattjane, who do you think He is.

  11. falcon says:

    In Mormon lore, LDS and FLDS variety, Jesus is basically the same as they are except He got a special assignment. He’s the valiant older brother. They certainly respect Him but let’s face it, He’s just another god; like they hope to become. They don’t worship, adore or pray to Him. They have been warned by former LDS leader Bruce McConkie not to even think about having a personal relationship with Him.
    Now we conclude BY saying that Jesus’ atoning sacrifice isn’t sufficient but that the perpetrator of certain types of sins, must shed their own blood to be “saved”. Mormons don’t get saved in the manner that the Bible reveals but BY’s a prophet you know.
    There’s a real problem with people thinking someone is a prophet. They are then willing to follow what they say to their own spiritual peril. However the LDS church uses lots of escape clauses when their prophet says something truly dumb and off the wall. Yet “the prophet” is still revered even if he’s an idiot!

  12. Mike R says:

    Mormon leaders have claimed that their church is the one true church of Jesus Christ restored
    to earth in exactly the same form as it existed when He established it thru His apostles in the
    first century . Also that it’s leaders like Brigham Young were/ are being supervised by Jesus
    to lead His church and preach His gospel of salvation –Rom 1:16 .
    However , when one reads what Brigham Young and his colleagues taught their flock , it becomes
    clear that above claim is bogus . Claims like that are not unusual these days , and sadly decent
    sincere people follow these latter days counterfeits .

    Mormonism does not offer Jesus’ church/gospel ” restored ” ,
    what they offer is not a restored church but rather a ” substituted ” church , in place of the
    original .

    The original one is described in the New Testament . People can read about Jesus and how to
    be forgiven , made right with God , and receive the gift of eternal life with the fullest of blessings
    thereof by looking into the New Testament , and not to men today who claim Jesus has sent
    them and who try to mimic His true apostles as a means to gain a following — like Mormon
    leaders . 2 Cor 11:13 .

  13. RikkiJ says:


    “We also see that the Messiah did not go into the earthly Holy of Holies like the High Priest did in the Temple, but he went before the Holy One Himself vs. 24. It also states that the Messiah does not need to offer himself every year like the bulls and goats were offered vs. 25-28, but that he was pure enough to cover the transgressions of all from the beginning of creation.”

    Here’s what Hebrews 7 states:

    “The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

    For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.”

    1. Christ has a permanent, non-transferable priesthood (Which the LDS Church refers to as the Melchizedek priesthood – though their priesthood is transferable and achievable despite imperfect priesthood holders)

    2. Christ offered the sacrifice once and for all for all sins past, present and future.

    3. The offerings done by priests in the Old Testament has been fulfilled since his offering is an eternal one and completes the former covenant ritual.

    Just thought I’d highlight those points CJ.


  14. cattyjane says:


    Yes! Thank you. He is our Messiah and eternal High Priest. He is the one who makes the offering before the Father so that we can come before Him. His blood covers us and protects us from death, in the same way that the blood of the passover lamb protected the Israelites from the angel of death.

    The shedding of our own blood cannot atone for our sin, and no one ever offered up their own blood as a sin offering in the Old or New Testament (except maybe the pagans).

    I just thought it was very important to focus on how this ritual of shedding of someones blood so their sins could be atoned for has never been allowed and would never be allowed.
    I know many people try to point out how awful the leadership is in the church, but that is not what convinced me the church was wrong. I discovered the church was wrong by seeing how their practices did not line up with ANYTHING in scripture. Joseph Smith did not restore anything, but instead created a brand new doctrine that does not resemble anything from the original practices.

  15. fifth monarchy man says:

    While on the subject of Hebrews and how one is justified before God here is a gem.


    For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.'” This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
    (Heb 7:18-22)

    end quote:

    Praise GOD


  16. falcon says:

    You all know that my hobby horse is “Who is Jesus?”
    We could discuss all sorts of issues related directly to the LDS church and Mormonism in general. However finding out who Jesus is will lead a Mormon to salvation instead of just out of the LDS church.
    There are way too many Mormons, who upon discovering the truth about Mormonism and the LDS church, throw the baby out with the bath water. They no longer have any faith or confidence that there is a God and that they are in need of a Savior.
    There is freedom in Christ. This is a little scary to many Mormons since they have given themselves over to a religious structure. There’s security emotionally even in a false religious system.
    Learning how to live in Christ without the constraints of a system of rules and regulations is perilous for some.
    There’s a couple of things that former LDS members realize almost immediately; they have a lot more time on their hands and they have a lot more money. But if they don’t come to Jesus in faith what they don’t have is eternal life.
    Jesus, after making satisfaction for sins, sat down at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is our King, our Lord, our High Priest but most importantly, our Savior. It is through faith in Him that we are made whole.
    BY taught a lot of real bone headed things. He was clueless. It is so sad that these false prophets have had so much influence on people, keeping them from knowing Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him.

  17. Mike R says:

    cattyjane said in reponse to Rikkij’s comments about Jesus as the Messiah and the N.T.
    teaching about that truth :

    ” Yes, thank you.He is our Messiah and eternal high priest . He is the one who makes the
    offering before the Father so that we can come to Him….”

    That’s was a blessing for me to hear you state that ! In July you were not so sure about Jesus
    being the Messiah , so I was VERY blessed upon reading your comment to Rikkj .

    I know that God will continue to help you learn about Jesus . He’s the Messiah/Savior and
    since He is alive we get to praise and thank Him for loving us enough to die for us .
    For me , that is a truth that puts a lift in my step and helps me through the day .

    Take care.

  18. RikkiJ says:


    Ah I see your point. This makes total sense that you have seen what Christ did independent of any church or organization. Salvation can only be found in Christ alone.

    @fifth monarchy man

    Many times I have read that verse, but each time I read it, I only realize how deep it is. I’ll illustrate:

    1. Paul kept the law perfectly (Philippians 3:6, ESV) – this is different from fulfilling the law [that Jesus did].
    2. The law makes nothing perfect. (Hebrews 7:18-22, ESV)
    3. “To enter the celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be kept…” Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pg. 206
    4. Only Christ can offer salvation to those who have faith or believe. (Romans 1:16, ESV) – This excludes any church or organization including the LDS faith from offering salvation.
    5. Therefore Paul kept the whole law but remained guilty under God for sin until he came unto Christ (and not through the LDS Faith).

  19. grindael says:

    Does anyone else find it interesting that this speech was made 7 months prior to the Mountain Meadows Massacre? Young was preparing the people for it. Young would call it “cleansing the platter”. Here are his remarks on justifying the making of Eunuchs just a few months before the MMM:

    I then went into the president office & spent the evening. Bishop Blackburn was present. The subject Came up of some persons leaving Provo who had Apostitized. Some thought that Bishop Blackburn & [p.55] President Snow was to blame. Brother Joseph Young presented the thing to presidet Young. But When the Circumstances were told Presidet Brigham Young sustained the Brethren who presided at Provo. He said they had done [ ]. The subjects of Eunuchs came up & Joseph said that He would rather die than to be made a Eunuch. Brigham Said the day would Come when thousands would be made Eunochs in order for them to be saved in the kingdom of God. The subject of women & Adulterry Came up. Joseph Asked if a woman & man who were married Could Commit Adultery. Brigham said that Joseph said they Could not yet He was satisfied they Could do wrong.

    President Young said we Cannot Clens the Platter because the people will not bear it. Joseph [Young]. I am willing to have the people Clens the platter if they Can do it in righteousness & Judge righteous Judgment. Brigham. This people never was half as well prepared to execute righteousness as Now. I will tell you that when a man is trying to do right & do[es] some thing that is not exactly in order I feel to sustain him & we all should. I wish there was some people on Earth who Could tell us Just how much Sin we must sustain before we Can chastize the people & correct their errors. The wicked may go to the states & call for troops. I dont think the people will get rich. To come after us they have got a long road to travel. We have either got to Join hands with sin & sinners or we have got to fight them. ~Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 5, p. 55, June 2, 1857.

    Here we see Brigham Young sustaining the actions of Bishop Warren Snow. Here is John D. Lee’s recollection of the incident:

    Warren Snow was Bishop of the Church at Manti, San Pete County, Utah. He had several wives, but there was a fair, buxom young woman in the town that Snow wanted for a wife…. She thanked him for the honor offered, but told him she was then engaged to a young man, a member of the Church, and consequently could not marry the old priest…. He told her it was the will of God that she should marry him, and she must do so; that the young man could be got rid of, sent on a mission or dealt with in some way… that, in fact, a promise made to the young man was not binding, when she was informed that it was contrary to the wishes of the authorities.

    “The girl continued obstinate…. the authorities called on the young man and directed him to give up the young woman. This he steadfastly refused to do…. He remained true to his intended, and said he would die before he would surrender his intended wife to the embraces of another…. The young man was ordered to go on a mission to some distant locality… But the mission was refused…

    “It was then determined that the rebellious young man must be forced by harsh treatment to respect the advice and orders of the Priesthood. His fate was left to Bishop Snow for his decision. He decided that the young man should be castrated; Snow saying, ‘When that is done, he will not be liable to want the girl badly, and she will listen to reason when she knows that her lover is no longer a man.’

    “It was then decided to call a meeting of the people who lived true to counsel, which was held in the school-house in Manti… The young man was there, and was again requested, ordered and threatened, to get him to surrender the young woman to Snow, but true to his plighted troth, he refused to consent to give up the girl. The lights were then put out. An attack was made on the young man. He was severely beaten, and then tied with his back down on a bench, when Bishop Snow took a bowie-knife, and performed the operation in a most brutal manner, and then took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up in the school-house on a nail, so that it could be seen by all who visited the house afterwards.

    “The party then left the young man weltering in his blood, and in a lifeless condition. During the night he succeeded in releasing himself from his confinement, and dragged himself to some hay-stacks, where he lay until the next day, when he was discovered by his friends. The young man regained his health, but has been an idiot or quite lunatic ever since….

    “After this outrage old Bishop Snow took occasion to getup a meeting… When all had assembled, the old man talked to the people about their duty to the Church, and their duty to obey counsel, and the dangers of refusal, and then publicly called attention to the mangled parts of the young man, that had been severed from his person, and stated that the deed had been done to teach the people that the counsel of the Priesthood must be obeyed. To make a long story short, I will say, the young woman was soon after forced into being sealed to Bishop Snow.

    “Brigham Young… did nothing against Snow. He left him in charge as Bishop at Manti, and ordered the matter to be hushed up.” (Confessions of John D. Lee, pages 284-286)

    In August, Woodruff writes,

    Word has been sent out to Call in the Elders from abroad from among the Gentiles, & the gospel has begun to go to the Lamanites & the Lord is about to remember his Covenant with that people. The Judgments of our God must now soon be poured out upon the Gentile world & the Children of Jacob & the House of Israel must go forth & fulfill their destiny & help build up Zion. All nations are becomeing vary wicked. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 5, p. 85, August, 1857)

    You see, the Lamanites would be the ones who would tear up the Gentiles, (that was their “destiny” as per the Book of Mormon) and then the black “slaves” would “rise up” against their masters, to destroy the US. Then the Mormons could step in and “save the Constitution” and Brigham Young would be installed as President of the new America.

    Here is Young and John D. Lee in late September, 1857:

    Brother Brigham when speaking of the cutting of the throats of women & children as the Indians done South Said that it was heart rending that Emigration must stop as he had before said. Brother Lee said that He did not think their was a drop of innocent Blood in their Camp for he had too of their Children in his house & he Could not get but one to kneel down in prayer time & the other would laugh at her for doing it & they would sware like pirats. The scene of Blood has Commenced & Joseph said we should see so much of it that it would make our hearts sick. ~Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 5, p. 103

    Notice how Lee tries to badmouth the children and by inference their parents. Unfortunately, this was not true about his declaring that “Emigration must stop”. Young issued this mandate in the on August 5 of 1857, but did not make it public until September 14, AFTER the massacre:

    Third — Martial law is hereby declared to exist in this territory, from and after the publication of this proclamation; and no person shall be allowed to pass or repass, into or through, or from this territory without a permit from the proper officer.

    Of interest to note also is that Young had stated that he would be in control of the Indians, that there was nothing that they did without his consent and control in 1847:

    President Young in his address to the Saints remarked that He was determined to have order in all things & righteousness Should be practized in this land. That we had come here according to the direction & council of Br Joseph Smith before his death & that He would Still have been alive if the Twelve had been in Nauvoo when He recrossed the river from Montrose to Nauvoo.

    He spoke of the saints being driven from place to Place, And Said the ownly way Boggs, Clark, Lucas Benton & all the leaders of the mob could have been saved in the day of the Lord Jesus would have been to have come forward voluntarily & let their heads been cut off & let their blood run upon the ground & gone up as A smokeing incens before the heavens as an antonement but now they will be eternally damned.

    Also said all the govornors & Presidents of the U.S.A Had rejected all our petitions from first to last. That when the Saints were driven from Illinois & perrish as it were on the Prairies then President Polk sends for a draft of 500 men to go into the Army. What for? That they might be wasted [one line of text illegible] entirely wasted away as A people.

    If the Brethren had not gone they would have [p.241] made war upon us & the Gov of Mo would have been ordered not to have let us Cross the Missouri & the raising of the Battalion was our temporal Salvation at the time & said Polk would be damned for this act & that He with many of the goverment men had a hand in the death of Joseph & Hyram & that they should be damned for these things & if they ever sent any men to interfere with us here they shall have there throats cut & sent to Hell. And with uplifted hand to Heaven swore by the Gods of Eternity that He would never cease His exhertion while He lived to make every preperation & avenge the blood of the Prophets & Saints. That He intended to have evry hole & corner from the Bay of Francisco to Hudson bay known to us And that our people would be connected with every tribe of Indians throughout America & that our people would yet take their squaws wash & dress them up teach them our language & learn them to labour & learn them the gospel of there forefathers & raise up children by them & teach the Children & not many generations Hence they will become A white & delightsome people & in no other way will it be done & that the time was nigh at hand when the gospel must go to that people to.~Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, p. 240, July 28, 1847

    A month before the Massacre, Young said,

    I have had to hold the Indians here for years from destroying the emigrants. I have had to give them many thousands of dollars to keep them from killing the Gentile Emigration to Calafornia. The United States Government now ows me $50,000 in my Official Capacity & they will not pay me a dime but are sending armies at great Expens to destroy me & this people. But I will now inform them & all people that if they make war upon me I shall not attempt to restrain them any more but I shall let them do as they please.

    The United States do not know what they are [doing]. They are selling the blood of this people for Gold. They were not going to bring any goods to this place but now that an army of 2,500 men are coming here to destroy this people they Can bring a great amount of Goods. Let them take Heed to their ways. If the United States sends an Armey & a train of Goods here I may get a part of the pay which they owe me.

    I now wish to say to all Gentiles send word to your friends that they must stop Crossing this Continent to Calafornia for the indians will kill them for the Emigrants have shot down the indians without any cause or provocation & if the United States make war upon me I shall not attempt to restrain them any longer. ~Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 5, p. 79, August 16, 1857.

    This was almost a week after the Fancher Party had arrived in Utah. Young taught and practiced blood atonement, and got it from Joseph Smith. Young set it all up that the Indians would be blamed. It is obvious from what went on before and after the massacre. How could it be the Indians, when Young said that he could control them and had been doing so FOR YEARS!

    But… It was actually done by the Mormons, so they could “atone” for the deaths of Joseph Smith and Parley P. Pratt. Done on the day that Smith prophesied that Zion would be “redeemed”, Sept. 11, 1836, which was of course stopped by those pesky, rebellious Gentiles from Missouri.

  20. Mike R says:

    grindael, that sure adds some perspective to Brigham’s sermon Sharon posted .
    Thanks for posting that . Great job as always .

  21. falcon says:

    How does your average Jane and Joe Doakes handle this type of information, if they ever become aware of it?
    Well what are the choices? Start out with denial. Than move to rationalization. Finally, “…. it was a long time ago and things were different then and besides it has nothing to do with the glorious restored gospel with all of its blessings and promises………..(pant, pant, pant) and BY was just a man and this was his opinion and it doesn’t effect my testimony one bit in fact it’s stronger than ever…………..(faint due to lack of oxygen)!

  22. Mike R says:

    Is’nt it sad how decent people have to rationalize like that ? God is trying to get their attention
    and they are refusing to hear Him , all because of their unhealthy devotion to a latter day prophet
    who identified himself by way of his teachings to be exactly one of those prophets whom Jesus
    fore warned would appear in the latter days —Mk 13:22-23 .

    My wife was giving this same type of unhealthy allegiance to a latter days prophet ( Watchtower )
    Thankfully , she began to sense something was’nt right , which led her to get alone with a Bible
    , no church literature , and discovered what that something was . She had been taught that
    members can not interpret the Bible for themselves , only the Gov Body at headquarters could.
    Long story short, she was troubled that her leadership was not giving enough credit/ devotion
    to Jesus . She discovered the truth when she read the book of John .
    She was faced with a decision : trust God , or keep following ” Jehovah’s prophet” in His
    visible Theocratic organization Headquartered in Brooklyn . She decided to take a step and
    trust God . The rest is history as they say .

    The Mormon people can take a similar initial step and get alone with the New Testament and
    see what it says then compare that with what their latter days prophet like Brigham Young
    taught . Today Mormon leaders testify that he was faithful in his duty , and since he claimed
    that his duty was to never teach/ condone false teachings to his flock , then that claim can be
    evaluated by conscientious Mormons today .

    Put God first , it pays good dividends because truth matters .

  23. MJP says:

    It was hard to read Lee’s account of Snow and his treatment of the groom-to-be. Lee, the apparent author, was also friendly to the LDS church.

    Seems the system was developed through fear and intimidation. I wonder how much that still exists, albeit not quite as aggressively.

  24. cattyjane says:

    Mike R,

    Yes. Lots of study, and lots of prayer. I still have a lot to learn tho. I think we will all still be learning tho even after we enter The World to Come.

  25. Mike R says:


    Thanks for your reply .
    God bless you .

  26. falcon says:

    Interesting post! It confirms what Andy Watson learned in his intensive apologetic exercises with high level committed JW members. Andy learned that you can’t play Bible ping pong with them. Interestingly enough that’s what the Church Fathers found out battling the heretics.
    What Andy found out is that with the JW folks, you have to get them to begin to question the Watch Tower organization. Once they begin to lose faith in the organization, then they are willing to consider the Bible without the JW overlay.
    I think it’s the same way with LDS sect members. They are so in love with the “one true church” that it blinds them to what God’s Word really says. You know the line, “The people aren’t perfect but the (LDS) church is”.
    Consider the information that is presented in our article on this thread and then grindael’s comments. I would think that that information would get a committed Mormon to at least be puzzled if not disturbed by it. But they’ve been conditioned to believe that questioning the church and feeling uneasy/negatively about it is Satan trying to deceive them. What a thorough job of not so subtle brain washing that is.
    Lastly, when people think they’ve had “spiritual” experiences, it just solidifies their belief in the organization. Little do they know how easy it is to manufacture spiritual experiences. I witnessed how the LDS guides at the Mormon historic sites are trained to do it.

  27. Mike R says:


    The Bible is not THE authority in the life of a Jw , simply because they’re told that they can not
    interpret it for themselves as individuals . They have been taught to accept the Watchtower as “Jehovah’s visible organization ” through which alone He dispenses His truths to mankind .
    To properly understand the Bible and qualify for salvation you must submit to the organization
    and accept what it’s leaders ( Governing Body) declare is scriptural truth .
    To personally study the Bible and arrive at a different interpretation you will be kicked out
    if no repentance . In light of the huge number of doctrinal vacillation since it’s arrival on the
    scene in the late 19th century , Jw’s have no choice but to submit to leadership’s teachings ,
    since submission to the Watchtower is submission to God , to be in the organization is to be in
    ” the Ark of safety” and escape Jehovah’s wrath , which those that leave or are kicked out
    will receive . Jw’s are scared to leave .

    A lot of christians don’t understand the authoritative structure in the life a Jw . It’s not the
    Bible , rather it’s their leaders . The Watchtower has claimed to be a ” modern day Jeremiah ”
    and “God’s sole channel ” for the flow of Biblical truth to mankind . Want salvation ? Join the
    Watchtower Society and become a Jw. there is no other way .

    Jw’s , like Mormons have been detoured from the simple gospel by joining false prophet led
    organizations — Matt 24:11 .

    Anyway , I don’t want to get to far off topic so I’ll stop .

  28. spartacus says:

    Sharon was prescient with this post!

    This September’s edition of the Ensign had under the “What We Believe” article series an article titled “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”! Needless to say, it does not include any reference to this sermon by Brigham. It is quite disturbing reading it with Brigham’s interpretation in mind!

    Also, on the facing page it has pictures with captions describing the many ways we can show love to others. There was no picture of firing squads or javelins in a wife in bed or slit throats or a man sitting in his coffin. No, none of that.


    For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. – Hosea 6:6

  29. Mike R says:

    That was most interesting . If the Mormon people only knew …..

    Falcon ,
    I should have mentioned that Andy is spot on in how to minister to Jw’s .

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