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Wearing of the Cross

We have received queries concerning the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding the wearing of the Cross.  Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith (prior to becoming the President of the Church of Jesus Christ) wrote as follows (includes a query with my response):

Subject: Re: a quick question
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 09:12:39 -0600
From: Stan Barker <sdbarker@[]>
Organization: SHIELDS
To: (Intentionally left blank)

xxx wrote: 

Came across your website and I would like to ask a question, if you have time to answer it.  What is the church's stance on wearing the cross, or displaying the cross???  thanks

I am unaware of an official "stance" by the Church on this issue.  However, one LDS leader has offered his opinion as follows:

The Wearing of the Cross

From Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.4, p.16:
Question:  "Having been reared in a Latter-day Saint community, I have never had occasion to give serious thought to this question of the wearing of the cross until I moved to the mission field. 

Answer:  While we have never questioned the sincerity of Catholics and Protestants for wearing the cross, or felt that they were doing something which was wrong, it is a custom that has never appealed to members of the [LDS] Church.  The motive for such a custom by those who are of other churches, we must conclude, is a most sincere and sacred gesture.  To them the cross does not represent an emblem of torture but evidently carried the impression of sacrifice and suffering endured by the Son of God.  However, to bow down before a cross or to look upon it as an emblem to be revered because of the fact that our Savior died upon a cross is repugnant to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

To many, like the writer, such a custom is repugnant and contrary to the true worship of our Redeemer.  Why should we bow down before a cross or use it as a symbol?  Because our Savior died on the cross, the wearing of crosses is to most Latter-day Saints in very poor taste and inconsistent to our worship.  Of all the ways ever invented for taking life and the execution of individuals, among the most cruel is likely the cross.  This was a favorite method among the Romans who excelled in torture.  We may be definitely sure that if our Lord had been killed with a dagger or with a sword, it would have been very strange indeed if religious people of this day would have graced such a weapon by wearing it and adoring it because it was by such a means that our Lord was put to death. 

I hope this helps answer your question. 

Stan Barker 
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