Three Mormon news stories from the week:

Jodi Arias is on trial for the murder of Travis Alexander.

Jodi Arias is on trial for the murder of Travis Alexander.

1) A friend of accused killer Jodi Arias has pointed the finger at the LDS Church as the real murderer of Travis Alexander. Wait for it . . . .

“The friend, Bryan Carr, says Arias is being used as a scapegoat by the church to cover up the murder.

‘Jodi never actually killed Travis – the Mormons actually killed Travis!’ Carr, who said he regularly visits Arias at the Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona, told the gossip website.

‘In the Mormon faith, they have a thing called a blood atonement that the bishop will practice on people high in the church like Travis was if sex sins or adultery were committed. They believe that it washes away your sins and use a scapegoat — in this case, Jodi – to protect the religion,’ Carr added.

He said that Arias won’t implicate the church because she is afraid they will go after her family.”

But of course. In an unprecedented 21st-century revival of blood atonement, LDS leaders murdered the sexually profligate Alexander for his sins, then covered their tracks by putting Arias’s bloody handprints on the walls of the apartment. Then they used their Nefarious Mormon Time Machine to go back in time and take pictures of the two of them having sex together, and then threw the damning camera in the washing machine.  Yes, it all makes perfect sense now.

The 2013 edition of the LDS Scriptures is here, the first change in over 30 years.

The 2013 edition of the LDS Scriptures is here, the first change in over 30 years.

2) In happier, non-delusionary news, the LDS Church has unveiled the changes it has made to the historical introductions and apparatus of key portions of the Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.

The 2013 (digital) edition of the LDS Scriptures contains the following noteworthy changes:

  • There’s a new introduction to the 1978 priesthood revelation: “During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.” What this means: The new wording recognizes the historical fact that before Brigham Young’s presidency, some African-American men did hold the priesthood. It also shuts down the so-called “folk theology” justifications for the later ban, some of which were still being taught at BYU as recently as last year. For an excellent brief analysis of this change, see Joanna Brooks’s article today in Salon.
  • The Pearl of Great Price’s Book of Abraham is now characterized as an “inspired translation” of the papyri with which it has been historically associated, rather than a direct translation of the papyri. What this means: The Church recognizes that the JS translation bears no linguistic resemblance to its Ur text, but holds out the possibility of a spiritual interpretation.
  • Numerous small changes have been made to the placement or dating of revelations in the D&C. The Aaronic priesthood was not restored by the banks of the Susquehanna; John Taylor probably didn’t write section 135, etc. What this means: The Church is utilizing the astonishing, fabulous, painstaking historical work of the scholars at the Joseph Smith Papers Project, and making their work accessible for all. This is terrific.
  • Official Declaration 1, the declaration that aimed to end the practice of polygamy, has an introduction for the first time: “The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that monogamy is God’s standard for marriage unless He declares otherwise. . . . After receiving revelation, President Wilford Woodruff issued the following Manifesto, which was accepted by the Church as authoritative and binding on October 6, 1890. This led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church.” What this means: “We no longer practice polygamy. We no longer practice polygamy. We no longer . . . .”
  • And along those same polygamous lines, there’s a fascinating revision to the introduction to Section 132, which By Common Consent has ably noted. It is now billed as a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant and the principle of plural marriage. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, evidence indicated that some of the principles involved in this revelation were known by the Prophet as early as 1831. See Official Declaration 1.” [Emphasis added] What this means: This means . . . interesting. This means that the Church is acknowledging the historical evidence that Joseph Smith evolved into his religious understanding of the practice of polygamy. It also holds the door open for “plural marriage” to be understood as more than a “plurality of wives,” which is what the prior heading said; the door is open for acknowledging the reality of polyandry in Nauvoo. Hmmmm.
  • And finally, the Proclamation on the Family has not been added to the canon of LDS Scripture.

There are quite a few more changes, which the Church has been wonderfully transparent about. You can see side-by-side comparisons here at the Church’s website.

The print version will be released in August.

Thousands of new LDS missionaries are enlisting for service, many of them women.

Thousands of new LDS missionaries are enlisting for service, many of them women.

3) Thousands of new LDS missionaries are hitting the field.

Last fall, after the LDS Church lowered the missionary age, it started receiving about 4,000 applications a week — up 471 percent from where applications had been before the historic General Conference announcement. About half of them have come from women.

The exodus has already been felt this semester at Mormon-heavy colleges and universities; this week the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah State University is stepping up its recruitment of out-of-state students to replenish its mission-bound student body.

This change has affected me personally. Where I grew up in Western Illinois, they are expecting a 50% increase in the number of missionaries serving, and are having to obtain and furnish ten new apartments to accommodate them. Well, they will have a lot of my childhood home’s furniture. Since we have been cleaning out my mom’s house following her death — a sad and difficult task — my heart has been lightened a little thinking of the young missionaries who will be eating off our old dishes or sleeping in our beds. Happy to help!

 

40 Comments

  1. Jana,

    Blood atonement still remains an important doctrine within Mormon fundamentalism. Within Mormon fundamentalism, the concept of blood atonenment is still recognized. Blood Atonement continues to be practiced among the so-called fundamentalist Mormons. Warren Jeffs, leader of the LDS splinter-group Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a polygamous sect based in Arizona and Utah, USA, has allegedly indicated his desire to implement the doctrine in his church. Mormon fundamentalist beliefs often include the principle of blood atonement.

    P.S.- The God Makers II is a documentary-styled film produced by Ed Decker and Jeremiah Films in 1993. The film attempts to be an exposé of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The film is a sequel to Decker’s earlier film The God Makers.

    • But what does FLDS practice have to do with LDS practice? No one related to the Arias case has been involved with the FLDS.

      And what would this have to do with _The Godmakers_, which is hardly a legitimate source about history, theology, or ritual life?

      • Jana,

        The founding members of FLDS left LDS.

        P.S. Sorry here is what I mean:

        Mormon Church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)- The Doctrine of the Blood Atonement.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzLpdx1-Lc8

    • Henry,
      Please don’t show your ignorance. I’m LDS and it has Nothing to do with flds. Like you said, they are a breakaway group. So, nothing to do with Mormons or this case. I’m married to one man, and Warren Jeff’s is not my prophet. Also, jodi arias was a member of our church for like a yr before she killed travis so she was barely a member and obviously didn’t have a true understanding of the gospel bc we follow the traditional 10 commandments….thou shalt not kill! For the record, the god makers is an anti Mormon film. Nothing to do with our church! Just someone who was bitter, fell away from the church and then trampled on the sacredness of it. Please do your research before you voice your opinion. Also, no blood atonement in our church and Travis was not high up in our church. He was an elder. My husband is an elder and every man over 18 yrs of age.

      • Trudi,

        My intention is not to show ignorance. Sorry if I did. I am just saying the whatso. I will not talk about this topic again. However, I still think that if the state want to put someone in death row they show do it fair and square. After all the trials I am seeing they are not that!!! That make them look bad!! Regardless of who that person is.

        P.S.- I have no religion by the way.

      • It is rather curious that Jodi stole a gun, but used a knife to stab him? The gun shot is really just a punctuation mark of the attack. Isn’t it amazing that she was able to get that many stabs into him and yet we aren’t even sure if she cut a tendon? There seems to be just a couple of small cuts to her fingers.
        Did you see the neck wound? It wasn’t done with 5″ blade which is what the ME said made the other wounds. It is a nice clean cut that has no jagged edges such as what would happen with a sword or a machete. How could Jodi hold the camera, the gun, the 5″ blade and the sword?
        It is interesting that what was done to Travis does indeed sound like what is done in blood atonement.
        If Jodi was presenting letters supposedly from Travis outlining his pedophilia, why are they photocopies and not originals? Where are the originals? Why did the judge let Jodi testify about seeing these things of Travis and pedophilia when it would seem to lack relevance to the murder… or does it?
        Isn’t it amazing that it was done in such a short space of time? Who knew that a woman could kill a man and drag his body back the length of the hallway in under 96 seconds.
        I think Jodi had help. I think she convinced someone that this was the only way to save Travis from his sins.
        I think a man/men did this to Travis and that is why she said “I will never be convicted for this crime”

  2. No more excuses for Jodi she is a cold blooded killer religion had nothing to do with this. I used to be mormon and none of this is told in the book of mormon or in any teachings. THOU SHALL NOT KILL goes in any religion

    • What do you mean no excuses? This is a death penalty case. If the state want to sent someone to death row they should do it fair and square regardless of them being cold blood or not. If the religion is involve than the religion is involve. Blood atonement not being in the Book of Mormon does not mean that it is not practice. Since you are a Mormon before if someone committed a sin and blood atonement doctrine is not apply than what will they do to cleanse their sin in the mormon religion. They say blood atonement is not practice but they also state that the only way to cleanse there sin is by atoning the blood when a sin is committed.

      • Henry, you are Cray Cray! The religion is not involved. If she were catholic, no one would care. A killer is a killer! She killed by herself. Looks like Premeditated also. She hopefully will get the death penalty! If not, may she rot in prison.

  3. Did Trudi just say Cray Cray? And did she just say amen to her own comment? That’s Cray Cray I you ask me. Also, Mr. Blood atonement defense proliferator, what evidence do you have of this being practiced? Documented, contemporary cases pleased. I’m not sure what youre basing you’re “theories” on. Also, check out the anti-defamation league’s review on the godmakers. It’s hardly a reputable source of accurate information. It is however a great source of misinformation. If that’s what you’re going for, by all means continue using it as a source.

    • Tyler,

      What evidences do you have that shows that it is not be practiced, today??? I am pretty sure that you don’t have any concrete evidence that say such doctrine is not being practice, applied or used today. Show me?

      • What evidence do you have that it is being practiced? Accusations of mass murder, which is exactly what you are inferring, requires not only evidence, but that the evidence be provided by the accuser.

        Travis was not the first Mormon to commit fornication or adultery- there have unfortunately been thousands. None of them have been murdered by the LDS church, so the fact that they are alive today is concrete evidence that such an idea is nonsense.

        • Thank You Brian for what you just said… I pray for those who are always looking to finally SEE… I thank Father “blood atonement” isn’t practiced, just like so many other cruel and ridiculous moments in history… gosh, please everyone, let it go! She slaughtered him hoping people like some of the ones here would call it that, she’s smart enough to have looked up what it may have ‘looked like’… honestly. I Pray With All My Heart to Our Heavenly Father for this ridiculous add on to what has already destroyed so many people, not just the slaughter of Travis but of the suffering and torture his poor family has gone through… Travis made some mistakes… They without sin may be the first to throw stones… and please Henry, don’t take Jodi on as your new girlfriend. Not wise. Enough with this horrible debate.

      • Henry,

        The burden of proof is on you my friend. I will however respond with evidence in the context of the Jodie Ariass case that it was not practiced. There is complete evidence showing it was not. And the jury should likely confirm that. She is a cold blooded killer who has lied every which way to try and wiggle out of her consequence. The man she killed was not killed by the LDS Church. If what you say is true, that the Mormon Church assassinates those that committ sexual sins then many of my Mormon friends would have been long gone by now as not all Mormons live up to their standards. This Travis guy was a nobody in the Mormon church. Those that could allegedly order an assassination, if they could (which they cannot), would have no idea who he is. Now I could be off base in assuming you’re arguing that this defense is legitimate in this case. If that is the case, then I will refer back to my original response: The burden of proof is on you my friend.

        • I was asking for concrete evidence not testimonies but that is alright. Even if it states that it is not practice that don’t mean they can’t break their promise and start practicing. So therefore it is not concrete proof to show that the blood atonement proccess is not practiced. I am curious to find out what will they do with members in the Mormon church (LDS Church) if they did commit a sin and violated the rules? Like have vaginal sex before marriage and committing adultery when they are not suppose to. I am assuming they told the bishop in the church about it. Probably the answer is nothing.

          • Whoah, hey Henry!! That’s some great dodgeball there!!! I’m sure you’re king of the recess playground dodgeball game. But here’s the deal with this conversation and any other similar conversation you may have in the future. You are the one claiming that a very large faith based organization is committing mass genocide of the less faithful. I’m saying they don’t. My evidence is in the fact there are no cases to collaborate anything of which you’ve said. You claim that testimony is not concrete. However, you offer purely speculative theories with neither concrete evidence nor testimony. I suggest you offer something more substantiative or go back to Ed Deckers camp and learn to hate and lie a little bit more.

  4. The fact is that Jodi Arias did claim that she kill in self-defense but that was not the problem here. The problem is that here is denying there is no such practice of blood atonement which is not true and completely bias. Now I have no problem Jana saying that the practice blood atonement does exist but it has nothing to do with Jodi Arias case (since there is no proof that it is not involve) but Jana but she is not saying that.

  5. I’m not LDS however, I am interested in the church and possible conversion to Mormonism. My question: Was blood atonement ever a practice? If so, isn’t it possible that some still practice this doctrine? It’s not such an unreasonable assumption, after all, it is fact that some still practice polygamy even though it is common knowledge the church rejects that doctrine.

    • Steven,

      You are asking the wrong people here. The author who wrote this article is completely bias denying the fact that in this age there is no such practice of blood atonement. It might not be related to the Jodi Arias case but it is out of integrity to say there is no such thing as blood atonement. Completely bias information. Do I think that it is practice in this age? Yes!! The LSD church cannot deny the fact that they practice blood atonement in the 1800s.

    • Hi Steven, So, The Catholic Church created horrible genocide during it’s not so intelligent phase… but everything evolves, everything grows. The LDS Church, my church, does not practice anything but forgiveness… please call your local ward/church and receive the missionaries who will help you see the truth of our beautiful church and the Truth of Father’s Love for us All… I was raised Catholic, But LDS took my soul into Heaven and I live in such fellowships, such friendships, and such a realization of Father’s Love for Us and The Sacrifice and Love of our Savior Jesus Christ for Us! Welcome Friend! :) <3

  6. I love how everyone keeps saying that Travis was “high in the church”! Travis was a lay member of the church. Yes, he was part of the Melchizedek Priesthood, but so is just about every other adult male that is in good standing. Besides that, when you start quoting things like the Godmakers, you lose just about all credibility. Most groups with any credibility in the Christian world have disavowed Decker’s work as being full of faulty conclusions and half-truths. The fact is that whether or not “blood atonement” exists is irrelevant to this case. She admitted that she killed him.

    • Just wondering if Travis was so low in the Church how did he baptize her? Usually that would be done by a higher standing member right? Everything I have read is that he was the one to baptize her? So just any lay person in the Mormon Church can baptize?

  7. I just think that it is so sad…someone should have tried harder to warn Travis…to help him get away…I am not sure if the mormon church creates a safe place for people to be truly honest..since it seems the way to salvation for mormons is through good behavior and good choices..except fro Romans says…There is no one righteous, not even one. And while the blood of Jesus that washes away every sin of those who choose to receive His gift…isn’t an excuse to abuse this gift…because it is a daily walk with HIM and we are changed from glory to glory…by beholding Him :) I think that in the mormon church…it seems to me..that because it is a religion..it is based on rules instead of relationship with Jesus…it creates an atmosphere of behavior modification…instead of heart change…and I think Travis..couldn’t come clean in that environment…and therefore..was trapped. :( Just my thoughts..

  8. I just keep wondering why it took five days to find his body. Strange that his room mates didn’t find him sooner or that his dog didn’t bark. In five days anything could happen, and Jodi still has not said why she left the camera there. She took the gun, the rope, and maybe the knife according to testimony, but there is considerable room to have conflicting theories of this murder.

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