Atonement – Part 4

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While Jesus was in the garden it says in Luke 22:43, God sent “an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”  What do you make of that?

In the garden, Jesus was preparing to face the most extreme and ultimate suffering imaginable – being separated from His Father on high.  Satan was not about to leave our Lord alone when He was about to embark on the only act that would overcome the devil and its powers, once and for all. 

THIS was the trial of the garden – Jesus overcoming the very natural temptation to let this cup pass.  It says in Matthew 26:39, 42-44 that Jesus prayed to have the human strength to endure the brutal beatings and torture of the cross. 

So, the moment Jesus relinquished Himself into the hands of sinful men, the atonement began?

Precisely!  The binding, the slapping, the spitting, the mockery, and the scourging – all fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 53:5 “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…with His stripes we are healed.”  Therefore, the beatings, the torture, the fatigue, and humiliation all culminated in His crucifixion and death on the cross, which were all part of His atonement for our sins.  Hebrews 12:2 tells us that for our sins Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame.”

before Jesus was put upon that cross, only the most vile and abhorrent men hated by society hung there.  Anyone who was crucified was, seen as the lowest of low.

What you just described is a perfect picture of the state of our lives in sin.

It should disturb us when religious leaders, who call themselves prophets and apostles, distract our attention from Christ’s suffering atonement on the cross – causing people to focus on things that are not right or true. 

LDS Church leaders got their inspiration on this doctrine from two passages: Doctrine and Covenants 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.”  And in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:7    

For one thing – both passages were written or translated by Joseph Smith in 1829 to 1830.  During that time, Joseph Smith was still a monotheist.  That is why it is God himself who is suffering in those verses.  But the point I want to make is that neither reference mentions the Garden of Gethsemane.  

President Nelson in his October 2018 conference address said it was “In the Garden of Gethsemane” where Jesus suffered for the sins of the world.  Statements like his cause people to miss the cross, to see another Jesus, to discount the meaning of His suffering, and revise the truth of Jesus’ atoning work. 

It is what I call a twisting of the Scripture.  Think of it like this – If Satan can get people to take their eyes off the truth of the gospel and redirect them to something that is a lie – he has won a victory. 

If the LDS Church is really a restoration, why does the Mormon prophet and apostles create a new narrative for the New Testament?  Neither Jesus nor any author of the New Testament claims Gethsemane had anything to do with the atonement of Christ.  Instead there is an abundant number of references to the cross where Christ suffered and died to pay the debt for our sin.                            

The Bible stands on its own, testifying of exactly what his suffering and death on the cross accomplished.  Here are some passages I would like you to read when you have the time: 

Psalm 22:1, 6-8, 15-16;

Luke 9:23;

Romans 5:6-11;

Romans 6:6;

1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 23;

1 Corinthians 2:2;

1 Corinthians 5:7;

1 Corinthians 15:3;

Galatians 3:13;

Galatians 6:14;

Ephesians 2:16;

Philippians 3:18;

Colossians 1:20-21;

Colossians 2:13-15;

Hebrews 2:14;

Hebrews 9:13-16;

Hebrews 12:2;

1 Peter 2:24;

Revelation 13:8

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Atonement – Part 3

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In a recent General Conference address, LDS Church President, Russell M. Nelson made a comment about the location of where Christ atoned for the sins of the world. 

LDS.org under the talk titled: The Correct Name of the Church.  “In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior took upon Himself every pain, every sin, and all of the anguish and suffering ever experienced by me and by everyone who has ever lived or will ever live.  Under the weight of that excruciating burden, He bled from every pore.  All of this suffering was intensified as He was cruelly crucified on Calvary’s cross.”

In light of that statement, I have to mention that neither the Bible nor any Mormon Scripture specifically state that the atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Because to have the atonement occur in the garden would be contrary to the narrative of the entire Word of God.

In Old Testament times, redemption was demonstrated through the ceremonial sacrifice of an animal.  God made it clear that forgiveness would be provided only through the DEATH of an innocent substitute that represented the payment for the penalty of sin. 

But never did an animal sit somewhere alone in a pasture and suffer as a substitute sacrifice for sin.  The LDS focus on the Garden of Gethsemane has absolutely no biblical connection to the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, which was a picture of the shedding of the Lord’s blood which occurred where?  On the cross. 

But the New Testament does say that He suffered great agony in the garden. 

The garden is where He suffered great agony in His humanity over the impending pain and suffering that would culminate with His death on the cross.  His will was to do the Father’s will, but His flesh was shrinking at the thought of being beaten and crucified.  Can you imagine how scared any of us would be if we were put in the same situation?

But it say’s here in Luke 22:44 that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.”  Isn’t that considered “shedding blood?”

The way it is written suggests that His sweat was so profuse that the drops of sweat were heavy like what great drops of blood would look like.  The fact that only Dr. Luke, the physician, records this account makes it more likely that he was using a figure of speech. 

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus prays in the garden three times to the Father that if it be possible, “this cup” – meaning His taking on our sin – would pass from Him, but that God’s will be done. 

Once Jesus was outside the garden facing the temple soldiers, Peter acts rashly by cutting off Malchus’ ear.  Jesus then says to Peter as recorded in John 18:11, “Put up thy sword unto the sheath; THE CUP which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

Jesus is implying to Peter, “I just overcame the temptation to follow My own will.  And now you are stepping in to impede what I was sent to do, which is to take away the sins of the world by drinking THE CUP.  Put away your sword and let me precede to the cross, that I may do my Father’s will.”

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Atonement – Part 1

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From the Missionary Guide – Preach My Gospel it says, “Our Father’s plan for us to be successful in this life and to return to live with Him is called the gospel of Jesus Christ, with Jesus’ Atonement at the center of that plan.  He satisfied the demands of justice when he stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins.  Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive eternal life if we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, are baptized by immersion for the remission of sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of hands, and strive to keep His commandments to the end of our lives.”

I agree with some of what is said.  But, beyond exercising faith in Jesus Christ that He paid the penalty for our sins, nothing else is necessary or required of us to obtain eternal life. 

The Guide also says, “In paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus did not, however eliminate our personal responsibility.  We must show Him that we will follow His commandments.”

So, there is no assurance of having eternal life, unless you prove yourself worthy by working diligently to keep ALL, of His commandments? 

Mormons also believe that, through the Atonement of Christ they can qualify for exaltation through obedience to all the laws and ordinances and first principles of the gospel. (Preach My Gospel)

Mormonism says that a person’s salvation must be earned.  But this is not a biblical concept, in any way, shape, or form. 

Acts 10:43

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

Paul validates that message in two of his epistles. 

Colossians 2:13-15 and Ephesians 1:13-14

“And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”                                                                                                     

And then in Ephesians, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise.  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Paul is declaring that all sins – past, present, and future – are said to be forgiven, once for all. 

The author of Hebrews says in chapter 10 verse 10 that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Verse 14 adds, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Note the emphasis on these verses:  We are sanctified – made holy and perfect – through His atonement, when we accept Jesus as our Savior. 

Please continue reading verses 15-18 in Ephesians chapter 1.

“Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

But don’t you have to have good works in order to be saved?

Well, those good works come from the effects of the Atonement in our lives.  When we accept Christ’s payment for our sins, we become new creatures in Him. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 

Paul goes on in verses 18-21, “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


Are you trying to say  – the acts of our sinful nature are replaced with the fruit of the Spirit – which is love.

For a Christian, good works are done out of gratitude for the gift that has been received – the gift of eternal life. 

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The Cross – Not Gethsemane

In, light of this statement, it should be mentioned that neither the Bible nor Mormon scriptures specifically state that the atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane.  To have the atonement occur in the garden would be contrary to the narrative of the entire Word of God.  In Old Testament times, redemption was demonstrated through the ceremonial sacrifice of an animal.  God made it clear that forgiveness would be provided only through the death of an innocent substitute that represented the payment for the penalty of sin. Never did an animal sit somewhere alone in a pasture and suffer as a substitute sacrifice for sin.  This LDS addition of the garden has absolutely no biblical connection to the animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant, which were a picture of the shedding of the Lord’s blood which occurred, on the cross. 

The New Testament
explains that the animal sacrificial system typified what Christ would do when
He would voluntarily pay the price for sin through His own death.  Hebrews
9:1-10:18
emphasizes wonderful truths concerning this event.  Christ, Himself secured access into the very
presence of God in heaven not just for Himself only, but for all who believed
on Him.   Because Christ’s blood was shed through His death,
all who believe in Him now have access into the presence of the Holy One. 

The garden is
where He suffered great agony in His humanity over the impending pain and
suffering that would culminate with His death on the cross.  His will was to do the Father’s will, but His
flesh was shrinking at the thought of being beaten and crucified.  The agony He suffered in the garden was so
intense for Him that “his sweat was
as it were great drops of
blood
falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44
. The way it is written may suggest
that His sweat was so profuse that the drops of sweat were heavy like what
great drops of blood would look like. 
The fact that only Dr. Luke records it makes it more likely that he was
using a figure of
speech. 

In the gospel of
Matthew, Jesus prays in the garden three times to the Father that if it be
possible, “this cup”
meaning His taking on our sin – would pass from Him, but that God’s will would
be done.  Once Jesus was outside the
garden facing the temple soldiers, Peter acts rashly by cutting off Malchus’
ear.  Jesus says to Peter, “Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup
which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11).
Jesus
is implying to Peter, ‘I just overcame the temptation to follow My own
will.  And now you are stepping in to
impede what I was sent to do, which is to drink the cup my Father gave
me to drink!  Put away your sword and let
me precede to the cross, to
drink this cup.’ 

While Jesus was
in the garden, God sent “an angel
unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:43).
However, once
Jesus was on the cross, the Father abandoned Him, leaving Him to His own, and
sending no angel to help.  Why?  Because while Jesus was on the cross, God was
delivering the full wrath for the punishment for our sins.  The imputted sins of the world caused Jesus for the first time in eternity to be
separated from the Holy God.  And how did
He respond?  “My God, my God, why
hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:34).
It is illogical to think that if God
poured out His wrath upon His Son for our sin in the garden that He would at
the same time send an angel to strengthen Him. 
Which is, by the way, the reason no angel was sent to strengthen Him on
the cross. 

What did occur in
the garden of Gethsemane?  Jesus was
preparing to face the most extreme and ultimate suffering imaginable: being
separated from His Father on high.  Satan
was not about to leave our Lord alone when He was about to embark on the only
act that would overcome the devil and his powers, once and for all.  THIS was the trial of the garden: Jesus
overcoming the very natural temptation or desire to let this cup
pass.  He prayed for Himself (Matthew 26:39, 42-44) to have the human
strength to endure the pain and torture of the cross.  The moment Jesus
relinquishes Himself into the hands of sinful men, the atonement began – the
binding, the slapping, the spitting, the mockery, and the scourging “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…with His stripes we are
healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
  Therefore the beatings, the
torture, the fatigue, and humiliation, all culminating in His crucifixion and death on the cross were all part of
His atonement for our sins.  Hebrews 12:2 tells us that for our sins
Jesus “endured the cross, despising
the shame.”
  Before Jesus was
put upon that horrible tree of terror, only the most vile, heinous, condemned men who were hated by society were hung there.  Anyone who was crucified was, seen as the
lowest of low, a perfect picture of our state in sin. 

It should disturb
us when religious leaders, who call themselves prophets and apostles, distract
our attention from Christ’s suffering atonement on the cross, causing people to
focus on things that are not right or true. 
Statements like the President Nelson’s cause people to miss the cross,
to see another Jesus, to discount the meaning of His suffering, and revise the
truth of Jesus’ atoning work.  It is a
twisting of the Scripture.  If Satan can
get people to take their eyes off the truth of the gospel and redirect them to
something that is a lie, he was won a victory. 

The Bible stands on its own, testifying of exactly
what His suffering and death on the cross accomplished:  Psalm
22:1, 6-8, 15-16;  Luke 9:23;  Romans 5:6-11;  Romans 6:6; 
1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 23;  1
Corinthians 2:2;  1 Corinthians 5:7;  1 Corinthians 15:3;  Galatians 3:13;  Galatians 6:14;  Ephesians 2:16;  Philippians 3:18;  Colossians 1:20-22  Colossians 2:13-15;  Hebrews 2:14; 
Hebrews 9:13-16;  Hebrews
12:2;  1 Peter 2:24;  Revelation 13:8.

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Symbol of the Cross – Part 3

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The basic difference in the way Mormon’s and Christians see the cross demonstrates how vastly different Mormonism is from Biblical Christianity.

But many Latter-day Saints will say that they do not see a big difference between Christianity and Mormonism.

Contrary to what Latter-day Saint leaders have taught – the cross is far more than just the instrument of death the Romans used to kill the physical body of Jesus.  It plays a significant role in the salvation of all who choose to follow Jesus.

What He did on the cross is everything the Good News represents: it’s the work of Christ for man, the shed blood, the hope, the miracle, our justification, our sanctification, and our very eternal life.

Is the cross an offense to Latter-day Saints or is it a symbol of joy, peace, and God’s great love?

Latter Day Saints who have been raised in a Mormon beliefs do admit that they have had somewhat of an aversion for the symbol of the cross.  Probably most Latter-day Saints feel the same way.

 Probably, much of it has to do with the teachings and attitudes that have been passed down from parents, teachers and leaders.

Listen, this is very important!  How you, view the cross is very dependent on whether you have been spiritually reborn and whether you truly understand Jesus.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Galatians 6:14?

The vertical post pointing upwards toward heaven represents our, belief in Jesus and our direct relationship with God.  The horizontal cross beam placed on that post reaching outward represents our relationship with others.  As Jesus loved God and others, we are called to do the same.

Paul doesn’t say he glories in ordinances, in church membership, priesthood authority, family, or baptism.  He says he glories ONLY “in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What if that became the main, focus of your LDS Mission and the rest of life?

Anything added to what Christ accomplished on the cross for us is useless.  It ends up being works-based “Religion”.  It causes us to take our eyes off the cross and give attention to non- essential matters.

What greater ploy could there be than to get people – well-meaning people – to take their eyes off the very place where they were each reconciled to God.  And to have them look up at a golden angel on a building that inspires the proud hearts of men!

I just pray that Latter-day Saints everywhere like yourselves will demand that those golden images on top of their most sacred buildings would be replaced with crosses and cease officiating in man-made ordinances.

I want you to understand all that’s commanded of us is summarized in one verse of the Bible.

“And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

1 John 3:23

With that commandment in mind – to believe on Jesus Christ and love one another – I’d like to explain how it applies to the symbolic meaning of the cross.

The vertical post pointing upwards toward heaven represents our, belief in Jesus and our direct relationship with God.  The horizontal cross beam placed on that post reaching outward represents our relationship with others.  As Jesus loved God and others, we are called to do the same.

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Symbol of the Cross – Part 2

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What does the cross symbolize?

“Good News”

What exactly does this mean?

The cross represents a payment made on our behalf.  Remember, God pronounced a penalty to every human being who sinned.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.”

When someone puts their faith in Jesus, his death on the cross pays the penalty due for our sins. Our sins are placed on Jesus as the righteousness of Jesus is credited to us.  His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins – ALL of them!  Jesus took upon Himself our sin and death and in return gave us His righteousness and Eternal Life!

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

2 Corinthians 5:21

The New Testament speaks of the cross time and time again.  Each time the cross is spoken of, it is referring to the Good News of God’s accomplishments through the death of Christ upon the cross.

“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.  This He said, signifying what death He should die.”

John 12:31-32

In that passage, Jesus teaches that the cross will not only break the power of Satan, but also will draw ALL men to Himself.  However, not all people who are drawn to Him will come to Him.  There are many who reject Him and the message of the Cross.

God took the “Law”, which was a testimony against us, and nailed it to the cross.

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

Colossians 2:14

The Law is against us because like a mirror, it shows us our sinfulness.  Since we can’t keep all the commandments perfectly – that makes us sinners.  But in Christ’s death, God took the law and ordinances away, and nailed it to the cross.

The Christian believer does not have the testimony of the Law against him. Instead, the Christian has been justified by God’s grace and power guided by the Holy Spirit.

Because the Law had no power to do it anyway.

Let’s read how the Bible warns us that those who do not accept the message of the cross, are enemies of the cross.

“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”

Philippians 3:18

Being an enemy of the cross of Christ is not a favorable position to be in.  Rejecting God’s ONLY provision for salvation, which is through the cross of Jesus Christ, is rejecting salvation itself.  And Christ said He in turn, will reject those who are ashamed of Him.

So, you’re saying being ashamed of Him includes being ashamed of his redemptive death on the cross.

Believers in Jesus Christ are identified closely with Him and His cross.

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Romans 6:6

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Galatians 2:20-21

These and other verses in the Bible teach that we are not to be ashamed of the cross of Christ but are to be closely identified with it instead.  We are to die to sin and live for righteousness.

Yes, the cross was a cruel and violent method of death, but Jesus died for me and YOU on that cross 2,000 years ago.  The cross demonstrates and reveals to us how much God hates sin.  It was our sins that put Him on the cross.  The cross also demonstrates God’s immense love for us.

Unfortunately, those who reject this single provision that God has provided for salvation, will perish.  You know why they reject it?

They just don’t care because they don’t understand?

They reject it because it is foolishness to them.

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

1 Corinthians 1:18

 The reason believers wear crosses, is because they are not ashamed of what Jesus did on the cross for them.  They are eternally grateful for the power of cross to save them.

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Symbol of the Cross – Part 1

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Why do most Mormons have an aversion toward the cross as a Christian symbol?

I don’t see crosses on top of LDS church steeples.  Instead of a cross on LDS temples there’s an angel with a horn.  And it’s rare to see a Mormon wearing a Christian cross as a piece of jewelry – like on a necklace or bracelet.

Mormons believe the cross symbolizes Jesus’ death.  As Latter-day Saints they claim to worship the risen Christ and focus on the living Savior.

I can appreciate the emphasis on the resurrected Lord, but there seems to be more of a reason why the cross is generally ignored in LDS theology.

Are you aware that in early church history the cross was a big part of the LDS culture?

In the early years of the Saints living in Utah, many Mormons promoted the Christian symbol as an expression of their personal and collective faith. It was probably influenced by their Protestant backgrounds.

But in the 20th century its use has been discouraged by LDS church leaders.  Wanting to maintain a distinction among Christian churches, the Mormon Church essentially rejected outward displays of the cross.

There is nothing doctrinally or scripturally that keeps the LDS from honoring the cross.

LDS Church leaders have made some pretty, strong statements about the cross.  Bruce R. McConkie in his book, Mormon Doctrine,  equated the cross with the Bible’s satanic “mark of the beast.”

McConkie’s father-in-law, Church President Joseph Fielding Smith compared the cross to a guillotine and believed both items were merely “tools of execution.”

Early LDS church leaders felt more affinity for the cross.  In pioneer Utah, crosses were common in church art, in stain-glass windows, on pulpits, gravestones and quilts.  Brigham Young’s wives and daughters wore crosses on their jewelry.  Crosses appeared on cattle in the Salt Lake Valley as the official LDS Church brand.

In 1916, the Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church proposed to the Salt Lake City Counsel to place a giant cross on top of Ensign Peak as a, way to honor the Mormon pioneers.  But there was opposition from within the ranks of Church leadership who saw the cross as more of a Catholic symbol.  As a result, the proposal was discarded.

The real roots of opposition to the cross took hold in the 1930’s, when Utah’s Roman Catholic Church became more concentrated and powerful in the community.

In 1957, LDS Church President David O. McKay established the no-cross policy.

From that day forward, Mormons look negatively on anyone wearing a cross.  It makes them feel uncomfortable, even offended.

Mormons believe that the scars of the Lord’s crucifixion, is how Christ identified Himself to those in ancient Israel and, according to the Book of Mormon, in ancient America.  If Christ so openly displayed the marks of the cross, perhaps Mormons should be more open to what the cross represents.

But even though anti-Catholic feelings have subsided, Mormons as, a whole still do not use the cross as an outward symbol of their faith.

In April 2005, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke in General Conference about the symbol of the cross.  He recognized how other churches view the symbol, and said,

“But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ.”

  My prayer is that someday, Latter-day Saints will come to understand the significance and meaning of what Christ accomplished for them on that cross.  The cross represents the redemption that Jesus won for us.  There is no salvation without redemption and the cross is where Jesus redeemed us.  The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel message of the Bible.

The word “Gospel” means “Good News”.  Therefore, the symbol of the Good News is the cross!

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God: Spirit or Body – Part 1

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In the missionary manual – Preach my Gospel it teaches that missionaries are to teach investigators about the nature of God. The manual refers to the book of Mormon account of two young men, Ammon and Aaron who taught and converted Lamoni and his father.

The manual asks, “What did these missionaries teach about the nature of God?”  Then it asks, “How can you follow their examples?”

The book of Alma 18:24-40 states a somewhat confusing passage.

24 “And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?”

25. “And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.”

26. “And then Ammon said Believeth thou that there is a Great Spirit?”

27. “And he said, Yea.”

28. “And Ammon said: This is God.”

Then let’s jump over to Alma 22. 

9. “And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?”

10. “And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth.  Believest thou this?”

11. “And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.”

The manual asks: “What did those missionaries teach about the nature of God?”  It’s obvious that Ammon and Aaron taught that God was a personage of Spirit!

There is no mention of a Spirit with no body  – whatsoever.  Doesn’t it seem odd they didn’t correct king Lamoni’s understanding that God is a Spirit? 

Nowhere in the entire Book of Mormon does it teach God is more than Spirit.

In Alma 18:34 “Ammon said unto him: I am a man; and a man in the beginning was created after the image of God.”

Since God has been defined here in the Book of Mormon as a Great Spirit, with out the mention of a body, this verse confirms that man was created after the “spirit” image of God – not a physical image. 

This teaching that God is a spirit falls right in line with the Christianity belief in God.

And contradicts what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught about God.    

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