How do Mormons view capital punishment?

Even with the avalanche of crime that we hear about daily, it is still a big ticket news item when a person comes through the years-long appeals process as guilty and sentenced to death. It touches on the core of human emotion, to see a person receive an irreversible and final earthly punishment.

The most recent news event surrounds a death by firing squad, in Utah, a place that many consider the heartland of Mormonism. Naturally, the question arises, how to Mormons view capital punishment?

For the absolute best answer to this question, it might  be best to simply refer to the LDS church’s official stance on the issue of the death penalty, available on the official website of the LDS church:

LDS.org article on Capital Punishment

Essentially, the Mormon church believes that capital punishment is really an issue of government, to be decided by civil. The Mormon church neither promotes nor opposes capital punishment. This is in line with an article of our faith, which reads:

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

If you spoke to one hundred members of the Mormon church, you would likely get 100 different feelings and opinions on the matter of capital punishment, some strongly for, some strongly against, and some neutral. As a church, however, we believe simply in the rule of law, which is best established by the voice of the people.

If you have any questions about this or any other topic relating to mormonism, please feel free to ask it confidentially here.

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