Mormons Aren't Christian

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All of this is my own opinion, but I will provide the facts and beliefs that lead me to that opinion.


notes to put into coherent statements

(FLDS == Mormon) > (Mormon == Christian)

This statement is offensive to Mormons:

FLDS share their core beliefs with LDS.


The FLDS are more Mormon than Mormons are Christian.

When one compares beliefs, this last statement is 100% accurate. (Put a chart of beliefs here...FLDS, LDS, Christian along the top; belief labels on the left)

The offense offered to Christians when mormons claim to be Christian is the SAME as the offense Christians feel when Mormons declare themselves Christian.

Individual Mormons can be Christian ... but it's not likely to last

we can call mormonism "christian" but not "Christian"

Do they worship Jesus or Jesús?

find the quote about "no personal relationship"

To accept Mormons as Christian is to accept a "wrong Christ" - to worship a false idol.

Posted by Steve Benson to the ExMormon board; 13-Jan-2012

Below is documentation--based on the originally "revealed" LDS doctrine of blood atonement which formed the basis for Utah's historical use of firing squads to kill condemned prisoners--that the Mormon Church has not regarded the Christian Christ as offering complete salvation:


Take the state of Utah's blood atonement death-by-firing squad of Ronnie Lee Gardner:

"Gardner spent his last day sleeping, reading the novel 'Divine Justice' . . . and meeting with his attorneys and a bishop with the Mormon church. . . .

"At [a Utah court hearing . . . where a warrant was authorized ordering the state to carry out the death sentence], Gardner declared, 'I would like the firing squad, please.'

"The firing squad has been Utah's most-used form of capital punishment. Of the 49 executions held in the state since the 1850s, 40 were by firing squad.

"Gardner was the third man killed by state marksmen since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling reinstated capital punishment in 1976. The other two were Gary Gilmore, who famously uttered the last words 'Let's do it' on Jan. 17, 1977; and John Albert Taylor on Jan. 26, 1996, for raping and strangling an 11-year-old girl." _____


"Historians say the [firin squad] method [of execution] stems from 19th Century doctrine of the state's predominant religion. Early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believed in the concept of 'blood atonement'--that only through spilling one's own blood could a condemned person adequately atone for their crimes and be redeemed in the next life. The church no longer preaches such teachings and offers no opinion on the use of the firing squad.

"The American Civil Liberties Union decried Gardner's execution as an example of what it called the United States' 'barbaric, arbitrary and bankrupting practice of capital punishment.'

"At an interfaith vigil in Salt Lake City on Thursday evening, religious leaders called for an end to the death penalty."

"Gardner was sentenced to death for the 1985 fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during a failed escape attempt. Gardner was at the Salt Lake City court facing a 1984 murder charge in the shooting death of a bartender, Melvyn Otterstrom. . . .

"Burdell's family opposes the death penalty and asked for Gardner's life to be spared. In a taped statement, Burdell's father, Joseph Burdell, Jr., said he believes his son's death was not premeditated, but a 'knee-jerk reaction' by a desperate Gardner attempting to escape.

"But Otterstrom's family lobbied the parole board against Gardner's request for clemency and a reduced sentence."

("Utah Firing Squad Executes Convicted Killer," by Jennifer Dobner, "Associated Press" 19 June 2010)) _____


The origin of Utah's official, state- and God-blessed blood-spilling firing squad execution method indeed hearkens back to the grusomely bloody teachings of the Mormon Church.

As historian D. Michael Quinn notes, the teachings of shooting and slashing as God's ordained form of retribution dates back to the early days of Mormonism.

LDS founder Joseph Smith "explained what he intended as the ultimate 'judgment in the hands of [God's] servants.' At a meeting of the Nauvoo City Council, he said: 'I was opposed to hanging, even if a man kill another.' Instead, 'I will shoot him, or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God; and if ever I have the privilege of making law on that subject, I will do so.'

"The official 'History of the Church' called this 'Blood Atonement,' and the prophet [Joseph Smith] warned Mormons at general conference: 'I'll wring a thief's neck off if I can find him, if I cannot bring him to Justice any other way.'

"When former Danite John L. Butler heard Smith preach on this occasion, he understood him to say 'that the time would come that the sinners would have their heads cut off to save them.' Butler said the 'spirit' of God filled him as he listened to those words.

"[While] [t]here is no evidence that Joseph Smith ever authorized a decapitation of blood atonement[,] . . . one of Smith's housegirls wrote (apparently in late November 1843) that Dr. Robert D. Foster, surgeon-general and brevet-brigadier-general of the Nauvoo Legion, had used a sword to decapitate a man execution-style 'on the prairie 6 miles' from Nauvoo. Foster was not a dissenter then, but would become one withing four months."

"Regarding [the 1838] Danite expulsion of prominent Mormon dissenters, [Smith's] Counselor [Sidney] Rigdon told Apostle Orson Hyde at Far West [Missouri] that 'it was the imperative duty of the [Mormon] 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 form ear [to] ear.'

"Benjamin Slade, a lifelong Mormon, soon testified that Rigdon carried out that threat shortly thereafter: 'Yesterday a man had slipped his wind, and was thrown into the bush,' Rigdon told a closed-door meeting of Mormon men (apparently Danites), and added: '[T]he man that lisps it shall die.'

"Speaking of prominent dissidents who received the death-threat in June, Joseph Smith's 'Scriptory Book' noted: 'These men took warning, and soon they were seen bounding over the prairie like the scape Goat to carry of[f] their own sins.'

"John Whitmer gave the view of the 'scape Goat' in this situation: 'While we were gone Jo. & Rigdon & their band of gadiantons kept up a guard and watched our houses and abused our families and threatened them if they were not gone by morning they would be drove out & threatened our lives if they [the Danites] ever aw us in Far West.'

"As David Whitmer hurriedly left Far West on horseback, 'the voice of God from heaven spake to me' as clearly as it had in testimony of the Book of Mormon nine years before. God's voice tole him to 'separate myself from among the Latter Day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, so should it be done unto them.'

"This 1838 ultimatum was not an aberration in Mormonism, but a direct fulfillment of God's commandment four years earlier concerning unfaithful Latter-day Saints 'who call themselves after my name' (D&C 103:4). [Mormon educator Leland H.] Gentry acknowledged: 'The method chosen by the Latter-day Saints to rid themselves of their dissenting Brethren was unfortunate since it furnished the dissenters with further proof that the Saints were inimical to law and order.'"

"As an extension of Smith's 'spill his blood on the ground' doctrine, it will probably never be known if the prophet actually authorized his bodyguard and former-Danite Orrin Porter Rockwell to kill Missouri's ex-governor [Lilburn] Boggs in May 1842. Smith held Boggs directly responsible for the expulsion of Mormons from Jackson County in 1833 and for the disasters of 1838: the Haun's Mill Massacre, Smith's near execution, and the Mormon expulsion from Missouri.

"[Nonetheless,] [k]illing Boggs would have fit within the provisions of the 1833 revelation {D&C 98:31), as well as consistent with another Danite pledge to the prophet in 1839: 'I from this day declare myself the Avenger of the blood of those innocent men, and the innocent cause of Zion.' Although one of the [Mormon] church newspapers called the attempted assassination a 'noble deed,' Smith denied that he was involved in the attempt. Boggs miraculously survived, despite two large balls of buckshot lodged in his brain and two in his neck.

"However, his dissenting counselor William Law claimed Smith told him in 1842: 'I sent Rockwell to kill Boggs, but he missed him, [and] it was a failure; he wounded him instead of sending him to Hell.'

"Decades later Rockwell allegedly acknowledged: 'I shot through the window and thought I had killed him, but I had only wounded him; I was damned sorry that I had not killed the son of a b*tch.' Even if Smith had no role in the Rockwell-Boggs incident, [as] Nauvoo's mayor [he] was willing to assault a county official. He choked the county tax collector and 'struck him two or three times' because the man threatened Smith with a rock. Smith pleaded guilty and paid a fine.'"

"Another former Danite made a private vow that was more chilling than Rockwell's [notorious flashes of anger]. As Allen J. Stout [later] viewed the [assassinated] bodies of of the Mormon prophet [Joseph Smith] and [Church] patriarch [Smith's brother Hyrum], 'I there and then resolved in my mind that I would never let an opportunity slip unimproved of avenging their blood upon the head of the enemies of the Church of Jesus Christ.'

"As a Nauvoo policeman, Stout was conspicuously in the vicinity of physical attacks on Mormon dissenters of whom he said, 'I feel like cutting their throats.'

"Paraphrasing Smith's theocratic revelation of 1834 (D&C 103:25-26), Stout wrote: 'And I hope to live to avenge their blood; but if I do not I will teach my children to never cease to try to avenge their blood and then teach their children and children's children to the fourth generation as long as there is one descendant of the murderers upon the earth.'

"Feelings were so intense in the months after the martyrdom that the apostles stopped Stephen Markham from telling a congregation that Smith 'charged' him to avenge his death if anti-Mormons succeeded in killing him: 'Willard Richards pulled him down from the stand, as he feared the effect on the enraged people.' For some of Nauvoo's Mormons that desire for vengeance would echo through their words (and sometimes their actions) for decades."

Two months prior to Smith's assassination, Rigdon "startled many Mormons at the April 1844 general conference by saying, 'There are men standing in your midst that you can't do anything with them but cut their throat & bury them.'"

In keeping with Smith's advocacy of Mormon-sanctified Blood Atonement, his successor to the presidency, Brigham Young, instructed Mormon bishops: "When a man is found to be a thief, he will be a thief no longer, cut his throat, & thro' him in the River.'"

Further heinous examples of Mormon-enabled executions:

"[James B.] Bracken, Sr. . . . was one of eight Mormons (including the local ward bishop) indicted in 1859 for murdering an incestuous mother, son, and their newborn child in Payson, Utah. Later testimony and the [Mormon] church newspaper both acknowledged this [Danite-inspired] retributive act."

"After Smith's death, [Brigham] Young . . . define[d] 'blood atonement' as 'the law of God.'"

On 23 September 1845, "[a] non-Mormon at Warsaw, Illinois, wr[ote] that ' a young man by the name of McBracking' died after Mormons found him trying to burn their homes at Morley's settlement: '[A]fter shooting him in two or three places they cut his throat from ear to ear, stabbed him through the heart, cut off one ear & horribly mutilated [castrated] other parts of his body.' Friends discovered the corpse."

On 21 December of the same year, [Mormon apostle] George A. Smith [told a temple audience]: . . . 'We are now different from what we were before we entered this quorum [of the anointed--] Speedy vengeance will now overtake the transgressor [the assassins of Joseph Smith].'"

On 13 March 1847, "[f]ormer Danite and [then] policeman Hosea Stout described the appropriate [Mormon] response toward a [Church] dissenter: "[C]ut him off--behind the ears--according to the law of God in such cases." Stout made his written observation "[w]hile keeping close watch on a [Mormon] dissenter by [Brigham] Young's instructions . . . ."

From 1847 to 1848, William A. Hickman, was the LDS sheriff of Kanesville, Iowa. He was "[a] non-Danite, but self-confessed murderer under [Mormon] apostolic orders) [who] continued as one of 'Brigham's Boys' in Utah for 20 years."

On 5 December 1847, "[w]hen informed that a black Mormon had married a white woman, Young [told] the apostles he would have both killed if he could."

(D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, in association with Smith Research Associates, 1994], pp. 94-95, 112-13, 151, 182, 335n61, 338-39n82, 477-78, 637, 643, 653-54, 657-58, 660) _____


The Mormon Church, of course, frantically plays spin-ball machine by trying to sneak past the long history of LDS Church-endorsement of blood atonement capital punishment.

Reiterates Quinn in a follow-up volume on both the Mormon Church's responsibility and culpability in this regard:

". . . Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders . . . repeatedly preached about specific sins for which it was necessary to shed the blood of men and women. Blood-atonement sins including adultery, apostasy, 'covenant breaking,' counterfeiting, 'many men who left this Church,' murder, not being 'heartily on the Lord's side,' profaning 'the name of the Lord,' sexual intercourse with a 'white' person and an African-American, stealing and telling lies.

"Some LDS leaders have dismissed allegations about blood atonement as misunderstanding or misuse of earlier sermons concerning the atonement of Jesus Christ or the civil necessity of capital punishment. Other Mormon leaders have continued to affirm that after committing 'certain grievous sins,' a person '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.'

"Some LDS historians have claimed that blood-atonement sermons were simply Brigham Young's use of 'rhetorical devices designed to frighten wayward individuals into conformity with Latter-day Saint principles' and to bluff anti-Mormons.

"Writers often describe these sermons as limited to the religious enthusiasm and frenzy of the Utah Reformation up to 1857.

"The first problem with such explanation is that official LDS sources show that as early as 1843 Joseph Smith and his counselor Sidney Rigdon advocated decapitation or throat-cutting as punishment for various crimes and sins.

"Moreover, a decade before Utah's reformation, Brigham Young's private instructions show that he fully expected his trusted associates to kill various persons for violating religious obligations.

"The LDS church's official history still quotes Young's words to 'the brethren' in February 1846: 'I should be perfectly willing to see thieves have their throats cut.'

"The following December he instructed bishops, '[W]hen a man is found to be a thief, he will be a thief no longer, cut his throat, & thro' him in the River,' and Young did not instruct them to ask his permission.

"A week later the church president explained to a Winter Quarters meeting that cutting of the heads of repeated sinners 'is the law of God & it shall be executed . . . .' A rephrase of Young's words later appeared in Hosea Stout's reference to a specific sinner, 'to cut him off--behind the ears--according to the law of God in such cases.'

"In a November 1846 'council' meeting with the apostles, Howard Egan and John D. Lee, the church president also applied this decapitating 'law of god' to non-Mormon enemies. Informed that Lt. Andrew J. Smith was acting like 'a poor wolfish tyranicle Gentile' as commander of the Mormon Battalion, Young asked Lee, 'why I did not take his head off then, and wished that his arm was long enough to reach the Bat.'

"When informed that a black Mormon in Massachusetts had married a white woman, Brigham Young told the apostles in December 1847 that he would have both of them killed 'if they were far away from the Gentiles.'

"In 1849 the church president told a congregation of Mormons, 'if any one was catched stealing to shoot them dead on the spot and they should not be hurt for it.'

"Young's remarks in March 1849 shoed that he expected members of the Council of Fifty to be one of 'the means' for killing certain persons. On 3 March, at a meeting of the Fifty, he spoke concerning thieves, murderers, and the sexually licentious: 'I want their cursed heads to be cut off that they may atone for their crimes.'

"The next day the Fifty agreed that a man 'had forfeited his Head,' but decided it would be best 'to dispose of him privately.'

"Two weeks later Young instructed the Fifty regarding two imprisoned men (including the man discussed on 3 March): '[H]e would show them that he was not afraid to take their Head[s] but do as you please with them.' Instead, they Fifty allowed the men to live.

"From 1851 to 1888 Utah law allowed persons to be 'beheaded' if found guilty of murder.

"Equally significant local sermons during the 1850s intensified the central hierarchy's emphasis on blood atonement. The Parrish murders of March 1857 were the subject within days of the incident, and one man in the congregation of Big Cottonwood Ward, Salt Lake Valley, wrote that he 'was glad to hear that the law of God has been put in force in Springville on some men who deserved it.'

"In May, 'Brother Ross' told a 'fellowship meeting' of the Salt Lake City Fifth Ward that the 'time is at hand when those who commit sins worthy of death will have to be slain by the Priesthood [leadership] that is directly over them.' He included an obligation of parents to kill their 'disobedient children.'The 'worthy of death' phrase was a quote from the blood-atonement sermon by First Presidency counselor Jedediah M. Grant three years earlier.

"In Spanish Fork, 53 miles south of Salt Lake City, some speakers advised 'if you should find your father or your mother, your sister or your brother dead by the wayside, say nothing about it, but pass on about your own business.'

"An LDS woman also confided to an assistant church historian that ward teachers advised Mormons in Cedar City, southern Utah: 'If you see a dead man laying on your wood pile, you must not tell but go about your business.'

"Mormons also privately indicated their belief in an obligation to kill non-Mormon enemies. 'Avenging the blood of the Prophets' was part of the 1852 blessing give by Presiding Patriarch John Smith (senior member of the Council of Fifty) to his grandnephew.

"In 1854 local patriarch Elisha H. Groves blessed William H. Dame: '[T]hou shalt be called to act at the head of the portion of the Brethren and of the Lamanites in the redemption of Zion and the avenging of the blood of the prophets upon them that dwell on the earth.'

"Days later Patriarch Groves gave another resident of Parowan, Utah, a blessing with almost identiical wording about 'avenging.'

"In less than four years, as commander of the militia in southern Utah, Dame ordered this man and about 60 other Mormons to join with local Indians ("Lamanites") in massacring a non-LDS wagon train of Arkansas families who had been joined by belligerent young me calling themselves 'Missouri Wild Cats' and antagonizing every Mormon settlement they passed through. These people represented the two groups that Mormons blamed for shedding the blood of the prophets David W. Patten, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and Parley P. Pratt.

"Philip Klingensmith also received the following blessing from Patriarchh Isaac Morely (a member of the Council of Fifty) barely three months before Klingensmith followed Dame's order to kill men, women and children: 'Thous shalt yet be numbered with the sons of Zion in avenging the blood of Brother Joseph for they heart and they spirit can never be satisfied until the wicked are subdued.'

"Several days after this Mountain Meadows Massacre, a member of the Council of Fifty discussed similar actions with a ward bishop hundred of miles away n Salt Lake City on 21 September 1867: 'Br. P[hineas]. Richards [a member of the Council of Fifty] spoke of coming in contact our enemies. We have covenanted to avenge the blood of the Prophets and Saints. Why, then, should we hesitate to go forth and slay them--shed their blood--when called upon[?]' The minutes of Bishop Samuel L. Sprague's prayer circle meeting continued: 'Pres. Sprague spoke a few words in answer to the inquiry made by Br. Richards; that the Lord had said "vengeance is mine." Nevertheless, we shoo have blood to shed.'

"Concerning this early covenant of vengeance, First Presidency counselor George Q. Cannon told his son that 'when he had his endowments in Nauvoo that he took an oath against the murderers of the Prophet Joseph as well as other prophets . . . .'

"Mormons who had committed serious sins also expressed willingness to be blood-atoned by church leaders. In 1854 the criminal court of Parowan, southern Utah, tried George W. Braffit for adultery, with his wife Sarah as a co-defendant for helping him to obtain the woman. Instead of a civil trial, they 'wanted to go to Brigham, confess, and have their heads taken off.'

"'The time we have prayed for so long has come,' exclaimed William H. Dame to the congregation of Parowan on 19 October 1856: 'Some that have sinned grievous sins are offering their lives at the feet of the Prophets as an expiation of them.'

"Ten days after this sermon, the stake president Isaac C. Haight wrote Brigham Young and asked what to do with a m an who was willing to be blood-atoned for having engaged in sexual intercourse prior to his marriage. Remarkably Young waited four months to respond with an allowance of forgiveness without blood atonement. What the man experienced in the interim is unknown, but Haight was not patient about such matters and subsequently ordered the Mountain Meadows Massacre without waiting for the authorization he had also sought from the church president.

"The last known willingness to be blood-atoned was in another part of Utah five years after Haight's inquiry. Pioneer Mormons took blood-atonement sermons seriously and literally. . . .

"Aside from sermons, this culture of violence was part of LDS congregational singing. In 1856 the 'Deseret News' announced a new hymn which included the verse: 'We ought our Bishops to sustain, Their counsels to abide, And knock down every dwelling Where wicked folks reside.'

"Throughout the last half of the 19th century, Mormon congregations sang five hymns that mentioned vengeance and violence upon anti-Mormons. . . . The hymn 'Deseret' even referred to performing blood atonement on adulterers in Utah: 'Where society forwns upon vice and deceit, And adulterers find Heaven's laws they must meet.'

"LDS meetinghouses in Utah were also not free of violence that was approved, at least after-the-fact, by church authorities. In 1851 Brigham Young defended Madison D. Hambleton who shot and killed a man at LDS church services immediately after the closing prayer. The jury acquitted him for killing his wife's seducer. . . .

"[In 1869] Indians allegedly killed three men who had left John Wesley Powell's exploring expedition at the Colorado River, but a Mormon later wrote a private letter about 'the day those three were murdered in our ward & the murderer killed to stop the shed[d]ing of more blood.' The 'our ward' referred to a building in either Harrisburg or Toquerville, small towns in southern Utah. . . . On 7 September 1869 an unsigned telegram (with no place of origin given) informed Apostle Erastus Snow at St. George, Utah, of their [the three men's] deaths '5 days ago, one Indian's day's journey from Washington [Utah]. Powell's men expressed suspicion that Mormons were involved in the killings, but the identity and motives of the killer(s) are still unclear. . . .

"In September 1857 Apostle George A. Smith told a Salt Lake City congregation that Mormons at Parowan in southern Utah 'wish that their enemies might come and give them a chance to fight and take vengeance for the cruelties that had been inflicted upon us in the States.' Smith had just returned from southern Utah where he had encouraged such feelings by preaching fiery sermons about resisting the [advancing] U.S. army and taking vengeance on anti-Mormons. Just days before his talk in Salt Lake City, members of Parowan's Mormon militia participated in killing 120 men, women and children in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. After holding a prayer circle, stake president Isaac C. Haight had decided not to await word from Brigham Young about whether to help Indians kill the emigrants.

"For a decade the church president had threatened to use Native Americans against other Americans . . . Young wrote in diary of 1 September 1857: 'I can hardly restrain them [the Native Americans' from exterminating the "Americans."'"

(D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power" (Salt Lake City, Utah: in association with Smith Research Associates, 1997], pp. 246-52) _____


So, there you have a basic history lession in Mormon Church-condoned "blood atonement" execution-style killing. From that terrorizing tradition sprang Mormon Utah's historic practice of executing the condemned by firing squad.

Some apologists, in an effort to deflect national vilification of this barbaric practice "as an archaic form of Old West-style justice," have sought cover in the claim that blowing out a person's heart with a hail of rifle bullets "is more humane than all other execution methods . . . ."

("Firing Squad Is Touted As Humane," by "Associated Press," Salt Lake City, Utah, in "Arizona Republic," 17 June 2010, p. A 11)


Well, a revulsed nation can thank the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the bloody spectacle.

As explained by National Public Radio:

“The rare event of an execution in the U.S. by [a Utah] firing squad [is] linked to the state's Mormon history. . . .

“'Utah historian Will Bagley says the reason this method of execution exists is rooted in Utah's history as a Mormon sanctuary. "I think we need to be honest about it. We have the last firing squads in the country as a legacy of Mormon theology," Bagley says.

“'Some early Mormon leaders believed in blood atonement for the most egregious sins. "To atone for those, Jesus' blood didn't count. You had to shed your own blood," Bagley says.

“'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has since renounced any connection to blood atonement. And the belief has all but disappeared among Utahans today.'”

Yes, of course the Mormon Church--as the typical Johnny-come-lately that it always has been when it comes to civilizing itself--tends to renounce embarrassing and inhumane official LDS doctrine when mainstream society eventually gets wind of it and starts to publicly complain.

You can thank the Mormon God for Utah's death-by-divinely-directed bullet as you read as what is described as “the chilling scene” that plays out:

“. . . A five-man team of executioners will take aim at [Ronnie Lee]Gardner just after midnight. Four of the rifles will be loaded; one will have blanks to keep anonymous the shooter who fires the bullet that kills Gardner. A black hood will be placed over Gardner's head, and on the chest of his jumpsuit will be pinned a white cloth target.”

(“Utah Firing Squad Execution Nears,” by Frank James, “National Public Radio,” 17 June 2010, at: