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    Generally denotes contemptuous speech concerning God or concerning something that stands in a sacred relation toward God, such as His temple, His law, or His prophet. Our Lord was on several different occasions charged by the Jews with speaking blasphemy, because He claimed the right to forgive sins (Matt. 9:3; Luke 5:21), because He called Himself Son of God (John 10:22–36), and because He said they would see Him “sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26:64–65). These charges would have been true if He had not actually been all that He said He was. The charge brought against Him by the false witnesses at the trial before the Sanhedrin (Matt. 26:59–61; John 19:7) was one of blasphemy against God’s temple. Our Lord’s Apostles, on the other hand, regarded the behavior of the Jews toward Him and toward themselves as blasphemy (Matt. 27:39; Luke 22:65; 23:39; Acts 13:45; 18:6; 26:11). A false accusation of blasphemy was also brought against Naboth (1 Kgs. 21:9–13) and against Stephen (Acts 6:11).

    The punishment for willful and intentional blasphemy was death by stoning (Lev. 24:11–16; John 10:31–33; Acts 7:58). Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which is willfully denying Christ after having received a perfect knowledge of Him from the Holy Ghost, is the unforgivable sin (Matt. 12:31–32; Mark 3:28–29; D&C 132:27).