But since I posted about it on Facebook and it became a HUGE controversy, I'm going to explain it to you.
To answer JB's question: I wear my cross everyday. Except when I get a hankering to wear a pretty (girly) necklace. Which last night I did. I was wearing mostly black/gray and thought a red necklace would make the outfit look good. I took my cross off; it felt weird. That's that. This "everyday" clause includes Temple attendance. I know, I've just blown your minds. The Temple workers have never commented about it being inappropriate/wrong/or even asked for a reason. They simply don't notice/don't mind.
I want to address a link that was posted during the Great Cross Debate of ’09. The only thing it says is that the lives of the people are the symbol of our faith, not a cross, or anything else. Furthermore, nothing has ever been said banning the members of our faith from wearing a cross, or hanging one in our houses. They have only ever said, “it is not the symbol of our faith.” I quite agree. It is not the symbol of our faith, and it is not as a symbol of my faith that I wear it.
Some background on me:
I am the daughter of a convert. My father was raised as a Catholic. I have attended mass, numerous times. I stand with the others, and I recite the Lord’s Prayer, and answer the calls of the Priest in unison with the other parishioners. I do this proudly. I do this with love and respect for those I am worshiping with. I do not take part in the Communion. I am not a member of their faith and that would be disrespectful and inappropriate. I find nothing wrong with participating in the rituals when there. I just abstain from those rituals that are reserved for baptized members of the faith.
I have participated in Passover, I observe Lent, I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and many other non-LDS holidays. I find nothing wrong in this. There is nothing wrong in this. I am currently reading a book, purchased at Deseret Book, on the Tribe of Ephraim. I am a descendant of this tribe, and felt a desire to know more about my birthright. This is what I’ve learned about the blood line, it is a blood that:
· Seeks change, advancement, and progress.
· Loves liberty and is willing to sacrifice for freedom.
· Has been shed around the world to encourage liberty.
· Looks to the good and strives to make the world a better place.
· Works to bring light and knowledge to people who sit in darkness.
· Cares for the individual souls of men and women.
· Preserves the good of the past.
· Looks forward to what must be completed to insure the future.
· Cares what it will pass on to its posterity.
This is my heritage. Somewhere in this book it also mentions that those of the Tribe of Ephraim seek for truth in all forms. I seek truth in all forms.
I also want to take this time to note something from my Patriarchal Blessing. I do feel this is the right time, and forum for this to be said. It reads,
“I bless you that you may feel the spirit of Elijah come into your heart; that you may feel your heart turn to the fathers…and that you may seek to bless…the fathers…through the activities of your life.” My fathers were Catholics. I honor them through wearing the cross. As my grandmother forgets her life, I honor it with the cross. I respect, love, and admire the faith that brought my family members together and gives them the courage, hope, and strength they need to sustain them through the times they currently face. Most of you do not know the struggles of my family, and it’s not your business. But their Catholic faith gets them through. I honor that.
Now, I want to finish addressing the Church’s actual stance on the cross. I will quote solely from President Gordon B. Hinckley’s talk, "The Symbol of Our Faith". He clarifies his comment that our lives should be the symbol of our faith which he explained to a minister. He says,
“I hope he did not feel that I was smug or self-righteous in my response. Our position at first glance may seem a contradiction of our profession that Jesus Christ is the key figure of our faith. The official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We worship Him as Lord and Savior. The Bible is our scripture. We believe that the prophets of the Old Testament who foretold the coming of the Messiah spoke under divine inspiration. We glory in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John setting forth the events of the birth, ministry, death, and Resurrection of the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. Like Paul of old, we are “not ashamed of the gospel of [Jesus] Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). And like Peter, we affirm that Jesus Christ is the only name “given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).” None of this is something I find fault with, or do not agree with. I whole-heartedly believe in the Church and our beliefs. He then says,
“In light of such declarations, in view of such testimony, well might many ask, as my minister friend in Arizona asked, if you profess a belief in Jesus Christ, why do you not use the symbol of His death, the cross of Calvary?
To which I must first reply that no member of this Church must ever forget the terrible price paid by our Redeemer, who gave His life that all men might live—the agony of Gethsemane, the bitter mockery of His trial, the vicious crown of thorns tearing at His flesh, the blood cry of the mob before Pilate, the lonely burden of His heavy walk along the way to Calvary, the terrifying pain as great nails pierced His hands and feet, the fevered torture of His body as He hung that tragic day, the Son of God crying out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).”
He explains about the cross itself,
“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.
We cannot forget that. We must never forget it, for here our Savior, our Redeemer, the Son of God, gave Himself, a vicarious sacrifice for each of us."
The cross represents the death of Christ and the sorrow experienced by those close to Him. President Hinckley says,
“On Calvary He was the dying Jesus. From the tomb He emerged the Living Christ. The cross had been the bitter fruit of Judas’s betrayal, the summary of Peter’s denial. The empty tomb now became the testimony of His divinity, the assurance of eternal life, the answer to Job’s unanswered question: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).
Having died, He might have been forgotten, or, at best, remembered as one of many great teachers whose lives are epitomized in a few lines in the books of history.
Now, having been resurrected, He became the Master of life. Now, with Isaiah, His disciples could sing with certain faith, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
Fulfilled were the expectant words of Job: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
"And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
“Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25–27).
Well did Mary cry, “Rabboni; which is to say, Master” (John 20:16) when first she saw the risen Lord, for Master now He was in very deed, Master not only of life, but of death itself. Gone was the sting of death, broken the victory of the grave.
The fearful Peter was transformed. Even the doubtful Thomas declared in soberness and reverence and realism, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). “Be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27) were the unforgettable words of the Lord on that marvelous occasion.
And finally, President Hinckley’s take once more on our lives as a symbol of our faith,
“And so, because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the Living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves. And so our lives must become a meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the Living Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God.
It is that simple, my brethren and sisters, and that profound and we’d better never forget it.
I don’t mean to offend anyone that posted on my thread. But I take great offense at people that write this off as "weird" or say I am "breaking a commandment" or try to say that I am somehow deviant from the Church. I am none of these. I just meant to clarify where I’m coming from. I wear it to remind me of my heritage. I wear it to keep me close to my family. I wear it because it’s a beautiful symbol of faith in Christ. I wear it for me. It is no different than wearing a CTR ring. End of story.
Back to the argument: Thanks to my aunt Kristie, my cousin Joseph, and my friend JB who all defended me and my right to wear my cross. To those that spoke against it, I hope this post has allowed you to have a better understanding of me. If not, then I hope that someday you will have the requisite open mind and an open heart that is needed to understand things that are different from you. My life is one that seeks truth in all its forms. I will be posting a Mezuzah on my door frame, I will have a Menorah, I will have a Buddha, I will have things from all faiths of the world in my home. My children will understand that there is Truth everywhere and we do NOT judge those that do not have our faith as lacking all Truth. Truth is everywhere, Truth is found in everything. My prayer is that one day, you will all realize that too.