Put to Death


Excerpt from an April 1969 General Conference address by LDS Apostle Mark E. Petersen: 1

“That law is irrevocable and inescapable and applies to all, whether we believe in God or not. Everyone is subject to its penalties, no matter how they may try to ignore them, The wage of sin is death (Rom. 6:23)—even to the unbeliever!

Immorality is next to murder in God’s category of crime, and always brings in its wake both destruction and remorse, even to college students who carry the pill with a mother’s consent.

This nation was built upon a foundation of morality and spirituality. It is just possible that a rejection of these basic factors may bring about its fall. It was so with Greece and Rome. It can happen to us unless we repent.

Every one of us would do well to remember that the “mills of the Gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small.” No one can flout the divine law with impunity.

Every right-thinking person should be willing even to die if necessary in defense of virtue, whether that death be physical or social.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14) will forever stand as an immutable law to all human beings. This generation may rationalize itself into complete intoxication with sin and proclaim to high heaven that it is old-fashioned to be clean, but it will yet wake up to the stem reality that God does not change and that the moral laws are his and not man’s to shift with every whim.

Adultery is still next to murder in the Lord’s category of crime (Alma 39:5).

Homosexuality was made a capital crime in the Bible (Lev. 20:13).

It was the Almighty who decreed that men and women must cover their nakedness by wearing proper and modest clothing (Gen. 3:21).

No amount of rationalizing can change God’s laws. No amount of fashion designing can turn immodesty into virtue, and no amount of popularity can change sin into righteousness.

Once again we Latter-day Saints affirm the reality of the existence of Jesus Christ. Once again, as his humble servants, we define his law of personal purity, and solemnly declare that sex sin is an abomination in the sight of God (Jacob 2:28).

No one on earth can ever cancel the divine command that says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).

To this I humbly testify in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”


List of capital crimes deserving of death in the Bible.

Cursing your Father or Mother

“For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.” Leviticus 20:9



“And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10



“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13


Sex with Animals

“And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:15,16


Being a Wizard

“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:27


Being a Witch

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Exodus 22:18


Sacrificing to other Gods

“He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” Exodus 22:20



“And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:16


Hitting your parents

“And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.” Exodus 21:15


Being a rebellious child

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:” Deuteronomy 21:18-22


Breaking the Sabbath

Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31:14-15


Gathering sticks on the Sabbath

“And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.” Numbers 15:32-35


Premarital Sex (daughter of priest)

“And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.” Leviticus 21:9


Lying about virginity

“But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” Deuteronomy 22:20-21


Giving false prophecy

“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” Deuteronomy 18:20


Marrying a daughter and her mother

“And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.” Leviticus 20:14


Further Study

List of actions prohibited by the Bible – https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_actions_prohibited_by_the_Bible

Skeptics Annotated Bible – https://skepticsannotatedbible.com/


1 The Dangers of the So-called Sex Revolution, Apostle Mark E. Petersen – http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1684