Mormon Quotes

Murder

Brigham Young
The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, 'Are you of God?' and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will be hewn down.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:226 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath [sic] my bowie knife, and conquer or die! [Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet! [Voices, generally, 'go it, go it.'] If you say it is right, raise your hands! [All hands up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work!
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:83 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
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. I will prove by my works whether I can mete out justice to such persons, or not. I would consider it just as much my duty to do that, as to baptize a man for the remission of his sins.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:108 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
Kanosh the Pauvantee [Pauvant] Chief with Several of his band vis[i]ted me gave them some council & presints. A Spirit Seems to be takeing posses[s]ion of the Indians to assist Isreal. I can hardly restrain them from exterminating the "Americans".
Brigham Young, Diary of Brigham Young, page 71
Brigham Young
In 1857 it is estimated that eleven thousand troops were ordered here; some seven thousand started for this place, with several thousand hangers on. They came into this Territory when a company of emigrants were traveling on the south route to California. Nearly all of the Company were destroyed by the Indians. That unfortunate affair has been laid to the charge of the whites. A certain judge that was then in this Territory wanted the whole army to accompany him to Iron county to try the whites for the murder of that company of emigrants. I told Governor Cumming that if he would take an unprejudiced judge into the district where that horrid affair occurred, I would pledge myself that every man in the regions round about should be forthcoming when called for, to be condemned or acquitted as an impartial, unprejudiced judge and jury should decide; and I pledged him that the court should be protected from any violence or hindrance in the prosecution of the laws; and if any were guilty of the blood of those who suffered in the Mountain Meadow massacre, let them suffer the penalty of the law; but to this day they have not touched the matter, for fear the Mormons would be acquitted from the charge of having any hand in it, and our enemies would thus be deprived of a favorite topic to talk about, when urging hostility against us. "The Mountain Meadow massacre! Only think of the Mountain Meadow massacre!!" is their cry from one end of the land to the other.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:109‑110 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
Is there war in our religion? No; neither war nor bloodshed. Yet our enemies cry out "bloodshed," and "oh, what dreadful men these Mormons are, and those Danites! how they slay and kill!" Such is all nonsense and folly in the extreme. The wicked slay the wicked, and they will lay it on the Saints.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 12:30 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
The time is coming when justice will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when we shall take the old broad sword and ask, "Are you for God?" and if you are not heartily on the Lord's side, you will be hewn down.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:226 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Joseph Smith
The day of your deliverance is not far distant for the judgments of the Lord are already abroad in the earth and the cold hand of death will soon pass through your neighborhood, and sweep away some of your most bitter enemies... The day is fast hastening on when the restoration of all things shall be fulfilled.
Joseph Smith, letter to Colesville, New York LDS members, in Newel Knight Journal, pp. 132‑136; reprinted in Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, v. 1, p. 14
Joseph Smith
While in prison, Smith prophesied that his enemies would be taken "in their own craftiness" and that "not many years hence ... [his enemies] and their posterity shall be swept from under heaven, saith God, that not one of them is left to stand by the wall".
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 121:11
Joseph Fielding Smith
It is just as much murder to destroy life before as it is after birth, although man‑made laws may not so consider it; but there is One who does take notice and his justice and judgment are sure.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Relief Society Magazine, v. 3, no. 7, July 1916
Harold B. Lee
[W]e declare it is a grievous sin before God to adopt restrictive measures in disobedience to God's divine command from the beginning of time to 'multiply and replenish the earth.' Surely those who project such measures to prevent life or to destroy life before or after birth will reap the whirlwind of God's retribution, for God will not be mocked.
Harold B. Lee, Prophet Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1972, p. 63
Spencer W. Kimball
There is such a close relationship between the taking of a life and the taking of an embryonic child, between murder and abortion, that we would hope that mortal men would not presume to take the frightening responsibility....
Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 1982, p. 188
Bruce R. McConkie
From the days of Joseph Smith to the present, wicked and evilly‑disposed persons have fabricated false and slanderous stories to the effect that the Church, in the early days of this dispensation, engaged in a practice of blood atonement whereunder the blood of apostates and others was shed by the Church as an atonement for their sins... there is not one historical instance of so‑called blood atonement in this dispensation, nor has there been one event or occurrence whatever, of any nature, from which the slightest inference arises that any such practice either existed or was taught.... 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."
Bruce R. McConkie, Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 92
Orson Pratt
The people of Utah are the only ones in this nation who have taken effectual measures... to prevent adulteries and criminal connections between the sexes. The punishment, for these crimes is death to both male and female. And this law is written on the hearths and printed in the thoughts of the whole people.
Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 223
Orson Pratt
For the Lord has said in this book, (the Book of Mormon) which has been published for thirty eight years, that if they will not repent He will throw down all [the United States] strongholds and cut off the cities of the land, and will execute vengeance and fury on the nation, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. That He will send a desolating scourge on the land; that He will leave their cities desolate, without inhabitants.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 12:244 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Orson Pratt
The great, powerful and populous city of New York, that may be considered one of the greatest cities of the world, will in a few years become a mass of ruins. The people will wonder while gazing on the ruins that cost hundreds of millions to build, what has become of its inhabitants, Their houses will be there, but they will be left desolate. So saith the Lord God.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 12:244 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Orson Pratt
New York ... will be only a sample of numerous other towns and cities on the face of this continent. Now I am aware that it is almost impossible for even some of the Latter‑day Saints to get that confidence and that strong faith in the events which God intends to accomplish on this land in the future to believe in such a thing ... But there are some in this congregation who will live, to behold the fulfillment of these other things, and will visit the ruins of mighty towns and cities scattered over the face of this land destitute and desolate of inhabitants.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 12:244 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Heber C. Kimball
I have not a doubt but there will be hundreds who will leave us and go away to our enemies. I wish they would go this fall: it might relieve us from much trouble; for if men turn traitors to God and His Servants, their blood will surely be shed, or else they will be damned, and that too according to their covenants.
Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 4:375 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
First Presidency
Members of the Church guilty of being parties to the sin of abortion must be subjected to the disciplinary action of the councils of the Church as circumstances warrant. In dealing with this serious matter, it would be well to keep in mind the word of the Lord stated in the 59th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 6, 'Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it'.
First Presidency, Harold B. Lee, N. Eldon Tanner, & Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency, statement of 1973
Sidney Rigdon
It was the imperative duty of the Church to obey the word of Joseph Smith, or the presidency, without question or inquiry, and that if there were any that would not, they should have their throats cut from ear [to] ear.
Sidney Rigdon, Sidney Rigdon letter to Apostle Orson Hyde, October 21, 1844, in Nauvoo Neighbor, December 4, 1844; see also Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p. 94
John D. Lee
I knew of many men being killed in Nauvoo by the Danites. It was then the rule that all the enemies of the Prophet Joseph should be killed, and I know of many a man who was quietly put out of the way by the orders of Joseph and his apostles while the Church was there. It has always been a well understood doctrine of the Church that it is right and praiseworthy to kill every person who speaks evil of the Prophet. This doctrine was strictly lived up to in Utah...
John D. Lee, John D. Lee Diaries
John D. Lee
Punishment by death is the penalty for refusing to obey the orders of the Priesthood. I knew of many men being killed in Nauvoo by the Danites. It was then the rule that all enemies of the Prophet Joseph should be killed, and I knew of many a man who was quietly put out of the way by the orders of Joseph and his apostles while the church was there.
John D. Lee, John D. Lee Diaries
Orson Hyde
I would have a tendency to place terror on those who leave these parts [Utah], that may prove their salvation when they see the heads of thieves taken off, or shot down before the public... I believe it would be pleasing in the sight of heaven to sanctify ourselves and put these things out of our midst.
Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses 1:73 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Jedediah M. Grant
I say, there are men and women that I would advise to go to the Presidency immediately, and ask him to appoint a committee to attend to their care; and then let a place be selected, and let that committee shed their blood. We have amongst us that are full of all manner of abominations, those who need to have their blood shed, 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, Journal of Discourses 4:49 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Jedediah M. Grant
We would not kill a man, of course, unless we killed him to save him...
Jedediah M. Grant, Deseret News, July 27, 1854
D. Michael Quinn
Just last month, attorneys for condemned child‑killer James Edward Wood in Pocatello, Idaho, argued that his defense was undermined by a visit from local [Mormon] church leaders who talked to him about shedding his own blood.... His [Wood's] attorneys contend Wood is a victim of a Mormon belief in 'blood atonement.' ... Judge Lynn Winmill... heard hours of testimony during the past week about Mormon doctrine on apostasy and forgiveness of sin. Wood's lawyers even asked the bishop who presided over the church court that excommunicated Wood about secret temple rituals involving symbolic throat and slashing or disembowelment, but Winmill did not require him to respond.
D. Michael Quinn, Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 5, 1994
D. Michael Quinn
In the past decade, potential jurors in every Utah capital homicide were asked whether they believed in the Mormon concept of 'blood atonement.'
D. Michael Quinn, Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 5, 1994, p. D1
Dialogue
Accordingly, the doctrine asserts that those who commit certain grievous sins such as murder and covenant‑breaking place themselves beyond the atoning blood of Christ, and their only hope for salvation is to have their own blood shed as an atoning sacrifice. In his writings, Joseph Smith only hinted at the doctrine, Brigham Young successively denied and asserted it, Joseph F. Smith ardently defended it, and in more recent years, Hugh B. Brown repudiated it and Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie both have vigorously defended it in principle while staunchly denying that the Church has ever put it into actual practice, whereas most other General Authorities have prudently preferred to remain silent on the subject. It should be noted that the whole notion of blood atonement is so obviously linked to the Mormon literal mind‑set that it does not seem to admit of a mitigated, symbolic interpretation and is either accepted or rejected outright, depending on one's level of literalistic belief.
Dialogue, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, v. 15, no. 3, p. 93
Bill Hickman
It was one of the hot‑beds of fanaticism, and I expect that more men were killed there, in proportion to population, than in any other part of Utah. In that settlement it was certain death to say a word against the authorities, high or low.
Bill Hickman, Brigham Young's Destroying Angel, 1964, p. 284
New York Tribune
Concerning two captured Confederate commissioners in Utah, Brigham Young said he: 'would put them where they would never peep. He [Brigham Young] uttered this sentiment with such a wicked wording of the lower jaw and lip, and such an almost demon spirit in his whole face, that quite disposed to be incredulous on those matters...'
New York Tribune, New York Tribune, July 15, 1865
Miss Bullock
I married Jesse Hartly, knowing he was a 'Gentile' in fact, but he passed for a Mormon, but that made no difference with me, although I was a Mormon, because he was a noble man, and sought only the right. By being my husband, he was brought into closer contact with the members of the Church, and was thus soon enabled to learn many things about us, and about the Heads of the Church, that he did not approve, and of which I was ignorant, although I had been brought up among the Saints; and which, if known among the Gentiles, would have greatly damaged us. I do not understand all he discovered, or all he did; but they found he had written against the Church, and he was cut off, and the Prophet required as an atonement for his sins, that he should lay down his life. That he should be sacrificed in the endowment rooms; where human sacrifices are sometimes made in this way. This I never knew until my husband told me, but it is true. They kill those there who have committed sins too great to be atoned for in any other way. The Prophet says, if they submit to this he can save them; otherwise they are lost. Oh! that is horrible. But my husband refused to be sacrificed, and so set out alone for the United States: thinking there might be at least a hope of success. I told him when he left me, and left his child, that he would be killed, and so he was. William Hickman and another Danite, shot him in the canyons; and I have often since been obliged to cook for this man, when he passed this way, knowing all the while, he had killed my husband. My child soon followed after its father, and I hope to die also; for why should I live? They have brought me here, where I wish to remain, rather than to return to Salt Lake where the murderers of my husband curse the earth, and roll in affluence unpunished.
Miss Bullock, "Mormonism: its rise, progress, and present condition," 1870, p. 273
R. N. Baskin
In the excavations made within the limits of Salt Lake City during the time I have resided there, many human skeletons have been exhumed in various parts of the city.... I have never heard that it was ever the custom to bury the dead promiscuously throughout the city; and as no coffins were ever found in connection with any of these skeletons, it is evident that the death of the persons to whom they once belonged did not result from natural causes, but from the use of criminal means.
R. N. Baskin, Reminiscences of Early Utah, 1914, pp. 154‑155
Keith Norman
Well, if I understand Elder McConkie, he was saying that, although earlier Church leader's never believed, preached, or practiced blood atonement, we actually do believe in it and would practice it if we had the legal and political power to do so. (Even thought we didn't when Brigham Young presided over the theocratic territory of Deseret.)
Keith Norman, Sunstone, Aug. 1990, p. 11
Mark A. Taylor
According to that state's Department of Vital Statistics, it ranks 13th nationally in child abuse, but comparing Utah statistics with those compiled by the National Association for the Protection of Children, the incidence of reported child abuse is six times higher in Utah. The incidence of sexual abuse — including rape, incest and intercourse — is 33% more than the national average, and the child‑murder rate is five times higher.
Mark A. Taylor, Affirmation: Sin & Death in Mormon Country: A Latter‑day Tragedy
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