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Happy (Almost) Easter!


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So....  a relative of mine just accused me of not being Christian - they were taught in church that Mormons don't celebrate Easter, the logic went:

 

a) Mormons believe they are saved by works

b) this means they believe Jesus' death did nothing to save them

c) this is why they don't put crosses on their buildings, because they believe Jesus' death is meaningless

d) they believe Jesus felt our pains at Gethsemane, but that Gethsemane was the big deal, not his actual death....

 

 

I think I managed to quelch A - C, but they are still upset about D.  ... so what to say?

Edited by changed
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We could do a much better job at making Easter a much bigger deal. Part of the problem, some years, is that it is also Conference weekend, so the emphasis is much more on Conference, than Easter, although Easter is acknowledge. But it there are no services.

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Are you kidding, Mormons believe that His death is the very thing that gives us eternal life through resurrection.   And we also believe that the the full breadth/depth of the atonement cannot be said to have been accomplished in the Garden --- that likely His death was also a part of it.

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d) they believe Jesus felt our pains at Gethsemane, but that Gethsemane was the big deal, not his actual death....

 

they are still upset about D.  ... so what to say?

 

This comes from their misunderstanding of the atonement.  You could show them the symbolic atonements of ancient Israel and draw the parallells to Christ.

 

First the sins need to be placed on the sacrifice (the receipt of culpability if you will).

Then the sacrifice needs to be made because the wages of sin is death and justice must be satisfied.

 

Christ's death on the cross would have accomplished nothing had he not been carrying the weight and responsibility for all our sins.  Christ carrying our sins around from Gethsemane without shedding his blood would also have accomplished nothing.

Both Gethsemane and Calvary are equally necessary to the atonement.  Without one or the other it could not have been accomplished.

 

Oh, and you might want to remind them that Good Friday is about Christ's death.  Easter is about the resurrection.

Edited by JLHPROF
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So....  a relative of mine just accused me of not being Christian - they were taught in church that Mormons don't celebrate Easter, the logic went:

 

a) Mormons believe they are saved by works

b) this means they believe Jesus' death did nothing to save them

c) this is why they don't put crosses on their buildings, because they believe Jesus' death is meaningless

d) they believe Jesus felt our pains at Gethsemane, but that Gethsemane was the big deal, not his actual death....

 

 

I think I managed to quelch A - C, but they are still upset about D.  ... so what to say?

He did feel our pains at Gethsemane but the point of death was to save us from death. With out the resurrection, death would be the victor.

 

All things are spiritual as well as physical. our mainstream friends forget this too often.

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This comes from their misunderstanding of the atonement.  You could show them the symbolic atonements of ancient Israel and draw the parallells to Christ.

 

First the sins need to be placed on the sacrifice (the receipt of culpability if you will).

Then the sacrifice needs to be made because the wages of sin is death and justice must be satisfied.

 

Christ's death on the cross would have accomplished nothing had he not been carrying the weight and responsibility for all our sins.  Christ carrying our sins around from Gethsemane without shedding his blood would also have accomplished nothing.

Both Gethsemane and Calvary are equally necessary to the atonement.  Without one or the other it could not have been accomplished.

 

Oh, and you might want to remind them that Good Friday is about Christ's death.  Easter is about the resurrection.

 

I need to study more of this - they actually are really into old testament symbolism.  Do you know a good reference that goes through all of this?  

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We could do a much better job at making Easter a much bigger deal. Part of the problem, some years, is that it is also Conference weekend, so the emphasis is much more on Conference, than Easter, although Easter is acknowledge. But it there are no services.

 

I think the problem (with Easter and Christmas, and all of it is) we prefer to spend the holiday with our immediate family, than at church - all the pain/work preparing for a holiday - should we spend the time putting on a show? or serving our family?  although candle-light services can be pretty cool.

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I need to study more of this - they actually are really into old testament symbolism.  Do you know a good reference that goes through all of this?  

 

http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/selections-2005-religious-education-student-symposium/expanded-view-israelite-scapegoat

 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1998/06/the-law-of-sacrifice?lang=eng

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So.... a relative of mine just accused me of not being Christian - they were taught in church that Mormons don't celebrate Easter, the logic went:

a) Mormons believe they are saved by works

b) this means they believe Jesus' death did nothing to save them

c) this is why they don't put crosses on their buildings, because they believe Jesus' death is meaningless

d) they believe Jesus felt our pains at Gethsemane, but that Gethsemane was the big deal, not his actual death....

I think I managed to quelch A - C, but they are still upset about D. ... so what to say?

Such minor technicalities to quibble over.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Listening to this podcast, they discuss the passion and the need to see what Jesus went through and the importance it has, really good.  I really want to attend a Palm Sunday this Sunday.  Does anyone know of a local church in Davis County that might have a service before 10 am?  

 

 

http://mormonmatters.org/2015/03/25/273-the-passion-final-week-of-jesuss-life/

 

273: The Passion (Final Week of Jesus’s Life)

by Dan Wotherspoon

 

On 29 March 2015, the Christian world will celebrate Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem for what turned out to be the final few days of his life. This final week, especially his suffering in Gethsemane, betrayal, and crucifixion, are also widely known as “The Passion,” and commemorations of these and other events of this seven-day period (ending with his resurrection on Easter Sunday) take place during Holy Week. The things that occurred during this final week have special significance for Christians, and they are among the few events in Jesus’s life that are mentioned in each of the four Gospels.

In this episode, Eric Huntsman and Julie Smith join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a close look at the events of this week, as well interesting textual issues (both things included and how, as well as differences). They also speak freely of devotional angles one might contemplate as part of a Holy Week commemoration, as well as at other times. What can we learn about Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem? His overturning of money-changer tables and causing of a ruckus in the temple? His anointing with expensive oil by a woman with an alabaster jar? The Last Supper? His ordeal in Gethsemane? His betrayal? Finally, what can we learn from the rending of the temple veil at following his crucifixion?

This episode dovetails nicely with “An Easter Primer” (Episodes 159-163) released in March 2013. In that series of episodes, Jared Anderson, Zina Petersen, and Kristine Haglund introduce us in great detail to the textual record (and wider background) of his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, as well as a history of liturgies and the special music and celebrations of Holy Week throughout history and today, including things like Passion plays and devotional experiencing of the Stations of the Cross.

Together, these episodes serve well as rich introductions in preparation for Holy Week commemorations. May yours be wonderful!

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Listening to this podcast, they discuss the passion and the need to see what Jesus went through and the importance it has, really good. I really want to attend a Palm Sunday this Sunday. Does anyone know of a local church in Davis County that might have a service before 10 am?

Not sure exactly, but if you look for your local Catholic churches I'm sure at least one has a liturgy beginning at 8 or 8:30am. Happy Holy Week!

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Not sure exactly, but if you look for your local Catholic churches I'm sure at least one has a liturgy beginning at 8 or 8:30am. Happy Holy Week!

Thanks, I ended up listening to some sermons and a lot of bible study on Palm Sunday. Learned a lot!
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I believe that while He suffered the pains at Gethsemane, the true sacrifice was on the Cross.  Remember, it was not complete TIL HE DIED.  His words on the cross specifically say that: "It is Finished."

 

While this is absolutley true his sacrifice and death wouldn't have paid the price of anything if the sins hadn't been placed upon him in Gethsemane.

His death paid the price for the sins he carried on his shoulders.  Our sins.

Edited by JLHPROF
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