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MustardSeed

The Cross

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49 minutes ago, Wade Englund said:

To each their own.

More of this. 

:)

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Christians aren't the only ones with claim on the Cross, as an idea and concept it goes back thousands of years.  The idea of the Sun Wheel (Sonnenrad) easily predates Christianity, a symbol of the ever eternal cyclical nature of existence.  If you get into the study of Guido von List, you'll delve into the study of the Germanics during the migration period, when the Vedas and the Eddas.  I've always liked the sunwheel, while I like the Northern European take on the cross, the crucifix always made me throw up a little inside, I get the symbolism but still, eww....

If I want to see someone hanging from a piece of wood I'll defer to Odin the Allfather hanging himself on the world tree for the Runes of power, which he freely gave to all men.

Oh, here's a real good one (Saved the best for last).  Like this one about as much as the sunwheel, the Rose Croix. 

gfx9Yie.jpg

46976c.JPG?v=1500148287

Rose Croix

558cea9027477f5e4e420d88656f3332.jpg

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Cross

 

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14 hours ago, Joshua Valentine said:

I said that his ¨the logic goes: LDS view cross as a symbol of death,¨ so I´m not sure what you´re pointing out here.

This is not the false distinction. I was referring to the context of the story with the non-LDS leader - which raises the question of why crosses were not displayed at all in the temple or meeting houses - NOT why the cross was not the ¨symbol of the faith¨. Hinckley focuses on the ¨symbol of our faith¨ instead of just the general lack of cross use as a symbol at all. This is a false distinction - you can have the cross displayed, even prominently, and still have a separate focus and officialization of the lives of members as THE symbol of the LDS faith. I am basically pointing out that Hinckley´s response does not actually answer the question, in this regard. I think his answer is a good one for the most part- for ¨the symbol of our faith¨, even more as an intentional emphasis in order to avoid superficial use of symbols as mere labels. But his reasoning does not really deal with the issue of no crosses at all.

Pres. Hinckley never said you couldn't, which was my point.  He wasn't making a false distinction, you are just misunderstanding what he was saying. Whether or not you like or agree with the answer does mean it wasn't answered. I think that's also where you are getting hung up.  

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Perhaps the above clarification helps now. Insofar as the non-LDS leader´s question is why is the symbol of the cross not used anywhere in LDS architecture, Hinckley´s focus on ¨the symbol of our faith¨ is not addressing the issue.  It would be like someone asking a person who does all types of cardio exercises but never bikes why they don´t bike and the cardio enthusiast replies I prefer to focus on running. Yet, that person can focus on running (the symbol of the faith) and still do other cardio exercise (the symbol of the cross) as evidenced by the fact that the cardio enthusiast does just that with other cardio exercises (many other symbols used by LDS). The answer focuses on a particular instead of actually explaining why not the other. Hinckley only says that the cross reminds LDS of Christ´s death. More on this later.

I disagree (and your analogy doesn't make your point, from my perspective).  Perhaps on this issue it's time to agree to disagree. :) 

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I think I was conflating a couple of ideas while I was writing with too little sleep - I know, I´ve got to stop doing this. I think it was the Encyclopedia of Mormonism that said that so many things go into the LDS gospel that no one symbol can represent the faith as well as the actual lives of members. This point does not preclude using the cross at all among other symbols to represent part of the LDS gospel - like Moroni, etc. It also speaks to ¨the symbol of our faith¨ instead of any use of the symbol of the cross as I pointed out with Hinckley´s talk.

I'm not sure what you are saying exactly. It sounds like you are saying "I don't agree with Hinckley so there is no reason that LDS shouldn't be using the Cross as a symbol too."  If that is what you are saying, then that's fine, we all have our opinions, but it is just an opinion and I don't find it convincing or relevant to my views as a member.  

If you are saying something else, I'm going to need you to clarify because I'm missing the point, sorry.
 

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I can see how my writing gave you an opening to question my understanding of LDS doctrine, but it´s not the case in this particular. I was trying to point out how the death of Christ is just as much a part of LDS doctrine as the resurrection/living Christ, and so it can be used among other symbols that represent only parts of that gospel.

Yes, it definitely could, but we choose not to.  
 

Quote

I should have written Hinckley´s inclusion of the resurrection in my comment. He clearly is contrasting the cross/death with the emptytomb/life but the cross/death is still part of the story so it can be part of the group of symbols used by LDS.

It is a part of the story, just not the part that we choose to focus on.

Quote

 

Basically my argument goes:

1) symbols don´t have to represent the whole faith in order to be used in it at all (so Hinckley´s overall argument while good as an emphasis doesn´t answer the question)

2) symbols don´t have to represent the whole gospel (or whatever that quote was - I can probably locate it if needed) in order to be used
3) similarly, symbols often only represent part of a faith or gospel, and thus necessarily are used for only that purpose (like so many other LDS symbols) [and no one gets hurt😉]

4) Hinckley´s most direct answer to the question is that the cross is seen as a symbol of Christ´s death, but Christ´s death is part of the gospel and the faith, so it certainly qualifies for use among all of the other ¨non-symbol of our (whole) faith¨ ¨non-gospel summarizing (in toto) symbols¨ that the LDS church does endorse with use in its structures.

 

We choose to focus on the living Christ more than the crucified Christ.  We understand that the crucified and dying Christ are very much a HUGE part of our theology and doctrine, but we still choose to focus on the resurrected Christ.  We understand that a symbol doesn't have to represent the whole faith in order to be used, yet we still choose not to use the symbol of the cross in our worship.  

I understand your argument, I just don't find it convincing or relevant to Hinckley's point or our beliefs as members of the church.  We see things differently and I'm o.k. with that.

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12 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

All I know is my best friend loves chorizo.  He tried to get me to eat some, and I almost did until I read the two main ingredients. YIkes.

Ranchero-Chorizo-Puerco-Pork-339.jpg

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Yum! You should look into menudo ;) 

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16 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

All I know is my best friend loves chorizo.  He tried to get me to eat some, and I almost did until I read the two main ingredients. YIkes.

Oh but that's not the best part.  The City of Industry is right next to the rendering plant that takes care of the leftovers.  :)

Check out the comments especially!  And if the wind is right you can smell it 10 miles away! 

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/10/23/rendering-plant-odor-smell/

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Part 1: Response to @Bluebell and Conclusion of Analysis of Hinckley´s Talk

¨We choose to focus on the living Christ (more)¨ is a good reason (given the LDS view of the Cross) to not choose the Cross as the symbol of the whole faith. I´m arguing here that it is not a good enough reason to not use the symbol at all. Hinckley´s talk was supposed to be about the Symbol of Our Faith, but he started out with a story of someone asking why the Cross is not used at all. This is where I started to find lack of clarity, consistency, and sufficiency in his reasoning. So...
 

Looking back over the story, the non-LDS Christian in the story is depicted as later asking the question ¨What is the symbol of your religion?¨ So maybe the poor transition was not, in fact, Hinckley´s fault at the time of the event related. And since Hinckley was probably not trained in logic or philosophy but has been trained all his life to start or incorporate stories into talks, this is how he thought it would be fine to start off with a story with the topic of ¨no crosses¨ but ends with ¨symbol of your religion¨ and only reason for the latter instead of the former. Hinckley is responsible for the choice to use such a story and only focus on the latter topic, but his training does seem to explain such choices.

So with Hinckley´s choices understood or at least excused, what are we left with? I conclude his talk is not very good for understanding why crosses are not used at all in the LDS Church. Again, while ¨we choose not to focus on Christ´s death¨ may be good enough for most members, it is not, logically speaking, a sufficient reason to never use the symbol in any circumstance (except as military chaplains).

So after all of this exploration using this talk, which I still find valuable in and of itself for understanding the OP topic, it does not get us far. Insofar as we are left with ¨LDS view the Cross as a symbol of death¨ and ¨LDS prefer to focus on the living Christ¨ and the conclusion ¨This is why we don´t use cross symbols (at all)¨ we are left with an explanation that may suffice for many, but, because it lacks logical validity, will not suffice for many others. And, if the determination of invalidity is correct, then those seeking understanding of why crosses are not used will be justifiably dissatisfied by such reasoning justifying the symbol´s absence.

See part 2 for where we can go from here...

Edited by Joshua Valentine

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Part 2: THE ANSWER (to why the symbol of the cross has its [lack of] place in the LDS Church)!!!😎

In other words, if this common reasoning is not sufficient to explain the almost uniform absence of the cross in lay culture and is not sufficient to explain official statements advocating this absence, then the other factors leading to this state of affairs is yet to be identified. We presented the historical progression, but I think we only hinted at how it could be involved in the present.

I think the history of the anti-catholic view of the cross probably led to a general aversion to the cross as a symbol among most LDS. I suspect that anti-catholic sentiment among many parents led to raising their children to avoid the cross. But, perhaps because of societal change, these parents more or less avoided admitting their prejudicial reason for doing so, and thus left their children with nothing but unexplained aversion. Then other, less controversial reasons started to come to general consciousness - device of execution (wouldn´t wear a gun), focus on living and not dead Christ, etc. These could then fill the void of justification left by the prejudiced parents. And then we´re where we are now.

I think this model explains the variety of comments on this thread: that crosses are fine if one so chooses, but also unexplained knee-jerk reactions of discomfort. It even explains a lack of logically valid reasoning. These unexplained reactions are great evidence of something unclear in the causes involved and the lack of a valid reasoning indicates there isn´t a straight consistent line of reasoning consciously justifying the whole phenomenon. This model of prejudice leading to absence of the cross and hesitancy to teach controversial bias to children leading to unexplained aversion by members, which eventually led to independent (and thus less than fully consistent) justifications seems to explain all of the phenomena and thus may be close to the answer.

Please note, this does not mean that LDS members who decide not to use the cross are prejudiced against Catholics. Not at all! It´s simply the series of events that leads to the present phenomena. The prejudice just led to the absence and aversion. At worst, it may have even been involved as a motive to originally create some of the ¨independent¨ reasons mentioned. But, even so, that does not taint the reasons themselves, especially among those who do not have the prejudice.

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1 hour ago, Joshua Valentine said:

Looking back over the story, the non-LDS Christian in the story is depicted as later asking the question ¨What is the symbol of your religion?¨ So maybe the poor transition was not, in fact, Hinckley´s fault at the time of the event related. And since Hinckley was probably not trained in logic or philosophy but has been trained all his life to start or incorporate stories into talks, this is how he thought it would be fine to start off with a story with the topic of ¨no crosses¨ but ends with ¨symbol of your religion¨ and only reason for the latter instead of the former. Hinckley is responsible for the choice to use such a story and only focus on the latter topic, but his training does seem to explain such choices.

I have asked now 4 temple presidents about the second anointing, and their uniform answer is always a pause, a chin scratch, and then something like "Well, I don't know. I can't really say that I know much about that."

Look at that statement logically and I think you will conclude with me that it is probably perfectly, literally true. 

They really can't say they know much about it even if they do.

This reminds me of President Hinckley's response on that interview program regarding exaltation.

I regard this as a learned strategy to avoid "casting ones pearls before swine", when the questioner brings up something beyond his purview.

Frankly though I agree with you and your logic, I don't see much, if anything wrong with it. 

Were someone to ask me a question like that I might respond with " it's none of your business", being the non-politically correct person I am. :)

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joshua Valentine said:

Part 2: THE ANSWER (to why the symbol of the cross has its [lack of] place in the LDS Church)!!!😎

In other words, if this common reasoning is not sufficient to explain the almost uniform absence of the cross in lay culture and is not sufficient to explain official statements advocating this absence, then the other factors leading to this state of affairs is yet to be identified. We presented the historical progression, but I think we only hinted at how it could be involved in the present.

I think the history of the anti-catholic view of the cross probably led to a general aversion to the cross as a symbol among most LDS. I suspect that anti-catholic sentiment among many parents led to raising their children to avoid the cross. But, perhaps because of societal change, these parents more or less avoided admitting their prejudicial reason for doing so, and thus left their children with nothing but unexplained aversion. Then other, less controversial reasons started to come to general consciousness - device of execution (wouldn´t wear a gun), focus on living and not dead Christ, etc. These could then fill the void of justification left by the prejudiced parents. And then we´re where we are now.

I think this model explains the variety of comments on this thread: that crosses are fine if one so chooses, but also unexplained knee-jerk reactions of discomfort. It even explains a lack of logically valid reasoning. These unexplained reactions are great evidence of something unclear in the causes involved and the lack of a valid reasoning indicates there isn´t a straight consistent line of reasoning consciously justifying the whole phenomenon. This model of prejudice leading to absence of the cross and hesitancy to teach controversial bias to children leading to unexplained aversion by members, which eventually led to independent (and thus less than fully consistent) justifications seems to explain all of the phenomena and thus may be close to the answer.

Please note, this does not mean that LDS members who decide not to use the cross are prejudiced against Catholics. Not at all! It´s simply the series of events that leads to the present phenomena. The prejudice just led to the absence and aversion. At worst, it may have even been involved as a motive to originally create some of the ¨independent¨ reasons mentioned. But, even so, that does not taint the reasons themselves, especially among those who do not have the prejudice.

Yep. 

And so prophets are not infallible and fully human. You expected something else?

Yawn. ;)

Add it to the list. :)

Either that bothers you or it doesn't. 

Edited by mfbukowski

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Posted (edited)

 http://topverses.com/about/cross  

Over and over I hear about the Garden of Gethsemane as being the place that Jesus sacrificed the most, but really is it true? Then when I read the above scriptures it seems the cross is pretty important, but all my life the garden has been emphasized more than the cross in the church.

Edited by Tacenda

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Does it matter where he sacrificed in comparison to the fact of what he sacrificed and why?

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Yep. 

And so prophets are not infallible and fully human. You expected something else?

Yawn. ;)

Add it to the list. :)

Either that bothers you or it doesn't. 

Your prophets are not fully human!?!
I KNEW it, and not just because I´ve been bingeing X-Files either...😆

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22 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

All I know is my best friend loves chorizo.  He tried to get me to eat some, and I almost did until I read the two main ingredients. YIkes.

Ranchero-Chorizo-Puerco-Pork-339.jpg

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

It's all "sausage" right?

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You're the wurst.

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2 hours ago, Joshua Valentine said:

Your prophets are not fully human!?!
I KNEW it, and not just because I´ve been bingeing X-Files either...😆

You got me!  🤣

 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, USU78 said:

You're the wurst.

OH MY GOSH!! 

Looking forward to my Easter Kielbasa.  YUM!  .... but don't tell my cardiologist....  some things just make life worthwhile!  I was born on the East side of Buffalo NY - a neighborhood where you could live your entire life speaking Polish and never even need English.

THIS was my childhood: 

http://www.forgottenbuffalo.com/historicpoloniadistrict.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Święconka

For eating Kielbasa, I promise to eat tofu for three days of atonement....  ;)

Ham is just a paltry substitute for the real thing...  

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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Posted (edited)
On 4/18/2019 at 2:14 PM, Tacenda said:

My sister who is an inactive LDS, wears a cross that is sideways. I love it because it's the best in both worlds. Goes along with the living Christ emphasis, IMO.

That´s an interesting take. I always wondered about those pendants with the sideways thing. Your take makes it less suspicious.  For my taste the cross being empty is enough of a symbol of the living Christ (as several here have pointed out, along with Hinckley I think, that Protestants and Evangelicals take the empty cross to symbolize [among many other things]). The more I think about, though, the less I think it does much, but this gives some reason for the cross to be sideways - as if taken down. Had not heard this before - thanks for mentioning it!

Edited by Joshua Valentine
clarification to avoid misunderstanding

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Posted (edited)
On 4/18/2019 at 11:26 PM, MustardSeed said:

Is an lds member who buys decorative merchandise from Deseret Book to hang on their walls more righteous than one who does not? 

That’s a red herring which, of course, obscures the issue. If LDS are remiss in their general practice regarding the use of the cross for symbolic ornamentation or self-identity as Christians, are they therefore unchristian or less Christian than those who do? If not, then where’s the beef?

Compare Google result for

Why don’t Mormons use crosses 

with

Why don’t Mormons hang stuff on their walls from Deseret Book.

I’ve never heard of anyone LDS or non-LDS criticize, admonish, question, whatever, Church members who don’t hang up things from Deseret Book. I have, however, heard and read criticism of and been questioned about LDS lack of use of the cross as an sticking point of religious belief and practice. This thread contains some, even throwing  shade on specific Church leaderss.

By the same token, I would never question or condemn anyone - LDS or non-LDS-  about their sincere use of a cross. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Tacenda said:

 http://topverses.com/about/cross  

Over and over I hear about the Garden of Gethsemane as being the place that Jesus sacrificed the most, but really is it true? Then when I read the above scriptures it seems the cross is pretty important, but all my life the garden has been emphasized more than the cross in the church.

The two great LDS biographers of the life of Christ, James E Talmage and Bruce R McConkie, both assert that in addition to the enormous physical and psychological sufferings attendant to crucifixion,  Christ’s sufferings in Gethsemane recurred during the three hours of darkness while he hung in agony on the cross. If true, this means that while in Gethsemane Christ had to deal with infinite and eternal spiritual suffering, but while on the cross he had to endure that same infinite and eternal spiritual agony while simultaneously being cruelly physically tortured by crucifixion and emotionally tormented by his gathered  mercilous enemies. And more recently, Jeffrey R Hunter also testified that he believes Christ’s greatest trial and suffering occurred while on the cross in his General Conference address, ‘None Were with Him.’

i believe part of the reason why many in the Church have emphasized Christ’s sufferings in Getsemane, over his sufferings on the cross, is because they were looking for a way to rationalize why the symbolism of the cross is not outwardly emphasized in the Church as a symbol of Chrit’s atonement. But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, it’s plainly obvious that the Church does place extreme importance on the symbolism of Christ’s sufferings on the cross in the higher and more sacred ordinances of salvation found in the temple. In fact, though most members of the Church don’t seem to realize it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints places more symbolic importance and salvative efficacy on the symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion than does any other Christian church. For those with eyes to see, t’s clear that the reason why crosses don’t adorn the spires of the temples is not because the symbolism of the cross is less important but because it is too sacred. The symbolism of the crucified Christ is encountered within the temples, not outside of the temples.

Edited by teddyaware
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On 4/18/2019 at 4:29 PM, USU78 said:

And let's not forget the Master's rival for the hearts of Rome, Mithras, whose birth is sometimes associated with a tree, whose mysteries and rites evoke our temple worship (as well as the Mass), and one of whose most famous depictions is most evocative:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRdqAWe00No3C80HGCNK8d

Surrounded by the twelve tribes no less.

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On 4/18/2019 at 2:20 PM, mfbukowski said:

This is a start, plus prohibitions against worshipping a groves. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah_pole

And then you have the lingam and yoni and the vesica piscis, all of which are related to life and then there is the Egyptian ankh, which really nails it.

Arguably a cross and or a lingam and yoni and or vesica piscis. 

All are symbols of life.

The parable of the draught of fishes is also related to this and the number of fish 153 was a gnostic symbol ratio for the vesica piscis.

There's tons.

For modern examples Google the logo for "worldwide marriage encounter."

Heck the heart symbol itself, so prominent on Valentine's day.

But I'm trying to make my temple shift right now. ;)

 

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. "

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4 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

That’s a red herring which, of course, obscures the issue. If LDS are remiss in their general practice regarding the use of the cross for symbolic ornamentation or self-identity as Christians, are they therefore unchristian or less Christian than those who do? If not, then where’s the beef?

Compare Google result for

Why don’t Mormons use crosses 

with

Why don’t Mormons hang stuff on their walls from Deseret Book.

I’ve never heard of anyone LDS or non-LDS criticize, admonish, question, whatever, Church members who don’t hang up things from Deseret Book. I have, however, heard and read criticism of and been questioned about LDS lack of use of the cross as an sticking point of religious belief and practice. This thread contains some, even throwing  shade on specific Church leaderss.

By the same token, I would never question or condemn anyone - LDS or non-LDS-  about their sincere use of a cross. 

This reminds me of a story.  Anecdotal,of course, and off topic but I started the thread and give myself permission to digress lol.., 

15 years ago or so two young men in suits knocked on my door and tried to sell me animated Book of Mormon videos.  I turned them down.  Their replay: “Don’t you want the spirit in your home?”

im sure you can guess my answer to that.  

 

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Thought I might add a little something to this discussion.

image.png.d0cd6b21801cca27bad7ff2eb18bd032.png

This seal says "Belongs to Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, King of Judea." Note the Egyptian symbol of life on the right. Those archaeologists who still say there was no Davidic kingdom, are running up against new finds like this, which pinpoint the probable palace of David, and support the historical narrative of the Bible. Anyway the tet or cross symbol was the Egyptian sign of life or essentially their resurrection symbol. One could certainly call it a pagan symbol, but it was adopted in eastern Christianity as well. The point is that its a very ancient symbol predating the advent of Yeshua, and was used by certain elements of Judean society as well. 

To extend what Teddyaware said, the symbol brings to mind the brazen serpent episode of Moses, and the evil and torture Yeshua was made to endure. Shall we look upon it? The Israelites had to to be saved from the fiery serpents. There is nothing inherently evil in a symbol, but I will not kneel before it or pray before it, which is why I think they do not appear in our ward buildings. 
 

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19 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

but I will not kneel before it or pray before it, which is why I think they do not appear in our ward buildings. 

I can’t think of anything I would ever kneel in front of. 

I still wear my medallion though. :) it’s pretty. And it makes me think of good things. 

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5 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I can’t think of anything I would ever kneel in front of. 

I still wear my medallion though. :) it’s pretty. And it makes me think of good things. 

How about anyone? I do and certainly will kneel before Yeshua and the Father.

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