The Cross and the Open Tomb

So, maybe you’ve wondered why there are no crosses on or inside LDS church buildings, or why Mormons typically don’t wear crosses. In fact, as most have noticed, we tend to have nothing to do with the cross in terms of using it as a symbol. Well, that’s for a couple of reasons. I’d like to try and explain why this is. It’s really quite simple, so pay attention.

Mormons don’t despise the cross in any way. We don’t believe it is a bad thing or something of evil that we must stay away from. It’s simply not something that we do. We recognize and teach the importance of Christ’s crucifixion. In no way do we lessen the significance of that event. It is, after all, a part of Christ’s Atonement.

With that in mind, why don’t we use the cross as an outward symbol? For one thing, we don’t believe that we need a symbol like that to let others see that we are Christians. Honestly, I think my behavior should reflect my belief in Christ, not a pendant on a necklace or even a fish on my car. If a cross is what you rely on to let people know you believe in Jesus Christ, then you… have some things to change about yourself. Just saying.

We also prefer not to place a symbol of death at the center of our worship. In fact, neither did the original Twelve Apostles. Nowhere in the Bible is the cross mentioned as an outward symbol. Of course, the expression to take upon a cross is used, signifying a desire to endure and sacrifice for the cause of Christ. And yes, Christ died for us, but more importantly, he rose from the dead. Christ lives. The primary reason The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not use the cross is because we focus more on Jesus’ resurrection than His death. If Christ had not risen, His death would have meant nothing.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. (2 Corinthians 13:4)

Paul certainly feels that the resurrection is important. In fact, he takes all of chapter 15 in 1 Corinthians to explain it. Here are some of his words.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

As I said before, Latter-day Saints don’t use the cross because we prefer to reflect upon the fact that Jesus Christ is alive, and not just that He died. So no, Mormons don’t “worship” the cross. In fact, we don’t worship any object. We worship our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives, and we don’t need to put giant crosses on our church buildings to let others know that we believe in and worship Him.

 

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