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    Regarded by the Israelites as the seat of the life or vital energy of all flesh (Lev. 17:10–14). In Old Testament times blood was forbidden as food (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 3:17; 7:26–27; 19:26; Deut. 12:16, 23; 15:23; 1 Sam. 14:32–34), which restriction was continued in the Church in New Testament times, at the Jerusalem conference (Acts 15:20–29). The atoning power of a sacrifice was in the blood because it was regarded as containing the life of the animal and because the sacrifice was a type of the great sacrifice who is Jesus Christ (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). The scripture says that “almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). Jesus worked out a perfect atonement by the shedding of His own blood (1 Jn. 1:7; Rev. 5:9–10; Mosiah 3:16–19; 3 Ne. 27:19–21; D&C 45:4; 76:69). Joseph Smith, as have many other prophets, sealed his testimony with his blood that the righteous might be honored and the wicked might be condemned (Rev. 6:9–10; D&C 135:6–7; 136:39).

    Often a covenant was sealed with blood (Gen. 15:9–18; Ex. 24:8; Zech. 9:11; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 10:29; 13:20).