Mormon Dilemma 71

28 September

Good Friday

Answers to Gospel Questions 5:155; Question: “Can you please tell me why members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not observe Good Friday as other Christians do?”

Answer: The reason why we do not observe Good Friday should be clear enough.  Easter is taken from a pagan spring holiday, that was governed by the moon. The Roman Catholic Church connected the birth of the Savior with this pagan ceremony. As you know, Easter is governed by the moon, and this spring pagan festival was celebrated according to the moon, any time in March and the end of April.  THE RESURRECTION DATE DID NOT VARY. 

Now as you well know that the resurrection did not vary and it is foolish to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord at the end of March or the first of April, or middle of April or near the first of May, and put Good Friday the Friday before the Easter Sunday. I think you are wise enough to see the foolishness of it. The resurrection of the Savior does not vary year by year but it is a constant thing. Why should we follow the silly custom rather than to have one day for the resurrection?

1 Corinthians 1:18-19, 23-24; For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

It makes my heart sick to read the response given in the LDS reference.  May we always remember to pray diligently for my people and as the song goes, “May we follow God’s own fool, believe the unbelievable, and come be a fool as well…”  (© Michael Card).

Amy Carmichael once said; “If I covet anything but the dust at the foot of the Cross then I know nothing of Calvary Love”.

The Jewish Passover date was governed by God.  God specifically told the Israelites to hold Passover and when to do this.  He told them to hold it every year at the same time to commemorate their freedom from slavery.  Here is what the Holman Bible Dictionary has to say (I give this reference because of the many scriptural referrals which would be of great benefit to each and every Mormon), 

The Mormon Church has deliberately misguided the person who asked this question to take the focus off of what Jesus did for us.  They don’t want His blood showing up on anything that they might do.  They find it offensive to even talk about the crucifixion of Jesus and will go out of their way not to tell the truth.  The pagan spring festivals have absolutely nothing to do with Passover or Good Friday.

I had no idea what Good Friday meant when I was a Mormon and didn’t realize the significance of this all important date until I got saved the week before – Palm Sunday. 

Where do they think the term “Pascal Lamb” came from?

One more thing…if the Mormon Church believes Easter only came about through the pagan festivals, why do they celebrate it?

Holman Bible Dictionary;

Passover

     The first of the three annual festivals was the Passover. It commemorated the final plague on Egypt when the firstborn of the Egyptians died and the Israelites were spared because of the blood smeared on their door posts (Ex. 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48). Passover took place on the fourteenth day (at evening) of the first month (Lev. 23:5). The animal (lamb or kid) to be slain was selected on the tenth day of the month (Ex. 12:3) and slaughtered on the fourteenth day and then eaten (Deut. 16:7). None of the animal was to be left over on the following morning (Ex. 34:25). The uncircumcised and the hired servant were not permitted to eat the sacrifice (Ex. 12:45-49).

The Passover was also called the feast of unleavened bread (Ex. 23:15; Deut. 16:16) because only unleavened bread was eaten during the seven days immediately following Passover (Ex. 12:15-20; 13:6-8; Deut. 16:3-8). Unleavened bread reflected the fact that the people had no time to put leaven in their bread before their hasty departure from Egypt. It was also apparently connected to the barley harvest (Lev. 23:4-14). Later references in the Bible to the observance of the Passover are found in Joshua 5:10-12 (the plains of Jericho near Gilgal), 2 Chronicles 30:1, 3, 13, 15 (during the reign of Hezekiah); and 2 Kings 23:21-23 (Josiah’s unique Passover).

During New Testament times large crowds gathered in Jerusalem to observe this annual celebration. Jesus was crucified during the Passover event. He and His disciples ate a Passover meal together on the eve of His death. During this meal Jesus said, “This is my body,” and “this cup is the new testament in my blood” (Luke 22:7, 19-20). The New Testament identifies Christ with the Passover sacrifice: “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7). See Passover.

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3 Responses to “Mormon Dilemma 71”

  1. shematwater September 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Again, what is your point.

    Good Friday is the commemoration of the Crucifixion while Easter is the commemoration of the Resurrection. Neither one has anything to do with the Passover, as that feast was done away with with the rest of the Law of Moses.

    The Pagan festivals are exactly where the Easter celebration comes from, or, more specifically, the timing of Easter (which is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox). That tradition is pagan is origin, and that is simply a fact.

    Yes, it was significant that Christ was arrested on the night of the Passover feast (a Saturday) and that he was crucified during that week (on Friday-six days later) and resurrected on Sunday (the day after the passover holiday had ended). These are all very significant facts that the LDS church acknowledges as such.

    Your assertions are false. No one in the LDS church wants to take the focus off what Jesus did. That is the central point, the very first principle of the gospel. What we don’t care too much about are the ritual traditions of other denominations and this response is given to take the focus off these traditions and put it back on Christ.

  2. CamdenC October 2, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    Check on that… He was arrested, crucified, and resurected on all the same “weekend”. We commerate “Good Friday” as a day of reverence and thanksgiving. We honor Jesus for His ultimate and complete sacrafice on the cross. I don’t say, “Happy Easter” to people… I say, “Happy Resurection Day”.

    Easter
    Brings back good memories of my mom and me coloring Easter eggs and the anticipation of waking up Easter Sunday to find out where she hid them. Also the church Easter egg hunts we had at the local park in our town. Those were some good old days… My mom was killed in a car accident when I was 9 years old. I miss her so much…

    We get the word “Easter” from the pagan goddess of fertility, “Ashtareth” (spelling?). They would decorate her temple with colored eggs and bunny rabbits…

    A lot of the imagery and tradtions we find during Christmas are also pagan in origin. As long as we remember “the reason for the season”. Jesus, in all liklyhood, was born in September. The shepards were in the field with the flocks and John 1 says, “The Word was made flesh and “tabernacled” (literal translation) among us”. All the Jewish feasts and festivals were a shadow of things to come. He fulfilled all of them during His incarnation. The “Feast of Tabernacles” is during the month of September when the Jews build themselves tents outside the city and dwell there during the feast.

  3. shematwater October 2, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    The account of the New Testament proves that the arrest, Crucifixion, and resurrection were not on the same weekend.

    Simple facts
    The last supper was the feast of the Passover.
    The first feast of the Passover is on the Sabbath (modern day Friday night).
    The events in the Garden of Gethsemane were on the same night as the Last Supper (Thus Friday night and into Saturday Morning, though possibly Sunday)
    Christ was Crucified the day before the next Sabbath, as the burial was in haste to have him in the tomb before the Sabbath (the next Friday night).
    He was resurrected 3 days later, or on Sunday (as they counted the rest of Friday as the first day).

    It is technically impossible for him to have been arrested the day after the Sabbath and then Crucified the day before the Sabbath if it was all in one weekend.
    This is all seen in Luke 22-23

    However, I am glad that you acknowledge the pagan origins of most of the Easter and the Christmas Holidays. Personally, i find them rather fun, and simply convert each one into a Christian symbol to teach my children truths about the atonement.

    Note: I believe Easter actually comes from the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism. A month in the Germanic Calender is named after her, and roughly corresponds to April. Being a goddess of fertility and life the planting festival was held in her honor (on the time schedule I mentioned earlier).
    Also, most scholars I know of think Christ was actually born in the Spring, and I place his birth on April sixth (which was also the day of his resurrection).

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