Mormon Sermon Commencing Blood Atonement Murder - 9/21/1856

Jedediah M. Grant, September 21, 1856


Remarks by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Bowery,

Great Salt Lake City, September 21, 1856.

(critique notes follows the sermon)


I feel that the remarks which we have heard this morning are true, and they apply directly to you who are now present, and to the inhabitants of this city and of the Territory generally, and we do not excuse any of you. (1)

If the arrows of the Almighty ought to be thrown at you we want to do it, and to make you feel and realize that we mean you. And although we talk of the old clay's being ground in the mill, we do not mean it to apply to some other place, for we have enough here who have been dried ever since their baptism, and many of them are cracked and spoiling. (2)

Some have received the Priesthood and a knowledge of the things of God, and still they dishonor the cause of truth, commit adultery, and every other abomination beneath the heavens, and then meet you here or in the street, and deny it. (3)

These are the abominable characters that we have in our midst, and they will seek unto wizards that peep, and to star-gazers and soothsayers, because they have no faith in the holy Priesthood, and then when they meet us, they want to be called Saints. (4)

The same characters will get drunk and wallow in the mire and filth, and yet they call themselves Saints, and seem to glory in their conduct, and they pride themselves in their greatness and in their abominations. (5)

They are the old hardened sinners, and are almost - if not altogether - past improvement, and are full of hell, and my prayer is that God's indignation may rest upon them, and that He will curse them from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet. (6)

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. (7)

We have those 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 of too deep a dye. (8)

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 that there are a great many; and if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood. (9)

Talk about old clay; I would rather have clay from a new bank than some that we have had clogging the wheels for the last nineteen years. They are a perfect nuisance, and I want them cut off, and the sooner it is done the better. (10)

We have men who are incessantly finding fault, who get up a little party spirit, and criticise the conduct of men of God. They will find fault with this, that, and the other, and nothing is right for them, because they are full of all kinds of filth and wickedness. (11)

And we have women here who like anything but the celestial law of God; and if they could break asunder the cable of the Church of Christ, there is scarcely a mother in Israel but would do it this day. And they talk it to their husbands, to their daughters, and to their neighbors, and say they have not seen a week's happiness since they became acquainted with that law, or since their husbands took a second wife. They want to break up the Church of God, and to break it from their husbands and from their family connections. (12)

Then, again, there are men that are used as tools by their wives, and they are just a little better in appearance and in their habits than a little black boy. They live in filth and nastiness, they eat it and drink it, and they are filthy all over. We have Elders and High Priests that are precisely in this predicament, and yet they are wishing for more of the Holy Ghost, they wish to have it in larger doses. They want more revelation, but I tell you that you now have more than you live up to, more than you practise and make use of. (13)

If I hurt your feelings let them be hurt. And if any of you ask, do I mean you? I answer, yes. If any woman asks, do I mean her? I answer, yes. And I want you to understand that I am throwing the arrows of God Almighty among Israel; I do not excuse any. (14)

I am speaking to you in the name of Israel's God, and you need to be baptized and washed clean from your sins, from your backslidings, from your apostacies, from your filthiness, from your lying, from your swearing, from your lusts, and from every thing that is evil before the God of Israel. (15)

We have been trying long enough with this people, and I go in for letting the sword of the Almighty be unsheathed, not only in word, but in deed. I go in for letting the wrath of the Almighty burn up the dross and the filth; and if the people will not glorify the Lord by sanctifying themselves, let the wrath of the Almighty God burn against them, and the wrath of Joseph and of Brigham, and of Heber, and of high heaven. (16)

There is nothing to prevent you from being humble and doing right, but your own little, foolish, and wicked acts and doings. I will just tell you that if an angel of God were to pass Great Salt Lake City, while you are in your present state, he would not consider you worthy of his company. (17)

You have got to cleanse yourselves from corruption, before you are fit for the society of those beings. You may hear of people in other cities being baptized and renewing their covenants, but they are not sinners above all others; and except the inhabitants of Great Salt Lake City repent, and do their first works, they shall all likewise perish, and the wrath of God will be upon them and round about them. (18)

You can scarcely find a place in this city that is not full of filth and abominations; and if you would search them out, they would easily be weighed in the balances, and you would then find that they do not serve their God, and purify their bodies. But the course they are taking leads them to corrupt themselves, the soil, the waters, and the mountains, and they defile everything around them. (19)

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. (20)

These are my feelings, and may God fulfil them. And my wishes are that He will grant the desires of my brethren, that Zion may be purified, and the wicked purged out of her, until God shall say I will bless the rest; until He shall say I will bless your flocks, your herds, your little ones, your houses, your lands, and all that you possess; and you shall be my people, and I will come and take up my abode with you, and I will bless all those that do right; which may He grant, in the name of Jesus. Amen. (21)


Critique of sermon delivered by Jedediah M. Grant on September 21, 1856

1) 19th century Mormons were in rebellion to the United States of America and preaching treason.
We are invaded by hostile forces (United States Army), who are evidently assailing us to accomplish our overthrow and destruction. Brigham Young’s proclamation delivered on September 15, 1857.

2) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was filled with murderous ungodly people.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:17-19.

3) 19th century Mormons were ungodly as they thought the truth was in a bogus priesthood instead of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6.

4) 19th century Mormons were ungodly as they had placed their faith in a bogus priesthood instead of Jesus Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11.

5) 19th century Mormons were ungodly as they were not Christian Saints.
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:2-3.

6) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was ignorant of the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ.
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7.

7) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was filled with murderous ungodly people.
For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9-10.

8) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was filled with murderous ungodly people.
For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:11-13.

9) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was filled with murderous debased people.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32.

10) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was actually an enemy to God.
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4.

11) False Christians will never receive correction for their gross conduct.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:19-20.

12) Polygamy strains family relationships and is against the will of God.
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.
Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.” Genesis 21:9-12.

13) Mormons were ungodly as they did not have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:9-10.

14) 19th century Mormon hierarchy was filled with children of the devil.
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. 1 John 3:10-12.

15) Baptism is not the Christian Gospel and does not wash away your sins.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18.

16) Brigham Young, Heber Kimball, and Jedediah Grant are experiencing hell fire.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘RacaRaca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:21-22.

17) 19th century Mormons were violent religious fanatics in rebellion against the United States of America.
Since my arrival within the limits of the Territory, I regret to have found that many acts of violence have been committed on the highways, in the destruction and robbing of propherty belonging to the United States. These acts which indicate that the Terrority is in a state of rebellion, are ascribed, how truly I do not know, to yourself. Governor Cumming’s letter to Brigham Young dated November 21, 1857.

18) 19th century Mormons were violent religious fanatics in rebellion against the United States of America.
A proclamation, purporting to have emanated from the late Governor, a commission to Joseph Taylor signed D.H. Wells, and various depositions taken by Judge Eckels, all exhibit a rebellious spirit on the part of the leaders of the people, and the audacious acts of violence committed on the highways, plainly indicate that no inconsiderable portion of the masses sympathize with the insane movements of their leaders. I will use all honorable means in my power for the suppressing this effort of deluded fanatics to disturb the peace of our country. Governor Cumming’s letter to Secretary of State Lewis Cass dated November 28, 1857.

19) 19th century Mormons were violent religious fanatics in rebellion against the United States of America.
Marshall P.K. Dotson has this day requested me to place such a posse under his command as will enable him to serve writs upon Brigham Young and sixty-six others indicted for treason and other felonies by the Grand Jury in Green River County, Utah Territory. Please inform me whether you can furnish the military posse, if specifically demanded by Marshall P.K. Dotson. Governor Cumming’s letter to General Johnston dated May 25, 1858.

20) 19th century Mormon blood atonement was an anti-Christ doctrine.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7.

21) God will never bless murderous religious fanatics.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” Matthew 5:3-11.