Firing Squad and Mormonism

15 January

 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.

 D&C 42:79; And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.

The references above provide a clear understanding of what the Mormon Church has thought of blood atonement through the years and how it continues to see it.  The reason we’re highlighting this particular teaching of the Church is because of what’s taking place in Utah as this I’m writing this.

In 2004 Utah changed its rules on capital punishment.  As it stands today, if you’ve received the death penalty you will die by lethal injection with the exception of 4 men who sit on death row.  Their sentences have been grandfathered into the new law passed seven years ago.  Those four men have chosen to die by firing squad.  The last person choosing this method was John Albert Taylor who stood in front of 5 prison guards in 1996.

The date of the next execution by firing squad in Utah will take place in June 2010 – the offender is a Mr. Ronnie Lee Gardner.  In 1984 Gardner was on his way to his court sentencing after being convicted on a robbery and murder charge when he tried to escape.  In the melee he shot and killed a defense attorney and injured a court bailiff.  (His girlfriend had snuck a gun into the courtroom for him.)  His repertoire also includes an escape from a minimum security facility, stabbing somebody over 100 times, breaking into a home to initiate a gunfight and the malicious attack of a couple of prison guards in a medium security prison.

If that wasn’t enough he also tried to escape from a medical appointment and in so doing, bashed in a guard’s face and kidnapped a med student at gunpoint.  He’s been on death row since 1985.  And here we are today, April 23, 2010.

Third District Judge Robin Reese signed Gardner’s death warrant after asking him if he still wanted to die by firing squad.  Gardner’s reply:  “I would like the firing squad please”.  And yes, he is a Mormon.

The question for us at Life After Ministries isn’t about the worldview of capital punishment.  It’s about the inconsistencies in the doctrines of the Mormon Church and the lies they tell about the Bible.  If you’re LDS and you’ve murdered someone there’s no salvation for you unless you’ve shed your own blood.

According to the teachings of the Church, King David will not receive a true salvation.  (1)  The apostle Paul and even Moses should be banned from enjoying life in the hereafter because they all have the same thing in common as Mr. Gardner. They’re all murderers.  Ironically, the rules don’t apply to Moses and Paul like they did to King David.  The Mormon’s silence on their salvation status is deafening.  And while I’m here on this earth long enough to talk about this I will continue to do so!

 In the eyes of the Mormon god there is no way to atone for your murderous sin unless you have your own blood shed for that crime.

  Did Moses shed his blood to atone for the murder he was guilty of?  No.  Deut. 34:5-7.

  Did King David shed his blood to atone for the murder he was guilty of?  No.  1 Kings 2:10-11.

     What about the apostle Paul?  Again, we know the answer to this question is also no.  There are no biblical accounts on the death of Paul.  Tradition has it that he was beheaded and buried in Rome.  If you’re LDS and you’re thinking, “hey his blood was shed”, you’re wrong.  Paul was beheaded for being a follower of Jesus, not for the murderous rampage he took part in before his salvation.

However, here we have Ronnie Gardner maliciously murdering innocent people and he is going to have the opportunity to go to the Celestial Kingdom all because of his incredible “sacrifice” of having his own blood shed for his sin.  (See references above.)

Now let’s take a look at how this is done, shall we?  In addition to the shedding of his own blood he will need someone to do his temple work for him.

Temple worthy family members can take out endowments for deceased relatives in their local temple one year to the day after that deceased person’s death.  (2)

Never mind the fact we’re living in the New Testament era, or the fact this man isn’t remotely close to being in the same league as the power houses of the Bible.  Oh, and did I mention the New Testament era?  Hmmm…whatever happened to our Lord hanging on that cross for everyone’s sins, including Mr. Gardner’s?

For those not familiar with the ritual of “taking out endowments”, let me explain.  An active, temple worthy member of the LDS Church has the opportunity to stand as a “savior on the mountain” for relatives who’ve died and not accepted Jesus into their lives.  They do this through performing proxy works in the temple for that deceased person. (3)

There are a number of things to participate in and works to perform in the temple so the deceased person will have the opportunity to once again accept Jesus into their lives.  It also serves as a way for you to earn your own salvation.

Baptism by proxy for the dead

Confirmation to become a member and receive the Holy Ghost by proxy for the dead

Ordination into the priesthood by proxy for the dead

Sealings to spouses for eternal marriages by proxy for the dead

Sealings of children by proxy for the dead

(The above information was retrieved from www.ldsendowment.org on 4/24/10)

Works for the dead violates every teaching in the New Testament you can imagine.  Let’s take just a handful of examples for beginners, and leave others for you to investigate.  Let’s begin with the fact this is necromancy!

Deuteronomy 18:11 explicitly tells us that consulting with the dead is forbidden.

Luke 16:19-31.  Here we have Jesus giving a parable about the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man of course wants for someone to relay a message from him to his family members who are still alive that where he ended up is horrible.  Jesus is very clear when He told the Pharisees about the chasm set in the afterlife and how no one can warn his family for him.  You’ve got one chance while you’re here on earth.

Jesus told His disciple Thomas He is “the way, the truth and the life” in John 14:6.  Remember the “highway” spoken of in Isaiah 35:6?

What about John 19:30?  “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,  It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Hebrews 9:11-14 – only the blood of Jesus qualifies for the redemption of sins.

Hebrews 10:10-14 – priests keep offering sacrifices in the temples and none of them are deemed worthy.  And if you think this is the worst of the bad scenario that wouldn’t end – there’s more.

What in the world do you think you’re doing trying to atone for your awful sin?  Is murder worse than stealing a pen from your work place?  By the law of the land it certainly is, but in God’s eyes?  Sin is sin my friend.  We must follow the law of the land so yes, there are consequences for our behavior, but that does not mean God thinks any less of the murderer than he does the thief.

The catch you say?  The “catch” is that none of us are good enough to get into heaven without Jesus’ precious spilled blood.  Not you, certainly not me and definitely not anyone who’s trying to do it themselves.

The only way to heaven is through the cross.  Galatians 2:16 & 20 says;

 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Notice Paul didn’t say  just a little bit of work is required for this one thing…no!  Paul said we are justified by the faith of Christ, and not by works.

Are you tired?  Are you heavy laden?  Jesus’ yoke is for you!  Matthew 11:28-30.  I remember being a Mormon and being exhausted all the time.  It didn’t matter if I was active or not in the Church, I carried the spirit of Mormonism around with me  and took it with me everywhere I went – Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, California, Germany, Vegas, Tahoe, Washington…I kept unpacking the habits, the traditions, the “have to’s and must do’s” and I was very “lowly in heart”.

Worse than that is the man sitting on death row at the Point of the Mountain in Bluffdale, Utah right now.  As if he didn’t have enough to think about, he’s obviously got his own atonement to think about.

Let me be clear about something.  I used to not feel sorry for people like Mr. Gardiner, but as I’ve aged and grown in the Lord, my heart hurts for the messes he’s caused for himself and everyone who had the misfortune of coming near him. And yes, I strongly believe his punishment is just. I also feel horrible that he’s been lied to and might not come to the cross of the true Jesus.  The Mormon god offers nothing but a perverted gospel of Joseph Smith.  It has nothing to offer to the man in prison today or for the man who’s imprisoned by his works for the dead in the Mormon Church.  May God have mercy on them both.

Know we’re praying for all the Mormon people; our hearts break for them each and every day.  If you or someone you know would like further information, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us anytime!

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18  …

1.D&C 132:39; “David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

2. Ensign, July 1999, pg. 65, “Guidelines for submitting names to the Ordinance Index using TempleReady from “I have a question”.  Response by Paul E. Koelliker, managing director of the Temple Department.”

3. The Worth of Souls,” The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, p. 189; “That places us in a very responsible attitude towards the human race. By that doctrine, with the Lord at the head, we become saviors on Mount Zion, all committed to the great plan of offering salvation to the untold numbers of spirits. To do this is the Lord’s self-imposed duty, this great labor his highest glory. Likewise, it is man’s duty, self-imposed, his pleasure and joy, his labor, and ultimately his glory.” – John A. Widtsoe

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