Brigham Young - Javelin Atonement
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Published on Sep 8, 2013
Brigham Young, the second Prophet of God of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, taught that a man could murder his adulterous wife and her lover and be justified in doing so. He taught that this would be a form of redemption for the victims as well, since their spilled blood would atone for their sin of adultery. He testified that he himself would kill any of his own wives in such a situation and not have any guilt over it.
The statement was made in 1856, during a speech in the Salt Lake Tabernacle to provide instruction to Bishops in the church.
"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."
The quote is published on official church owned BYU servers here - (left column middle of page):
While the justification of murder is shocking enough to see come from the mouth of a purported Prophet of God, what followed shortly after in the speech would be even more controversial to a Christian (this is found near the bottom of the left column on the same page):
"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;"
The idea that there are some sins that can only be forgiven through one's own personal spilling of blood and not the blood of Christ is called the doctrine of "Blood Atonement". This is in stark contrast to biblical Christianity. One of the central tenets of Christianity is the power of Christ's sacrifice to atone for *all* sin. This is supported biblically on numerous occasions:
John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 Peter 1:18 - "For you know that it was not with perishable things... that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."
1 John 1:7 - "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."
To a Christian, the idea that Christ's sacrifice would not cover all sin is an unconscionable heresy that denigrates God and Christ. Even though most modern Mormons are not familiar with this doctrine - it does not change the fact that several of their early Prophets taught it as the law of God. This is one important reason that the Christian community takes issue with Mormons wanting to be considered Christian.
To learn more about Blood Atonement as taught by early Mormon Prophets, visit MormonThink.com
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