Question: Was lying a crime that was "worthy of death" among 19th century Mormons?

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Question: Was lying a crime that was "worthy of death" among 19th century Mormons?

It is obvious that Brigham had strong words for "the wicked," but this quote has nothing to do with death by "blood atonement"

Jerald and Sandra Tanner propose that lying is "worthy of death" based upon a statement made by Brigham Young. According to the Tanners:

Brigham Young made this statement in 1846: "I ... warned those who lied and stole and followed Israel that they would have their heads cut off, for that was the law of God and it should be executed" ("Manuscript History of Brigham Young," December 20, 1846, typed copy; original in LDS church archives).

The quote in context:

I instructed the Bishops to hold meetings where the Saints might assemble, confess their sins, pray with and for each other, humble themselves before the Lord and commence a reformation that all might exercise themselves in the principles of righteousness; and, if those who had received the Holy Priesthood did not abide their covenants and walk uprightly before the Lord and their brethren, that those who did would be taken away from their midst, and the wicked would be smitten with famine, pestilence and the sword, and would be scattered and perish on the prairies. I said I would prefer traveling over the mountains with the Twelve only than to be accompanied with the wicked and those who continued to commit iniquity; and warned those who lied and stole and followed Israel that they would have their heads cut off, for that was the law of God and it should be executed.

Brigham is talking about thieves and liars, and he is expressing his desire that harsh judgment be brought upon them

It is obvious that Brigham had strong words for "the wicked." Brigham Young himself once said on March 2, 1856:

I will tell you what this people need, with regard to preaching; you need, figuratively, to have it rain pitchforks, tines downwards, from this pulpit, Sunday after Sunday. Instead of the smooth, beautiful, sweet, still, silk-velvet-lipped preaching, you should have sermons like peals of thunder, and perhaps we then can get the scales from our eyes. This style is necessary in order to save many of this people.JD 3:22 .wiki

What is not obvious in this quote is what relationship this is supposed to have to "blood atonement." Brigham is not talking about apostates who willingly wish to sacrifice their lives to atone for their sins—He is talking about thieves and liars, and he is expressing his desire that harsh judgment be brought upon them. It is also important to note that, despite the harsh words and rhetoric, the historical evidence shows that people didn't get their throats cut for committing such crimes.

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