A Cross on a Mormon Temple
By Melissa Grimes
While visiting my usual sites and message boards last night I came upon the link below, it leads you to a Mormon web site with a video presentation about their new temple in Rome Italy. When you get to around 1:58 you’ll see something astonishing, at least it’s astonishing to me as a former member of the Mormon Church.
Displaying or even wearing the cross was always something of a taboo in the Mormonism I was a part of, now things seem to be changing. In the video presentation for the new temple in Rome Italy a cross can be seen on the front door. I’ve been wondering what their angle is for doing this, what are they trying to say to the world, what aren’t they saying and if anything what are they trying to hide? Here are two things which came to mind.
Are the Mormons rethinking their position on the cross and realizing it’s by the power of the cross they are saved?
No, they would never do this; to go down this path would mean they would have to give up their grand temples, and the awe and admiration they receive from non-Mormons who are uninformed of what takes place in these temples. Most of all they would have to give up the very thing this temple stands for, which is their exaltation to godhood.
Are they trying to “look” Christian to the world and to a very Catholic nation?
I believe so, you see in Mormonism appearance is everything. Mormons are told what to wear, what to do, what they can or can’t drink, even what type of underwear they should purchase. It’s all about “looking” the part of a worthy, righteous member of the church. So it should be no surprise that in an attempt to win over their critics, along with the unsuspecting public and media they would try to be something they’re not.
Make no mistake the Mormon leaders aren’t fools, they know exactly what they are doing by this demonstration. They are disparately trying to appear Christian to lead the devote Catholic away from their religion and into Mormonism.
Let’s take a look at what past Mormon leaders and prophets have said about the cross and its place in Mormonism.
“President Gordon B. Hinckley was once asked by a minister why Latter-day Saints do not wear crosses or display them in their buildings.
President Hinckley said to him: “‘I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian colleagues who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments, and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the Living Christ.’” (“The Symbol of Christ,” New Era, Apr. 1990, 4.)
Joseph Fielding Smith – “To many, like the writer, 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.” (Answers to Gospel Questions 4:17)
On lds.org under the “topics” section the Mormon Church says of the cross:
“The cross is used in many Christian churches as a symbol of the Savior’s death and Resurrection and as a sincere expression of faith. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Savior. But because the Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith.”
This is just one example of how Mormonism has grossly misunderstood what the cross means to Christians. For me 1 Corinthians 18 has always expressed what the cross means to me.
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
As a Mormon I viewed the cross as the instrument used to kill Jesus, I was never taught about the power it held. On more than one occasion when the topic of wearing a cross necklace came up I would hear my fellow Mormons say “Well if Jesus was killed with a gun, would you wear a gun around your neck?”
Their abhorrence to the cross is most prominently shown by their doctrine of the atonement occurring in the Garden of Gethsemane and not on the cross. When confronted with this Mormons will say the atonement was carried over to the cross. Yet Mormon leaders can’t seem to separate the two places insisting that while the cross is part of the atonement the main apart happened in the garden.
In his book Doctrinal New Testament Commentary Bruce R. McConkie said:
“Where and under what circumstances was the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God made? Was it on the Cross of Calvary or in the Garden of Gethsemane? It is to the Cross of Christ that most Christians look when centering their attention upon the infinite and eternal atonement. And certainly the sacrifice of our Lord was completed when he was lifted up by men; also, that part of his life and suffering is more dramatic and, perhaps, more soul stirring. But in reality the pain and suffering, the triumph and grandeur, of the atonement took place primarily in Gethsemane,” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, p. 774,)
In the December 1999 issue New Era Mormon publication Russell M. Nelson stated:
“Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind, even as many as will, shall be redeemed. The Savior began shedding His blood for all mankind, not on the cross but in the Garden of Gethsemane. There He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of all who would ever live. ““Under that heavy load, He bled at every pore, (page 6) “(Russell M. Nelson, “His Mission and Ministry,” New Era, Dec. 1999, p. 4, 6)
In closing I have to consider the reasoning behind the cross on door is more for deceptive purposes than anything else. The Mormon Church has continued to show their ignorance of the cross by their leader’s comments, which are then past on to the church members as doctrine. I can only hope those who will see this temple will not be fooled and will take into consideration how the Mormon Church really feels about the cross of Jesus Christ.