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Is the Symbol of the Cross a Cultural or a Doctrinal Taboo?

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6 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Choosing to look at it as a negative is your issue.

... and not consistent with LDS history in which it was commonplace to use the cross.

(See the Mike Reed article we both quoted earlier)   I wish I could get one of the pics from that book uploaded to the board, but was unable to do that- maybe you can do that Mr. Wagon.  ;)

I jest ain't up on these here new-fangled contraptions, lak y'all young folks!  ;)

 

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"Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing."

---Jn 20:24-27

The Lamb who was slain, our Lord Jesus, had been disfigured even before the crucifixion, especially by the scourging commanded by Pontius Pilate. Thankfully, the resurrected and glorified body of Christ shows no trace of the atrocious and numerous wounds that Jesus the Lamb endured at the pillar. However, it seems like the glorified body of Jesus retains evidence of his wounds on the Cross. Assuredly they are "glorified wounds" if you will, as evidence and testimony to what the Lamb did for all who will come to Him. His glorified hands and side retain evidence of the pains Christ endured on our behalf.

Why does Jesus still have cavities in His flesh caused by His crucifixion, AFTER the Resurrection, into which St. Thomas could thrust his fingers? Maybe it is and always will be a good habit for the worshippers of the Lamb who was slain for them, to frequently recall the price of their redemption which the Lamb paid on the Cross, which is for His followers, the Tree of Life. If some cannot allow that any literal, physical emblem of that sacrifice is permissible to Christians, assuredly all the true followers of the Lamb must keep it foremost, imagining it in their minds. What is the difference? Why would it be wrong, even perhaps morbid to ponder a physical crucifix, when it is essential for His friends to ponder and unite themselves in spirit anyway, with Jesus crucified? May His eternally glorified wounds, caused by crucifixion, make the cold heart melt, and the warm heart burn, now and forever, Amen.

Thanks for your consideration.

3DOP   

Edited by 3DOP
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7 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

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. 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. The book I referenced earlier by Michael Reed goes into a great deal of history about the use of the cross in the church prior to the McKay era.

Many Christians of other sects consider Mormons to be non-Christian. I can't imagine the church's rejection of the cross helps correct that impression.

I believe early use of the cross is a holdover from previous practices or simply a general cultural act. The fact that LDS leaders never counsel the Saints to use the cross as an ornament or object of veneration is significant, IMO. You are free to disagree. The material cross is a frequent topic in Protestant and especially Catholic sermons and writings. It is emphasized in LDS discourse but not as an object of adornment or veneration. 

There are far more substantial doctrinal reasons they consIder us non-Christians. I have had many discussions with folks about our religion. My not having a cross around my neck has never come up. Except here and on anti-Mormon websites. Hanging crosses on our necks tomorrow and topping our ubiquitous steeples with them the next day that would do nothing to change their minds. There are much bigger fish they fry. I think it is a non-issue. Making President McKay the bad guy is sad. That this has been affirmed by subsequent prophets is significant.  Perhaps he was right. 

How does putting up a cross on a wall or wearing one make a person a better Christian? While it is a tradition I respect, It doesn’t make any difference.

In any case, if a member of the Church wants to wear a cross or place one on a wall in their home, please do.  
 

Who says one must wear a cross to show you are a Christian? Other than identifying ourselves as Christians to others who may question our devotion, what would be the benefit? Jesus said, 

Quote

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Isn’t this sufficient?

Edited by Bernard Gui

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2 hours ago, 3DOP said:

"Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing."

---Jn 20:24-27

The Lamb who was slain, our Lord Jesus, had been disfigured even before the crucifixion, especially by the scourging commanded by Pontius Pilate. Thankfully, the resurrected and glorified body of Christ shows no trace of the atrocious and numerous wounds that Jesus the Lamb endured at the pillar. However, it seems like the glorified body of Jesus retains evidence of his wounds on the Cross. Assuredly they are "glorified wounds" if you will, as evidence and testimony to what the Lamb did for all who will come to Him. His glorified hands and side retain evidence of the pains Christ endured on our behalf.

Why does Jesus still have cavities in His flesh caused by His crucifixion, AFTER the Resurrection, into which St. Thomas could thrust his fingers? Maybe it is and always will be a good habit for the worshippers of the Lamb who was slain for them, to frequently recall the price of their redemption which the Lamb paid on the Cross, which is for His followers, the Tree of Life. If some cannot allow that any literal, physical emblem of that sacrifice is permissible to Christians, assuredly all the true followers of the Lamb must keep it foremost, imagining it in their minds. What is the difference? Why would it be wrong, even perhaps morbid to ponder a physical crucifix, when it is essential for His friends to ponder and unite themselves in spirit anyway, with Jesus crucified? May His eternally glorified wounds, caused by crucifixion, make the cold heart melt, and the warm heart burn, now and forever, Amen.

Thanks for your consideration.

3DOP   

Wonderful thoughts from the Catholic perspective. I admire your devotion to the Lord.

 We LDS also have sacred physical emblems that help us recall his Atonement. We wear them privately next to our bodies as constant personal reminders. Every Sunday we partake of the emblems of his flesh which was broken and his blood which was spilled for us in hope and remembrance of his grace and forgiveness. We promise to God that we will take his name upon us, always remember him, and keep his commandments.

Furthermore, our most intimate temple rites are implicitly and inextricably associated with his crucifixion. These are as sacred and significant to us as your practices are to you. I’m not telling you something new. I’m sure you understand and respect these things that we do.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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14 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I believe early use of the cross is a holdover from previous practices or simply a general cultural act. The fact that LDS leaders never counsel the Saints to use the cross as an ornament or object of veneration is significant, IMO. You are free to disagree. The material cross is a frequent topic in Protestant and especially Catholic sermons and writings. It is emphasized in LDS discourse but not as an object of adornment or veneration. 

There are far more substantial doctrinal reasons they consIder us non-Christians. I have had many discussions with folks about our religion. My not having a cross around my neck has never come up. Except here and on anti-Mormon websites. Hanging crosses on our necks tomorrow and topping our ubiquitous steeples with them the next day that would do nothing to change their minds. There are much bigger fish they fry. I think it is a non-issue. Making President McKay the bad guy is sad. That this has been affirmed by subsequent prophets is significant.  Perhaps he was right. 

How does putting up a cross on a wall or wearing one make a person a better Christian? While it is a tradition I respect, It doesn’t make any difference.

In any case, if a member of the Church wants to wear a cross or place one on a wall in their home, please do.  
 

Who says one must wear a cross to show you are a Christian? Other than identifying ourselves as Christians to others who may question our devotion, what would be the benefit? Jesus said, 

Isn’t this sufficient?

I never claimed that makes a person a better Christian, but it does symbolize and even acts as a testimony of Christianity to others. I'm curious though. If wearing a cross doesn't make someone a better Christian, does wearing garments make a person a better Mormon? Both tend to alert others that they are part of the "in group", though that is hardly the primary reason either are worn.

The LDS church accepts "outer expressions" of "inner commitments". Would you also argue that isn't necessary because good works and keeping the commandments is sufficient?

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43 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I never claimed that makes a person a better Christian, but it does symbolize and even acts as a testimony of Christianity to others. I'm curious though. If wearing a cross doesn't make someone a better Christian, does wearing garments make a person a better Mormon? Both tend to alert others that they are part of the "in group", though that is hardly the primary reason either are worn.

The LDS church accepts "outer expressions" of "inner commitments". Would you also argue that isn't necessary because good works and keeping the commandments is sufficient?

My main point was simply that the cross is a symbol of death and suffering, as President Hinckley said it was. It point us backward to a bad moment in history, when Jesus was crucified by people who wanted to kill him.  True, our Lord turned that moment into a good thing, just as sour lemons can be turned into good lemonade, but people wanting to kill our Lord is a bad thing and our Lord's actual death was a bad thing, a sacrifice, nonetheless.  And rather than continuing to reflect on the fact that our Lord was put to death on a cross I would rather think of the fact that he rose from the dead and continued to live just as he continues to live now.  And that I and everyone else should try to live as he did and still does.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I never claimed that makes a person a better Christian, but it does symbolize and even acts as a testimony of Christianity to others. I'm curious though. If wearing a cross doesn't make someone a better Christian, does wearing garments make a person a better Mormon? Both tend to alert others that they are part of the "in group", though that is hardly the primary reason either are worn.

I didn’t say you claimed it. I asked if it is true. I don’t think it is.

Yes, because wearing the garments is an integral part of the covenants of exaltation. We wear them by commandment and covenant. Wearing them properly is a requirement for a temple recommend. There are specific instructions and promises appended to them. Of course, you are aware of that. No such things attach to the wearing of a material cross.

It seems odd to me that someone would be checking if others wear the garment to determine if they are part of the “in group.” However, I do recall the supposed practice of BYU coeds feeling for garment lines on the backs of their partners at dances. 😉

Quote

The LDS church accepts "outer expressions" of "inner commitments". Would you also argue that isn't necessary because good works and keeping the commandments is sufficient?

No. My question is whether making the choice to wear a cross enhances one’s Christianity. If someone (LDS ot non-LDS) feels that way, fine. IMO, choosing not to wear one does not diminish one’s Christianity in any way. Faulting the Saints for not using the cross ignores all the other inner and outer ways we express our reverence for the it. You seem to disagree.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

I didn’t say you claimed it. I asked if it is true. I don’t think it is.

Yes, because wearing the garments is an integral part of the covenants of exaltation. We wear them by covenant. Wearing them properly is a requirement for a temple recommend. There are specific instructions and promises appended to them. Of course, you are aware of that. No such things attach to the wearing of the cross.

It seems odd to me that someone would be checking if others wear the garment to determine if they are part of the “in group.” However, I do recall the supposed practice of BYU coeds feeling for garment lines on the backs of their partners at dances. 😉

No. My question is whether making the choice to wear a cross enhances one’s Christianity. If someone feels that way, fine. Choosing not to wear one does not diminish one’s Christianity. Faulting the Saints for not using the cross ignores all the other Inner and outer ways we express our reverence for the cross.

I do not reverence the cross at all.  Not even a little bit.  The cross was an instrument of death and suffering for our Savior and others who were also put to death on a cross.

We can all appreciate all that our Savior did for us, including being willing to suffer and die for us, without having any reverence for any cross at all.

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

I didn’t say you claimed it. I asked if it is true. I don’t think it is.

Yes, because wearing the garments is an integral part of the covenants of exaltation. We wear them by commandment and covenant. Wearing them properly is a requirement for a temple recommend. There are specific instructions and promises appended to them. Of course, you are aware of that. No such things attach to the wearing of a material cross.

It seems odd to me that someone would be checking if others wear the garment to determine if they are part of the “in group.” However, I do recall the supposed practice of BYU coeds feeling for garment lines on the backs of their partners at dances. 😉

No. My question is whether making the choice to wear a cross enhances one’s Christianity. If someone (LDS ot non-LDS) feels that way, fine. IMO, choosing not to wear one does not diminish one’s Christianity in any way. Faulting the Saints for not using the cross ignores all the other inner and outer ways we express our reverence for the it. You seem to disagree.

 

I don't think it's odd at all, considering the level of importance placed on the garment as illustrated in your comment. It's commandment. It's covenant etc (both of which I'd actually challenge- but whatevs).  Garment wearers quickly recognize who is NOT wearing garments. For example, it's not hard to tell that someone wearing a tank top or sleeveless shirt, or mid-length shorts is not wearing garments. Or even seeing the white neckline poking out from a t-shirt, or the infamous celestial smile :) 

Regardless, I think wearing a cross can enhance someone's Christianity. If that's their way of testifying, or showing solidarity, expressing faith etc, fantastic. That's a great thing. Mormons do the same things with CTR rings or even wearing of BYU gear. They may not give a rip about BYU sports but it signals to others "hey, I'm Mormon" so other Mormons see it and there is a kind of instant kinship (unless the heathen Mormon happens to be a U fan ;) )

But I do agree that NOT wearing a cross doesn't make someone less of a Christian just like not wearing BYU gear or a CTR ring doesn't make someone less of a Mormon. What I have a problem with is when people dismiss something that is a meaningful symbol for others. If it's not your thing, that's cool but there's no need to denigrate its meaning for someone else. I think you'd agree with that.

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13 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I don't think it's odd at all, considering the level of importance placed on the garment as illustrated in your comment. It's commandment. It's covenant etc (both of which I'd actually challenge- but whatevs).  Garment wearers quickly recognize who is NOT wearing garments. For example, it's not hard to tell that someone wearing a tank top or sleeveless shirt, or mid-length shorts is not wearing garments. Or even seeing the white neckline poking out from a t-shirt, or the infamous celestial smile :) 

If anyone I know is checking out people's garments, they keep their invasion of privacy well hidden. I have never heard it discussed in public or private. It's none of our business.

15 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Regardless, I think wearing a cross can enhance someone's Christianity. If that's their way of testifying, or showing solidarity, expressing faith etc, fantastic. That's a great thing. Mormons do the same things with CTR rings or even wearing of BYU gear. They may not give a rip about BYU sports but it signals to others "hey, I'm Mormon" so other Mormons see it and there is a kind of instant kinship (unless the heathen Mormon happens to be a U fan ;) )

I have repeatedly said and will say it yet again, if someone wants to wear a cross, even if they are LDS, do so. I respect their sincerity in the way they express their faith. I also observe that the wearing of a cross says nothing about the character of the person, just as wearing LDS paraphernalia says nothing about their character. If it's just a way to identify your tribe, then it loses its religious potency in my opinion. You may disagree.

19 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But I do agree that NOT wearing a cross doesn't make someone less of a Christian just like not wearing BYU gear or a CTR ring doesn't make someone less of a Mormon. What I have a problem with is when people dismiss something that is a meaningful symbol for others. If it's not your thing, that's cool but there's no need to denigrate its meaning for someone else. I think you'd agree with that.

Well, I agree, but you have obviously not read my comments.

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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

My main point was simply that the cross is a symbol of death and suffering, as President Hinckley said it was. It point us backward to a bad moment in history, when Jesus was crucified by people who wanted to kill him.  True, our Lord turned that moment into a good thing, just as sour lemons can be turned into good lemonade, but people wanting to kill our Lord is a bad thing and our Lord's actual death was a bad thing, a sacrifice, nonetheless.  And rather than continuing to reflect on the fact that our Lord was put to death on a cross I would rather think of the fact that he rose from the dead and continued to live just as he continues to live now.  And that I and everyone else should try to live as he did and still does.

I understand what you are saying, but Christ was crucified from before the foundation of the world. Nephi saw it in vision 600 years before it happened. In my review of LDS Conference talks that reference the cross, I have found profound reverence for what it stands for....the suffering of our Lord in our behalf. That's how I view it, too, and I would not use it as an adornment. I have not found any talk where General Authorities recommend wearing it or putting it on walls or buildings. 

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Deleted. See below.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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On 7/30/2020 at 12:35 AM, teddyaware said:

This made me chuckle... Become a Latter-Day Saint and worship in one of our temples and you’ll understand. I can say no more.

As someone who HAS been through the temple and is fully aware of the endowment and its employment of the cross, I still emphatically disagree with your statement that "the undeniable fact that no Christian Church on earth places more importance on the symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion than does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

Its clear that most other Christian Churches venerate the Christ's experience leading up to the crucifixion and the imagery and spiritual significance of his time on the cross itself more than the LDS Faith does.  Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Catholic's centuries-long spiritual rites regarding the 'Stations of the Cross,' found in its holy literature, song, art, architecture, and in worship in churches and cathedrals across the world.  

The signs and tokens of the temple hardly surpass other church's approach to and spiritual emphasis of the cross and Christ's crucifixion. IMO, to claim otherwise is to speak either from ignorance or arrogance. 

Edited by Daniel2
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On 8/4/2020 at 4:46 PM, 3DOP said:

"Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing."

---Jn 20:24-27

The Lamb who was slain, our Lord Jesus, had been disfigured even before the crucifixion, especially by the scourging commanded by Pontius Pilate. Thankfully, the resurrected and glorified body of Christ shows no trace of the atrocious and numerous wounds that Jesus the Lamb endured at the pillar. However, it seems like the glorified body of Jesus retains evidence of his wounds on the Cross. Assuredly they are "glorified wounds" if you will, as evidence and testimony to what the Lamb did for all who will come to Him. His glorified hands and side retain evidence of the pains Christ endured on our behalf.

Why does Jesus still have cavities in His flesh caused by His crucifixion, AFTER the Resurrection, into which St. Thomas could thrust his fingers? Maybe it is and always will be a good habit for the worshippers of the Lamb who was slain for them, to frequently recall the price of their redemption which the Lamb paid on the Cross, which is for His followers, the Tree of Life. If some cannot allow that any literal, physical emblem of that sacrifice is permissible to Christians, assuredly all the true followers of the Lamb must keep it foremost, imagining it in their minds. What is the difference? Why would it be wrong, even perhaps morbid to ponder a physical crucifix, when it is essential for His friends to ponder and unite themselves in spirit anyway, with Jesus crucified? May His eternally glorified wounds, caused by crucifixion, make the cold heart melt, and the warm heart burn, now and forever, Amen.

Thanks for your consideration.

3DOP   

Just for your information, this is metaphorically one of the most important parts of the presentation of the endowment.

We have not forgotten.

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An interesting discourse given by Brigham Young in 1858 that pertains to this discussion. It gives insight into the thoughts of 19th-century Latter-day Saints about our own traditions.

Quote

There is a cause for their traditions, customs, and present practices [primitive people and others who worship idols]. They have grown into their present idolatry through a neglect of the truth, through a proneness to wander and forget their God and true religion. Let this people backslide—lose their present faith and knowledge, and in after generations, perhaps, a few would cling to the Priesthood with all the vigor that we do, and would understand that the people were going into darkness, and would urge them to have some custom, some form, some representation or figure of their former faith and religion. What is commonly termed idolatry has arisen from a few sincere men, full of faith and having a little knowledge, urging upon a backsliding people to preserve some customs—to cling to some fashions or figures, to put them in mind of that God with whom their fathers were acquainted, without designing or wishing the people to worship an idol—to worship stocks, stones, beasts, and birds. Idols have been introduced, which are now worshipped, and have been for centuries and thousands of years; but they were not introduced at once. They were introduced to preserve among the people the idea of the true God.

I have frequently said, and say again, that there are and always have been a great many in this Church that are not Saints. There are more “Mormons” than Saints; and there are different degrees and grades of “Mormons” and of Saints. There are many that are “Mormons” that are not Saints; and so it will be until Jesus comes to separate the sheep from the goats; or, in other language, until the Husbandman shall bid his servants gather the wheat into the barn, and the tares into bundles to be burned. This must be; this we all believe and can understand.

If we are not all Saints, the most of this people are trying to be. If we are not as perfect in our sphere as are the angels, we are trying to prepare ourselves to become so. We have not yet received our inheritances; but we are trying to prepare ourselves to be worthy to receive them. Yet it can readily be understood that if this people should backslide, they would, as others have, introduce an idolatrous worship. All Protestants accuse the Roman Catholic Church of worshipping idols. It is the practice of its members to carry a cross with them to worship the Virgin Mary. They have paintings and images in their chapels and other places of worship; and they are accused of worshipping these paintings and images, and that they are idolatrous worshippers. But those representations were introduced in the same way that a father would show his children that Jesus Christ is actually a man like their father, by showing them a figure representing Jesus as extended upon the cross, and saying, “This gives you, my children, an idea that he was a man.” Now, let those children, when saying their prayers, have that representation before them, and how long would it be before some of their neighbors' children would tell their mothers that those children were worshipping a picture or image? This is the way that idolatry has sprung up in the world, through a method established to keep the people in remembrance of the God they once worshipped and were acquainted with.

Do the Christian world know whether God has eyes to see, ears to hear, or hands, or a body? They are as ignorant of the true God as are those islanders, and all whom we call heathen. And our traditions are such that we are yet more or less in the dark, and are under the necessity of assembling here from Sabbath to Sabbath, and in Ward meetings, and besides, have to call our solemn assemblies, to teach, talk, pray, sing, and exhort. What for? To keep us in remembrance of our God and our holy religion. Is this custom necessary? Yes; because we are so liable to forget—so prone to wander, that we need to have the Gospel sounded in our ears as much as once, twice, or thrice a week, or, behold, we will turn again to our idols. It is immaterial what the idol is, whether it is what the Californians call a slug, or whether it is a twenty-dollar gold piece, or an eagle, or half-eagle, or whether our affections and attention fasten upon our farms, houses, and other worldly goods—if we are not constantly exhorting the people and setting before them the necessity of living their religion, calling back their minds that have been wandering, and preaching and praying with them, behold, they would turn to their idols.

Were the Lord to give us peace for a few years, so that we should have no sorrow or trouble from without, with the land producing abundantly, with the fine weather and the healthy climate, how long would it be before many of you would again want to go to California to get gold, and turn away from your holy religion to worship an idol? Rather than neglect your holy religion entirely, you had better keep your images right before your eyes and say your prayers to an idol, whether it be cut out of wood or is a dog's skull, so that you believe there is something behind that which will actually point your affections to look beyond that which you see with your natural eyes, and cause you to believe in a Supreme Being, in an Overruling Hand, in an All-wise Providence, or to worship even a god without body or parts. Are we under traditions to the same extent that some others are? Perhaps not. We do not think we are; and yet we have our traditions upon us; and if we are not careful, we are liable to become as great idolaters as there are in the world.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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6 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

As someone who HAS been through the temple and is fully aware of the endowment and its employment of the cross, I still emphatically disagree with your statement that "the undeniable fact that no Christian Church on earth places more importance on the symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion than does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

Its clear that most other Christian Churches venerate the Christ's experience leading up to the crucifixion and the imagery and spiritual significance of his time on the cross itself.  Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Catholic's centuries-long spiritual rites regarding  the stations of the Cross,' found in its holy literature, song, art, and in worship in churches and cathedrals across the world.  

The signs and tokens of the temple hardly surpass other church's approach to and spiritual emphasis of the cross and Christ's crucifixion. IMO, to claim otherwise is to speak either from ignorance or arrogance. 

I have been priveleged to participate in both Catholic and LDS ceremonies. Both are very profound.

I have knelt in a Catholic Good Friday ceremony and symbolically kissed the wounds of Christ. I have served as an altar boy in the Stations of the Cross.

In the temple, I am also profoundly aware of what it must have been like to be Thomas.

Both are incomparable.

Edited by mfbukowski
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12 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I have been priveleged to participate in both Catholic and LDS ceremonies. Both are very profound.

I have knelt in a Catholic Good Friday ceremony and symbolically kissed the wounds of Christ. I have served as an altar boy in the Stations of the Cross.

In the temple, I am also profoundly aware of what it must have been like to be Thomas.

Both are incomparable.

Great perspective.  Thank you for sharing.

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On 8/5/2020 at 5:04 PM, Daniel2 said:

As someone who HAS been through the temple and is fully aware of the endowment and its employment of the cross, I still emphatically disagree with your statement that "the undeniable fact that no Christian Church on earth places more importance on the symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion than does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."

Its clear that most other Christian Churches venerate the Christ's experience leading up to the crucifixion and the imagery and spiritual significance of his time on the cross itself more than the LDS Faith does.  Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Catholic's centuries-long spiritual rites regarding the 'Stations of the Cross,' found in its holy literature, song, art, architecture, and in worship in churches and cathedrals across the world.  

The signs and tokens of the temple hardly surpass other church's approach to and spiritual emphasis of the cross and Christ's crucifixion. IMO, to claim otherwise is to speak either from ignorance or arrogance. 

It only seems like ignorance and arrogance until one comes to the undeniable realization that the applied symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion plays a absolutely critical and indispensable role when it comes to how the Latter-Day Saints are allowed to gain entry into the celestial kingdom and dwell therein as eternally married couples with their forever families. The symbolism of the crucifixion only seems less important to the religion of the Latter-Day Saints because, for reasons that have always been beyond me, many members apparently fail to appreciate just how essential the symbolism of the crucifixion is to their salvation and exaltation.

Are the rituals pertaining to the ‘Stations of the Cross’ as critically important and indispensable to the salvation of Catholics as the ordinances of the temple are to the Latter-Day Saints? 

Edited by teddyaware

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On 8/5/2020 at 11:51 AM, Ahab said:

My main point was simply that the cross is a symbol of death and suffering, as President Hinckley said it was. It point us backward to a bad moment in history, when Jesus was crucified by people who wanted to kill him.  True, our Lord turned that moment into a good thing, just as sour lemons can be turned into good lemonade, but people wanting to kill our Lord is a bad thing and our Lord's actual death was a bad thing, a sacrifice, nonetheless.  And rather than continuing to reflect on the fact that our Lord was put to death on a cross I would rather think of the fact that he rose from the dead and continued to live just as he continues to live now.  And that I and everyone else should try to live as he did and still does.

"From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.  And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee. Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men. Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it".

---Mt. 16:21-25

"Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal."

---Jn. 12:24, 25

"Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.)

---Jn. 12:31-33

"It is truly meet, and just, and right, for our salvation, holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: Who didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the cross: that whence death came, thence also life might rise again, and that he who overcame by a tree, by a tree also might be overcome: through Christ our Lord...

---Preface of the Holy Cross, said from Passion Sunday till Maundy Thursday, and on the Feasts of the Holy Cross and of the Precious Blood.

So...I hold, Catholics hold, that for the Atonement, Christ had suffered enough when He shed His Precious Blood when He was circumcised at eight days old. I think Catholics are unique in this. If Mormons or Protestants believe this, I have never heard it. I am happy to be corrected. So why, if one is Catholic, does Jesus "hang around" after the atoning sacrifice is finished? For our good God, and His beloved Son, it was not enough to merely atone. God wanted to show that there was no length to which He would not go to convince sinful souls of His seemingly reckless and unbelievable (apart from supernatural grace) love for us. He did not need to do this. He wanted to do it. I do not mean to be flippant, but we do not have images of the Circumcision (though we do have a feast day on Jan 1, an holy day of obligation in the U.S.) The circumcision, while atoning, simply would not "draw all things to myself".

--------------

Hi Ahab. I quoted you as being the most obvious hater of the Cross on the thread. Of course it is for you first. But the post is for all. Maybe the Catholic understanding of the Atonement is in every way incompatible with LDS views, I am not sure. I just ask you all to try to see that we Catholics aren't being merely morbid when we express reverence for the Cross on Good Friday, cherish splinters from the true Cross, or have a Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. There is so much more. If I see any interest, we can look at Christ as the "Last Adam". There is parallel imagery (hinted at in the Preface above), that shows that Christ's spouse came to be in the same way that Adam's spouse came to be. Too much for this post...

The Cross, the tree on which Christ CHOSE to perish can be seen as a mere murder weapon. As such, it certainly could not be celebrated. But in Jesus Christ, the Cross becomes so much more than a mere weapon of death. It can also be seen as the poignant and fitting instrument of the reversal of Satan's fortunes, the surprise triumph of the Son of Man, the last Adam, and the Savior and brother of a new race of men, who would have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Father. And our Lord Jesus, already in Mt. 16, contends against his enemy, even St. Peter, immediately after he had proclaimed Jesus as Christ, the son of the living God. Calling Peter "Satan", because he rashly assumes that the suffering Jesus foretells must be stopped, Jesus proceeds to specifically affirm that all who would find life, will by God's grace, and according to His will, imitate our good Jesus, in this matter of the Cross.

I have appreciated that few LDS have disputed the relevance and even the reverence given to the Cross. I could suspect that my Catholic friends and I fail to appreciate, surrounded by crucifixes, as LDS are surrounded by garments and Temple imagery, which protests of the wonderful love which would endure such suffering, so as to "draw all things to myself". I don't think we would even be religions if we were trying to love a merely circumcised Savior who suffered only just enough to atone for our sins, long before He accepted His Cross. I would have us consider that Christ on the Cross was not merely trying to suffer the merest minimum that would save us. Rather, His Holy Passion and Suffering was for the purpose of showing us that He would do ANYTHING to convince us of His wholly selfless love.  

3DOP

PS: For Rob't Smith...not trying to cause a discussion of natural/supernatural. If you read you saw it. How about ordinary/extraordinary?

Edited by 3DOP
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1 hour ago, 3DOP said:

"From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.  And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee. Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men. Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it".

---Mt. 16:21-25

"Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal."

---Jn. 12:24, 25

"Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.)

---Jn. 12:31-33

"It is truly meet, and just, and right, for our salvation, holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: Who didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the cross: that whence death came, thence also life might rise again, and that he who overcame by a tree, by a tree also might be overcome: through Christ our Lord...

---Preface of the Holy Cross, said from Passion Sunday till Maundy Thursday, and on the Feasts of the Holy Cross and of the Precious Blood.

So...I hold, Catholics hold, that for the Atonement, Christ had suffered enough when He shed His Precious Blood when He was circumcised at eight days old. I think Catholics are unique in this. If Mormons or Protestants believe this, I have never heard it. I am happy to be corrected. So why, if one is Catholic, does Jesus "hang around" after the atoning sacrifice is finished? For our good God, and His beloved Son, it was not enough to merely atone. God wanted to show that there was no length to which He would not go to convince sinful souls of His seemingly reckless and unbelievable (apart from supernatural grace) love for us. He did not need to do this. He wanted to do it. I do not mean to be flippant, but we do not have images of the Circumcision (though we do have a feast day on Jan 1, an holy day of obligation in the U.S.) The circumcision, while atoning, simply would not "draw all things to myself".

--------------

Hi Ahab. I quoted you as being the most obvious hater of the Cross on the thread. Of course it is for you first. But the post is for all. Maybe the Catholic understanding of the Atonement is in every way incompatible with LDS views, I am not sure. I just ask you all to try to see that we Catholics aren't being merely morbid when we express reverence for the Cross on Good Friday, cherish splinters from the true Cross, or have a Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. There is so much more. If I see any interest, we can look at Christ as the "Last Adam". There is parallel imagery (hinted at in the Preface above), that shows that Christ's spouse came to be in the same way that Adam's spouse came to be. Too much for this post...

The Cross, the tree on which Christ CHOSE to perish can be seen as a mere murder weapon. As such, it certainly could not be celebrated. But in Jesus Christ, the Cross becomes so much more than a mere weapon of death. It can also be seen as the poignant and fitting instrument of the reversal of Satan's fortunes, the surprise triumph of the Son of Man, the last Adam, and the Savior and brother of a new race of men, who would have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Father. And our Lord Jesus, already in Mt. 16, contends against his enemy, even St. Peter, immediately after he had proclaimed Jesus as Christ, the son of the living God. Calling Peter "Satan", because he rashly assumes that the suffering Jesus foretells must be stopped, Jesus proceeds to specifically affirm that all who would find life, will by God's grace, and according to His will, imitate our good Jesus, in this matter of the Cross.

I have appreciated that few LDS have disputed the relevance and even the reverence given to the Cross. I could suspect that my Catholic friends and I fail to appreciate, surrounded by crucifixes, as LDS are surrounded by garments and Temple imagery, which protests of the wonderful love which would endure such suffering, so as to "draw all things to myself". I don't think we would even be religions if we were trying to love a merely circumcised Savior who suffered only just enough to atone for our sins, long before He accepted His Cross. I would have us consider that Christ on the Cross was not merely trying to suffer the merest minimum that would save us. Rather, His Holy Passion and Suffering was for the purpose of showing us that He would do ANYTHING to convince us of His wholly selfless love.  

3DOP

PS: For Rob't Smith...not trying to cause a discussion of natural/supernatural. If you read you saw it. How about ordinary/extraordinary?

The way I see it, our Lord stuck around for as long as he could until eventually he was put to death by people who wanted him dead.  Sticking around for our sake to try to teach us by his example of the best way that we can live our lives, by doing the best things we can do, which is how he and our Father live their own lives.  Peter had good intentions for wanting to keep his Lord alive but he was wrong to try to stop what had to eventually happen, because our Lord had become mortal, which meant that at some point he had to eventually die.  And the way he chose to die was not to die on a cross but to live each moment of his life until it came to a climax when the people who wanted him to die would eventually get what they wanted... his death. And just as we must also die, at some point, all we can do is to choose how to live and the best way to live is by trying to live as our Lord lived his own life. 

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