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November 11, 2020 8:52 pm
Answering questions by Bill McKeever Gary Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. Be sure to pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.
And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism when it comes to the Mormon doctrine of blood atonement was Brigham Young just kidding. Welcome to this addition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM were looking at the books Saints. No unhallowed hand its volume 2 of four volumes to have yet to be released, that looks at Mormon history and we are looking at chapter 17 that talks about the Mormon Reformation and of course you cannot discuss the Mormon Reformation without discussing the Mormon doctrine of blood atonement. This book does mention it, but it certainly does not give us a lot of necessary details in order to understand adequately what was going on during this time.
Between late 1856 and earlier months of 1857 in past shows. I was reading from page 245 and 246 where it talks about Brigham Young understood it says that he sometimes let his fiery sermons go too far and he did not intend for people to be put to death for their sins. At the same time. This book says on page 245 that some of the harsh sermons by these leaders had caused apostates and locals who were not members of the church to feel intimidated and some of them actually left the territory. The question we been raising this week is what could they possibly be hearing that would cause them to want to pack up their bags and leave the territory we read so yesterday but were going to read some more today. First of all, were going to start with a sermon that was given on September 21, 1856 by Brigham Young. This sermon can be found in the Journal of discourses volume for in this citation comes from page 53. There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world or in that which is to come in 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 brother and telling about cutting people off from the earth that you consider it a strong doctrine but it is to save them not to destroy them is to save them.
Not to destroy them. Now I fear we're prepping for the shows. Eric we're talking about some of the language that Joseph Smith used that makes it appear that he was bolstering what Brigham Young would teach years after he was dead in the quotation that's often cited is found in the history of the church, volume 5, page 296. What did Joseph Smith say on that page and then after you're done I want to give a little bit of context for it in debate George a Smith. That 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 spell his blood on the ground and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God and if ever I ever have the privilege of making a lot on that subject, I will have it so that when you look at the context of this there was a meeting that was taking place.
It's underneath the subheading of the questions of currency and blood atonement in the Nauvoo city Council is actually talking about the government of Illinois trying to repeal the charter of Nauvoo is not really talking about serious crimes for capital punishment.
So why this quotation pops up in this context is a little bit puzzling to me but the fact is, Joseph Smith did say that but notice the language when he talks about the smoke thereof, ascending up to God.
That sounds very similar to what Brigham Young said in this statement here, but Brigham Young went on in that same speech in September 21, 1856. What is he say I do know that there are sins committed of such a nature that if the people didn't 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.
So the question is, is when these men came to Brigham Young wanting to offer their lives to atone for their sins we have any evidence that Brigham Young did what they wanted, but the language seems so strange.
Remember, this book is trying to say that Brigham Young did not really intend for people to be put to death for their sins. Do you get that impression from just the two citations that we've given by Brigham Young seems to be a serious issue with him and he seems to think that the blood of a person who has committed a sin will atone for his sense by having his own bloodshed.
It doesn't make any biblical sense whatsoever, and it can't be equated with capital punishment either because capital punishment is not meant to forgive an individual of their sins. We don't see that in the Old Testament, we don't even see that in modern law that has nothing to do with capital punishment in that same message. Brigham Young said it is true that the blood of the son of God was shed for sins through the fall. In those committed by men. Yet men can commit sins which it can never remit what is the it in this context it is the blood of the son of God. What the New Testament teaches this. The New Testament teaches that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So there's no bit of unrighteousness that is beyond the forgiveness of the shed blood of Christ. If someone asked for that forgiveness. Let me give you three sins that Brigham Young said in other places would be worthy of death, and would atone for your sin, adultery, for instance, internal discourses, volume 3, page 247 Brigham Young said 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, another one stealing.
This is found in Journal discourses, volume 1, page 108 if you want to know what to do with the 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, and then one more marriage to a person, a black skin. He said this in Journal discourses, volume 10, page 110 show I tell you of the law of God in regards to the African race if the white man. He belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty under the law of God, his death on the spot.
This will always be so. This will always be so. We can't overlook those very important words there now in this book. It does credit. Jedediah M grant with this Mormon Reformation Jedediah M. Grant was a member, the first presidency under Brigham Young will on that same day that Brigham Young made some of the quotes that I cited earlier. Jedediah M grant also spoke. This was on September 21, 1856. This statement that Eric is about to read can be found in the Journal of discourses volume for starting with page 49 and this precedes what we just read from Brigham Young on the same day. This is what Grant says 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 bloodshed for water will not do their sins are too deep a die.
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 there are a great many and if they are covenant breakers, we need a place designated we can shed their blood that ought to scare every Latter Day Saints because when you think about it every latter-day St., is a covenant breaker, because every latter-day St. makes a promise every week before they partake of the sacrament that they're going to keep all of the commandments that the covenant they make on sacred ground in their church buildings but yet all of them break commandments at sometime during the week. Sadly, we all do but Mormons in particular are the ones making the promise that they're not going to do that but yet they do well. City say on September 21, 1856 on volume 4, page 51 of Journal discourses. He said 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 centers in Zion may be afraid that the sinners in Zion may be afraid not.
That's an interesting statement that he makes there because as I mentioned earlier today, when you look at page 245 it says leaders had spoken harshly of apostates and locals who were not members of the church feeling intimidated some people left the territory and yet here we have Jedediah M grant the one.
This book gives credit to what's known as the Mormon Reformation actually saying that this practice is going to cause sinners in Zion to be afraid. This is why they're packing up and they're leaving, it's not because the Latter Day Saints were called to live righteous lives. It's because if they didn't live the righteous life that was necessary in order to achieve it.
If their sins were of so deep a die they would have to have their lives be taken. This is not Christianity. Folks, this is not with the Old Testament taught, this is not what the New Testament teaches. But yet this book is trying to give us the impression that these kind of teachings heart back to the hellfire and brimstone language of Protestant revival preachers who tried to frighten sinners into reform. Latter Day Saints don't insult us in making it sound like preachers like Jonathan Edwards and others who preached about the judgment of God that that's what they were saying because there is no evidence to support that any of them came even close to some of the things that Brigham Young Jedediah M grant and even Joseph Smith for that matter were teaching back in the 19th century. Unfortunately for many Latter Day Saints who were going to read this book are not going to have any kind of an idea of what the Mormon Reformation was all about and they really should look at some of the quotations that we have given we've given you the citations on our site MRM.org we have a link that goes to the Journal of discourses you could look these up yourself. As far as what atonement we do have an article that you wrote Bill MRM.org/blood atonement with the hyphen between blood and atonement. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint