No-Cross Protocol

“It’s no accident that Mormon steeples, temples and necks are free of Christian crosses.

“LDS leaders long have said the cross, so ubiquitous among traditional Christians, symbolizes Jesus’ death, while Mormons worship the risen Christ.”

So begins a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune (Mormons and the cross).

This interesting article by Peggy Fletcher Stack takes a look at the newly completed master’s thesis, “The Development of the LDS Church’s Attitude Toward the Cross,” by Michael Reed. According to the Salt Lake Tribune,

“[The] Mormon aversion to the cross is a relatively recent development in LDS history, prompted in part by anti-Catholic sentiments.

“‘It first started at the grass-roots level around the turn of the 20th century,’ Michael Reed argues…

“‘It later became institutionalized during the 1950s under the direction of LDS Prophet David O. McKay.’”

Mormon scholar Bob Rees explains further,

“At one time there was an informal acceptance of [the cross] as an overt symbol, but in the 20th century its use has been discouraged by church leaders. Wanting to maintain its distinctive identity among Christian churches, the church essentially rejected outward manifestations of the cross, one of the most compelling symbols in all of Christendom…”

Apparently, crosses were at one time somewhat popular among Mormons, the symbol appearing on early LDS buildings, documents, and members (in the form of jewelry). But the LDS Church’s opposition to Catholicism won out in the middle of the 20th century.

Beginning in the 1920s when then-Apostle David O. McKay became frustrated over the lack of success in converting Catholics to Mormonism, and continuing into the 1930s when LDS leaders (including McKay) believed a Catholic Bishop in Utah was trying to convert Mormons, McKay’s vexation with Catholicism finally came to a head with his 1953 identification of the Catholic Church as one of the “two great anti-Christs in the world” (the second being Communism).

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, in 1957, by then the President of the LDS Church, David O. McKay

“established the LDS Church’s no-cross protocol, saying it was not proper for LDS girls to wear it on their jewelry, saying the cross is ‘purely Catholic.’”

Actually, the Cross of Christ is purely biblical, purely Christian.

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“May it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

Christian pastor John Piper explains,

“Only boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. It is a single idea. A single goal. A single passion. Only boast in the cross. The word can be translated ‘exult in’ or ‘rejoice in.’ Only exult in the cross of Christ. Only rejoice in the cross of Christ. Paul says let this be your single passion, your single boast and joy and exultation. In this great moment called ONE DAY let the ONE THING that you love, the one thing that you cherish, the one thing that you rejoice in and exult over be the cross of Jesus Christ…

“…for redeemed sinners, every good thing — indeed every bad thing that God turns for good — was obtained for us by the cross of Christ. Apart from the death of Christ, sinners get nothing but judgment. Apart from the cross of Christ, there is only condemnation. Therefore everything that you enjoy in Christ — as a Christian, as a person who trusts Christ — is owing to the death of Christ. And all your rejoicing in all things should therefore be a rejoicing in the cross where all your blessings were purchased for you at the cost of the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ” (Boasting Only in the Cross).

Mormons don’t choose to use the Cross as a religious symbol. Instead they choose sunstones, CTR rings and representations of a heralding angel to symbolize their distinctive faith.

Nevertheless, be it a method of execution, be it jewelry worn by rap stars, be it misused as a flaming sign of racism, the Cross ever remains for Christians our symbol of hope and peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Mormon History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to No-Cross Protocol

  1. LDSSTITANIC says:

    st. crispin…pardon me everyone for just jumping in here out of nowhere but I had to laugh out loud at the denial of Smith’s interest in the occult. Do you honestly deny his membership in the Masonic Lodge? Do you deny that the ritual of your “temples” are largely if not totally plagiarised from the Masonic rites?

    I mean really now. Do yourself a favor and commence a detailed study of that organization. The mere fact Joseph wanted to be a member tells me everything I need to know about his occultic interests.

  2. Berean says:

    Ralph,

    That “someone” wasn’t just some schmoe off of the street. It was Dr. Durham whose credentials then and after were in high esteem in your church. He continued to be “promoted” to greater positions of authority and responsibility in the church after the 1974 lecture. I’m amazed at how quickly you Mormons throw “under the bus” or discredit your own people when they make you have to run to the FAIR website for answers. Dr. Durham is a name known in the LDS Church. No offense, but yours and St. Crisp is not. I guess the question you asked of me I would like to ask Dr. Durham before he gave his “talk”. For an educated man to get up there in front of all those devout Mormons and give this lengthy discussion about Joseph Smith’s magic/occult background without looking into further evidence seems rather stupid for such an educated man.

    I’m just wondering why Dr. Durham wasn’t disfellowshipped like Grant Palmer for bringing this information on Joseph Smith to light? Richard Bushman spoke in great detail about Joseph Smith’s involvement in chapters 2 & 3 of his book “Rough Stone Rolling” and he is still a member in good standing and still has best-selling books at Deseret Books.

    Yes, I’ve looked at the evidence. I was asked to give documentation on what Durham said. I did that and, as expected, the devout ran to FAIR for help. No, I won’t be claiming conspiracy theories. The LDS Church is the master of them. My personal favorites are:

    1. All the believers in Christ died or fell away into apostasy thus validating the need for Joseph Smith to be born after he helped Jesus create the world so he could bring Christianity back.

    2. Those no-good Roman Catholics who wear the goofy caps are to blame for the destruction and alteration of God’s Word. They changed all the papyrus manuscripts of God’s Word for some unknown reason throughout the world and backdated even the Old Testament copies thus making them master forgers. It’s a conspiracy!

  3. Berean says:

    Ralph,

    The pentagram and how it is displayed on LDS temples and many other places is more than just a 5 pointed star and nothing else. Why is it even there to begin with? Why would your church put that on their property fixtures? Yes, most of the pentagram stars are inverted and I have two posts above giving links to some photos. There are more photos that could be given (especially the full color display of the inverted star in the visitor’s center).

    The pentagram is widely known to even the least educated to be linked to the occult namely Satanism, witchcraft and the worst of the worst, the Temple of Set. Why the LDS Church would want to display everywhere for the world to see a symbol that is so spiritually controversial is beyond me. Your church wants so desperately to be called “Christian”, but yet it does this kind of thing?

    Ralph, give it up and save yourself the embarrassment. Trying to explain this away, cover for your church and then attempt to draw Bible accounts is absurd. The LDS Church has the pentagrams, golden angels, moons, stars, sunstones, all-seeing eyes, etc., all over their temples, but yet NO CROSS – the symbol of Christianity! Why is that? Again, give it up. Any attempt in defending this is ridiculous.

  4. Berean says:

    Crisp,

    My reasons for being here are many. I’ll give you one since I’m running short on time. Joseph Smith attacked and discredited orthodox, historical Christianity with his statement in Joseph Smith History 1:19. He started this and I will defend Christianity and the name of the real Jesus Christ of the Bible at all costs.

    You called me out and asked for documentation on Dr. Durham said at the lecture in 1974. I gave it to you and then you didn’t like it so you ran to FAIR for help. They have no church authority and no credibility outside of BYU and devout Mormons. They are a joke to the outside world in their attempts to be considered scholarly. They do the bidding for what the General Authorities will not do.

    I’m fully aware of the whole story of the Jupiter Talisman history in regards to Joseph Smith. I’m also fully aware of Joseph Smith’s extensive in the magic arts and many LDS historians and authors have talked about it. Heck, even Mormon apostle Russell Nelso talked about it in the July 1993 issue of the Ensign. Read Richard Bushman’s book “Rough Stone Rolling” (chapters 2 & 3) for yourself. The only dishonesty going on here is the blatant attempts by the Mormon devouts to explain away, cover up and rationalize whatever it takes to keep Joseph Smith on the pedestal that the LDS Church wants him to be on.

  5. falcon says:

    “Reality bites” as the saying goes and what our poor Mormon friends are left with is rationalizing away the obvious or changing their personal reality. The things we are discussing here aren’t even open for interpretation. They are obvious and part of the historical record. If it were a thing here or there it would be no big deal. However what we have is a pattern that tells a very clear story.
    I was out reading some very early history of the Mormon church last night and the fact that a group like Temple Lot dumped everything after the 1832 Book of Commandments speaks volumes about what Joseph Smith’s contemporary believers thought about this “continuous revelation”.
    Joseph Smith was a product of 19th century evangelical christian revialism and occult magic arts. That’s where his influences came from. He stirs in enough Christianity to give his religion the feeling of some legitimite Christian sect. Once people start accepting the incremental deviations from the norm, they’re like the frog in the water. You know, throw a frog into hot water and it will reflexively jump out. Put the frog in room temperature water and slowly turn-up the heat and the frog will boil.
    This is what a cult does. I was watching the National Geographic channel the other night. They had a documentary on the guy in New Mexico that has himself a little cult going. The guy could have been working off of Joseph Smith’s play book. He’s in prison now. Watching these folks being interviewed reminded me of the standard thinking processes of our Mormon friends.
    Pretty tough deal to escape from. But many do….daily! And that’s because the weight of the evidence and the practices of the Mormon culture cannot be contained in the individual testimony. At some point personal integrity becomes an issue.

  6. There is a lot of disagreement surrounding the Jupiter Talisman attributed to Joseph Smith as owner. Arguments on both sides of the issue (it belonged to Smith/it didn’t belong to Smith) fill the Internet. I haven’t read them all. But as I was doing research on the issue I found it interesting that Charles Bidamon, Emma Smith’s stepson, showed the talisman (not for sale) to LDS Apostle John Henry Smith in 1902, explaining that the “medal” belonged to the Prophet Joseph Smith, etc. Thirty-five years later, in answer to a newspaper ad calling for early Mormon artifacts, Bidamon contacted Wilford Wood and sold several items that interested Wood. Nobody recognized Joseph Smith’s “medal” as an occult talisman, and so its authenticity was readily accepted in the Church. It wasn’t until Reed Durham’s lecture and the aftermath of dawning realization that Joseph Smith’s “silver pocket piece” was tied to the occult (and would become problematic for the Church) that the talisman’s origin was disputed. As D. Michael Quinn wrote, “Now it was obvious to everyone that Smith’s Jupiter talisman was consistent with other evidence of early Mormon occultism, and LDS apologists started their rear-guard action” (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, 89).

  7. falcon says:

    Sharon makes some good points here. As long as the Mormon church didn’t know what that little trinket was, they were cool with it. When the research bore out that it’s an occult piece with some hoped-for “power” attached to it….whoa nellie. So I guess the Mormons could do one of two things. Say it was Joe’s but it was just a harmless piece of jewelry or deny it was his. I’m just wondering what they think it is even a part from whether or not it belonged to Joseph Smith? If it was indeed his and if indeed it is an occult tailsman then our Mormon friends need to come up with a new version of reality.
    I don’t think that new version of reality would be something like, “Yea Joe was into the occult and that magic world forms the basis of our religion. We embrace it along with multiple gods and all of the other stuff. We’re down with it! We dig it. Come join us.”
    Mormonism would be very attrative to a lot of new agers and those into wicca.

  8. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    But in Exodus (I think) Moses makes a brass serpent and places it on a pole and anyone bitten by a snake would be instantly healed if they just looked at it. That ’snake’ was a representation of Jesus and His atonement.

    Ralph I will disagree with your view on this here, and here is why.

    All through the Bible even in the NT the Snake is a symbol of Satan and Sin, And Bronze is a symbol of Judgment, Jesus started Speaking in Parables only after the Religious leaders accused Him of Healing with the Power of Satan.

    My Take on the Bronze serpent from Scripture is this.

    The Jews followed the Law to the Letter, The Jews were told NEVER to make any graven Image, To make a graven Image and look upon it to be saved Goes against the Law. So either the Trust God and break the Law and Live, or keep the Letter of the law and Die. Plus the serpents that went out and bit the People is a form of Sin Bitting us, Either we will bite someone with Sin or be Bitten with Sin.

    If you dont agree with my View thats fine, Just read the Bible, it’s all in the Word of God. Rick b

  9. Michael P says:

    For whatever it is worth, I thought Crispen’s CTR comment was isolated to the youngens… (And Crispen, its OK to mispeak. Just admit it and move on.)

    But this issue, the Cross, is one that I find very interesting as to why Mormons don’t care to give it much thought. I have heard the line that they prefer to look at Christ’s resurection instead of his death.

    But Christ’s death is, I think, the most important part of it all. Why? Because if God had not become man and died just like a man, we would not be saved today. Yes, he rose, and I cannot understate that importance, but his resurection would mean nothing had he not first died and sacrificed everything to save me.

    The cross is a symbol, yes, but so is the angel on the top of many Mormon church spires… Others have pointed out the other symbolism involved in Mormonism, so I will not rehash. But I will say that it is very interesting that they deny the cross while using so many other symbols, and that they deny the one that is the most important– even if it is gruesome. But that awful event is hugely important, even to their faith.

  10. M Richey says:

    I’m surprised it is not mentioned more often in these posts because it is fundamental to the LDS religion. It’s a bit off topic, but if the character of Joseph Smith is going to be questioned, then answer me the big question. If not done with the help of God, how did Joseph write the Book of Mormon. Since so many of you have studied his history, you know his education was lacking. I don’t care what you believe, read the book, it’s pretty incredible. It’s either true or the most intensive work of fiction ever created. Fiction created by a farm boy in the early 1800s.

  11. falcon says:

    Mormons have to reject the symbol of the cross because it’s symbolic of Christian salvation. Mormons don’t “do” Christian salvation. They have a different god, a different jesus and a different spirit. Their whole program is nothing like the Christian plan of salvation. God demanded “blood” be shed as the price for sin. He paid the price, that is demanded for sin, for us through Jesus’ death on the cross. Mormons arrogantly believe that they can become gods themselves through works. As a matter of fact, Mormons have little use or need for the blood of Christ. It’s just a kind of “add on” just in case they aren’t righteous enough. Now if the claimed the God of the Bible, they’d need to claim the plan of salvation that He outlined. But Joseph Smith, wanting to be god, led Mormons down a path that will eventually result in their separation from God for eternity.

  12. Rick B says:

    Because Mormons rarly read the Bible and really do not fully understand the Bible here are two things in the OT that they miss.

    The Cross is even in the OT guys. When Passover Came Blood needed to be put on the top of the door and the sides, This was from Lambs Blood. Jesus is the lamb who shed His blood. Now both Jew and Gentile were saved if the were in the house with the blood. Both Jew and Gentile Died if they were out side of the House with Blood, in other words they were not Covered with the Blood.

    Jesus Died around 33 years old, that means 33 years of Passover, Jesus knew Passover was speaking of him.

    Then the Tribes in the Wilderness were told to place them selves according to very spefic instructions given by God. When the tribes set up Camp, if you were to look down from heaven you would see the form of a cross.

    Plus Jesus Death is prophesied by death on a cross in very great detail in the OT. So if you choose to reject the cross, Then you reject what God has spoken and what God has done, then God will reject you. Rick b

  13. st.crispin says:

    Sharon,

    As I have stated previously, the whole Jupiter talisman issue epitomizes the total lack of intellectual integrity and rigor of the vast majority of criticism made against the LDS Church. It is abundantly clear that the sole primary evidence for the alleged existence of this purported Jupiter talisman comes from Charles Bidamon some seventy years after the fact.

    If such an artifact truly existed in Joseph Smith’s time then surely someone contemporary to Joseph Smith would have commented upon that. The fact that the historical record is silent on this matter for 70 years until Charles Bidamon shows up with his trinket speaks volumes. Yes, Church members were duped by the duplicity of Charles Bidamon just as they were by Mark Hoffman and his Salamander Letter forgeries.

    The fact that critics of the LDS Church love to parade this fabricated story only underscores their fundamental dishonesty.

    Regarding the whole pentagram symbol issue again this underscores the lack of intellectual integrity and rigor of critics of the LDS Church.

    The inverted star or pentagram has traditionally symbolized the Star of Bethlehem and the Morning Star (Both symbols of Jesus Christ) for millennia. These inverted stars or pentagrams can be found in Christian artwork since the second century A.D. The inverted star is even found on the U.S. flag. Thus it is perfectly understandable that inverted stars (symbols of Jesus Christ) should be found upon the House of the Lord.

    In contrast the earliest known connection of the inverted star to the occult was not made until 1850′s by a defrocked Roman Catholic priest who was obsessed with the occult. Even that connection is spurious.

    It is abundantly clear that there is no connection of the inverted stars found on the Salt Lake Temple and the occult.

    Notwithstanding such facts, Mormon critic love to make false accusations of occultism. This again underscores the fundamental dishonesty of such accusations.

  14. Enki says:

    Hello Everyone,
    The cross is originally pagan!

    “Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 197-205, frankly calls the cross “this Pagan symbol … the Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah … the mystic Tau of the Cladeans (Babylonians) and Egyptians – the true original form of the letter T the initial of the name of Tammuz … the Babylonian cross was the recognised emblem of Tammuz.”

    In the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol. 14, p. 273, we read, “In the Egyption churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life borrowed by the Christians and interpreted in the pagan manner.” Jacob Grimm, in his Deutsche Mythologie, says that the Teutonic (Germanic) tribes had their idol Thor, symbolised by a hammer, while the Roman Christians had their crux (cross). It was thus somewhat easier for the Teutons to accept the Roman Cross.”

    Other things to note is that there are 33 vertebrae in a normal human spine. Prana enters the human body in the shape of a cross through the shakras. There are 7 main ones, and auxiliary ones which form the ‘cross’. In revelations there are ‘seven SEALS’.(as opposed to seven OPEN shakral centers) The name’jesus’ and ‘JESUS CHRIST” can be used as a swear words, meaning ‘may his name be blotted out’. The main body of jews do not accept anything about christianity for this and other reasons.

  15. Ward says:

    St. Crispin said: “The inverted star or pentagram has traditionally symbolized the Star of Bethlehem and the Morning Star (Both symbols of Jesus Christ) for millennia. These inverted stars or pentagrams can be found in Christian artwork since the second century A.D. The inverted star is even found on the U.S. flag. Thus it is perfectly understandable that inverted stars (symbols of Jesus Christ) should be found upon the House of the Lord.”

    I mean no disrespect to you, sir, but this last post was a good example of what Falcon, Martin, Aaron, and Sharon have been saying as I have been reading, and that is of the rabbit trail, and of throwing out a myriad of confusing “facts.” The US flag has inverted stars? Most citizens of the US immediately see you as fabricating distortions. And saying the representations of the star of Bethlehem and the morning star are the same? I googled all of the above just to see what is out there in the public domain. And your assertions are not there. The religious symbols are uniformly multiple pointed stars. I am sure if one looked far enough, one could find something that could pass as a 5 sider, but that would be rare.

    It is common knowledge that there are many pagan symbols which were transformed by Christians into inherently Christian ones over time. This post is about the cross, which was also a standard Roman execution form, and has become symbolic with our faith. You do not help your cause when you go off task with making a bunch of comments about unrelated points. The comment about the US flag is so obviously a distortion, I am wondering about everything you have posted. You seriously undermine your reputation when you do things like this. Thanks for listening.

  16. Ralph says:

    Berean,

    The reason I refer to Dr Durham as ‘someone’ is becasue I have never heard of him so I did not know of any connections of his to the LDS church or any anti groups. I was not dismissing him, I was just refering to him in the only context I know about him – he is just a someone to me.

    I am not throwing him under the bus nor discrediting him when I quoted his own words about his recanting what he said about the taliman belonging to JS – it was his own words and recanting. So those 1974 lectures by Dr Durham when mentioning the talisman, according to Dr Durham himself, are incorrect.

    I stand by my comment, a symbol only means what the person USING it wants it to mean. This changes from culture to culture and sometimes family to family. The LDS culture uses 5 pointed stars to show the glory of God’s creation and as I said possibly to symbolise the Terrestial (glory of the stars) Kingdom. If we used a 6 pointed star, would you accuse us of skimping from the Jews and degrading their religion and suffering through the holocaust? A star is a star until someone decides differently.

    RickB,

    Read the story in the OT again. God told Moses to make the snake and erect it for the people to look at. So if that is true, then God is breaking His own commandment according to you. I found on a Christian (non-LDS) website that they also believe that it was a representation of Jesus.

  17. st.crispin says:

    Ward,

    In the Great Star Flag of the United States (1837 to 1845) the stars (representing the individual states of the Union) are arranged in the from of an inverted star or pentagram.
    Check it out for yourself.

    The U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor is an inverted star. Check it out for yourself.

    The Star of Bethlehem and the Star of the Morning have been depicted as inverted stars for centuries.
    Check it out for yourself.

    In contrast the earliest known connection of the inverted star to the occult was not made until 1850’s by a defrocked Roman Catholic priest who was obsessed with the occult.
    Check it out for yourself.

    I could go on and on.

    It is apparent that it is you who is uninformed on this subject. Like most Mormon critics it appears that you are simply too lazy to do your homework before spouting off.

    As I have stated before the whole Jupiter talisman issue and that of inverted stars on the Salt Lake Temple epitomizes the total lack of intellectual integrity and rigor of the vast majority of criticism made against the LDS Church.

  18. Ward says:

    Crispin, I am not interested in dragging myself or you into a quagmire with false accusations and name calling. You are not providing references for your points, and you are very selective about your points. Your rather broad generalizations are pushed out, and it draws us away from the central points of the thread. You encourage me to check it out for myself, yet you give me no references to check it out with. When I check it out, you tell me I did it wrong. I am getting some understanding of the frustration of other posters who have expressed themselves more passionately than I have here. To not submit myself to your nonlinear arguments may prove to you that I am “simply too lazy” and “spouting off,” and give you a sense of victory. Fine. I have no axe to grind with you, other than to ask you to stay on the thread, and give references. Take care and God Bless. He isn’t through with either of us yet.

  19. A comment above states:

    “the whole Jupiter talisman issue epitomizes the total lack of intellectual integrity and rigor of the vast majority of criticism made against the LDS Church… The fact that critics of the LDS Church love to parade this fabricated story only underscores their fundamental dishonesty.”

    What we have is a silver medal accompanied by a sworn affidavit in which Charles Bidamon confirms that it belonged to Joseph Smith. The medal in question has been identified as a Jupiter talisman. These are facts.

    On one side of the debate are those who look at the facts and circumstantial evidence and conclude that the weight of it shows the talisman did not belong to Joseph Smith.

    On the other side of the debate are those who look at the facts and circumstantial evidence and conclude that the weight of it shows the talisman did belong to Joseph Smith.

    Are the people on either side of the debate guilty of a “total lack of intellectual integrity” parading a “fabricated story” which displays their “fundamental dishonesty?” How silly to say so. The two sides merely represent different interpretations of the evidence, leading to different conclusions. Those who believe the talisman did not belong to Joseph Smith do not have more hard evidence for their position than those who conclude the opposite. In fact, the burden of proof is on the affidavit-deniers to demonstrate that Charles Bidamon was actually lying.

    The point I’m trying to make here is not about the talisman itself, but about the ridiculous accusations made against those who think the evidence points to Joseph Smith being the owner of the occult talisman. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

  20. st.crispin says:

    Sharon,

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    The sole source for the spurious claims of the Jupiter talisman is Charles Bidamon who, like his father, was avowedly bitter against the LDS Church.

    The undeniable facts are:
    1. This alleged Jupiter talisman did not even surface until 70 YEARS after the death of Joseph Smith;
    2. No mention whatsoever is made of this item by Joseph Smith or any of his contemporaries;
    3. Charles Bidamon was motivated to make a profit through selling this trinket to the LDS Church. Hence by fabricating a story of its origin and provenance Bidamon substantially enhanced the trinkets value and selling price.

    Given these undeniable facts it is readily apparent that Charles Bidamon ‘s trinket is not what he makes it to be (even in an affidavit).

    In a similar manner Mark Hoffman fooled many people into believing the authenticity of his forged Salamander Letters. Again Mark Hoffman was motivated by profit.

    My point is that Mormon critics never, ever, ever make mention of the foregoing facts when they parade this story of the Jupiter talisman which would undeniably discredit their accusations of occultism. Hence their intellectual dishonesty.

  21. st.crispin says:

    Ward,

    Are you really so lazy that you cannot even Google or Wiki a simple topic such as:

    1. The Great Star Flag of the United States (1837); or

    2. The U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor.

    Both of which depict the inverted star or pentagram.
    Try it.

    How is that for linear thinking?!!!

    This is no “broad generalization” on my part but merely a precise refutation of some false accusations (concerning the presence of inverted stars on the Salt Lake Temple) being made here on this thread against the LDS Church.

  22. Michael P says:

    Crispin–

    The sole source for the spurious claims of the Jupiter talisman is Charles Bidamon who, like his father, was avowedly bitter against the LDS Church.

    The undeniable facts are:
    1. This alleged Jupiter talisman did not even surface until 70 YEARS after the death of Joseph Smith;
    2. No mention whatsoever is made of this item by Joseph Smith or any of his contemporaries;
    3. Charles Bidamon was motivated to make a profit through selling this trinket to the LDS Church. Hence by fabricating a story of its origin and provenance Bidamon substantially enhanced the trinkets value and selling price.

    OK, so Chuck was vehemently against the LDS church. Any evidence for this?

    Then, we go to 1) 70 years after death, so what? 2) No mention, again, so what? I am not sure anyone would comment on a watch I always wear, or a golden cross I sometimes wear. If what you say is true, it does not mean it was not his, only that no one commented on it. 3) Any evidence for Chuck’s motivation?

    I do not mean to be contentious, but only to show that you have huge interpretive questions in your own positions. You put a lot of intrepretation in your own thoughts, and are hardly unbiased.

    To be fair, what you say may be true, but the 70 years alone means nothing, that there is no comment on it from contemporaries isn’t necessarilly surprising, and that Chuck was motivated for profit was supported by nothing of substance. Again, what you say may be true, but you need to do more, because as it stands, Sharon’s comments are accurate in the definition of the debate.

  23. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    Read the story in the OT again. God told Moses to make the snake and erect it for the people to look at. So if that is true, then God is breaking His own commandment according to you.

    Ralph. Have you read the Verses and what the Apostles have said in the NT that the LAW CANNOT SAVE? If so what are your thoughts on those verses?

    If not I can post them for you, Even Jesus said, we only need to follow two Commands, Love God and Love our Neighbor, By Doing these we fulfill the law. The Law cannot save, the law will kill. Rick b

  24. Ralph says:

    RickB,

    We find God telling Moses to make the brass serpent to heal those who looked at it in -

    Numbers 21:6-9 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

    We then find Jesus teaching that the brass serpent that Moses was told to make was a similitude of His own atonment.

    John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    Thus the serpent was also a symbol of Jesus in the Bible, NOT just Satan.

  25. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    Christians stold the cross from pagans and distorted it. There is the Teutonic cross which some say is a Swastika which ‘walks’ both directions. It also appears in tibetian art, native american art. The nazi swastika is tilted and angled differently, and faces the opposite direction from asian and native american swastikas.

    Another point is that the LDS temples also have the big dipper which is related to the swastika and the teutonic cross. Also don’t forget that the bee is also of spiritual importance because it buzzes. A sound similiar to a bee buzzing is helpful in opening up the chakras.

  26. falcon says:

    Ahhhhhhh Enki, I think it’s back to the drawing board for you. If my memory serves me right, the Romans used the cross to execute people. Jesus was executed by the Romans on the cross. What should Christians use for a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice if it’s the cross that Jesus died on? I’m sorry but I just can’t follow your logic here. I don’t know, maybe you’re a Jehovah’s Witness and believe, contrary to historical record, that Jesus died on a torture stake.

    Mormons are really in a world of hurt when it comes to Joseph and his Jupiter Tailsman. Of course it’s just one more piece of evidence that, by the way is not needed, to establish that Joseph Smith was an avowed occultist and therefore the basis for the Mormon church is in the occult. Our Mormon friends must be very dizzy spinning this topic.

  27. Ward says:

    Crispin: You have obviously seen me as some sort of person who can be easily refuted, and are focusing on me. I am so lazy that I cannot search the web. I did, I saw those images. But the fact that there might have been one form of the US flag for a few years was ignored or left out of your original post. You stated sweeping generalizations, which could lead one to indicate that the inverted star is a constant neutral image through the ages. Your generalizations are breathtaking and quite good. However, they are not accurate. I am also looking for evidence of this symbol which you sweepingly say has been in use since the second century in Christian art. While there may always be a few instances of evidence about one thing or another, the preponderance of evidence in history about the cross symbol in Christianity is that it Christ’s sacrifice for us. The preponderance of evidence in history about the inverted star, is that it represents satanic and occult practices. However you respond, it seems too bad to me that you have to go to such great lengths to apologize, explain, explain away, or whatever, such a prominent symbol. You are better at this when you get into issues of theology in the other posts. Here, you are straining too much. It seems like you are unable to give even an inch about anything.

  28. Nomo says:

    I hate to change the subject but getting back to this Kolob thing. You really think a author of this book “The Kolob Therom” could be unbiased in his theory of where God resides in our galaxy being that he is Mormon and he himself (if he’s really worthy) will be himself a God when he dies and heads off to the promised land. I mean If I was trying to write a theory that God lives on lets say Polaris and I was believed I’d be a God myself when I croaked then how could I be Scientifically unbiased?

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  30. Enki says:

    Falcon,
    1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 states that the Jews killed Jesus.

    I am no JW, and I am not a muslim. But this webpage seems to agree that the cross is pagan in origin.

    The webpage below is lengthy and difficult to summarize, but it shows at length the pagan origins of the cross, and compares several mythologies of the world.
    http://www.quransearch.com/abdullah_smith/cross_pagan_origins.htm

  31. Enki suggested “…the cross is pagan in origin.”

    Of course the cross is pagan in origin. It was invented by pagan Romans to kill people.

    Christians adopt it as a symbol because God the Son humbled Himself to death on a cross (Phil 2:8).

    Here’s the problem with symbolism – the symbol will mean different things to different people. The question is not “what the symbol means to me”, but “what does it mean to the people who use it”. And the people who do use symbols, frequently adopt it and adapt it from its origins. So, the question “what does the cross mean to pagans” would yield a very different answer to “what does the cross mean to Christians”. If it didn’t, pagans wouldn’t be pagans and Christians wouldn’t be Christians.

    Incidentally, I had a quick look at the website you found. Briefly, it argues that the Q’uran is the only true “revelation” and the Bible has been misrepresented and distorted by the Christian church. This is subject to another forum, but you should know by now, from our discussions on Mormonism, that Orthodox Christianity has well-founded defenses against this kind of propaganda.

  32. Ralph says:

    Wow Martin,

    What an inspiring statement “Here’s the problem with symbolism – the symbol will mean different things to different people. The question is not “what the symbol means to me”, but “what does it mean to the people who use it”. And the people who do use symbols, frequently adopt it and adapt it from its origins.”

    I wonder if I can use this argument for the use of suns, moons and 5 pointed stars on the LDS temples? Oh wait – I have and most people here have rejected it. Can I then reject your comment? :)

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  34. Enki says:

    Martin,
    The webpage is clearly Muslim appologitics. When I made my post I stated that I wasn’t muslim. The webpage itself refers to a number of various sources, some of them atheist! Not that it wants to advance atheism. I think this webpage is worth looking at, and relates to this blog, and one could reference it without advancing Islam.

    The main point of the wepage is that Christianity ‘plagiarized’ pagan sun myths, but not necessarily plagiarizing 100%. The symbol in some cultures is clearly associated with the sun. In some cultures is also associated with the four directions, the seasons, and the cycle of life.

    “The above crucified saviors are personifications of the sun, or symbolizing the birth and death of vegetation. The Gospel story of Jesus is plagiarized from the pagan myths. ”

    There is also some explanation as to how these myths relate to christmas, easter, and other holidays which are solar and pagan in origin.

    Crosses in various forms in pagan traditions represent life, like the ankh, medicine wheel, sun dial. Another source states that the cross represented the flow of prana through the chakras.

    Yes, Christianity has attached new meaning to the cross. Christians associate it with a dying, suffering jew. For pagans it relates to seasons, the sun, life & renewal.

  35. Ralph wrote “I wonder if I can use this argument for the use of suns, moons and 5 pointed stars on the LDS temples? Oh wait – I have and most people here have rejected it. Can I then reject your comment?”

    Haha! I don’t mind if you do.

    I’m not as picky as some when it comes to symbols. I’m more concerned about what they mean to the people who use them.

    Here’s the thing; do symbols have an intrinsic power, or do they only have the power that we impute to them? I tend towards the latter, but I’m not a total iconoclast. For instance, if I see someone promoting a five pointed star, my reaction is why would someone do that, when it is commonly associated with the occult and magic. The person bearing the image might be innocent enough, but what kind of message does it project? Whatever Christianity is, it isn’t paganism, and I get nervous if the distinctions get blurred by mixing the symbols.

    I know that some people would claim that paganism is the true Christianity (e.g. Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”), but its a pathetic argument. It relies on the idea that the symbols have been transferred from one to the other whilst retaining their meaning (e.g. the web-page that Enki refers to). Whilst I might agree that some symbols have transferred from one to the other (e.g. Christmas and the Cross), I’m pretty sure the meanings have changed radically.

    I also think that this the work of the Holy Spirit is to see what everybody else sees, and yet see the meaning that God intends for it. Anyhow, that’s how I read Jeremiah 1 and the stories of the boiling pot and the almond tree.

    It works for Jesus too; how many looked at him and saw just another trouble-making Galilean peasant, and how many looked at him and saw the Word of God made flesh? What made one person see one thing and another person see something else? The only answer I have from scripture is that the Holy Spirit quickened the mind of one but not the other.

  36. Ralph says:

    Martin,

    I agree with you there about a symbol only meaning (or having power) what the user wants it to mean. Above I gave the example of the snake having 2 meanings in the Bible and again in this day and age it has at least 2 meanings.

    I understand that people might cringe when they see a 5 pointed inverted star, but I would also posit that many inverted 5 pointed stars are overlooked. Why? Children draw stars on their pictures and the 2 easiest ones to draw are the 5 and 6 pointed stars. When a child draws them it is for decoration and they are in various orientations. No one I know of ‘cringes’ when they see a 5 pointed star in those circumstances even if it is inverted. As I have said earlier, the stars are only there for decoration on the temples as they are part of God’s marvelous creation. Some people do ascribe to them a symbolism of the lowest degree of glory, but there is nothing that I know of that officially states that that is the reason they are there. As I asked someone earlier – if we used a 6 pointed star, would they then accuse us of being insensitive to the Jews for using their symbol of identity – the Star of David? Either star we use we would most likely cop accusations of one or another from those who just want to ‘prove’ us wrong. Symbols are symbols they do not save – lets move on to the actual meat which saves which is the doctrine. Oh wait, we have already started that with the description of the Trinity and God. :)

    Personally I don’t care if someone uses a cross or not – its the ‘apparent worship’ that bothers me as I see the Catholic church doing when they bow down in front of it and reverence it. If my child received a cross for a present I would not disagree with them wearing it, but I would not go out of my way to buy one for them.

  37. Enki says:

    Martin & Ralph,
    I would point out that the five pointed star with a circle around it also appears in Chinese medicine as a way to explain the 5 elements. However, the ‘star’ is broken up into arrows, and the circle as well. Its not ‘magic’. There was a definate shift in thinking in chinese philosophy, in earlier times there was a believe in supernatural elements causing disease. At a later point it became just natural physical and emotional laws which cause health and disease.

    The six pointed star also has meanings outside of the jewish faith, as well as the cross, fish, the trinity etc..etc… And the christian faith appears to have done is share of re-arranging things a bit.

    There is something curious I have noticed. At work there is someone who claims to be ‘christian’. Very obviously displaying a cross, I think mostly for fitting in to the local culture and for economic gain. And he is very agressive that way. But it turns out he doesn’t appear to really be a christian despite the cross around his neck, or the TATTOO cross he proudly displayed one day. He also has a scripture TATOO. I didn’t say anything, but I thought that tattoos were taboo for christians. As far as I can see he is a follower of tammuz, and I am sure that one day he will realize it.

  38. Ralph and Enki,

    We’re seriously in danger of coming to some sort of consensus!

    Enki, I don’t think there is NT taboo on tatoos, though I wouldn’t get one (I’m too much of a woos). This appears to fall into the area that Paul alluded to in I Cor 6:12 and 1 Cor 10:32; “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.”

    As far as the importance of “heart worship” over “show”, Enki and Ralph definitely have a friend in Jesus. However, I’d be a little circumspect about writing off someone else’s worship as “show” – we might not see the whole story in that person’s life.

  39. Enki says:

    Martin,
    Interesting, I didn’t write off that persons worship, I just said that he appeared to follow tammuz. Its possible that perhaps he doesn’t even know it.

    Show? I’m not sure what other purpose for jewlery or tattoos. In some cultures tattoos are viewed as a sort of talisman that you can never loose, at least without some loss of flesh, or purposeful modification. Perhaps they can wear down over time to some degree. Tattoos for the most part are designed to be viewed, as well as jewlery.

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