Jesus’ Bride, the Body of Christ and the Cross

Mormon Doctrine, pp. 314-315 (1958); “Harlots. See Church of the Devil, Sex Immorality.  Literally an harlot is a prostitute; figuratively it is any apostate church. Nephi, speaking of harlots in the literal sense and while giving a prophetic description of the Catholic Church, recorded that he ‘saw the devil that he was the foundation of it.’ … Then speaking of harlots in the figurative sense, he designated the Catholic Church as ‘the mother of harlots’ (1 Nephi 13:34; 14:15-17), a title which means that the protestant churches, the harlot daughters which broke off from the great and abominable church, would themselves be apostate churches.” – Bruce R. McConkie  

John 15:13; “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

If Jesus paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane I’ve always wondered why He had to die on the cross immediately afterwards. His resurrection at any time would’ve given us eternal life according to Mormon tradition so why the whole show of dying on the cross if a major portion of his mission here was taken care of in the Garden?   

This verse throws a wrench into the whole Garden of Gethsemane theory. 

If Jesus died for you so you wouldn’t have to, then what’s the deal w/ the Garden of Gethsemane? If you’re LDS have you ever wondered why it says things like this in the Bible?  I know I did! 

You see, our sin separates us from God (Gen. 3:15). He’s essentially put us into exile by kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and our source to eternal life is in that tree located in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:16).  He is too holy and too pure to be in the presence of sin (Rom. 6:23) and yet He wants His creation (mankind) to be with Him so He provided the way. 

Jesus paid the price for your sin with His life so you can live with God. His life and the shedding of His blood was the price needed for you to be in God’s presence and Jesus did that for us!  For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…” 

His presence is now available to us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit whom God sent to us after Jesus was resurrected. Jesus told His disciples about this in His promise that God wouldn’t leave us as orphans (John 14:18-19). 

Pay close attention to Ephesians 2:14-16 which tells us the effects of Jesus’ death and how we are now free from ordinances as well as having the partition between us and God taken away.  He accomplished this through killing the enemy through His death on the cross! 

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” 

Every single sin ever committed by man that you can think of was paid for by Him on that cross.  This includes that deep, dark, icky one inside of you and me that no one but God and us knows about.  Yeah…even that one… 

The cross is absolutely necessary and totally understood by Christians worldwide this is how Jesus would pay for sins and die for us. God told us what to expect and how He would take care of us and provide for us. It’s even prophesied about in the Old Testament!  

Deuteronomy 21:22-23; “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” 

He is the fulfillment of the Law (Matt. 5:17), not you, not me, not our works, not baptisms for the dead or temple endowments, Relief Society, Priesthood meetings…Jesus. 

And if the Mormon Church doesn’t focus on the cross as a symbol of their faith in their church then what are their thoughts when Jesus tells His followers to take up their cross and follow Him? 

Gordon Hinckley, past prophet of the LDS Church, told a reporter that the symbol of their faith is the members of the Church (Ensign, May 1975). What will they pick up if they look to or acknowledge the cross; a person? 

Luke 9:23; “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” 

How I pray that as the Mormons sit in the pews of their ward buildings this Easter Sunday they will think upon what Jesus has done for them and ignore the message they’ll receive about the wondrous works of Joseph. 

1 Corinthians 1:18; “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”