I heard recently in a sermon that the LDS church views Jesus' death and resurrection as almost a "blemish" on Christianity - that it was an unfortunate event, and not at all the way God planned for things to go.

According to this statement, this is the reason there are no crosses in LDS churches, at the Temple in SLC, etc.

This SLC Tribune article seems to indicate the same.

My question, therefore, has two parts:

  • Is the article / claim of the sermon correct, and
  • What is the "official" doctrinal stance of the LDS church on the death and resurrection of Christ?
  • 3
    That article seems to be talking much more about the symbolism of the cross than about the actual death and resurrection of Jesus and its role in the Atonement.
    – Mason Wheeler
    Mar 4, 2013 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


That it was "an unfortunate event, and not at all the way God for planned to things to go" is not the teaching of the Mormon Church, as Mormons believe the Atonement happened precisely the way God willed it to happen and that it was perfect beyond our comprehension.

The official doctrinal stance of the LDS church on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is this:

The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.

Source: http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/his-life-and-teachings/articles/we-believe

As Mason Wheeler pointed out in the comment above, the symbolism of the cross and the doctrinal belief of the death and resurrection of Christ (the Atonement) are two separate things. While the Atonement is central to the LDS doctrine, the cross is generally avoided as it tends to remind us of the dead Christ rather than the living Christ.

It is not because the death of Christ was disgraceful, per-se, that Mormons do not use the cross. It is just not a symbol of worship the LDS church has chosen to endorse.

Yet I know many Mormons who have a cross in their home. Usually smallish, and only decorative. It has no religious significance and might have even simply been a gift from another Christian friend. I know of no occasion where there has been formal retribution for a Mormon having or wearing a cross, but it is true: you won't find them on or in LDS meetinghouses or temples.

  • Jesus might disagree with you on it's significance, after all he said in Luke 9:23 "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
    – dcreight
    Mar 5, 2013 at 21:45
  • 1
    @dcreight Sure, but do you really think Jesus was talking about trinkets?
    – Matt
    Mar 6, 2013 at 19:54
  • No, he was talking about what we would need to give up to follow him. The cross reminds of the price that we must be willing to pay to follow him. So why hide it, or worse yet punish people because of it? It's alright though, I've read your book, I know your people, I do not agree with them on many things.
    – dcreight
    Mar 6, 2013 at 20:23
  • 3
    @dcreight Well I certainly agree with you. But sorry, what do you mean by "your book" and "your people"?
    – Matt
    Mar 7, 2013 at 0:24

The best way to answer this question is to look at what the Book of Mormon says about it. Here are two illustrative quotes:

For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord.
--Helaman 14:15

Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.
--Alma 34:8-10

Clearly then, Christ’s death and resurrection was essential. Additionally, His death and burial is remembered each week in our sacramental services – so, far from ignoring His death, Latter-day Saints view it as essential to their salvation. But along with His death, we remember and proclaim His resurrection!

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