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MORMON OPPOSITION TO THE CROSS

May it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galations 6:14)

The cross is the symbol of Christianity and has been central to the preaching of the gospel of the church of Jesus Christ since its inception (1 Corinthians 1:23). To the Christian the cross represents salvation and eternal life, because it was there on the cross that Christ atoned for our sins. It reminds us of the awful cost of our redemption, and of how much we owe the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hero, our Saviour and our life.

However, Mormon women do not wear a crucifix as jewellery. And the LDS will not permit a cross to be displayed anywhere on their premises. Strangely, seeing they insist that they are Christians, they don’t display any of the other symbols of Christianity anywhere on their premises either. Instead, the inside of their temple is decorated with Masonic/pagan symbols, and the external masonry with pagan, occultic and satanic symbols. (As a matter of interest, the cross is never featured alongside that type of symbolism because they oppose one another.)

The LDS Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith gave the following reason for the LDS’s rejection of the cross as a symbol:

“…….. such a custom is repugnant and contrary to the true worship of our Redeemer. Why should we bow down before a cross or use it as a symbol? Because our Savior died on the cross, the wearing of crosses is to most Latter-day Saints in very poor taste and inconsistent to our worship ….. We may be definitely sure that if our Lord had been killed with a dagger or with a sword, it would have been very strange indeed if religious people of this day would have graced such a weapon by wearing it and adoring it because it was by such a means that our Lord was put to death.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Volume 4, pages 17-18).

It should be borne in mind that the LDS wrongly teaches that Christ’s atonement took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, which effectively does away with the importance of, or even the need for, the cross. Furthermore, they maintain that His atonement only covered Adam’s sin, merely reversing the fall of Adam and the curse of death, and thereby guaranteeing universal resurrection. This effectively nullifies the true gospel of Christ that proclaims forgiveness of sins. (See the article “The LDS Gospel is Not the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” a link for which is provided at the bottom of this page.)

Because of these unbiblical LDS teachings Mormons are taught that they have to earn the right to the forgiveness of their own personal sins through obedience to LDS laws and ordinances, good works and a virtuous life. So they can never be sure whether or not they will eventually make the grade. And this diminishes the work of Christ in their eyes. Consequently, they could never ever be beholden to Christ in the way that Christians are. Nor could they ever enjoy the same saving relationship with Christ as do Christians.

None of the LDS doctrines are biblical. Nor do they bear any resemblance to Christianity. In fact their teaching on the atonement opposes the foundational doctrine of Christian salvation, as preached by the apostles in the primitive church. For this reason Mormons cannot even begin to imagine the joy, freedom from guilt, peace of mind and overwhelming gratitude that accompanies the Christian’s assurance that Christ Himself earned the forgiveness of “my sins” when He bore my penalty in my place, that day on the cross at Calvary. Nor do they realize the utter devotion to Christ that is part and parcel of the Christian life. To the Christian the cross represents salvation from sin. It reminds us of what Christ achieved on our behalf, as well as of the tremendous cost to Himself.

THE REASON FOR THE CROSS

Contrary to what the LDS maintains, the cross wasn’t merely a weapon that was used to execute Christ. It was on the cross at Calvary that Christ defeated Satan, sin, death and hell, and earned our salvation (c/f John 12:31-33). So in the mind of a Christian, the cross is symbolic of all these things.

Furthermore, Christ wasn’t merely “killed,” as the LDS puts it. He went to the cross of His own free will and voluntarily laid down his life for the specific purpose of earning our salvation from the consequences of sin. He could have turned from the cross at any time. But instead He deliberately set His face steadfastly towards Jerusalem, knowing full well what awaited Him there (Luke 9:52). Then He gave His life on that cross, in our place, as our substitute, to pay the penalty for our sins, as was fore-ordained and so graphically illustrated in the “pictures” provided by the Old Covenant sacrificial system.

Throughout the Old Testament God has used the picture language of rituals to explain hard-to-understand concepts that were to become part and parcel of the coming New Covenant of Grace. And salvation from sin through a substitutionary sacrifice was one of these important concepts. You will find a more in-depth explanation of this fascinating topic in the article, “Baptism, Salvation and the Use of Biblical Symbolism,” a lead to which is provided for your convenience, at the bottom of this page.)

Christ’s whole purpose in coming to earth had been to sacrifice His life on that cross at Calvary, so that we could be set free from the stranglehold of sin. And moreover it was the will of God, as foretold by His prophets in the Old Testament.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man take it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again ….. (John 10:17-18, KJV) (Italics inserted by writer.)

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43, KJV)

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. ….. (Isaiah 53:5-6, KJV)

And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (Acts 8:30-35, KJV)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV)

And you, being [spiritually] dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (Colossians 2:13-14, KJV) (The writer’s italics.)

… Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24, KJV)

The LDS detracts from the true meaning of the cross twice over, firstly by saying that the cross was where Christ was killed, intimating that the cross was nothing more than an instrument of execution, and then compounding this by wrongly teaching that Christ’s atonement took place in the Garden of Gethsemane. One can’t help but wonder what their motivation is in teaching these false doctrines, as they will not be found anywhere in the pages of the Bible, no matter how long or hard you search. On the contrary, the above scriptures very clearly tells us that Christ atoned for our sins on the cross at Calvary. Christ was fully aware that His suffering and death on the cross was the terrible price He would have to pay to cancel our debt of sin. But He voluntarily and selflessly chose to go through with it, for the likes of us:

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. (John 12: 31-33, KJV).

(Christ said:) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:14-15, KJV)

From that time forth began Jesus to shrew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (Matthew 16:21, KJV)

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51, KJV)

THE CHRISTIAN’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE CROSS

The church I attend has a large cross behind the pulpit, with a crown of thorns resting on it. Hanging down next to it is a banner that reads, “He died for me”. This is very effective in stimulating sincere and fervent worship. And every time I enter the church, I am deeply humbled at the sight of that cross. It reminds me that the best, the bravest and most selfless Person ever, suffered and died for me, in my place, because of my sins. And my heart fills with gratitude. But that is just why the cross is there. It is to remind us of who we are, who Christ is, what He did for us, and how much we owe Him.

Mayer Pearlman had this to say concerning the Christian’s attitude towards the cross of Christ:

“The cross is the dynamo which generates in the human heart that response which constitutes the Christian life. ‘I’ll live for Him who died for me,’ states the dynamic of the cross. The Christian life is the soul’s reaction to the love of Christ. The cross of Christ inspires true repentance …..” (Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible, Part Two)

CHRIST’S SHED BLOOD COVERS THE SINS OF ALL WHO TRUST IN HIM

The LDS ignores what the Bible so clearly teaches, and insists that Christ’s atonement only covers the penalty for Adam’s sin and guarantees universal resurrection, thereby opening the way for us to earn the right to forgiveness of our own personal sins. Here are some scriptures that prove without a shadow of a doubt that Christ was crucified to pay the full price of all the sins of those who trust in Him for salvation:

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou salt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21, KJV)

For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew. 26:28, KJV)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV)

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10, KJV)

… Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Revelation 1:5, KJV)

CONCLUSION

We see from the above that Christ’s death on the cross was vicarious, in that He died in our place, to pay the price of our sins. And that’s why the cross was always central to the gospel message preached by the primitive church:

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:23-24, KJV)

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18, KJV)

Christians wear a cross as a testimony to their allegiance to Christ and as a symbol of their faith in His atonement for their sin through His sacrificial, substitutionary sacrifice on their behalf on the cross. And churches that follow the teachings of the Bible always prominently display a large cross at their place of worship, as a constant reminder to the congregation of who they once were (condemned sinners) and of what Christ has done for them (set them free from the guilt and the penalty of their sins). It also effectively reminds us of the terrible price He paid for our forgiveness.

The first lead that follows is to an article on the LDS temple, which includes a discussion on the banning of the cross as well as the use of inappropriate symbolism for a church that claims to be Christian. The second lead is to a discussion of some of the symbolism used by the Bible to explain hard to understand concepts such as salvation through a substitutionary sacrifice and so on. The third lead explains the differences between the LDS gospel and the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught both by Himself and by His apostles in the New Testament.

LDS Temples Compared with those of Biblical Times

Baptism, Salvation and the Use of Biblical Symbolism

The LDS Gospel is Not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

http://www.bibtruth.com/cross.html

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