Mormon Dilemma 48

18 August

The Cross and The Atonement

Today we’re looking at the Cross…at Calvary.  For the Christian, it is the place where we find peace as we know this is where God gave His Only Son to die in our stead.  A sacrifice had to be made to pay for our sin and God in His infinite wisdom and mercy paid that price for us because of His love for mankind.  For God so loved the world…  John 3:16



For the Mormon the death of Jesus is simple.  He died on the Cross.  But what of the atonement you say?  Well now, that’s a different story…sometimes.  Look at the contradictions in Mormon theology.  Sometimes their sacred canon will tell you He died on the Cross for your sins and other times as you’ll see here, it’ll completely contradict itself.

D&C 19:18; “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— 19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

To translate:  this atonement of Jesus took place in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Joseph Smith’s revelation for the above information took place in March of 1830 in Manchester, NY. 

Just one year and a different state later (this time in Kirtland, OH on March 8, 1831) Joseph Smith prophesied that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world.

D&C 46:13; “To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

He reiterated this again in June 1831;

D&C 53:2; “Behold, I, the Lord, who was crucified for the sins of the world, give unto you a commandment that you shall forsake the world.

And here we see in “the most correct book on the face of the earth”, Nephi the prophet telling the people that Jesus was crucified.  The problem with this is that it’s only 592 BC and he’s using Greek which wasn’t a language yet.

1 Nephi 11:33; “And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

So which one should we believe? 

The Bible tells us in John 18:11 that Jesus told His disciples He still had work to do when He got up from praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, so how could He have paid for sin there? 

Additionally, John 19:30 says “It is finished”.  Why did Jesus say this at that time if He had already paid the price for sin in the Garden? 

And why did Jesus say in John 12:32 that when He was lifted up from the earth that He would draw all men to Himself if He paid for sin in the Garden? 

We’re praying the Mormons will think about this and ask God to reveal the truth to them!

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3 Responses to “Mormon Dilemma 48”

  1. shematwater August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    There is again, no dilemma. All these are perfectly accurate and in perfect harmony with the Bible.
    Christ began his suffering in the Garden, where the weight of the sins and pains of the world weighed on him, causing him to bled at every pore, and an angel was sent to assist him (Luke 22: 43-44).
    However, this was not a payment for sins. It was only a time of learning, in which Christ personally experienced every pain that the human body can endure. It was his greatest suffering, and when he felt the pain of sin, and it is what he speaks of in D&C 19: 18. The pain he felt in the garden is the pain that all men who do not repent will feel.
    Having done this he then went to the next part of the atonement; he submitted to the corrupt leaders of the Jews and was crucified. In being killed he offered himself a sacrifice that then paid the debt of our sins.
    So, it was in the garden that Christ felt the pain of all sins, but it was on the cross that he paid the price for our redemption.

    All things are in harmony, including the Bible.

    • lifeafterministry August 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      Shem, according to the scholars and leaders of Mormonism you are wrong. They concur that Jesus did in fact pay for man’s sin in the Garden of Gethsemane.

      Jesus the Christ, pg. 568; “From the terrible conflict in Gethsemane, Christ emerged a victor. Though in the dark tribulation of that fearful hour He had pleaded that the bitter cup be removed from His lips, the request, however oft repeated, was always conditional; the accomplishment of the Father’s will was never lost sight of as the object of the Son’s supreme desire. The further tragedy of the night, and the cruel inflictions that awaited Him on the morrow, to culminate in the frightful tortures of the cross, could not exceed the bitter anguish through which He had successfully passed. ” – James Talmage

      Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 562; “Modern LDS leaders have emphasized that Jesus’ most challenging experience came in Gethsemane. Speaking in a general conference of the Church in 1982, Marion G. Romney, a member of the First Presidency, observed that Jesus suffered “the pains of all men, which he did, principally, in Gethsemane, the scene of his great agony” (Ensign 12 [May 1982]:6). Church President Ezra Taft Benson wrote that “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” (Benson, p. 7).”

      Selected Writings of Daniel H. Ludlow: Gospel Scholars Series: pg. 244; “The Savior’s statement “the hour is come” was soon followed by his leaving the upper room and proceeding to the Mount of Olives and to the Garden of Gethsemane, where occurred one of the most important and transcendent events in the history of the world. It was here that he atoned for the original transgressions of Adam and Eve, and it was here that he took upon himself the sins of all mankind upon the condition of repentance of their sins.”

      Learning for the Eternities: pg. 104-105; “Jesus held true to this course, even through Gethsemane where he bore the sins of all men through suffering that caused him “to tremble because of pain and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit.” (D&C 19:18.) As he came to the climax of that suffering, he cried out in agony, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42.) Thus he partook and finished his preparations unto the children of men as he had undertaken them, submissive to and guided by the Father’s will.” – Marion Romney

      Sermons & Writings of Bruce McConkie, pg. 208; “We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive, the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane…We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name…We know that an angel came from the courts of glory to strengthen him in his ordeal (Luke 22:43), and we suppose it was mighty Michael, who foremost fell that men might be.”

  2. shematwater August 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I still don’t see the contradiction. It was in the Garden that he took the sins of the world on himself, and without doing this his death would have done nothing. But as Marion Romney states, it was a preparation. In other words it was at this time that all the debt of sin was transferred to Christ, but it was on the Cross that it was actually paid.

    Christ would not have been able to atone for our sins until he had taken them upon himself. In so doing he made mercy available to all who repent. But it was still on the cross that payment for those sins was made by Christ to the Father which completed the atonement.

    Try not to think of the Atonement as a single event, but as a process. In the Garden the first part of the process was complete (the debt was transferred), and on the cross the second part was complete (the debt was paid). As long as you think in terms of a single event you will never understand the meaning of the prophets.

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