Today’s post comes courtesy of an article I saw on LDS Living. I’m going to post a few highlights from the article here, and then ask questions as we go along. One of the reasons we’re highlighting this article is to provide an example of what the average Mormon thinks of non-Mormon events.
“In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint we honor, and celebrate the life of Christ. We do not observe Ash Wednesday as it was instituted by man. We believe that we should always be repenting of sins we commit, and by partaking of the Sacrament weekly, we believe that doing this not only renews all of our covenants we have made with God, but it is the only way to renew any of our covenants. …
Christians don’t wait around for Ash Wednesday to confess sins. And if memory serves me correctly, my Catholic friends don’t either. I’m not condoning Catholic dogma mind you, however, to arbitrarily insinuate this is the only time they confess sins is a misnomer, and patently false.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. It was established many years ago, the exact date this practice started has been lost. It goes back at least to the 10th Century. History teaches that the reasoning behind it was the Catholic Church realized that many Catholics were not going to confession. They wanted to change that. The reasons why they wanted people to go to confession is debatable. Many scholars say it was for money, others say it was out of concern for the welfare of souls. Personally I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
Either way, the Catholic Church decided on the first day of Lent to be the one day a year that everyone would be required to go to confession. After confession they will receive an ash Cross on their forehead, this mark on your forehead was a way to distinguish a believer who had gone to confession, and a believer that has not. It also served as a reminder to everyone that they need to go to confession. …
Today it has evolved, but that is how it started. … Many Christian Churchs [sic] today do not believe in Ash Wednesday, as the practice lacks biblical support, and it started in the 5th century, years after the death of the last Apostles. …
That’s odd, I thought he said it began in the 10th century, but now it’s way back to the 5th century…
Lent pays tribute to the 40 days that Jesus Christ fasted in preparation for his ministry. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Holy Week, to prepare for Easter. …
…Lent ends with “Holy Week.” Holy Week is basically the acts of the last week of Christ’s life, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. …We believe the events of Holy Week happened. But we don’t believe in reenacting them as many people do during lent.
So, why don’t Mormons observe Ash Wednesday and Lent?
You know, not everyone reenacts the events of Holy Week. This young man must be thinking of things he’s seen on television where people carry a cross through Jerusalem, or the crucifixions in the Philippines.
Most Christian churches hold services commemorating the events of what took place during Holy Week.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we honor and celebrate the life of Christ. We do not observe Ash Wednesday or Lent as it was instituted by man. And unlike Christmas and Easter which are based on, and celebrations of historical events of the birth and resurrection of Christ. Ash Wednesday or Lent are religious ceremonies based on historical events, but highly doctrinal in practice and observance. …
Bingo! And therein lies the rub. Mormons don’t celebrate these things not because of doctrinal issues, but because they’ve rejected historical events the Bible tells us about. They refuse to believe the Bible is the authoritative word of God.
Most Mormons wouldn’t be able to tell you that Jerusalem was packed with travelers who were attending Passover the week Jesus was crucified. Nor would they be able to tell you about the Holy Feast days where three Jewish celebrations fell within a week’s time; Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of the Firstfruits. See article Holy Week, Palm Sunday for more information.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or “Mormons” unlike most of Christianity did not break off the Catholic Church. We have never been subjected to the Catholic church, and as Ash Wednesday and Lent are Catholic practices that pay homage to the scriptures but are not taught by Christ or His Apostles. Both practices started 100’s of years after the death of the Apostles.
Actually, as an FYI, Catholics aren’t the only ones who observe Ash Wednesday. I have many good friends who belong to liturgical faiths, and they observe Ash Wednesday as well.
Also – Protestant churches aren’t ‘subjected to’ the Catholic Church. Protestant churches are subject to Christ Jesus.
We believe in the ordinances, and practices of the Apostolic Church Jesus Christ established, and the doctrines He and his Apostles taught. We believe that these doctrines, ordinances, and practices have been restored in these latter days.
The original Christian church wasn’t racist by banning all non-whites from their congregations, nor did they practice polygamy. Furthermore, when they partook of the Lord’s Supper they didn’t use water, nor did they partake of leavened bread at this specific ceremony.
And as members of His restored church. We celebrate the birth, life, and teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. We honor and celebrate the Holy Week, and we rejoice that the Atonement was wrought, but we don’t rejoice in, or memorialize His death with the Cross. His death was not the end of the Atonement. [emp. mine]
Oh dear. This young man has just lied.
The Mormon Church DOES NOT celebrate Holy Week in any form, or fashion. He might do something by himself in his own home, but the Church has denounced all these things.
And about the ‘atonement’. Ugh.
As for Jesus’ death…it marked the end of atonement. He died, what else could He do? If His Holy blood falling to the ground isn’t enough, then my friend, nothing ever will be!
John 19:30 reads –
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” [emp. mine]
One of my favorite Christian hymns says ‘Oh how He loves you and me…He gave His life, what more could He do?…’ I encourage Mormons to Google that song and listen to the words – it’s beautiful.
Big, big, big newsflash!
If you’re not memorializing where Jesus died, you’re memorializing the wrong Jesus. The ENTIRE theological premise of the Christian’s hope is zeroed in on that cross Jesus hung upon.
That cross is the fulfillment of scripture.
That cross is where the unblemished Lamb of God became every sin of all mankind.
How could it not be the focus?
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus…
…Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other gift I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus…
…Our focus is on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Billions have died. Christ was the First to conquer death. And because of that. The first weekend of every April we hold a General Conference of the Church. Where all the living Apostles bear their Apostolic testimony that Christ Lives. And that He leads us today. They speak the words of Christ and teach us His commandments. We honor the life of Jesus Christ by following Him and listening to, and obeying His Prophets.”
A Christian’s focus is also on the resurrection because it’s from where we draw our hope.
Romans 4:25 encapsulates both the death and resurrection of our Lord –
“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
How can you follow Jesus and listen to LDS apostles at the same time? They’ve rejected the Bible. From where do they receive their instruction, if they’ve rejected what God has said?
The young man who wrote this article returned from his LDS mission in 2014. He obviously has a lot of life left to live – we’re praying he does so with a saving knowledge of the real Christ Jesus, and not the false one his culture has tricked him into following.