Where's The Cross?

by Rocky Huls

July 2002

Before we discuss this subject of the absence of the universal symbol of Christianity, the cross, displayed at, in, or upon any Mormon building, we must first disarm the Mormon rumor mill. We received an email from a member of our church who has been witnessing to a Mormon co-worker. We have been lending a hand, by supplying information for the discussions. The co-worker informed the Christian friend that I had been at the Nauvoo Temple causing trouble and had been thrown out. Nothing could be further from the truth; however, it is important to the Mormon machine to discredit those who would oppose their teaching. Once you have discredited someone you can label them and then disregard them and you don't have to address the issues that they bring. This tactic is common in Mormonism. Rather than discuss issues and have an open dialogue, Mormonism simply labels you as "Anti-Mormon." That label then defines you as a vile and vicious person; therefore, they can automatically dismiss you and not have to answer whatever points you may raise.

Well let's set the record straight: We did take a tour of the Nauvoo Temple on Tuesday, May 21, 2002. We did exactly as we were asked to do during the introductory briefing, prior to entering the temple, which was to not ask any questions during the tour, but to hold them to the end when, "we will come back to the refreshment area and will answer all of your questions." Upon reaching the refreshment area, I got a glass of lemonade and asked a young female missionary, "Where's the cross?" Her response was "We don't like to focus on the negative aspects of Jesus' life, we like to focus only on the positive things." My discussion with her about the fact that Jesus was born to die and his death on the cross, gruesome and brutal as it was, provided the great sacrifice, that through faith if we accept it, nails our sin to that very cross. Her response was "No, Jesus paid for our sin in the Garden of Gethsemane, He only died on the cross to so he could be resurrected." I disagreed with her and she became frustrated and signaled to some other older missionaries who came to her assistance. I continued this same discussion with these other two men. Our discussion expanded into other areas and lasted about 15-20 minutes until a man approached us that I had never previously met, grasped me lightly on the left arm and said, "Rocky, we'd like you to leave." I told this man that I would need to inform my wife and I walked over to the table where she was sitting and told her we had to go, as I had been asked to leave. I then turned around and left the large room where the refreshments were being served and waited for Helen at the door, as she ended her conversations and gathered her things, which took about 1-2 minutes. We then left as requested, without comment or resistance.

Not one time during our tour, or at the refreshment area, did either of us raise our voice, make derogatory comments, or smart remarks. We never failed to follow instructions or resisted their request to leave. We simply complied with their directions and held our questions and asked them in the refreshment area. The rumor that we were causing trouble and had to be thrown out is simply the Mormon propaganda machine in full swing in order to label us so as not to have to address the issues we raise.

Now let's answer the question: "Where's the cross." I had to do some research on this issue as the standard response I was receiving in the refreshment room was a new one on me. I was born and raised as a sixth-generation Mormon and I had never heard that Jesus paid for our sin in the Garden of Gethsemane. But, I will be the first to admit that no one knows it all when it comes to Mormonism, it is simply too big and complicated; and this is a case in point. The following Mormon quotes apply:

(1)      On page fourteen of his book, "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," the Thirteenth Prophet of the LDS Church stated it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that Christ "suffered as only God would suffer, bearing our griefs, carrying our sorrows, being wounded for our transgressions, voluntarily submitting Himself to the iniquity of us all, just as Isaiah prophesied." He further states on the next page: "It was in Gethsemane that Jesus took on Himself the sins of the world, in Gethsemane that his pain was equivalent to the cumulative burden of all men, in Gethsemane that He descended below all things so that all could repent and come to Him (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg 15).

(2)      In his book "The Promised Messiah," Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote, "Forgiveness is available because Christ the Lord sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane as he bore the incalculable weight of the sins of all who ever had or ever would repent" (pg.337). On page 552 of the same book McConkie goes on to say, "In a garden called Gethsemane, outside Jerusalem's walls, in agony beyond compare, he took upon himself the sins of all men on condition of repentance."

(3)      In the article "Christ's Atoning Sacrifice", Sunstone Magazine 8:6/17, November 83, Mormon writer Joyce N. Woodbury stated, "On a February evening I sat down to prepare the Sunday School lesson for a class of thirteen-year-olds; on page 56 of the teachers manual, I read: "Draw a priority chart with 1st, 2nd, 3rd across the top and A (cross), B (garden), and C (washing) down the side....Let A represent Christ hanging on the cross, B his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane, and C Christ washing the feet of the apostles....have the students rank the events first, second and third in order of their feelings for Christ's greatest act of love. Have them show their decision by raising their hands. Count the number of hands raised and write it in the correct box on the priority chart." It is important that the students understand that Christ's greatest act of love was shown when he suffered for the sins of the world in the garden of Gethsemane (Introduction to the Scriptures, Part B[Sunday School Course 13 teacher's manual] (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1980), p. 56).

(4)      Mormon writer Eugene England stated in his book "Making Peace", page 149, "The Book of Mormon makes clear that Christ's atonement was centered in the Garden of Gethsemane, not on the cross."

In Romans 5:8 we read "But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."" Notice how it says "Christ died for us," not sweated.

Romans 5:10 says "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Note again "we were reconciled to God by the death of his son," not the sweat of his Son.

Paul says of the cross in I Cor 1:17-18 "For Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God."

In Colossians 1:20 we read "And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself—by him, I say whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." We see here it was through the "blood of his cross," not the blood sweat of Gethsemane.

"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;" Col 2:14. The law which was against us was nailed to the cross, not sweated away in Gethsemane.

Peter makes it crystal clear that Christ bore our sins in his body on the tree (cross) not in the garden, when he writes in I Pet 2:24 "Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye where healed."

There are so many scriptures which clearly show that the Mormons completely miss the significance of Jesus sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

The Mormon Church will not display the cross, the universal symbol of Christianity, yet the Nauvoo Temple has inverted pentagrams windows (a specific Satanic symbol), inverted pentagrams with an elongated bottom spine on the top of each of the 30 columns aroung the temple (these are called "baphomets," they are the goats head, the symbol of Satat), and Sunstones and Moonstones (pagan symbols of fertility gods). If the Mormon Chuch refuses to display the universal symbol of Christianity, the Cross, but will display pagan and Satanic symbols, doesn't that raise any questions in your mind?