Blood Atonement-
Grace Alternative


"Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation" Brigham Young, April 9, 1852, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, pages 50-51  

“And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation. Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.”-D&C68:4-5 

 “The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every right minded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every Number as it comes forth from the press as an additional reflector of "the light that shines from Zion's hill.”-Introduction to Volume 8 of the Journal of Discourses 

The LDS Church believes that Christ’s atonement is not sufficient to redeem us from our sins.

"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." Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p.133

"Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one's salvation. Many go so far, for instance, as to pretend, at least, to believe that if we confess Christ with our lips and avow that we accept Him as our personal Savior, we are thereby saved. His blood, without other act than mere belief, they say, makes us clean." LDS tract entitled, What the Mormons Think of Christ 1973, pg. 22

"Redemption from personal sins can only be obtained through obedience to the requirements of the gospel, and a life of good works." James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1952, pp.478,479

The Doctrine of Blood Atonement demands that your blood must be spilled to atone for;

  • Denying the Holy Ghost
  • Murder
  • Adultery
  • Interracial marriage
  • Stealing
  • Counterfeiting
  • Lying
  • Disobedience to husband
  • Abuse of Priesthood Authority
  • Apostasy
  • Gossiping

How many of us need blood atonement?

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6

-Joseph Smith Jr. prefers cutting heads off over hanging people

"In debate, George A. Smith said imprisonment was better than hanging. "I replied, I was 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, History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 296

-Interracial couples must die

"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, Vol. 10, p. 110

 -Any man having children with a black woman must be beheaded, and his children must be killed

"And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cane [sic] the ownly [sic] way he could get rid of it or have salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off & spill his Blood upon the ground it would also take the life of his children..." Wilford Woodruff's Journal, recorded sermon by Brigham Young,  January 16, 1852, typed copy; original located in LDS Church Archives.

-Blood must be spilled or sins will stick to a man

"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 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."  Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235.

-Gossipers, disrespectful wives will have their bowels kicked out

"Judas lost that saving principle, and they took him and killed him. It is said in the Bible that his bowels gushed out; but they actually KICKED HIM until his bowels came out.  "'I will suffer my bowels to be taken out before I will forfeit the covenant I have made with Him and my brethren.' Do you understand me?  Judas was like salt that had lost its saving principles—good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.... It is so with you, ye Elders of Israel, when you forfeit your covenants.... I know the day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us and against the covenants they have made, and they will be DESTROYED as Judas was…you Elders of Israel, have you not entered into covenant that you never would betray one another? And you mothers of Israel, have you not entered into covenant not to speak against each other, or run about the neighbourhood and talk about this one and that one, and about their husbands? Do you not despise such a woman as that? Yes, you do; and so do I, and so does every good man and angel, and so does Jesus Christ. He has told you not to do it…I want you to understand that you make covenants with God, and not with us. We were present and committed those covenants to you, and you made them with God, and we were witnesses. When you got your endowments, did you not make a covenant not to speak against the anointed? And every woman that received this ordinance made a covenant with her husband that she would be true and faithful to him, be a guardian angel to him, and watch over his pillow by night and by day, and be true to her God and to the anointed…And here some men and women run from Dan to Beersheba breaking their covenants. If I could have my will, they never should step into the Endowment Room again and administer in sacred things, when they take this course. And some women, who think they know everything, go home and abuse their husbands and raise the devil in a man's family." Heber C. Kimball, December 13,1857 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, pages 125-127

-Killing people is for their own good

"I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine, but it is to SAVE them, not to destroy them...."  Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235

"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." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235

 -Shooting people is as important as baptizing them

"If you will cause all those whom you know to be THIEVES, to be placed in a line before the mouth of one of our largest CANNON, well loaded with chain shot, I will prove by my works whether I can mete out to such persons, or not. I would consider it just as much my duty to do that, as baptize a man for the remission of his sins."  Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, pp. 108-109

-Women’s closest relative must kill her seducer

"The principle, the only one that beats and throbs through the heart of the entire inhabitants of this Territory, is simply this: The man who seduces his neighbors wife must die, and her nearest relative must kill him!" George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, page 97

-Killing animals works sometimes, but other times a man must be killed

"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." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235

-Brigham had people coming to him asking to be killed

"I will say further; I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 53-54; also published in the Deseret News, 1856, page 235

-From the Salt Lake Tabernacle, it is proposed to select executioners and a place to kill people

"I say, that there are men and women that I would advise to go to the President immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their case; and then let a place be selected, AND LET THAT COMMITTEE SHED THEIR BLOOD. "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. "You may think that I am not teaching you Bible doctrine, but what says the apostle Paul? 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." Jedidiah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 49-50 man having the words of eternal life for the people.

-Brigham Young teaches when one should stab their brother and their wife

"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;.."    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247

-Bruce R. McConkie laments that the government does not kill cheaters

"Modern governments do not take the life of an 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 apostasy that prevails among the peoples who call themselves Christians." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958 ed., p. 104

-Non-believers must die

"The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall 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, Vol. 3, page 226

 -Thieves and Counterfeiters must have their throats cut

"We investigated several orders purporting to be drawn by J. Allen, Lieut. Col., signed by James Pollick; which I requested should be burned. I swore by the Eternal Gods that if men in our midst would not stop this cursed work of stealing and counterfeiting their throats should be cut." Brigham Young, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Feb. 24, 1847, typed copy

-Brigham Young: Apostates must leave Salt Lake City, or they must die

"I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath my Bowie knife and conquer or die. (Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.) Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. (Voices, generally, 'go it, go it.') If you say it is right, raise your hands. (All hands up.) Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, page 83 his class.

-The way to love your neighbors is to kill them

"This is loving your 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 itAny 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

 -Do you love your brothers and sisters enough to kill them?

"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?... "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... I have known a great many men who 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 forbids this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force." Sermon by Brigham Young, delivered in the Salt LakeTabernacle, Feb. 8, 1857, printed in the Deseret News, Feb. 18, 1857; also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pp. 219-220

 -Prophet nearly stabs a man with his pocket knife, thinking he might say something disagreeable

"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 

-Joseph Fielding Smith explains how blood atonement was incorporated into Utah State law

"...the founders of Utah incorporated in the laws of the Territory provisions for the capital punishment of those who willfully shed the blood of their fellow men. This law, which is now the law of the State, granted unto the condemned murderer the privilege of choosing for himself whether he die by hanging, or whether he BE SHOT, AND THUS HAVE HIS BLOOD SHED IN HARMONY WITH THE LAW OF GOD; AND THUS ATONE, so far as it is in his power to atone, for the death of his victim. Almost without exception the condemned party chooses the latter death." Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, Vol. 1, p. 136

-Bruce R. McConkie, on the proper way to kill people

"As a mode of capital punishment, hanging or execution on a gallows does not comply with the law of blood atonement, for the blood is not shed." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958 ed., p. 31)

-BYU history professor refers to a specific case of blood atonement

"To whatever extent the preaching on BLOOD ATONEMENT may have influenced action, it would have been in relation to Mormon disciplinary action among its own members. In point would be a verbally reported case of a Mr. Johnson in Cedar City who was found guilty of adultery with his step-daughter by a Bishop’s court and sentenced to death for atonement of his sins. According to the report of reputable EYEWITNESSES, judgment was executed with consent of the offender who went to his unconsecrated grave in full confidence of salvation through the shedding of his blood. Such a case, however primitive, is understandable within the meaning of the doctrine and the emotional extremes of the Reformation." Utah Historical Quarterly, January 1958, p.62, footnote 39




"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin. 1John 1:7

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" Eph 2:8

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." Matt 23:27-28