Death to Apostates
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Today’s Mormon Dilemma is part of a speech given by the apostle Jedidiah Morgan Grant. The rebuke he gave to members was harsh as you’ll see here and served as the beginning of the “Mormon Reformation”. The Church had encountered a fair amount of opposition to the leaders and the penalty was stiff – your life.
The biblical passage above is what came to my mind as I was reading through a discourse of the apostle Jedidiah Grant. We’ve broken the speech down to examine its contents. My font is in red. the Mormon teaching is black font.
Journal of Discourses 4:49-50; “Remarks by Jedediah M. Grant, Rebuking Iniquity,
Remarks by President J. M. Grant, Delivered in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, September 21, 1856…
“…the remarks which we have heard this morning are true, and they apply directly to you who are now present…and we do not excuse any of you. 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.”
I just cannot imagine my pastor saying such a thing from the pulpit on Sunday morning! It’s one thing to talk about sin and its effects, but to tell the congregation that you’d like to be the ones who punish each and every person?
I also can’t imagine the amount of hatred inside this man’s heart…read on, it gets worse.
“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.”
The common element we’ve found in Mormonism is that when you disagree with the leaders most assuredly you’ll be accused of adultery. It doesn’t matter why you left or for what reason. You’ve either sinned because you didn’t want to live up to the “high standards”, you “committed adultery” or someone “hurt your feelings” or all three.
The sad part about this about this is that we’re not told what exactly these people did to incur the anger from the leaders. As I read through the many volumes surrounding this printing I never did see anything in the writings mentioning the exact infractions.
“These are the abominable characters that we have in our midst…because they have no faith in the holy Priesthood, and then when they meet us, they want to be called Saints…They are the old hardened sinners…and are full of hell…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.”
Can you picture yourself going to your bishop or pastor and asking him to kill you? How is this Christian? Would you go to Jesus and ask Him to kill you because of your sin? What about His sacrifice for you because of your sin?
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. 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…if they are covenant breakers we need a place designated, where we can shed their blood.”
Mentioning a name from the Bible and a few words doesn’t mean you’re following “biblical doctrine”. And killing the sinners of any congregation doesn’t come from the Bible anymore than promoting polygamy does.
We’ll be looking at the rest of this sermon soon. These things are good to review as they give us a better understanding of why people are afraid to leave the Church. While bishops aren’t quoting the words of Brigham Young like this from their pulpit the overall demeanor of the strong armed messages have been passed down from one generation to the next.
Having a godly fear of the Lord is holy and to be expected. It doesn’t mean you’re afraid of God; rather you have respect for and revere Him. When someone is telling you that your blood should be shed because you don’t act like they do is imposing fear and intimidation. Imagine being the person sitting in that audience…what if you’re a father and husband and don’t agree? What do you do for your family? How do you escape from that area surrounded by mountains? Just loading your wagon would bring townsfolk to question your actions. What if you’re female and have no way out?