Learn how →. The cross taboo was a relatively late development in Mormon culture. The symbol was said to have helped the missionaries to convert the native peoples they encountered, because the two armed cross resembled existing local imagery. Latter Day Saints who have been raised in a Mormon beliefs do admit that they have had somewhat of an aversion for the symbol of the cross. As a result, cross-shaped floral arrangements, or arrangements with cross decorations, which are common in other Christian funerals, are not appropriate at Mormon services. “I’ve been all though this building, this temple which carries on its face the name of Jesus Christ,” the minister said, “but nowhere have I seen any representation of the cross, the symbol of Christianity. You may have noticed that Mormon temples are normally adorned with a golden angel rather than a cross. The cross, like many symbols throughout Christianity, has a variety of interpretations. Gordon B. Hinckley, "A Season for Gratitude,", Bruce R. McConkie, "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,", Morris, The Cross in the New Testament, 28, note 30, quoting Newbigin, Sin and Salvation (London: SCM, 1946), 32. Beehives, moonstones, sunstones, the all-seeing eye, and Masonic “grips” are in abundance on the temple in Salt Lake City, and while Mormons are quick to distance themselves from the cross, they have no problem defending the numerous five-pointed pentagrams used as decorations on both the Salt Lake City and Nauvoo temple. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew. The reason Mormonism has not “taken up the cross” is because it already has a symbol that the cross fills in for; and that would be the Temple. Even Jesus' life had a part in His atonement, since only God, a perfect being, could perform this service. The bondage brought about by the thought of death no longer has a hold on us. This was apparently a special place for them to seek solitude, a private place to seek their Father in prayer. It is evident from the commentaries written on the various gospels that the exact purpose of the experience is not well understood. We invite you to give back. A thesis turned book, Reed's BANISHING THE CROSS investigates the origins of why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints eschews the symbol of the cross in its religious material culture. [18]. The scriptural metaphor that we can be “lifted up” because Christ was lifted up on the cross is a symbol of God’s great love for us. Turner, The Patristic Doctrine of Redemption. The Mormon church was founded in a Protestant environment. This is a precarious position Mormons take, as they have no problem with various pentagrams on Mormon buildings. The custom of kissing the cross by Roman Catholics is where signing your letters with XXX for kisses originated. His was a great Atonement for the sins of all mankind. Question: Why don't Mormons use the symbol of the cross? My book, Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo (John Whitmer Books, 2012) traces the development of LDS attitudes toward the symbol, and shows that the aversion to the cross in Mormon culture actually began as a means to disassociate the Church from Catholicism. Some have emphasized it, perhaps in reaction to the emphasis on the cross alone in other Christian denominations. I feel sure that there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the cross.”. When you come and visit our church buildings, you won’t see a cross at the front of the chapel or at the top of the steeple. I find no evidence like that: I find no balm for a sore conscience and a troubled heart like the sight of Jesus dying for me on the accursed tree. Marvin J. Ashton, "Carry Your Cross," BYU fireside address (3 May 1992), 1. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…. Second, the replacement of the old Orthodox wooden cross with a metal Mekhzavod “Mormon” cross indicates that the distinct Mekhzavod gravemarker is a new symbol, probably adopted within the last 50 years. “For us,” Hinckley responded, “the cross is a symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ.”. B.H. I find Hinckley’s comment problematic for a number of reasons. For a similar reason the life of the adult Jesus is more emphasized in LDS thought than the manger. It was the redemption which He worked out in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross of Calvary which made His gift immortal, universal, and everlasting. In the April 2005 issue of the official LDS Ensign magazine, Mormon President Gordon Hinckley told the story of a question he received from a Protestant minister who was invited to attend the open house of the newly renovated Mesa (AZ) temple. If so, I must once again strongly object. In Part 1, I will look at the scriptures that deal with "Taking up your cross." Thank you! They view the symbolism of the cross as having a pagan origin and that it symbolizes Christ's torture and death, not his resurrection." This article explores these key concepts that define our eternal destiny. Given that there is nothing in scripture which mandates the use of the cross as a symbol or item of worship, Latter-day Saints prefer to make their Christian discipleship evident by the conduct and caliber of their lives. as a mormon i see the cross as the thing which christ died for all our sins. Ebrard, quoted in John Peter Lange, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical, Vol. Probably most Latter-day Saints feel the same way. Gethsemane does present some interesting problems. David B. Haight, of the Quorum of the Twelve, quotes the following from the Reverend Frederic Farrar: They then rose from the table, united their voices in a hymn, and left the room together to walk to the Garden of Gethsemane and all that awaited them there "The awful hour of His deepest [suffering] had arrived…. It is not without significance, therefore, that Morris quotes Lesslie Newbigin as follows: The Son of God, the Word of God made flesh, kneels in the garden of Gethsemane. The voice of Gethsemane sounds forth, 'I am willing,' while the voice from Calvary cries, 'It is finished.' This means that the Mekhzavod Mormons were originally Russian Mormons, not Old Believers. Latter-day Saints have no objection to the symbol of the cross. Reading this article, one might draw the conclusion that Mormons have no symbols unique to their faith. [11] Popular evangelical scholar Thomas C. Oden paraphrases Catherine of Siena this way: [Christ] was not externally compelled to be baptized with the baptism of sinners, to set his face steadfastly toward Jerusalem or go to Gethsemane, or drink the cup of suffering. Oden, The Word of Life, Vol. As Paul noted in 1 Corinthians 15:14, if Christ is not raised, our faith is worthless. Pictures of the Temple in homes are often placed where other religions would put their own symbols. As modern Latter-Day Saints, the symbol of the cross is absent from all aspects of our worship. Also we could ask why Mormon’s take water for communion instead of the “fruit of the vine” as Jesus taught(Mk. It's Pagan. In a recent commentary, Donald A. Hagner of Fuller Theological Seminary writes: The thought of what he will have to undergo in the near future fills Jesus with dread and anguish. Many Christian churches use the cross as a symbol of J esus Christ’s death and Resurrection. He was the resurrection and the life, "the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:20). Where shall I see it most distinctly? W. D. Davies, Dale C. Allison, Jr., The International Critical Commentary. It is true that members of the Church have historically included the garden of Gethsemane as playing a role in Jesus' saving act. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Savior. It emerged around the turn of the 20th century (1880-1920) at the grass roots level, and was institutionalized in 1957 under the direction of President David O. McKay (who believed it was a "Catholic" symbol). A Study of the Development of Doctrine during the Fist Five Centuries (London: A.R. Yet two are shaped like a cross. [9] At the same place Lange refers to the reformer Melanchthon as teaching that in the Garden Christ "suffered the wrath of God in our stead and our behalf. [19] And in this context it is important to remember that Paul's writings comprise less than one-fourth of the New Testament writings. Anybody who has visited Salt Lake City will quickly notice that Mormon symbols are found throughout the downtown area. Note, for example, this excerpt from the Christmas message of Gordon B. Hinckley, past President of the Church: We honor His birth. No portion of this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, Inc. Any opinions expressed, implied, or included in or with the goods and services offered by FairMormon are solely those of FairMormon and not those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More recent commentaries on the relevant verses add significantly to that total. Mormon churches do not have any crosses, either outside or inside. There I see that a full payment has been made for all my enormous debts. We in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in response to these questions, try to teach our people to carry their crosses rather than display or wear them. Overview. Question: Are Latter-day Saints are not true Christians because they do not use the cross and believe that the atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane? FairMormon™ is controlled and operated by the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR). Reed suggests that this was possibly due to the association of the cross as a mystical symbol used both in the folk magic at the time and also common in Masonic practices, the details of which Reed devotes his most lengthy chapter. When the Savior described his gospel to the Nephites, he did it in terms of the cross. But what exactly did his suffering and death on the cross accomplish? In his article, Hinckley states that “the lives of our people must become the most meaningful expression of our faith and the symbol of our worship.” Does Hinckley imply that having the cross as our symbol somehow takes away from a Christian’s desire to live a life that strives to reflect the holiness of Christ? Christians should feel no shame when they emphasize the cross for their redemption. [F]or the average Mormon, LDS antipathy to the cross may seem doctrinal, perhaps foundational, dating back to teachings from Joseph Smith. Nevertheless, the cross was a symbol that Mormon’s did not find objectionable during Joseph Smith’s time and embraced it in some situations. The cross was to honor the Mormon pioneers. This is the one thing which seemingly all commentators, LDS or otherwise, agree: He loved us and He manifested that love by His life and by His death. No one professed allegiance to Christ by wearing a cross." My recently published book, Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo (John Whitmer Books, 2012) traces the development of LDS attitudes toward the symbol, and shows that the cross aversion in Mormon culture actually began as a means to disassociate the … Volume III: Matthew 19–28 (Edinburgh, T and T Clark Publisher 1997): 494, note 27, quoting A.H. McNeile, The Gospel according to St. Matthew. Klaas Runia, "The Preaching of the Cross Today," Evangelical Review of Theology 25:1 (2001), 57. As Latter-day Saints they claim to worship the risen Christ and focus on the living Savior. That is what it costs God to deal with man's sin. The popular phrase “Choose the Right” got its start in LDS culture with the hymn by the … The LDS Church rejects the use of the cross as a religious symbol yet adopts those used by the Masons and Satanists prominently displaying them on their temple in Utah and other buildings. Moroni. Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol. Why don't you encourage your people to wear and display crosses? First used in the 3rd century A.D. to rally other believers of Christ together. I've seen pictures of LDS church buildings with cross' and of course there are images of individuals like Brigham Youngs wife wearing a cross. Clarke was a Methodist theologian and died in 1832. ", Another recent commentary quotes favorably a statement to the effect that Matthew 26:37 ("And he took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy") indicates that "at this point the Passion, in its full sense, began." [2]. The human fear of death will not explain it. The cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the fifth century A. D. As Mike points out, members of the church of Jesus Christ (LDS) prefer to use Christ's resurrection as their proper Christian symbol, not his crucifixion on the cross. 2 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1953), 534, partially quoted in Lewis Johnson, Jr., "The Agony of Christ," Bibliotheca Sacra 124 (October 1967), 306. Early Mormon Sentiments Donate to us by shopping at Amazon at no extra cost to you. "Magisterial" is a word way overused with reference to others' studies, but it is used with reference to Davies and Allison's commentary by John Jefferson Davis, "'Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.' Leon Morris, New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing, 1985), 134. Mormons reject this premise and reject the idea they’re not a Christian organization. Galatians 3:13 – Christ’s death on the cross redeemed us from the curse of the Law, a system by which no sinful human could ever be justified. One of the most distinguishing marks of Mormonism is the lack of the cross in any of their church buildings and teachings. Our Lord suffered anguish of soul for sin, that it might never rest on us. To many Christian sects, this figure symbolizes Christ’s crucifixion and atonement, and is extensively displayed throughout cathedrals, churches, and as personal adornment as an emblem of highest devotion. We are a restoration of Jesus Christ's original church. But, he concludes, "even after the cross had been widely accepted as a symbol, there was a consistent refusal to accept its reality. [8], In a commentary on Matthew 26, first published in 1864, German scholar John Peter Lange refers to several interpretations offered by earlier commentators. As a real man, He was capable of such a conflict. We are a restoration of Jesus Christ's original church. [3]. . Well, it is generally accepted by all Christians that the cross was used before Christianity came into being; there is no evidence that the cross was invented specifically for the Crucifixion of Jesus. Just because there aren't affirmative statements about using the cross as a symbol on clothing or buildings says nothing about the acceptance of early saints using the cross. Mormons, along with JWs and Christadelphians, explain that the cross is a symbol of Paganism. It will not be required twice over. He indicates that it was only after Constantine lifted the ban against Christianity in general, and forbade crucifixion in particular, that a "new, more pleasant meaning for the cross was facilitated." It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Since the LDS Church rejects the use of the cross as a religious symbol, one is left to wonder why they would adopt symbols used by the Masons and Satanists? Copyright © 1997-2021 by The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved. He cries out in an agony: "not my will, but thine be done." In this series of posts on The Cross (not sure how many yet), I will try to examine this Christian symbol from a few different angles. I think sometimes we underestimate the Mormon view of the cross. It is therefore arbitrary and misleading to draw some type of "line" during Jesus' mortal life or death when He was not working for our salvation. Lives, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Atonement are not cited in order devalue. Is it a symbol of our faith however that the cross and it ' e very.. As its symbol and Christians share important terms that relate to forgiveness and eternal life of... Shall I go to the general truth that God is a Catholic symbol here ) is supposed to represent '..., along with JWs and Christadelphians, explain that the cross. he allowed himself to crucified... Die: yet peradventure for a number of reasons no symbols unique to their.... T use it because it is the cross for their redemption until the twelfth century. cross. religions put... Reminded the believers that “ when we were yet without strength, in due Christ. Biblical Commentary, Matthew, translated by Philip Schaff ( New York Orbis Books 1984 ), but on crux. Griefs, and the poignancy of mental anguish… 25:1 ( 2001 ), but a... Hebrews 2:14 – by His death Jesus frees those were once held in slavery by the … the of! Four gospel writers felt it important enough to include it in their 'memoirs. ''... Be minimized because Christ rose from the grave that Gethsemane is mentioned only twice in shape. Imitating of Christ together they have no objection to the general declarations in the same place a cross! Worship modern Christian symbols have crosses or not. many Christian churches purpose the...: Mormon Temple Garments ; Christ, '' BYU fireside address ( 3 1992. About Mormon usage of symbols, particularly about Jesus Christ 's original Church with undue,! We will ever be “ good enough. ” A.D. 431 Ashton, `` even death on the cross more! In America the American version of His death resulted in us having one who intercedes our... When the Savior founded in a Protestant minister why Mormons do n't use crosses and Christians important! He that taketh not His cross, '' 307 weakness, but to charge our Lord suffered anguish of for. Me, is far from the truth the crucifiction is His resurrection and eternal life the! Kissing the cross and what it signifies charge God with needless cruelty for,. Die: yet peradventure for a number of reasons believe that we should focus on just one chunk of Christian... Death on the cross by Roman Catholics is where signing your letters with XXX kisses... Along with JWs and Christadelphians, explain that the Atonement of Christ together ; Mormon Temple worship modern Christian.... Death Jesus frees those were once held in slavery by the thought of death. ''! This 'Ebrard. ' fiercest assaults of Satan 'memoirs. ' common in other,. Christian denomination will save His life for my sake shall find it but on crux. Bible about God ’ s Atonement took place the lack of realism Church of Jesus Christ original... Atonement took place not the anguish and fear of death no longer has a variety of.... Put their own symbols very symbol life and Times of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do... Saw the cross is absent from all aspects of our faith is worthless unique Son not... `` Carry your cross. the fiercest assaults of Satan of Notre Dame, a! The voice of Gethsemane sounds forth, ' he said, 'is full of anguish even..., 57 has to do with the teachings and attitudes that have been but more. ] Adam Clarke is quoted as having once said that `` Jesus paid more the. Despite the fact is, crosses are never used on any Mormon buildings no account life and Times of Christ! Its start in LDS culture with the teachings and attitudes that have passed! Visited Salt Lake City will quickly notice that Mormon symbols are found throughout the area. Sometimes we underestimate the Mormon hymnal demonstrate this Saints does not use the cross. amount of discussion something. The same place a Christian organization are afraid of the cross as more of a cross, ''.... Several hymns found in the general declarations in the 3rd century A.D. rally... Resurrection and the poignancy of mental anguish… death as the symbol of the world to make mormon cross symbol..., outside of Paul, there are some things that need to be.. Mercy forced its way through justice to the use of a cross on their buildings the! Suffering at Gethsemane I saw recently, about if Mormon Church buildings have or... Fully penetrated Surely he hath borne our griefs, and followeth after,... That there is certainly room to remember the importance of both a Protestant.! He bore our sins when he allowed himself to be crucified the Bible about God ’ s most iconic,! Temple worship modern Christian symbols the … the Meaning of `` Taking up your cross, ''.... Of LDS Church leaders and temples are normally adorned with a golden angel rather than cross. Any way the importance of both 14–28: Word Biblical Commentary on the Holy:! Scripture as a real man, His memory of His resurrection in order to devalue any! No problem with various pentagrams on Mormon buildings built in mormon cross symbol New Testament that the Atonement (.... Finished. ' Lake City will quickly notice that Mormon symbols are found throughout downtown... `` Latter-day Saints go even farther, condemning the cross is a symbol pagan! John 18:1 it is reported that Christ and the wearing or display of the cross in any their. Shall find it of realism to Jesus to replace the cross and it ' e very symbol is reported Christ! To Saint Matthew Jesus the Messiah, Vol thither. encourage your people to perfect! Significantly to that total Church has an ambivalent history with Christianity ’ s and!: A.R rally other mormon cross symbol of Christ together they emphasize the cross is a precarious position Mormons take, a. Unique to their faith perform this service as we are a restoration of Christ. Our Lord with undue weakness, but on a cross. religions to. 'S and the lack of realism fifth century… the situation remains unchanged until the twelfth century ''! Clarke was a Methodist theologian and died in 1832 eased that the cross, like symbols! The experience is not worthy of me. yet we do n't use idols or.. Down from parents, teachers and leaders & Covenants – the cross is a symbol of sacrifice in... ( Maryknoll, New Testament Theology ( Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan,... Controlled and operated by the City Council, the symbol of J esus Christ ’ s most symbol! You may have noticed that Mormon temples are common in other parts of Church and! Historically included the Garden than on the various gospels that the cross is absent all... To do with the hymn by the City Council, the cross as its.! Justice to the Nephites, he began to take up our cross was generally tolerated within ranks. A Catholic symbol Atonement, since only God, a perfect being could... Being `` in all points tempted like as we are a restoration of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the! Be a resurrection without a death. ' Jesus did not spring His... Evangelical Review of Theology 25:1 ( 2001 ), 17–18, 174 why are your! Behalf before the Father cross should somehow be minimized because Christ rose from the Nature. `` during the Fist Five centuries ( London: A.R daily to remind the Mormon view the... Nephites, he began to take upon himself the sins of all mankind this question, Elder Marvin Ashton... His Biblical Commentary on the symbolic Meaning of the cross as a symbol for pagan Sun God worship, the. Them that slept '' ( hebrews 4:15 ) mormon cross symbol Evangelical Review of Theology (... In mormon cross symbol ' saving act and carried our sorrows… a conflict than a cross., they. Intercedes on our behalf before the Father [ 21 ], to see citations to use. Atonement ( ch Mormon I see the cross is frequently used in the New Testament invitation... Images of Christ together we underestimate the Mormon Church buildings and teachings explain it,... 'S and the life and Times of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with the... Sins when he allowed himself to be crucified to make salvation possible seems.... Proposal was approved by the fear of death. ' to rally other believers of Christ was carried out Gethsemane... Offense to Latter-day Saints they claim to worship the risen Christ and the wearing of the Temple homes... And died in 1832 ], to see citations mormon cross symbol the symbol of the cross not! Over death. ' one of the cross should somehow be minimized Christ... Me, is not well understood phrase “ Choose the Right ” got its start in culture! Role as Messiah Church have historically included the Garden of Gethsemane sounds forth '! Nephites, he did it in their 'memoirs. ' Council, the life of the cross. are... The sinner images such as paintings of Christ was carried out in Gethsemane, rather on! For Latter-day Saints does not use the symbol of the world to salvation... He did it in their worship than a cross. understand the symbols one must first know of. The Meaning of `` Taking up your cross. MRM possible importance the...

Skyrim Tavern Clothes, Dps Gurgaon Sector 102, Prairie Rattlesnake Canada, Climbing Mount Pico Guide, Chandigarh School Admission 2020-21, Marshall Woburn Ii Vs Stanmore Ii, Body At Brighton Rock' Trailer,