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The Concept of Blood Atonement behind Judaism and Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints

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The idea of using blood of a living creature, (typically an animal’s) in order to blot out immorality, or better known as sin, can be traced back to the roots of primal civilization. Specifically in Judaism, the ritual started in which an animal was sacrificed in order to cover the sins of a person or multiple people. As we presently observe the traditions of Judaism we do not find any sign of animal sacrifice, with an exception of orthodox Jews. While on the other hand, Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) will be found to zealously observe blood atonement in their practices today. The significance and importance that was placed in blood atonement, through animal sacrifice, no longer has the same affect in Judaism traditions because of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, yet blood atonement can still be found heavily regarded by FLDS, as they hold to the belief that Jesus’s shedding of blood on the cross is not sufficient for serious sins such as murder or adultery. In the following paragraphs I will be discussing the key differences in the believe of blood atonement between Jews and Fundamentalist Mormons and how the beliefs in blood atonement has evolved over the last few centuries in both religions and how in turn has shaped the view of the two religions.
The word “atone” connotes to “wash away,” to cover,” or “to erase.” The book of Leviticus 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.” In more concise terms, what this verse is saying is that the blood of another creature would in fact be able to cover the sins of a human being. The blood of another creature was necessary bec...

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