THE DOCTRINE OF BLOOD ATONEMENT
CLEANSING POWER OF BLOOD OF CHRIST. The Latter-day Saints believe in the efficacy of the blood of Christ. They believe that through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel they obtain a remission of sins; but this could not be if Christ had not died for them. 26 If you did believe in blood atonement, I might ask you why the blood of Christ was shed, and in whose stead was it shed? I might ask you to explain the words of Paul, "Without shedding of blood is no remission."
Are you aware that there are certain sins that man may commit for which the atoning blood of Christ does not avail? Do you not know, too, that this doctrine is taught in the Book of Mormon? And is not this further reason why you should discard the book as well as the name? Is it not safe for us to rely upon the scriptures for the solution of problems of this kind?
TRUE DOCTRINE OF BLOOD ATONEMENT. Just a word or two now, on the subject of blood atonement. What is that doctrine? Unadulterated, if you please, laying aside the pernicious insinuations and lying charges that have so often been made, it is simply this: Through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Salvation is twofold: General-that which comes to all men irrespective of a belief (in this life) in Christ-and, Individual-that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
But man may commit certain grievous sins-according to his light and knowledge-that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone-so far as in his power lies-for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail.
MURDERERS AND THE ATONEMENT. Do you believe this doctrine? If not, then I do say you do not believe in the true doctrine of the atonement of Christ. This is the doctrine you are pleased to call the "blood atonement of Brighamism." This is the doctrine of Christ our Redeemer, who died for us. This is the doctrine of Joseph Smith, and I accept it.
Doctrine of Salvation Vol 1 pages 133-134
Journal of Discourses 4:220 “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.” – Brigham Young, Salt Lake City, February 8, 1857
Mormon Doctrine, pg. 92 “But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins. Murder, for instance, is one of these sins; hence we find the Lord commanding capital punishment.”
Doctrines of Salvation 1:133 “But man may commit certain grievous sins-according to his light and knowledge-that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone-so far as in his power lies-for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail. …Do you believe this doctrine? If not, then I do say you do not believe in the true doctrine of the atonement of Christ. This is the doctrine you are pleased to call the “blood atonement of Brighamism.” This is the doctrine of Christ our Redeemer, who died for us. This is the doctrine of Joseph Smith, and I accept it….To these I will add: “Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses…”
Doctrines of Salvation 1:135 “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. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church.”
“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 ascend thereof up to God…” (Joseph Smith, Documentary History of the Church 5:296).
“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” (Brigham Young, JOD 3:247).
“If you want to know what to do with a thief that you may find stealing. I say kill him on the spot, and never suffer him to commit another iniquity … If I caught a man stealing on my premises I should be very apt to send him straight home, and that is what I wish every man to do, to put a stop to that abominable practice in the midst of this people” (Brigham Young, JOD 1:108).
“Shall I tell you of the law of God in regards 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, JOD 10:110)
“I say, there are men and women that I would advise to got to the Presidency 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 bloodshed, for water will not do, their sins are too deep a dye … 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 … 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, JOD 4:49-51).