This is an account by a former Mormon woman which she posted on the Exmormon internet mailing list. It is so moving that I asked her permission to post it here. She writes:- Valerie
First, let me give you a place to read the doctrinal basis of this better, since I know I'm not going to do this right: "Blood Atonement".
Second, let me apologize for not having written this earlier; if the truth be known I was kind of hoping someone else would do it so I wouldn't have to even think about it. I also apologize for any overwhelming emotion I put into the story - I haven't sat down to put it into words in almost three years.
Blood Atonement was taught very extensively by Brigham Young. It is a doctrine that preaches the belief that some of man's sins can only be forgiven by the shedding of his own blood and are not covered by the crucifixion of Jesus. Is this still being taught? Not out in the open or in the public meetings, but in quiet places where the die-hards get together to plan (god only knows what!), it is still being taught. How can I say this with pure conviction of heart? My children and I are one of the results of this teaching. Let me explain.
Rodger and I became members of the Mormon church in 1992. We were very quick learners and moved up fast in the ranks. By my second year I had been called to teach the Gospel Doctrine class. Rodger was in the Navy and had a six month cruise to do. At this time, unknown to me, he was writing to some of the people in the ward discussing doctrine at length. When Rodger got back, things were not the same - he was mean and vindictive. It was impossible to be the wife he needed or wanted. I went to the bishop and got the same ole "if he needs help he will come to us" and a pat on the head. After a while he started accusing me of cheating on him. He even called in the bishop to see if he could feel if I was being unfaithful. This went on for a year and a half. The military pulled him out of the house and put the children and me under protective order when he got violent, giving him counseling and then sending him home because I begged and begged them to.
One morning Rodger went to work and after a doctor's visit with our youngest son I got a phone call. It was Rodger, asking me how the appointment went. We talked for awhile and he told me he knew I wasn't cheating on him and that he loved me. He told me he loved our children and was the happiest man on the earth because we were going to be together forever. I told him I knew this, because God would not separate us as long as we are faithful. Rodger's response was that he understood what God wanted of him, and was prepared to do whatever it took to be with us forever. I told him to go back to work before he got in trouble. Rodger replied he was already in trouble.
And then there was a noise, and My Rodger was gone. I ended up calling his command when he didn't answer me. They sent out emergency forces to were he was. Rodger had killed himself. The devastation was complete for my children and me: we had no idea why.
A lot of priesthood holders told us that he wouldn't go to hell because he hadn't known right from wrong when it happened. It wasn't until later when I was going through his personal effects from his room on base that I found the letters and the writings on the blood atonement. I also learned the night of the body viewing that he was seeing a young lady from his work and she was pregnant. I couldn't have children any more (a decision we had made before joining the church). That bothered him afterwards. I guess she was his solution to no more children, and the killing was to save our family a place in the Celestial Kingdom.
Welcome to my nightmare. Please forgive me if I don't finish this letter in a proper manner, but I'm not feeling very proper at the moment. And I don't feel very proper when I hold my children and they cry for the father who left them with no understanding. My current fiance is wonderful - he has helped us through a lot, but he knows that this is a pain that will never go away because the hate will never go away.
There are times like now when I would give anything to stand tall on a mountain and yell for all to hear me: Run! Run! Please dear god run, or those around you will die! Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well! Please run, or you will be like me... nothing left... nothing but memories that you can't touch and a heart you can't trust.
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p.219, Feb 8, 1875
Or write to Valerie
© 1999 Richard Packham and Valerie Humphries Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included