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So I'm currently working through the early Church Fathers and am reading Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho. I know he mentions the importance of the crucifixion of Christ. I was wondering what role if any the suffering in the Garden played in Catholic theology of Atonement. I noticed a while ago that the LDS seem to focus more on the garden than other denominations. I did read somewhere that Catholics consider it a divine mystery, but don't know what role it plays in their worship and theology. Furthermore I was wondering if any of the early Church Fathers commented on Gethsemane. Thanks in advance for any responses.

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6 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

The suffering in the garden is often known as the Agony. It is not technically part of the Atonement -- that was the Crucifixion -- but it is part of His sufferings surrounding the Crucifixion. I, too, have noticed the LDS focus on Gethsemani. I think we have talked about it before on this board. As I remember, Mormons believe that the Atonement happened in Gethsemani and not on the Cross. Is this correct?

Sort of. The atonement began in Gethsemane after the angel came to strengthen Jesus. It continued through the crucifixion and ended with the resurrection. The separation from God humanity endures was overcome through the Savior suffering in Gethsemane all the way to the cross, and intimately knowing through that suffering, the sins, pains, sicknesses, and frailties of every human who will ever live and gaining the ability to heal us all. The victory over physical death came through God voluntarily giving up his life and having the power to take it up again in a glorious resurrection. Through that act Jesus gained the ability to raise us all to an equally glorious resurrection and guaranteed physical resurrection to everyone who ever lived.

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The cross is a bad word sometimes. I wish the church wouldn't be afraid of it. But the way my mom put it, if Jesus was killed by a gun would we wear a gun or put up a gun on the wall? Which I think is a lame excuse for not using it, bless her heart though she was going by protocol.

I think the church distanced itself from the cross because it coincided with the Catholic church, that's my opinion of course. I don't know why that is. But I remember telling someone in my ward that I would like to wear the cross and she was shocked and attributed it to the devil. It was so strange, the disconnect with the cross. When in actuality it's a very integral symbol for Jesus' sacrifice.

Hopefully the church will eventually bring it back. Also, the answer comes back that the church likes to concentrate on the living Christ, His resurrection. But this doesn't hold water enough for me, this explanation.

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

The cross is a bad word sometimes. I wish the church wouldn't be afraid of it. But the way my mom put it, if Jesus was killed by a gun would we wear a gun or put up a gun on the wall? Which I think is a lame excuse for not using it, bless her heart though she was going by protocol.

I think the church distanced itself from the cross because it coincided with the Catholic church, that's my opinion of course. I don't know why that is. But I remember telling someone in my ward that I would like to wear the cross and she was shocked and attributed it to the devil. It was so strange, the disconnect with the cross. When in actuality it's a very integral symbol for Jesus' sacrifice.

Hopefully the church will eventually bring it back. Also, the answer comes back that the church likes to concentrate on the living Christ, His resurrection. But this doesn't hold water enough for me, this explanation.

I think the issue is that the cross becomes an image of worship. There is nothing about a t shape that we should bow to or pray to - at least in the opinion of Joseph Smith. If I owned a cross piece of jewelry, I would not bow or pray to it, so I believe that would be OK - it would be like wearing the symbol of the fish. Then it really is just a reminder to myself of my commitments, which is how Catholics believe they reverence the cross. However, the same can be argued for the pagan statues. They normally represented some being which the people truly believed in. Changing the statues out for someone else doesn't change this fact. YHWH wishes to be reverenced in spirit and truth rather than through some statue which neither sees, nor hears, nor walks nor smells.

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13 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I think the issue is that the cross becomes an image of worship. There is nothing about a t shape that we should bow to or pray to - at least in the opinion of Joseph Smith. If I owned a cross piece of jewelry, I would not bow or pray to it, so I believe that would be OK - it would be like wearing the symbol of the fish. Then it really is just a reminder to myself of my commitments, which is how Catholics believe they reverence the cross. However, the same can be argued for the pagan statues. They normally represented some being which the people truly believed in. Changing the statues out for someone else doesn't change this fact. YHWH wishes to be reverenced in spirit and truth rather than through some statue which neither sees, nor hears, nor walks nor smells.

How about temples? How about the Christus?

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2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

As I remember, Mormons believe that the Atonement happened in Gethsemane and not on the Cross. Is this correct?

Actually the atonement includes everything involved in the entire life, death, and resurrection of Christ and continues today. More specifically Christ suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Because sin involves infractions of a spiritual nature, the suffering required to pay for our sins must also be of a spiritual nature; not physical temporal suffering imposed by a few mortal men. How could a few hours physically suffering on a cross be sufficient to pay for all the sins made by all mankind? He was hung on a cross between two mortals, who were also being crucified for the temporal civil crimes they had committed. How could a similar punishment they received for their individual mortal crimes be enough suffering to pay for the sins of all mankind? 

Christ, being part mortal, did indeed suffer pain on the cross and spilled His blood, but that itself could not pay the price for our sins. That price was paid by Him spiritually as only He, being God, could do, as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
As it started, He "began to be sorrowful and very heavy," saying to his three chief disciples, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, unto death" (Mark 14:34). Leaving them to keep watch, he went further into the garden, where, according to the Book of Mormon, He would suffer "the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam" (Book of Mormon, 2 Ne. 9:21). It was there in Gethsemane that his sweat was "as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44) for he bled "at every pore" . "Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—" (D&C 19:18).

Comparatively speaking, His suffering on the cross was nothing compared to the suffering He experienced in the Garden. His death on the cross was a very important part of the atonement, for it initiated the possibility of the resurrection of all man. 

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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

The suffering in the garden is often known as the Agony. It is not technically part of the Atonement -- that was the Crucifixion -- but it is part of His sufferings surrounding the Crucifixion. I, too, have noticed the LDS focus on Gethsemane. I think we have talked about it before on this board. As I remember, Mormons believe that the Atonement happened in Gethsemane and not on the Cross. Is this correct?

It would be more accurate to say that the LDS believe it was a process, and not an event. It started in Gethsemane and ended at the Resurrection.

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28 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

How about temples? How about the Christus?

I have not seen anyone bow or pray to the Christus. However, if it were up to me, I would probably remove it. Nevertheless, the same problem could arise with paintings, etc. Temples are not an image that I have seen anyone worship as an object. We have to have buildings to meet in and to do ordinance work in from a practical standpoint. The temple has always representing things of heaven since the tabernacle was instituted under Moses. Nevertheless there was no image of YHWH in it. This was shocking to foreigners such as Pompey who violated the sanctity of the temple. They were used to seeing the image of a god in a temple.

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The atonement began in Gethsemane after the angel came to strengthen Jesus.

No.  Jesus took on Himself the "Bitter Cup" in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He dreaded it and prayed to the Father asking if there was some way He could avoid it.  But it was necessary.  He took on Himself all the sins, all the sufferings, all the ravages, all the injustices endured by all the people from time of Adam & Eve to the end of the Millennium.  It was a crushing horrific process.  No human could endure it.  Only a God could do it.  Gethsemane in Hebrew means Garden of the Olive Press.

That agony in the Garden was many times (maybe infinitely) greater than all the other agonies Jesus suffered in the following events (arrest, trial, beatings, forced march to Golgotha and hanging on the cross).  It was necessary for that angel to come and strengthen Him.  See:  https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/12/the-olive-press?lang=eng

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55 minutes ago, longview said:

No.  Jesus took on Himself the "Bitter Cup" in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He dreaded it and prayed to the Father asking if there was some way He could avoid it.  But it was necessary.  He took on Himself all the sins, all the sufferings, all the ravages, all the injustices endured by all the people from time of Adam & Eve to the end of the Millennium.  It was a crushing horrific process.  No human could endure it.  Only a God could do it.  Gethsemane in Hebrew means Garden of the Olive Press.

That agony in the Garden was many times (maybe infinitely) greater than all the other agonies Jesus suffered in the following events (arrest, trial, beatings, forced march to Golgotha and hanging on the cross).  It was necessary for that angel to come and strengthen Him.  See:  https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/12/the-olive-press?lang=eng

You might want to rethink that no.

SEE https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22%3A40-43&version=NIV

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7 hours ago, boblloyd91 said:

So I'm currently working through the early Church Fathers and am reading Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho. I know he mentions the importance of the crucifixion of Christ. I was wondering what role if any the suffering in the Garden played in Catholic theology of Atonement. I noticed a while ago that the LDS seem to focus more on the garden than other denominations. I did read somewhere that Catholics consider it a divine mystery, but don't know what role it plays in their worship and theology. Furthermore I was wondering if any of the early Church Fathers commented on Gethsemane. Thanks in advance for any responses.

Hi Bob.

Shortly before Gethsemane, Jesus and the Apostles had just finished with the Last Supper, which is also the First Mass. Jesus uses a strong expression that is translated, "with desire I have desired"...revealing how much He wants to communicate the Divine Life which He has from the Father. Atonement could have taken place with much less rigor. The slightest suffering by the infinite God-Man was super abundant to satisfy the justice of God. But would it have been enough to show us how "with desire Jesus desired" to communicate Himself to us? To show us the depth of the love of His Sacred Heart, He went through the Passion and Crucifixion, not to meet the exact minimum requirement of the law, but to warm and soften the cold and stony hearts of His true disciples until He returns again. Such love wants to sacrifice to win the beloved.

Gethsemane is a great mystery. That does not mean we can know nothing. Mystery means we cannot know everything! His bloody sweat was sufficient to atone. The Mysteries of Christianity by Matthias Scheeben shows the Catholic view of the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ. His generous love for us is only one aspect and maybe not even the most important about why it was appropriate for the Son of God to have submitted to suffer so. 

"This overflow of suffering was not needed to satisfy for man's sins, a single drop of Christ's blood, even a single tear would have fully sufficed."  (Matthias Scheeben, The Mysteries of Christianity, B. Herder Book Co., 1947, p.426)

 

Edited by 3DOP
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22 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

Atonement could have taken place with much less rigor. The slightest suffering by the infinite God-Man was super abundant to satisfy the justice of God. But would it have been enough to show us how "with desire Jesus desired" to communicate Himself to us? To show us the depth of the love of His Sacred Heart, He went through the Passion and Crucifixion, not to meet the exact minimum requirement of the law, but to warm and soften the cold and stony hearts of His true disciples until He returns again. Such love wants to sacrifice to win the beloved.

This is an excellent point.

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58 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

Hi Bob.

Shortly before Gethsemane, Jesus and the Apostles had just finished with the Last Supper, which is also the First Mass. Jesus uses a strong expression that is translated, "with desire I have desired"...revealing how much He wants to communicate the Divine Life which He has from the Father. Atonement could have taken place with much less rigor. The slightest suffering by the infinite God-Man was super abundant to satisfy the justice of God. But would it have been enough to show us how "with desire Jesus desired" to communicate Himself to us? To show us the depth of the love of His Sacred Heart, He went through the Passion and Crucifixion, not to meet the exact minimum requirement of the law, but to warm and soften the cold and stony hearts of His true disciples until He returns again. Such love wants to sacrifice to win the beloved.

Gethsemane is a great mystery. That does not mean we can know nothing. Mystery means we cannot know everything! His bloody sweat was sufficient to atone. The Mysteries of Christianity by Matthias Scheeben shows the Catholic view of the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ. His generous love for us is only one aspect and maybe not even the most important about why it was appropriate for the Son of God to have submitted to suffer so. 

"This overflow of suffering was not needed to satisfy for man's sins, a single drop of Christ's blood, even a single tear would have fully sufficed."  (Matthias Scheeben, The Mysteries of Christianity, B. Herder Book Co., 1947, p.426)

 

Thank you!

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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

The cross is a bad word sometimes. I wish the church wouldn't be afraid of it. But the way my mom put it, if Jesus was killed by a gun would we wear a gun or put up a gun on the wall? Which I think is a lame excuse for not using it, bless her heart though she was going by protocol.

I think the church distanced itself from the cross because it coincided with the Catholic church, that's my opinion of course. I don't know why that is. But I remember telling someone in my ward that I would like to wear the cross and she was shocked and attributed it to the devil. It was so strange, the disconnect with the cross. When in actuality it's a very integral symbol for Jesus' sacrifice.

Hopefully the church will eventually bring it back. Also, the answer comes back that the church likes to concentrate on the living Christ, His resurrection. But this doesn't hold water enough for me, this explanation.

 

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3 hours ago, longview said:

No.  Jesus took on Himself the "Bitter Cup" in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He dreaded it and prayed to the Father asking if there was some way He could avoid it.  But it was necessary.  He took on Himself all the sins, all the sufferings, all the ravages, all the injustices endured by all the people from time of Adam & Eve to the end of the Millennium.  It was a crushing horrific process.  No human could endure it.  Only a God could do it.  Gethsemane in Hebrew means Garden of the Olive Press.

That agony in the Garden was many times (maybe infinitely) greater than all the other agonies Jesus suffered in the following events (arrest, trial, beatings, forced march to Golgotha and hanging on the cross).  It was necessary for that angel to come and strengthen Him.  See:  https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/12/the-olive-press?lang=eng

No.

"We honor His birth. But without His death that birth would have been but one more birth. 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. His was a great Atonement for the sins of all mankind. He was the resurrection and the life, "the firstfruits of them that slept" Because of Him all men will be raised from the grave." -President Gordon B. Hinckley

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3 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

Are you saying that angel was with Jesus the whole time He was suffering the effects of the "Bitter Cup" ?  I could agree with that.  I also believe Jesus continued to carry the effects all the way to the cross.

1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

"We honor His birth. But without His death that birth would have been but one more birth. 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. His was a great Atonement for the sins of all mankind. He was the resurrection and the life, "the firstfruits of them that slept" Because of Him all men will be raised from the grave." -President Gordon B. Hinckley

How does Hinckley's statement differ from my description of what occurred in Gethsemane?

D&C 19:18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink

3 Ne 11:11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

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21 minutes ago, longview said:

Are you saying that angel was with Jesus the whole time He was suffering the effects of the "Bitter Cup" ?  I could agree with that.  I also believe Jesus continued to carry the effects all the way to the cross.

No, I have no idea if the angel stuck around.

22 minutes ago, longview said:

How does Hinckley's statement differ from my description of what occurred in Gethsemane?

D&C 19:18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink

3 Ne 11:11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

The bitter cup did not end in Gethsemane. I have seen nothing in scripture or from the apostles to suggest that his taking upon him the pains of the sins and sorrows of humanity was finished before he left Gethsemane.

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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

The cross is a bad word sometimes. I wish the church wouldn't be afraid of it. But the way my mom put it, if Jesus was killed by a gun would we wear a gun or put up a gun on the wall? Which I think is a lame excuse for not using it, bless her heart though she was going by protocol.

I think the church distanced itself from the cross because it coincided with the Catholic church, that's my opinion of course. I don't know why that is. But I remember telling someone in my ward that I would like to wear the cross and she was shocked and attributed it to the devil. It was so strange, the disconnect with the cross. When in actuality it's a very integral symbol for Jesus' sacrifice.

Hopefully the church will eventually bring it back. Also, the answer comes back that the church likes to concentrate on the living Christ, His resurrection. But this doesn't hold water enough for me, this explanation.

My understanding is that the Church distsnced itself from the cross since it is an idolatrous demonstration of one's Christianity. The Church emphasizes performing active good works to show out Christianity to others, not a physical symbol typically worn around the neck. The Church does not officially condemn wearing a cross and the wearing of garments is actually quite similar in principle to Christians wearing a cross the main difference difference being that garments are worn underneath outer clothing whereas a cross is commonly worn outside clothing for the public to see.

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Oh my gosh guys, it was a process for Pete's sake

Defining when it happened is pointless.  It started with the plan and everything led up to it- if Christ had not been born it would not have happened, if he failed a single day of his ministry it would not have happened, if he did not have the Sermon on the Mount, or any event of his life, the atonement would not have happened.

It is a chain of causation.  It's not like it happened at 3 PM exactly, April 6 33 AD.  It took eternity to make it happen and it still isn't over!.

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17 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Oh my gosh guys, it was a process for Pete's sake

Defining when it happened is pointless.  It started with the plan and everything led up to it- if Christ had not been born it would not have happened, if he failed a single day of his ministry it would not have happened, if he did not have the Sermon on the Mount, or any event of his life, the atonement would not have happened.

It is a chain of causation.  It's not like it happened at 3 PM exactly, April 6 33 AD.  It took eternity to make it happen and it still isn't over!.

Of course it didn't. It was in the evening at 8:14. It was dark outside. How would that happen at 3 PM? Are you some kind of heretic?

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