The Dying Christ

As we approach Good Friday, the Cross of Christ is on our hearts and minds. The cross, the great symbol of the Christian faith — the symbol of our hope and assurance — is not embraced by all as an apt expression of one’s faith in and devotion to Christ.

The Mormon Church chooses different symbolism to represent the faith of its members. At lds.org we’re told,

“The cross is used in many Christian churches as a symbol of the Savior’s death and Resurrection and as a sincere expression of faith. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Savior. But because the Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith.”

CrucifiedHeel

Heel bone of a crucified man, Israel Museum

Past Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley explained,

“For us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ…”

“This was the cross, the instrument of his torture, the terrible device designed to destroy the Man of Peace, the evil recompense for his miraculous work of healing the sick, of causing the blind to see, of raising the dead. This was the cross on which he hung and died on Golgotha’s lonely summit…

“On Calvary he was the dying Jesus. From the tomb he emerged the living Christ. The cross had been the bitter fruit of Judas’ betrayal, the summary of Peter’s denial. The empty tomb now became the testimony of His divinity, the assurance of eternal life…” (“The Symbol of Christ,” Ensign, May 1975)

This thinking has filtered down through the church’s membership to often be expressed something like this:

“Most Mormons find displays of the cross to be distasteful.  On my mission, I remember being asked why Mormons don’t show the cross.  My standard response was that if Christ had been killed by a knife, gun, or electric chair, would we hang one of those weapons around our neck in remembrance. The cross was a very gruesome, tortured way to die.”

Indeed, on the face of it, it does seem incongruous to wear or display an instrument of torture and death as a symbol of eternal hope; but there is good reason for it. Please read on.

The Wondrous Cross

by Keith Mathison

I sometimes wonder how many Christians stop to think about how incredibly odd it is that crucifixes are used as works of art. Crucifixes adorn church architecture, classic paintings, sculpture, and even jewelry. But consider for a moment what a crucifix was originally. It was a means of execution. In fact, it was and is one of the most ghastly means of execution ever devised by man. So horrible was it that it was reserved for the lowest of the low: slaves, pirates, and rebels. Roman citizens were exempt. Cultured Romans considered it unworthy of discussion in polite company. Yet today we wear this symbol of degrading and humiliating death around our necks. The jarring nature of this is not immediately apparent to us because over time, the symbol of the cross has lost many of its original connotations. To get some idea of the oddity, imagine seeing people wearing necklaces with images of a guillotine or an electric chair.

What happened, then, to account for the change? We know Jesus was put to death on a Roman cross, but what was it about His death that transformed this symbol of horror into a symbol of hope? In the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion we read, for the most part, about what any observer on the hill that day would have seen. We do not read as much about the interpretation of what was going on until we get to the book of Acts and the Epistles. In Paul’s preaching, for example, he explained from the Old Testament that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and that Jesus was the Messiah (Acts 17:2–3). But where would Paul have gone in the Old Testament to prove that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer? There are a number of texts to which he could have turned (for example, Ps. 16; 22), but one of the most significant was likely Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

Isaiah 52:13–53:12 is one of Isaiah’s “Servant Songs.” In the first Servant Song (42:1–9), Isaiah describes the Servant’s mission to establish justice and a kingdom across the earth. The second Servant Song (49:1–6) describes the Servant’s mission to restore Israel. The third Servant Song (50:4–9) reveals the obedience of the Servant and the suffering he endures as a result. The fourth and final Servant Song then reveals how the Servant will redeem his people. It reveals that his suffering will be the means by which he delivers his people from sin. It reveals that he will take their sin upon himself. Isaiah writes (53:5):

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

This is what happened on the cross as Jesus was crucified. He was God’s Servant. He was the one whom God revealed to Isaiah eight centuries before His death. On the cross, He took our sins upon Himself and bore God’s wrath. His death was the atonement for all of our sins. We who have placed our faith in Jesus have forgiveness of sins and peace with God because of what was accomplished on the cross. Is it any wonder that Paul declares to the Corinthian church: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

Think on this. Let it sink in. Christ suffered and died on the cross because of sin. Your sin. My sin. Since the fall, sin has been the problem in the world. We do not think much of sin in our day and age. We are beyond such things. Sin is an “old-fashioned” and outdated concept, or so we think.

If you want to know the true perspective on the seriousness of sin, however, look to the cross. Look at the extreme nature of the solution to this problem. If sin were “no big deal,” would God have sent His only begotten Son to die a shameful death on a cross to deal with it? And what kind of love is this? What kind of love is displayed when God sends His only begotten Son to die for the sins we commit against Him? This is love of a kind and degree that we can hardly fathom. This is what changed the cross from a symbol of fear to a symbol of faith. This is what led Isaac Watts to write:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: [email protected] Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

 

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 Christianity, Jesus Christ, LDS Church, Mormon Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

161 Responses to The Dying Christ

  1. jaxi says:

    Christ is victorious! He conquered the cross. No death can destroy Him. Because of His victory I will overcome spiritual and physical death through Him. It is not a symbol of His death, it is a symbol of his triumph. When I see the cross I don’t see death and destruction. I feel the love He has for me and all men. I see the worst that could be done to Christ and yet He prevailed, He conquered. The cross is dust, the tomb is empty, and my Lord reins in Heaven. I wear my cross every day to remember that I have to bear my own cross but no matter how heavy it may become, my victorious Lord is there to make the burden light. I have faith, hope and trust in His almighty power.

  2. shematwater says:

    I would just like to clear one thing up, as I am kind of confused.

    Are you saying that anyone who doesn’t accept the cross as a symbol of their faith doesn’t really appreciate the sacrifice and atonement of Christ?

    Personally, I have never been offended by a Christian wearing a cross. I do find the graphic crucifixes that actually display Christ on the cross to be somewhat distasteful, but that is partly because I don’t care for any such graphic portrayal of anything.

  3. Shematwater asked,

    “Are you saying that anyone who doesn’t accept the cross as a symbol of their faith doesn’t really appreciate the sacrifice and atonement of Christ?”

    No, shematwater. What was written in this blog post or article that would make you think that?

  4. Kate says:

    The Cross for Mormons has more to do with Catholicism than it being a murder weapon. The wives and daughters of Brigham Young wore crosses. A lot of women did and so did the men. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when Pres. David O. McKay stood up in GC and told the congregation to stop wearing them and that they were “purely Catholic .” His disdain for the Catholic church is what caused the aversion to the Cross. Mormons also don’t believe the atonement took place on the Cross, it was in the Garden of Gethsemane. As a Mormon I had these same teachings and feelings about the Cross. I didn’t understand anything about Christianity and certainly didn’t understand the importance of the Cross and it’s meaning. One scripture comes to mind:
    1 Corinthians 1:18

    Here’s a link to the Salt Lake Tribune discussing this very topic.
    http://wildernesschristianity.net/info/LDS/The-Cross.html

  5. MistakenTestimony says:

    Shem, you said,

    “Are you saying that anyone who doesn’t accept the cross as a symbol of their faith doesn’t really appreciate the sacrifice and atonement of Christ?”

    The “sacrifice and atonement of Christ” is not something that is to be “appreciate[d]”, it is to be worshipped. At the Cross the incarnate God died for the sins of all mankind, thus completing His plan of salvation for His Church from their own sins. The triune God humbled Himself and entered into His creation to shamefully suffer and die to save people who hated Him by His own blood.

    The church is to worship God. When God puts on flesh the church is to worship that man. When the God-man suffers and dies on the cross in place of those who would believe in Him the church worships that act of that God that became man. Without the act of the God-man on the cross the church has absolutely no hope. The act of Christ on the Cross is to be worshipped and if a person claims that they love Jesus but despise the Cross then they despise the atonement of Christ by their own admission.

    If someone said that they would not wear a gun pin on their collar to commemorate their brother who was murdered and therefore they would not wear a cross pin on their collar to remember the murder of Christ, then clearly they do not understand the atonement. The death of God in the flesh had efficacious Power for the remission of sins, while the death of a mere creature is inert. If someone sees the death of the God-man as comparable to a mere man then it is easy see how someone could “appreciate” the atonement of Christ but not want to flaunt it. But Christians don’t look at the cross in this way, the act has power and is worthy of worship. I hope this helps.

  6. Mike Reed says:

    Thanks for the plug of my research, Kate. For those who may be interested, my masters thesis has been expanded and revised for publication through John Whitmer Books. The book’s title is “Banishing the Cross: An Emergence of a Mormon Taboo,” and can be purchased/previewed at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Banishing-Cross-Emergence-Mormon-Taboo/dp/1934901350/

  7. falcon says:

    The other day I came home and when I opened the storm door a flyer fell to the ground. I knew who had left it before I even picked it up. It had to be the Jehovah Witnesses. It was. It was, since it is Holy Week, an invitation to one of their church services.
    Here’s how crafty and dishonest cultic groups like this are. There is a picture of the crucified Christ and the art was done in such a way that you’d imagine the cross to be there. The JWs don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross but say He died on a “torture stake”. I don’t know where they get this but my point is that they want to lure people in with a symbol they deny. It’s all part of the “we’re just like you” message that Mormons as well as JWs try to present.
    In reality they are nothing like normative Christianity. They deny Jesus. In both cases, Mormonism and JW, Jesus is a created being. The JWs opt for a sort of super angel Jesus while Mormons go for a copulated spirit brother, the off-spring of one of the many gods and one of that god’s wives.
    These cults all do the same thing basically. That is, deny the person and work of Jesus Christ. They make Jesus into something He isn’t and they make His death something that it wasn’t. And they want to be called Christians. It’s baffling how these groups can deny Jesus and what His sacrifice means and still want to be included in the faith that has existed for 2,000 years.

  8. Brewed says:

    Nothing gets Mormons worked up like a crucifix. My mother in law was not married in the temple (at the request of her husband’s deceased wife). The chapel they were married in was in the mountains, they requested the cross behind the alter be removed. My brother in law goes ballistic when anyone mentions a crucifix and gets down right hostile while talking about his mission in Mexico City and the horrible depictions of Christ on the cross proudly displayed in the homes of the people he visited. Blows my mind. That is where Jesus showed us what true, selfless, love looks like. Yes the cross was violent. Yes the cross was excruciating. Yes the cross was the cruelest form of execution to ever show up in humanity. And yes that makes it beautiful. It makes it beautiful because our savior knew what he was going to face and was still obedient. Jesus could have come at a time when his death would not have been so gruesome, but he didn’t. I think thats because he wanted us to know how much he loved us, how far he was willing to go. He said he would have gone to the cross for even just one person. I can’t even fully comprehend enduring that level of suffering for anyone! I am overwhelmed and humbled at the beauty of the cross. What could be more beautiful then a man laying his life down for his friends and enemies? I do not understand the LDS distain for the cross. It is the most significant part of Jesus life next to the resurrection. It is where he proved his love to us in a way no human could fully comprehend. Not only did he endure horrific suffering physically but he was also temporarily separated from the father. *shakes head* I just do not get it. Nothing has ever moved me in my life as much as the cross. Not the birth of my son, not my wedding day, not even the resurrection… I think it’s because I have never seen such an intense display of true love.

  9. grindael says:

    The cross itself has never been important. What was important was that Jesus shamed himself to die the most ignominious death that there was for a Jew. That death to them was for the lowest of the low. Christians gladly took up the cross as an icon for just that reason. It was brandishing the very thing that was so repulsive to everyone and making it a symbol of triumph over death. I believe it was born out of braggadocio, not the empty kind, but the kind that Paul briefly indulged in, in some of his letters.

    It’s symbolism now is universal, as much so as the message of Christ himself. Like Shem, I’m turned off by the crucifix’s, but the simple cross lifts the spirit and gives hope and centers the Christian message on CHRIST. They are intertwined forever, one symbol of life and one of death conquered forever. Christians don’t worship the cross, for how can you worship something that is forever linked with Christ’s triumph over it? Mormons realize this as well as Christians for some have had no aversion to its symbolism. (see Kate’s post) It is a powerful icon, but we never have needed it, though we gladly embrace it’s symbolism.

    We don’t need any of the trappings of religion because the Holy Spirit works through the ages to influence men as they advance in knowledge and learning and all the myriad ways of doing things. The Spirit has used every means available to work through men to preserve the Word of God so the simple message of Jesus would be forever available to everyone. The Spirit doesn’t lead us backwards, it leads us forward into hope given by the blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross. We are unbound in love, from tradition, from hate, from petty rules, from everything that draws men back into that world of domination, greed, and self aggrandizement.

  10. Mike R says:

    Brewed, that was a great post !
    Falcon, I was tempted to put my wife on here and have her share her experience as a former
    cross hater , but Ill refrain . That article Kate cited was very interesting , it should cause the
    Mormon people to step back and ask some hard questions .
    I think it would an awesome thing to see the Mormon heirarchy saved and put a cross on top of
    all their temples, unlock the doors , dispense with the interrogation session to pass the
    entrance exam , and invite all to come in and praise and sing to our risen Savior and glorifying
    God .

  11. falcon says:

    I grew up looking at the crucifix every day in Catholic school and also in church at mass which I attended everyday. It really didn’t desensitize me to the reality of Jesus’ horrible suffering and death. During Lent, on Wednesday afternoons, we would go to church where the stations of the cross were said. It was a not so subtle reminder of what Jesus went through as He atoned for our sins. I can still see the stations and remember some of what is recited. It’s brutal and very sobering. For me, it’s everything.
    The reason I say that is because Jesus is the focal point of my devotion and walk.
    I’m not thinking about a bunch of stuff I need to do so that I can become a god as Mormon men do. That’s the problem with Mormonism. It’s self-centered and all about the Mormon male and his striving to become a god. Christianity is all about Jesus and living a life that is in gratitude for what He did. The purification through the Spirit is so that we can be living sacrifices to God. We have been justified through faith in Jesus. We are being sanctified through the Spirit. We will be glorified at the end when we are welcomed into God’s presence; which was only made possible because of what Jesus did for us.
    So no, I’m not ashamed of the cross of Christ. It was there that the Savior rescued me.

  12. Ironman1995 says:

    The week I left the Mormon church I went in a Christian book store, and bought a cross, it had been 37 yrs since I wore one, and yes as a missionary I taught the knife analogy .

    Now that cross sits on a wooden box with my dads flag and WWII medals

  13. Mike Reed says:

    Please note that Mike R is not Mike Reed. I didn’t post that.

  14. MistakenTestimony says:

    I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

  15. falcon says:

    Mistaken,
    I’m confused. Who’s Dave and what can’t you do?
    I hate these cryptic messages and me with an official Mormon Coffee decoder ring!

    I find it interesting that Mormons won’t display a cross these days and yet many of their temples are adorned with occult symbols. Of course we just don’t understand that those occult symbols don’t really mean what they appear to mean just like the occult symbols on their “sacred” undergarments. With Mormons there’s always an innocent explanation for things. It doesn’t matter if it’s Joe and his magic rock, the multiple women he married or even the Free Masonry rituals practiced in Mormon temples. It never means what it appears to mean. Mormons are in a deep state of denial as to the roots of their religion.

    http://www.mormonoutreach.org/occult-symbols-explained.php

    There is no mistaken what the cross of Jesus Christ represents. The cross is a symbol of what God was willing to do to redeem mankind.

  16. MistakenTestimony says:

    Sorry Falcon, that line is a quote from Hal in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was trying to be cute about the 2 Mikes comment.

    Yeah, so not even has the LDS church covered up the history of occult pentagrams in their temples but they have also hidden references to the cross in their official version of the KJV. The topic of “Cross” does exist in the Topical Guide, however a TG reference does not appear at the bottom of any of the pages for any of the verses provided. Wouldn’t it be great to be reading through your Bible and where you read a verse about Jesus dieing on the cross for your sins you could have a footnote that says, “look in the back of your Bible for more verse about this”? But check out these other topics from the TG that made it to bottom of pages containing referenced verses: “Skills”, “Art”, “Accountability”, “Commitment”, “Prudence”, “Strangers”, “Offenses”. The LDS church wants to make a word study of these topics as easy as possible while reading along in a chapter, but for “Cross” you are going to have to find that topic tucked away at the back of your Bible and hope that it even exists in the first place since it is refernced nowhere in Scriptures. It certainly appears that the LDS church has cherry picked their official version of the scriptures just like the Watchtower Society has done as well.

  17. Old man says:

    It was mentioned in an earlier post the Corporation teaches that the atonement took place in the Garden of Gethsemane & that being so it’s not surprising that the crucifixion takes second place in Mormon thinking. If there is so little understanding of the atonement there will be no understanding of the message of the cross.
    The crucifixion isn’t about the pain, awful as it must have been, no, the horror was in becoming sin & experiencing the separation from God that sin brings. There could have been no greater suffering than that. I’m asking Mormons to understand what I’m saying here; a man without sin became sin for US, for you & me. That suffering can be seen so clearly in His words at the most agonising point of the crucifixion, eloi eloi lama sabachthani. My God my God why have you forsaken me? That cry is so utterly heart wrenching that I say to any Mormons reading this, understand it, put aside your false teachings & you will come to know why Christians are proud of the cross.

  18. Mike R says:

    Old Man, when you stated that an earlier post mentioned that Mormonism teaches that the
    Atonement took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, but I think that ” offically” it is taught
    that the Atonement took place in the Garden AND on the cross. In other words it began in
    the Garden etc. At any rate I love what you stated about how much Christ suffered for us ,
    in order to reconcile us to God . That’s very sobering . This day thru Sunday is so important
    to celebrate , the historical fact of Jesus being alive after a brutal death as testified by
    witnesses and then the written record of such being protected down thru the centuries for us to
    have today is such an great provision by God . He wants everyone to know of this event
    happening and thus realize they can come to the person of His Son and be forgiven and
    receive eternal life . He is risen . Wow ! Now that’s good news .

    Old Man , it’s been a blessing getting to know you . Keep telling people about Jesus .

  19. Old man says:

    Thanks for that Mike R. Never having been a Mormon I can’t be certain about official doctrine.
    As I don’t want anyone to think I just repeat gossip I’ll explain why I mentioned the garden. Some years ago I was having a conversation with my ex wife (who is an active LDS member) & the subject of the atonement was raised. I don’t remember her exact words but she did say the atonement was in the garden & made no mention of the cross at all.
    There are some here who would be happy to accuse me of knowing nothing about the LDS & I just wanted them to know that not everything I say is gleaned from “anti-Mormon sites”

  20. jaxi says:

    I was taught, when I was LDS, that the suffering for our sins was in the Garden, His work was sealed on the cross. So, I think Old Man is right when more focus is on the Garden than on the crucifiction. Many LDS homes will have a picture of Christ on his knees in the Garden.

  21. falcon says:

    Aberrant sects like the Mormons always have some sort of creative take on just about any basic doctrine. That’s the point. Who’d be attracted to a “prophet” if he didn’t have some sort of “new revelation” to share. It’s generally the same sort of “creative” imagination spewed forth over-and-over again with just another person making the claims.

    Take the case of Herbert W. Armstrong.

    *In Armstrong’s view, the scourging of Jesus prior to crucifixion “paid the penalty” for physical disease and sickness, allowing the option of divine healing. The crucifixion itself was considered to be the act which enabled God to allow humanity into the three-tiered resurrection scheme, as Jesus had paid the initial death penalty for breaking the Law.

    And a little more:

    *Worldwide Church of God (WCG) members believed that Herbert W. Armstrong was Christ’s first apostle since the first century. Armstrong taught that God only works through “one man at a time” and that he was God’s selected representative on earth for his time.

    *Armstrong adhered to a form of British Israelism which stated that the British, American and many European peoples were descended from the so-called Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, using this belief to state that biblical references to Israel, Jacob, etc., were in fact prophecies relating to the modern day, with literal application to the USA, Britain, and the British Commonwealth. In the course of this teaching, he also accepted the concept of an Assyrian-German connection and often made identifications of other nations in “Bible prophecy”, such as Russia and China

  22. falcon says:

    I’m curious. Do Mormons give praise, honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ? Do they have, for example, worship chorus’ that they can raise their voices and sing to the magnificence of who Jesus is and what He did for those who are called by His name?
    Quite frankly if someone doesn’t know Jesus, how can they give praise to Him?
    As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is God incarnate. He isn’t a created being. He is the eternal One, the Creator, the redeemer whose shed blood bought for me my salvation.

    Praise to His Name!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbrt1y8pKCo&list=PL0CF1922C6BC92304

  23. falcon says:

    Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
    All honor, power and glory be unto your name.
    Holy, Holy L0rd God Almighty.

    Very interesting presentation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w0mb33ek2U&list=PL0CF1922C6BC92304

  24. Mike R says:

    Falcon, is’nt this a special time . I hope the Mormon people can understand what we are
    pointing them to because it’s not ” only through Temple rituals ” nor is it joining a religious
    organization , or giving allegiance /submission to some latter day prophet . These are not
    where a right relationship with God resulting in receiving eternal life are found , it’s found in
    a person—-Jesus . May the Mormon people take the time to suspend the reading of any and
    all church publications , get a Bible and read and ponder its teachings , looking for what is taught
    in context . The N.T. records the event of Jesus’ resurrection , and the power of that truth
    changed the lives of multitudes when the apostles preached about it to the people . The same
    power to completely forgive and grant eternal life which the people back then experienced
    when they heard of the resurrection of Jesus and then worshiped Him is available today —
    Rom 10:9-13 .Thus there is no need for the “additional requirements” offered by any of the
    many individuals we may encounter today who are claiming to be prophets with a exclusive
    appointment by God —Matt 24:11

    He is Risen !!!

  25. vikingz2000 says:

    Dear Mormon Coffee blog owner/administrator and all those who submitted comments:

    I have really enjoy reading this particular blog and its comments, especially during this Easter time. My wife and I no longer attend the LDS church after many, many years of active, ardent membership. And I must say that during all those years I can’t ever recall ‘hearing’ anything so heart-felt and clearly explained like what stated on this particular blog entry with reference to the Christ at Easter time. Many of your comments really hit home with us. It was, “Yes!” and “That’s so true!” Thanks to all.

    Just to add some of my own comments:

    1. You will NEVER see a crucifix or artists’ renditions of that theme in a practicing Mormon’s home. HOWEVER, as already mentioned, you will often see a picture of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. We were taught that this is where Jesus atoned for the sins of the world, bleeding drops of blood at every pore, while very, very little was ever mentioned about the cross EXCEPT, in certain circles, sometimes with reference to the spikes being placed into His wrists as well as the palms of His hands. This, however, is spoken about only to validate a certain aspect of the LDS temple ritual (endowment ordinance) and not for the purpose of any discussion as for His atoning sacrifice. It’s as if this endowment ordinance ‘detail’ is more important than the purpose of the suffering of our Lord on the cross.

    2. Although not fully conclusive, but very likely (conclusions of former Mormon Church’s official historian, D. Michael Quinn, and former Mormon History Association President Reed D. Durham), it’s interesting to note that the very founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, was intrigued with and was a proponent of many aspects of the occult and very likely did wear a Jupiter talisman around his neck at the time of his assassination. However, Mormons in general don’t know this, but even for those who do, many seem to make a big deal about the ‘inappropriateness’ of a crucifix, or wearing a cross. This seems absurd to me with regard to a religion that purports to the only true *Christian* religion. But now that I learned about the David O. McKay factor, I can understand why this is so in the LDS church today. I hope that one day this particular Mormon meme will fade away.

    3. In all of my years as a practicing Mormon, the Easter evenst seemed to have very little focus. ‘Easter Sunday’ was pretty much like any other weekly, Sunday worship event. Looking back, (hindsight being more 20/20), this comes across to me now as being more atypical of a Christian religion.

    4. Although I have levied some criticisms, it was refreshing to read comments that weren’t so much about being vehemently caustic in an attempt to trash Mormonism, but rather more about trying to understand and affirm the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior.

    Christus omnia mihi est. — Christ is (means) everything to me.

  26. falcon says:

    Viking,
    Thank you very much for posting. It is encouraging when we read of folks who found their way out of Mormonism into a relationship with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    My hope and goal is that those of us who present here do so factually. The thing that we battle is that any honest assessment and presentation regarding Mormonism, its history, beliefs and practices, is viewed by some true believing Mormonism as an attack. There’s a built in defense mechanism in the Mormon culture that views anything that isn’t rah rah for Joseph Smith as a form of persecution.
    The goal for me here is to get Mormons to begin thinking about their religion by comparing it to orthodox Christianity. For me that comes down to the person and work of Jesus Christ and the nature of God. Mormonism crumbles once a Mormon comes to an understanding of who Jesus is.
    So on this Easter we raise our voices in praise and adoration to the King eternal who died and shed his blood for us that we may have eternal life. It was His resurrection that proved who He is; God incarnate whose return we anticipate and wait for in hope.

  27. Rick B says:

    Mormons are always claiming on this site that they read the Bible and it is the most important book of the 4 books. Yet when Mormons Claim that the Garden was/is more important than the cross, this proves they dont know the Bible, probably dont read it like they claim, or simply read it and forget what was read.

    If we look back into the OT we read lots about the cross and nothing talking about the Garden being the place for the atonement.

    I’m Only showing a few examples, other can add more if they feel lead and Mormons can add Garden Scripture from the OT if they think they can.

    We read about the pass over in the OT with Moses and the Children of Israel in Egypt. The People needed a lamb with out any spot or blemish or defect, Jesus is our lamb with out spot, blemish or defect. After the lamb was slaughtered it’s blood was put on the top and sides of the door and it formed a cross.

    Back when Abraham went to sacrifice his son Isaac, His son said where is the lamb? His Father said God will provide HIMSELF the lamb. He was very specific in his wording, it was not a mistake, He was not saying God will provide a lamb for the father and son, but God will provide Himself as the lamb, thats Jesus.

    The Bible teaches that Jesus was slain before the foundation on the world.

    We see the way the camp with Moses and the People was laid out, it you map it out it looks like a cross from an aerial view. So when God would look down upon the People He would see the cross.

    When the prophecy was given in Isiah on How he would be Crucified, No mention of the garden and this was given in great detail 500 years before crucifixion even existed.

    So No, the Garden is not the place where the atonement took place.

  28. Rick B says:

    One more,
    When Jews get ready to celebrate the passover, all the way from the OT to this day, they get a lamb as I said, with out Spot, blemish or defect. The lamb lives among the family as a member, it is feed and taken care of, it lives with them and the people can see, there is no defect in it, then when the time comes, it is dinner.

    Jesus Lived among us, walked with us, the religious leaders questioned Him, tried to find a spot, or blemish or any reason to say, he cannot be the one. They could not, then at the appointed time, He was Crucified, He is that Lamb that died for our sins.

  29. falcon says:

    As I sat in church early this morning I noticed the big wooden cross prominently displayed in the front of the sanctuary. For some reason it made me think about the “seeker friendly” church model of growth that has become popular the last couple of decades. In these “seeker friendly” churches, any vestige of traditional church has been removed in order to not offend the sensibilities of folks who may have had a negative church experience or who are basically “unchurched” and don’t relate to the symbols. Quite often the symbol of the cross is the first to go. I decided to look for some information that highlights what has gone on in many churches that have decided to become “seeker friendly”. Quite frankly I don’t mind the new style of casual worship and music and even the coffee and donuts. What I would mind is “modern” preaching that substitutes pop psychology for a strong Biblical message……and of course the cross. There are some who express it better than I can.

    Read below from a couple of sources:

    The stated goal of seeker-friendly churches is reaching the lost. Though biblical and praiseworthy, the same cannot be said for the methods used in attempting to achieve that goal. Let’s begin with marketing as a tactic for reaching the lost. Fundamentally, marketing has to do with profiling consumers, ascertaining what their “felt needs” are, and then fashioning one’s product (or its image) to appeal to the targeted customer’s desires. The hoped-for result is that the consumer buys or “buys into” the product.

    First of all, the gospel and, more significantly, the person of Jesus Christ do not fit into any marketing strategy. They are not “products” to be “sold.” They cannot be refashioned or image-adjusted to appeal to the felt needs of our consumer-happy culture. Any attempt to do so compromises to some degree the truth of who Christ is and what He has done for us .

    Scripture tells us clearly that the message of the Cross is “foolishness to them that are perishing” and that Christ himself is a “rock of offense” (1 Cor:1:18; 1 Pt 2:8). Some seeker-friendly churches, therefore, seek to avoid this “negative aspect” by making the temporal benefits of becoming a Christian their chief selling point. Although that appeals to our gratification-oriented generation, it is neither the gospel nor the goal of a believer’s life in Christ.

    Last week, I turned the corner and saw a small church building. It was your typical, small city church structure. Nothing about it stood out, except one thing: It had a massive cross displayed in front of it. The cross was two stories high, and towered over the one story building. I thought to myself , “that should be the theme of every song we sing in church, and it should be the theme of every sermon we here! It should be the theme of every spiritual conversation we have with non-Christians. The Cross is “THE Message”

    This Just In! The Message of The Cross is offensive! It is a stumbling block! People do trip over it. It offends our sensibilities. Yet, it is the truth and the only thing that can save us. The Cross is the message God has entrusted us with. It is the message that He uses to save lost sinners. Those who have been washed by it must proclaim it boldly, clearly and passionately. Our songs, and services must not hide the cross. Like the cross in front of that church building, Jesus, and his finished work must be front and center of everything we do in our churches and in our individual lives.

    The early church did this, and they changed their world.

  30. Mike R says:

    Vikingz2000, great news ! Thanks for sharing .

  31. jaxi says:

    1 Peter 2:24 “and he himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we may die to sin and live to righteousness, for by His wounds you were healed.”

  32. shematwater says:

    Sharon

    “What was written in this blog post or article that would make you think that?”

    This for one: “If you want to know the true perspective on the seriousness of sin, however, look to the cross.” It indicates that we can’t fully appreciate what Christ did in saving us from sin unless we look to the cross.
    Of course, the whole ridicule of us for not using it also gives that impression.
    Now, you may not have meant this, but I think everyone else here thinks it is true, as evidenced by all the comments made here. Mistaken Testimony actually declared this to be the case.
    Just saying.

    Oh, and just to clarify things, the Atonement began in the Garden, and ended when Christ rose from the tomb. All things that occurred in that time period were necessary, and if any of them had been left out the atonement would not have been complete. It is also true that it was not broken up into sections, with the payment for sins being at one time and the death being something separate. The payment of sins was involved throughout the entire ordeal.
    On the church website it states it states “Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. In Gethsemane He submitted to the will of the Father and began to take upon Himself the sins of all people…The Savior continued to suffer for our sins when He allowed Himself to be crucified.”

  33. MistakenTestimony says:

    Shem,

    You said, “On the church website it states it states…” You are basing your point from what a website says? What about the http://www.jw.org website which states, “Jesus Christ didn’t agree with the view that there are many religions, many roads, all leading to salvation. Rather, he said: “Narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.” (Matthew 7:14) Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they’ve found that road. Otherwise, they’d look for another religion?” Should we believe this too because it is found on a website?

  34. Old man says:

    Shem

    “Oh, and just to clarify things, the Atonement began in the Garden, and ended when Christ rose from the tomb. …The payment of sins was involved throughout the entire ordeal. On the church website it states it states”
    “Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. In Gethsemane He submitted to the will of the Father and began to take upon Himself the sins of all people…The Savior continued to suffer for our sins when He allowed Himself to be crucified.”

    A quote from McConkie
    “The sectarian world falsely suppose that the climax of his torture and suffering was on the cross (Matt. 27:26-50; Mark 15:1-38; Luke 23:1-46; John 18; 19:1-18)—a view which they keep ever before them by the constant use of the cross as a religious symbol. The fact is that intense and severe as the suffering was on the cross, yet the great pains were endured in the Garden of Gethsemane”
    (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Bookcraft, 1966], 555).

    And from the Ensign
    “Near the end of His earthly ministry, the Savior went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives, to the Garden of Gethsemane…. It was there that the Savior paid the price for all the sorrows, sins, and transgressions of every human being who ever lived or ever will live. There He drank the bitter cup and suffered so that all who repent may not suffer” (Wolfgang H. Paul, “Gratitude for the Atonement,” Ensign, June 2007, 15).

    Can you show me where in Scripture those things are taught?

    Presumably, because the LDS says that’s the way it was then it must be true, well, I beg to differ & just to clarify things from a non Mormon perspective, the atonement did not begin in the Garden no matter what the Corporation may say. The suffering in the garden was a prelude to the atonement. Christ knew He was going to suffer Gods wrath. His prayer that His cup might be taken from Him indicates a future event, not something that had already begun. There are only four verses in the entire New Testament referring to the suffering in the garden & they are a brief description of a man tormented by the thought of a truly awful death. Compare those four to the enormous number of verses that mention the cross. I don’t mean to be offensive when I say this but I but wonder if you really understand the atonement

    I don’t know with any certainty what the LDS teaches it’s members but as I’ve said before, I do know that my ex-wife puts the emphasis, as do the writers of the above quotes, on the garden & none at all on the cross. I agree that Christ submitted to the will of the Father in the garden but that is NOT the atonement. He did not begin to take upon Himself the sins of all people until the crucifixion.

  35. Shematwater, it seems that you are changing horses in midstream here. You originally asked,

    “Are you saying that anyone who doesn’t accept the cross as a symbol of their faith doesn’t really appreciate the sacrifice and atonement of Christ?”

    Your question here is about the use of the symbol of the cross. In the context of the article under discussion, this would reasonably be thought to be referring to art, architecture and jewelry (etc). When asked why you would think the OP was suggesting that one who doesn’t accept the cross as a symbol of their faith doesn’t appreciate the sacrifice and atonement of Christ, you respond with a quote that is discussing the actual act of atonement that Christ accomplished on the Cross. These are two different things. A question about the cross symbol is quite different than a question about Christ’s actual work on the Cross.

    You also refer to the “whole ridicule for us not using” the cross symbol. If you are saying the OP does this, ridicules Mormons for eschewing the cross as a symbol of their faith, please show me where this ridicule is expressed in the post.

    The reason I’m asking these questions, Shematwater, is because I would like you to recognize how you have read your own ideas into the OP. The post does not “ridicule” the decision by Mormons to use a different symbol to represent their faith; it merely explains that they do. The post does not suggest that those who choose not to use the cross as a symbol of their faith don’t “fully appreciate what Christ did” for them; it merely explains why Christianity has, throughout history, chosen an unlikely symbol (humanly speaking) as a fit representation of the Christian faith. I understand your defensiveness – it is only natural in this environment. Nevertheless, I hope all of us here can follow Horton’s example – “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one hundred percent.” ☺

  36. oceancoast says:

    vikingz2000 said

    1. You will NEVER see a crucifix or artists’ renditions of that theme in a practicing Mormon’s home

    Not true.. One should learn to not use the word “NEVER”.. perhaps, “rarely” might be a better choice.. This is due to the culture within the LDS Faith to remember the Life and resurrection of a living Christ rather than the death on the cross.. But I know of practicing LDS that DO Have crucifixes, and crosses in their home.

    2. Although not fully conclusive, but very likely (conclusions of former Mormon Church’s official historian, D. Michael Quinn, and former Mormon History Association President Reed D. Durham), it’s interesting to note that the very founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, was intrigued with and was a proponent of many aspects of the occult and very likely did wear a Jupiter talisman around his neck at the time of his assassination.

    Not fully conclusive? Actually what is conclusive is that this is a hearsay promulgated by Emma’s second Non-LDS husband LONG after Emma had died. There is no record of any such Jupiter talisman found on Joseph Body.

    3. In all of my years as a practicing Mormon, the Easter evenst seemed to have very little focus. ‘Easter Sunday’ was pretty much like any other weekly, Sunday worship event. Looking back, (hindsight being more 20/20), this comes across to me now as being more atypical of a Christian religion.

    Yes, I will agree to a point.. Our Easter service is a bit more elaborate than the regular weekly service unlike many other churches that seem to make big productions on Easter and Christimas. LDS services not so much a big deal.. But for some very good reasons IMO.. You have to ask yourself a few very objective questions..
    Shouldn’t every Sabbath be an equal celebration of Christ’s atoning sacrifice?
    Why do other churches make such a big production on Easter or Christmas? I think this one is most telling. The LDS church has a lay ministry and there is a much more a Ward Family mentality, where everyone or at least all the active members are given some sort of calling and participate in the ward functionality.. Hence families get assigned to a ward by geography. Contrast this to most non-LDS Christian churches which have a paid ministry and the membership is rather “At will”.. In other words, people come and go as they please.. Some are given roles of service, but it’s not like the regiment in the LDS wards and Stakes.. So these non-LDS churches use the holiday’s as a promotional period to bring people into church.. Not that there is anything particularly bad about their intent.. It’s just that’s what I see going on, it’s a bit of a membership drive.
    The LDS faith handles the same issue in a bit different fashion.. The LDS have 50,000+ full time missionaries going door to door.. And for the local members there is the Home/Visitation teaching program which is an outreach to the locals to come to church. So in LDS circles there is less need in whipping up a big deal on the holidays, and so every Sunday should be viewed with equal importance and reverence.

  37. oceancoast says:

    Crosses and Crucifixes.. As the OP notes that LDS don’t typically express their faith with the symbol of the cross. This is a very outward difference that many notice. Yet the church has not official ban on crosses or crucifixes, it does subtly discourage them and encourage the remembrance of the Christ in different ways.. More focus on the garden and the resurrection rather than torture on the cross.

    IMO, there is another VERY valid reason to discourage use of the cross. It has to do with the very appearance of evil. How many non-LDS Christian churches put a cross up in a place of prominence in their place of worship? I have attended many different churches in my day and some (Not ALL) place a large cross or crucifix front and center in the chapel. And then the congregation attends and the pastor or priest say’s “Let us pray” , head are bowed, hand sometimes extended to the air facing this Cross in the center of the chapel.. WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?

    Are these Christians praying to God or to the Cross?

    Now I am sure many of Christians who attend such a service will be quick to say .. they are praying to Jesus or God.. NOT the cross.. But if you were praying to the Cross, how would it look any different? Get the point? Only the individual knows whether or not they are praying to God or to the Cross.. It would look identical to an outside observer.. Hence it casts an appearance that one MAY be worshipping the cross, not Christ.

    Paul wrote concerned about this very thing .. 1 Cor 8:7-13.. With respect to eating meat sacrificed to idols.. Not that there is anything wrong with the meat, for it’s just meat. But if doing so appears to others as you are worshipping the idol.. You abstain.

    So I see a parallel possibility that placing a Cross in front of a congregation of worship that someone MIGHT see that as worshipping an Idol (in this instance the cross). So better to abstain from that which might cause your brother to stumble.

  38. jaxi says:

    OC,

    I think there is a difference between Christians associating themselves with people and activities that include actual idol worship and other people projecting their own ideas on what is going on in Christian worship that are inaccurate. Im not going to tailor my faith to other people’s sensitivities. If people want to know if we worship the cross, all they have to do is ask.

  39. jaxi says:

    OC,

    <"So these non-LDS churches use the holiday’s as a promotional period to bring people into church.. Not that there is anything particularly bad about their intent.. It’s just that’s what I see going on, it’s a bit of a membership drive."

    This is an incredibly offensive statement to me. I can't speak towards every denomination of Christianity I can only say what I observe in Eastern Orthodoxy. Pascha and Christmas are not used to boost membership. Before both special days, there is a 40 day fast. It is a time of prayer, reflection, increased alms giving to the poor, and service. For the 40 days before Pascha, there is a service 4 days out of the week. Holy Week has service daily. I cannot express the joy and spiritual growth I encounter during those times. It is not about church growth and increased membership, it is about communion and worship of God. Should I have that same mentality every Sunday? SHould I have it everyday? Why yes. But I should also be realistic. I live in the world too. These times are times that ask a little more of myself than I usually do. I should always be striving to become more like Christ. Christmas and Pascha are periods of my life when I reflect on my spiritual life. It is not about working my way into heaven, it is about taking time out of my life to communion with God and growing more and more like Him, because I want to, because I believe. Those services are a wonderful blessing to my life.

  40. Brewed says:

    OC and Shem,

    I think you both make very good points. The LDS church prefers to focus on the life of Jesus rather than the death. This points out something profound. I would assume you focus on His life because you see it as an example. Here’s the difference, Christians see it as a fulfillment.
    It sounds so nice to say you focus on Christ’s life.
    You are however missing something profound when that is your focus. You see, your sin is what nailed him to the cross. Sure the Romans literally nailed him to it, but it is our sin that kept him there. Jesus said he has the power to lay down his life and pick it up again. He chose to die the way he did and I think that should clue us in on something. When we shy away from what was done on the cross we are shying away from our own sin. Our ugly, horrifying, despicable disease being worn by God for us. Taking on our punishment. This is why crosses are the visual focal point of Christian churches. So that we may be reminded how far God has gone for us. So that we may be reminded of how dangerous our sin is. So that we may know what true love looks like. And that should cause us to worship Him. We should be on our face overwhelmed with gratitude because while we were still sinners he died for us. Upon the cross God did something none of us could have done, even if we had wanted to and I never want to forget that.
    We celebrate Easter and Good Friday, just as we partake of communion, in memory of Him.

  41. Old man says:

    Oceancoast

    With respect Ocean, I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say, “more focus on the garden” Why focus on something that has only an indirect connection with the atonement? I’m aware that the LDS teaches the atonement started in the garden as I explained in my last post, but I get the distinct impression that attention is being diverted away from the atonement rather than to it. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that the atonement took place on the cross, not in the garden & therefore Christians of all denominations look to it as a symbol of what Christ suffered & accomplished for us. Try to understand that for Christians the cross isn’t a symbol of torture it’s a symbol of infinite love & sacrifice. What more is there to say?

  42. oceancoast says:

    Jaxi wrote..

    Im not going to tailor my faith to other people’s sensitivities. If people want to know if we worship the cross, all they have to do is ask.

    Well it appears here that you are at odds with the admonition of Paul. 1 Cor 8:7-13

    Therefore, if (such and such of my faith) makes my brother stumble, I will never (such and such of my faith), lest I make my brother stumble

    Paul was talking about aspects of his faith.. That being eating meat that was sacrificed to idols.. To Paul, as an aspect of his faith the idols were nothing so it was just meat, but if eating the meat would cause his brother to stumble he would ‘tailor’ his actions.

  43. jaxi says:

    OC,

    you missed the point of what I said before that.

    “I think there is a difference between Christians associating themselves with people and activities that include actual idol worship and other people projecting their own ideas on what is going on in Christian worship that are inaccurate.”

    Paul is talking about someone else is doing and how we interact with THEM. He is not talking about changing the Christian faith to appease people that misinterpret it.

  44. MistakenTestimony says:

    Oceancoast,

    I will agree with you that Christians should not judge each other regarding how each regard days and seasons due to the freedom that they have in Christ.

    However, you said the following: “This is due to the culture within the LDS Faith to remember the Life and resurrection of a living Christ rather than the death on the cross”, and also,”Yet the church has not official ban on crosses or crucifixes, it does subtly discourage them and encourage the remembrance of the Christ in different ways.. More focus on the garden and the resurrection rather than torture on the cross.”

    These verses demonstrate that the LDS church does not have a biblical understanding of the pivotal moment in the history of the world. The LDS therefore cannot be considered Christian in any orthodox definition of the word and neither can you by being complicit in that false religion. 

  45. oceancoast says:

    MistakenTestimony said:

    These verses demonstrate that the LDS church does not have a biblical understanding of the pivotal moment in the history of the world. The LDS therefore cannot be considered Christian in any orthodox definition of the word and neither can you by being complicit in that false religion.

    Wow.. These verses? Since when is my comments “verses” defining the LDS faith for ALL?

    And it’s quite telling the hypocrisy you exhibit.. You first agree that you shouldn’t judge and then you proceed to judge demonstrating that you are more akin to the Pharisees that crucified the Christ than a Christian.

    That LDS are not “Orthodox”.. No surprise there, LDS don’t claim to follow the “Othodoxy”.. In fact it was the testimony by Christ himself to Joseph Smith that the “Othodoxy” was not truly the Lords way.. That Othodoxy has lost its way is almost self evident to anyone with more than two living brain cells.. You speak of “Biblical” understanding but I see very few so-called Christians here that actually understand the Bible, instead they simple promote the ‘Dogma’ they have been indoctrinated with and force that into their biblical interpretation.. a process known as eisogesis.

  46. MistakenTestimony says:

    John 7:24; I never said that people were not to judge, you just eisogeted my statement. Read Roman 14:5 to understand what I mean by “Christians should not judge each other regarding how each regard days and seasons due to the freedom that they have in Christ.” But keep in mind that you’re exempt from that because you are not an orthodox Christian by your own admission, you are a self-proclaimed “Christian.”

  47. Rick B says:

    Ocean quoted Jaxi saying Jaxi wrote..

    Im not going to tailor my faith to other people’s sensitivities. If people want to know if we worship the cross, all they have to do is ask.

    Ocean replied with

    Well it appears here that you are at odds with the admonition of Paul. 1 Cor 8:7-13

    No one is at Odd’s with what Paul said, like Jaxi said, If people think we worship the cross thats not our problem, all they have to do is ask us what we think. You guys are famous for saying, dont tell us what we believe, ask us. You guys assume that were telling you what you believe, thats not true, were reading what your prophets, and leaders have said, then simply stating that.

    What it boils down to is, I’m responsible for what I say and do, I’m not responsible for how you understand it.

  48. oceancoast says:

    Rick B,

    Clearly I see you and Jaxi rationalizing your way out of Paul’s admonition to suit your own parochial interest. You see Paul doesn’t say just ask him what he believes, to the contrary, he admonishes that you avoid the very appearance of evil ( 1 Thessalonians 5:22) or worshiping an idol. He could have said, fine enjoy the meat and if anyone wonders just ask what I believe.. No he doesn’t do that, he say’s he’ll avoid the appearance if such an appearance may be a stumbling block ..

    So if your church is private, what you do inside how you pray is not of any consequence to any unknowing observer.. But if your church is OPEN to observers who may not understand, then IMO Paul’s admonishment is to AVOID the very appearance, lest it be a stumbling block.. But I know some of you LOVE your crosses and anyone suggesting that maybe that’s might give onlookers the wrong impression you resist.. A resistance which in itself tends to confirm the appearance that your worshiping the cross, otherwise it would be easy to acquiesce to that admonishment.

  49. Rick B says:

    Ocean, Live up to what Paul said and go away, Your evil and your stumbling me, so please leave.

    Yea like that will happen, I guess you dont really believe what Paul said because we know you wont leave, you will just stumble me instead.

  50. oceancoast says:

    MistakenTestimony,

    I didn’t eisogete anything.. and yes, I am a self proclaimed Christian, just as ALL the early Christians were.. Orthodoxy was a product of political favoritism by the Roman Emperor toward certain So-Called Christians, who sought to declare all that didn’t agree with them heretics in order to have them murdered. So you are correct.. I don’t espouse the Orthodoxy..I can see clearly it was a product of Satan. Christ would have NEVER ordered people to be put to death for not agreeing with him.

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