John, I don't know the answers to these questions. All I can say is we
need to accept the ever changing world of Mormonism. Things will change
in both the Church and Mormon culture and we are not given explanations
as to why. We just follow. 

Paul O

On Wed, 18 Jun 2003 17:37:01 +0000 "John W. Redelfs"
> Searching Google to learn more about the Danites, I ran across this 
> at 
> 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 
> sufficient.
> 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,

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