Blood Atonement

What is Blood Atonement

By Jacob Howard

Blood Atonement is a doctrine that was taught by many of the “Prophets” of Mormonism and is something many Mormons today do not know about. According to many, many Mormons, whatever came out of a Prophet’s mouth was to be taken as the Word of God (Doctrines and Covenants 1:38).

Well, while reading the Prophet’s sayings in the Journal of Discourses, I found out a lot of heavy stuff that really puts the average Mormon in a bad place if what the Prophet said is the “Word of God.”

In short, Blood Atonement teaches the blood of Jesus Christ cannot cover every sin committed by man. Some sins are so heinous that the person must give their own blood in order to be forgiven by God.


Jedediah M. Grant

Jedediah M. Grant worded it like this:

We have those amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, for water will not do, their sins are of too deep a dye. . . Brethren and sisters, we want you to repent and forsake your sins. And you who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven through baptism, let your blood be shed, and let the smoke ascend, that the incense thereof  may come up before God as an atonement for your sins, and that the sinners in Zion may be afraid.

– Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Volume 4, Page 49-51

Blood Atonement examples have been made of many people and the process usually involves leaning the victim over something and slitting their throat open ear to ear and letting their blood pour out.

It is said Joseph Smith did not promote Blood Atonement but he is recorded as saying:

I am opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another, I will shoot him, or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God; and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on that subject, I will have it so.

– Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, Volume 5, Page 296.

The Blood Atonement is required when men commit the following sins . . .

Apostasy and Thievery:

At the same time my feelings are these—the best way to sanctify ourselves, and please God our heavenly Father in these days, is to rid ourselves of every thief, and sanctify the people from every vile character. I believe it is right; it is the law and practice of our neighboring state to put the same thing in execution upon men who violate the law, and trample upon the sacred rights of others. It would have a tendency to place a terror on those who leave these parts, that may prove their salvation when they see the heads of thieves taken off, or shot down before the public. Let us clear up the horizon around us; and then, like the atmosphere after the thunderstorm has spent its fury in the tops of the mountains, becomes purified; and a calm sunshine pervades the whole. I believe it to be pleasing in the sight of heaven to sanctify ourselves and put these things away from our midst.

– Orson Hyde – Journal of Discourses, Volume 1, Page 73

Marrying an African:

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.

– Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, Page 110

Covenant Breakers:

I would ask how many covenant breakers there are in this city and in this kingdom. I believe that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood.

– Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Volume 4, Page 50

Brigham Young

Denial of Mormonism:

The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, “Are you for God?” and if you are not heartily on the Lord’s side, you will be hewn down.

– Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 3, Page 226

It is  very interesting to read the above “unforgivable sins except by Blood Atonement” then read Joseph Smith say there is only one unforgivable sin: knowing the “truths” of Mormonism but rejecting them (his version of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit). Where do these beliefs coincide? And where is Blood Atonement found in the Bible?

For one more chilling thought, read what Brigham Young once 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 spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.

I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them.

Of all the children of Israel that started to pass through the wilderness, none inherited the land which had been promised, except Caleb and Joshua, and what was the reason? It was because of their rebellion and wickedness; and because the Lord had promised Abraham that he would save his seed.

They had to travel to and fro to every point of the compass, and were wasted away, because God was determined to save their spirits. But they could not enter into His rest in the flesh, because of their transgressions, consequently He destroyed them in the wilderness.

I do know that there are sins committed, of such a nature that if the people did understand the doctrine of salvation, they would tremble because of their situation. And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further; I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins.

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. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man. That is the reason why men talk to you as they do from this stand; they understand the doctrine and throw out a few words about it. You have been taught that doctrine, but you do not understand it.

– Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 4, Page 53-4

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