The Cross and Mormonism
In the shifting sands of Mormon theology, the cross has undergone dramatic attitude and doctrinal adjustments. This once revered symbol is now avoided within Mormon circles, partly due to Catholic opposition to their missionary efforts in Europe. The crucifix, with Jesus still suffering, was seen as a “Christian” symbol held by those without authority, where the Latter-day Saints present themselves as the “restored” Church energized with a reinstated priesthood and a God given mandate.
Accordingly, LDS leaders likened the cross to a guillotine and to the “mark of the beast” in order to maintain Mormonism’s distinctive identity. The sacred hymn “At the Cross” was publically mocked at the annual Manti Miracle Pageant.
In time, the cross morphed away from Golgotha to the Garden of Gethsemane where Mormons teach that in the Garden the blood of Jesus oozed from every pore, where Jesus took on Himself the sins of the world and atoned for our sins.
Their atonement cleanses us of sin “on condition of our repentance and after all we can do to pay to the uttermost farthing and make right our wrongs. Forgiveness is not granted merely for the asking. There must be works – many works – and an all-out, total surrender. It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when.”
Today’s Mormon apologists, who are trying desperately to again look “Christian,” excuse past indiscretions by assuring us that “there is no hostility to the cross but more of a shifting ambivalence.”
Questions to Ask
ASK: In your atonement process, where Jesus “sweat great drops of blood in the garden” then rose from the dead as a down payment in striving for perfection, would you say the cross was merely a necessary tool?
ASK: If this is so, why did the Apostle Paul say “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” In Galatians 6:14 and “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” In 1 Corinthians 1:18?
ASK: Does Luke 22:44 really say that Jesus sweat great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane? “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Why does the King James Bible say that his sweat was as it were great drops of blood?
ASK: Why does Hebrews 9:22 say “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” The atonement needs to be according to the law where blood was shed. There is no mention of sweating blood.
ASK: Why is there no mention of the Garden of Gethsemane in the Book of Mormon at 1 Nephi 11:33 “And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world?”
ASK: Why do LDS leaders say we must keep the laws and ordinances of the gospel when Colossians 2:14 in the King James Bible reads “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.” Why do LDS leaders take the ordinances that Jesus nailed to His cross and apply them to you?
Please pray for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they have another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel and are eternally lost according to 2 Corinthians 11:3-4.