Searching Google to learn more about the Danites, I ran across this at
http://www.algonet.se/~daba/lds/missouri.htm. In this article the
following is stated about so-called "blood atonement."
"The Danites originated the practice of "blood atonement" in the Mormon
Church. (This doctrine was promoted by Church officials as late as 1961,
but is now officially regarded as unorthodox.) The basic idea here is
that there are certain sins for which the blood of Christ cannot cover
the sinner; the sinner must have his own blood mingle with the soil to
atone for that sin.
These sins included: dissent, murder, adultery, theft, miscegenation,
taking the Lord's name in vain, breaking covenants, leaving the Church,
lying, counterfeiting, and condemning Joseph Smith, his Church, or any
of its leaders.
Spilling blood specifically meant: "his throat cut from ear to ear, his
tongue torn out by its roots, his breast cut open and his heart and
vitals torn from his body and given to the birds of the air and the
beasts of the field and his body cut asunder in the midst and all his
bowels gush out." In practice, slitting a throat usually proved
Concerning this doctrine, Brigham Young later said:
I could refer you to plenty of instances where
men have been righteously slain in order to atone for
their sins. ... 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. ... This is loving
our neighbours 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.
What took place in 1961 officially making this doctrine "unorthodox?"
Aren't there scriptures that buttress the idea that certain sins are of
so heinous a nature that to obtain maximum forgiveness, the sinner must
be put to death by the shedding of blood?
Didn't Utah once offer a condemned murderer the choice of death by
hanging or death by firing squad, the thought being that death by
hanging sheds blood while hanging does not? What has changed in
doctrine that makes this choice no longer necessary or desireable? My
understanding is that Utah now executes murderers by lethal injection
just like many other states. Why the change? Does a lethal injection,
which does not shed blood, kill a person faster and more mercifully than
a bullet through the heart?
Your friend and brother,
John W. Redelfs, [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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