I am anxious to get my research out asap. I spoke at the Sunstone Symposium a couple weeks ago (I am not sure if recordings of my presentation are available to purchase yet), and I now look forward to writing an article for Dialogue, Sunstone Magazine, and Patheos.com. I will also be doing an interview for John Larson’s Mormon Expressions podcast in the next few weeks (currently scheduled for September 21st), and two publishers are looking at hard copies of my thesis as we speak, considering whether or not they think it is worth publishing during this season of economic stress.
No doubt, my research won’t be appreciated by everyone. But so far, responses (from both Mormons and non-Mormons)to it have been overwhelmingly positive. I can’t tell you how much of a relief this has been. As some of you may know first hand, it can be a scary/dangerous thing extending your neck out onto the chopping block of Mormon Studies.
Anyhow… to those who are living in the Salt Lake area, and who are interested in my research, a copy my thesis should be available at the LDS Church History library soon. One of the Church’s head historians/archivists recently asked me to donate a copy. How flattering is that!]]>
Besides, with all the Satan-worshiping (somewhat tongue-in-cheek here), coke snorting, adulterous Heavy Rockers prominently displaying crosses on their persons, why fixate on it to begin with.
As for me, I just do not wear anything that doesn’t serve a practical purpose. If my shirt has a nice color, that’s nice, but for me, a good reason is that “I just don’t”.
And I think we do believe that Jesus was not killed. He gave his life. He said that himself — “no man taketh my life…”. The cross is totally arbitrary as a means of humiliation and execution.
Paul’s gushing in Romans notwithstanding… could that be a late insert. Like in John 4:25 “the Messiah, which is the Christ”. Really, a poor Samaritan Aramaic-speaking woman using the Greek “Christos” and Hebrew “Maschiach” (the transliteration varies greatly) in one sentence?]]>
Thanks for the info. I am admittedly not as informed as I’d like to be concerning 19th century Mormon use of the cross.
However, if the cross was very common, then why does it take a M.A. thesis to dig up the evidence? Why don’t we simply look at the most “common” photographs we have of that period? I’ve looked at quite a few and have rarely seen a cross (I saw one on a photo of a hymnbook once). Another easy way is to look at Mormon architecture* – and again, I just don’t see any crosses.
So, I’m very eager to see the work of Michael Reed, but will be surprised if he’s found anything more than a rare use of the cross among early LDS.
*The link I gave you was to some early 20th century Utah chapels. Although you were referring to the 19th, I think its still relevant.]]>
Sure, we might use other symbols to emphasis the cross and the Scriptures do ask us to remember the cross. Kristine’s mentioning of an article and Russel.G. has kind of skirted around another reason. It has, bluntly, become a symbol of apostate Christianity. One that continues to deny Mormons their Christian identity. Regardless of the snark associated with it, Aaron is absolutely correct that we should honor Christ by following his teachings. That is exactly what Pres. Hinkley said on more than one occasion.]]>
As a Lutheran, I was taught and reminded that the cross is the pinnacle of Christ’s mission. I know that Christ’s death on the cross was a necessary part of his mission.
But that’s my point: for me Christ’s death on the cross, while necessary, was not sufficient to bring to pass the salvation of man.
Rather than conflate all of the events of the last days of the Savior into one event*, i.e., the crucifixion, as Latter-day Saints, we ascribe meaning to each event independently: Gethsemane, the betrayal and trial, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. Each was necessary to complete the Savior’s divine mission to make salvation possible, but, without the literal resurrection, the others would have been meaningless. (*By the way, another popular icon in wall hanging and precious metal-plated pendants is the image of Christ’s hands clasped together in prayer depicting either the Lord’s prayer or the prayer in Gethsemane. If some choose to use this image to remember the Savior, that’s fine. I don’t.)
Bottom line: I don’t think the #3 answer is as “bad” as some suggest. It works for me.]]>