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You know it is kind of strange that we want to separate ourselves from Christianity main line. That has always bothered me. I remember when I was little and wondering why we didn't also have a cross as one of our symbols of the sacrafice and atonement. People always said that we do not worship his death but instead his resurrection. But is not that wahat the cross represents- His resurrection. The symbol was always made between the staff of Moses and Christ being lifted on the cross that all those that looked might live.

And yet we do not have that type of symbol to look up at and live. It is almost like we are afraid of the cross and it'e very symbol. We also don't call ourselves born again Christians even though that word symbol is exactly what Latter Day Saints are. We are in every sense "born again Christians" we are exactly what the BOM testifies abouth being born again.

And yet we are afraid of that symbol too. The trend seems to be to try to distance ourselves from mainline Christianity so that we fit in one of those "cult" religions because we are not viewed as a Christian religion. I mean really, can you imagine if I went to church on Sunday and put up a picture of the cross next to the pulpit and started my talk about being born again and being saved by grace people would automatically think I was talking about being a Catholic or Baptist or something. It is no wonder we fit outside of Christianities symbol qualifications for the most part- we don't want no association with those other Christian religions even though behind the scenes we work hand in hand in doing God's work together.

There is one other symbol of our Religion- that of the Temple and the Angel Moroni.

Dave: I think we've been asked by General Authorities to let the temple be the Symbol of our faith, in place fo the cross. Of course, the question then may be, "What does the Temple Symbolize?" The word I would use is redemption, but I doubt others would share my perspective.

In any case, I am not wearing any temple jewelry...

I just realized I am obviously wearing something temple related... I am having a dumb afternoon it seems...

From Todd Compton's essay: ...this word [symbol] can be translated "token."

Sorry Todd, that's the fallacy of illegitimate totality transfer. It doesn't work on every occurrence of the Greek word sumbulon. But it's the thought that counts, I suppose. ;)

"Our symbol" to outsiders, whether we like it or not, would have to be the SLC temple, or two Viking-looking strapping young men w/ suits and nametags, or perhaps a covered wagon. Maybe there are others.

I am not sure how much I understand about the formation of symbols. I did get this paraphrased idea from a Deal & Peterson article on symbolic leadership in education:

Symbols arise when all aspects of practice merge together to produce actions in tune with existing culture.

The synergies that occur as a symbol takes root seem pretty unique to place and time. It seems like quite a projection for religions to assume the emergence of identical symbols (ala the cross) is indicitive of correct groundwork (ala proper interpretation of the bible).

As you mention, I wonder if it isn't better to look at how symbols resonate with those looking at them? For instance what mormon symbols lead to similar goals to cross symbolism? Like you, I would guess the garden. However if other symbols replace some aspects of the cross, then the garden symbol wouldn't need to recreate those. Or, more likely, today's culture may not need to get hit over the head with Jesus' cruxificition to make meaning that is on the same order as those who have grown up with it. On that note, I wonder how Joseph's death and early church persecution would change the weight of the symbol needed?

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