The LDS and the Cross

My question is, how do you as a Mormon really feel about the Cross hanging in a home. Lets start with the rendition of an empty cross, no body of Christ. I have to admit that I make crosses and crucifixes and I think about it often in so many ways. I want to know how you truly, honestly feel about it.

I wouldn’t know.

Do Mormons believe Jesus died on the Cross or a stake?

Yeah, I agree that the cross is a supremely important symbol.

It’s a crucial and important symbol for many, many different reasons, not least of which is the insight that our crosses can be transcended and overcome, just as Christ overcame his cross.

If I was to walk into a home and see a cross hanging on the wall I would simply think, this person considers himself or herself a christian. I don’t believe I would draw any other conclusions. The more important question will be what that symbol means in the persons life. It could invite deeper discipleship or it could involve idol worship.

I completely respect that, Janderich. But I’m also interested in catholic-rcia’a question; can you possibly flesh out what the cross generally means to Mormons? Or as you tacitly said, is it basically an entirely personal matter?

Certainly the message of the cross is important to us. At it’s heart I take this message to mean surrender to the will of God. Each one of us must take upon ourselves the burdens that are given us and submit our will to the will of the Lord. In so doing we transmute suffering into ascension. This is how I believe Jesus used it when he said, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt 10:38). It is this message of finding our lives and the message of Christ’s resurrection we want to hold onto. For this reason we have avoided images of the cross in our churches and homes.

Because we avoid the symbol there will certainly be some members who misunderstand, who see the image of the cross itself in others homes and churches as negative. In doing so I believe they transmute the object into a wedge instead of a beacon.

Here is a news article that briefly explains LDS attitudes toward the cross. Deseret News is a commercial newspaper in Salt Lake owned the LDS church. I hope this helps…

I don’t see how the second sentence logically follows the first. Catholics and others that display/wear crosses/crucifixes seek to do the same thing.

Considering you believe yourself a Christian, and I assume seek deeper discipleship. Does a cross hang in your home? Why, or why not?

The lds church has its crosses when they are needed. My 2 youngest kids were tormented by lds kids at school for wearing their crucifixes and had them ripped from their necks and being told they are going to hell because they wear them. Where does this information come from? Why was I looked down on by an lds bishop at my friends wedding (I was the best man) when he walked by the whole line and gave them handshakes, got to me and looked at my crucifix, looked up at me and walked by? Because your church doesn’t believe in the cross or crucifix and thinks its evil. So where does this information or teachings come from?

Sure there is a corollary between the crucifixion and the resurrection but they are not the same thing. We try to clearly point to the the resurrection and avoid confusion. By this I do not mean to imply that other religions do not or cannot do so with the cross, simply that it is less direct and can lead to misunderstanding of the symbol.

It does not. See my previous comment.

A bit more than a corollary, resurrection would be impossible without death.

Why minimize the crucifixion?

When I was LDS, I was told I should not wear a cross. I wore mine anyway. I was asked by a Mormon why I would wear a symbol of death. He asked, “if your wife was killed by a gun, would you wear a gun around your neck?” I responded “If her death saved all mankind from their sins and gave us all the chance for Salvation, you bet I would.”

He walked away

Yet his death in and of itself saved no one. What was spectacular was not his death. How many people were crucified in Roman times? No one remembers them. It was his union with us and the Father along with his resurrection that has made all the difference in the world.

As one pointed out, there could not be a resurrection without the crucifixion. The point is we Catholics don’t see this as an either/or. I wear a crucifix and a cross (two separate chains) to keep near my heart not only the the sacrifice of our Lord but to celebrate our risen Christ. We have no confusion between the two. We “remember” the sequence of God’s love & sacrifice every Sunday at Mass and anytime we say the Rosary.

I feel respectful of other’s beliefs and symbols of faith.

Really, truly, honestly. That’s all that’s there.

Well you may not think much of the fact that God condescended to turn Himself over to humanity to be killed, others feel differently. Which He did willingly in order to get the part you pay attention to, LDS really give short shrift to Christ’s death on the cross, focusing on the garden and then the Resurrection. Less satisfying IMO, like a hollow chocolate rabbit.

I’m sorry you feel that way.

It is Jesus suffering and death that redeemed us, it is His resurrection that gives us hope for the life to come.

The resurrection is the event where Jesus conquered death, and most certainly is the glorious event all Christians celebrate. But death cannot be conquered without dying first, and the death of Jesus most certainly was a pivotal, albeit sad, moment in human history. Jesus united his suffering and death to ours and so all who suffer and die have hope. A sure hope, in Jesus Christ.

He gave his life for you, and for me. Personally I find that more than spectacular.

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