Monday, March 26, 2007
Passion Play Runs Amok in Nauvoo
"WHY IS THE PASSION PLAY BEING HELD AT THE JOSEPH SMITH ACADEMY?"I read the March 21, 2007 front page article in The Nauvoo New Independent about the "Passion Play" with the looming question. Why is this play depicting the most important event of orthodox Christianity being held at the Joseph Smith Academy. You may ask, "What is the problem?" The answer: The Joseph Smith Academy is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So what, you may ask. Well, the Mormon Church theology does not teach that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins; rather, Mormon theology teaches that Jesus paid for what sins he could in the Garden of Gethsemane? For those who may already be saying that is not true, let me allow the Mormon Church to speak for itself. This quote comes from the Official Mormon Church magazine Ensign and is quoting the 13th Prophet of the Mormon Church, Ezra Taft Benson: "The most transcendent of all such events occurred in a garden called Gethsemane, outside Jerusalem's walls, which when the Chief Citizen of planet Earth sweat great drops of blood from every pore as He in agony took upon Himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance (Ensign p. 54 April 2005). Brigham Young taught that Jesus' blood doesn't cover all sin, the crowning point of the Passion Play. I'll let Brigham speak for himself: "It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit" (Journal of Discourses Vol 4, pg 54, September 21, 1856) I just read the April 2007 edition of the Ensign and to my surprise in a section called "Gospel Classics," an article by Mormon Apostle David B. Haight reaffirms the Mormon theology is at odds with the Passion Play. On page 17 it reads "When they had sung a hymn, Jesus and the Eleven went out to the Mount of Olives. There, in a garden, in some manner beyond our comprehension, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world. His agony in the garden, Luke tells us, was so intense "his sweat was as...great drops of blood falling...to the ground." (Luke 22:24). He suffered an agony and a burden the like of which no human person would be able to bear. In that hour of anguish our Savior overcame all the power of Satan."If the Ministerial Association wants to join together for joint events that's fine; however, when the organization that is hosting the event, doesn't even believe in the subject of the event (in this case, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins). why in the world is the event being hosted there? This is like holding graduation from an alcohol rehabilitation program at the Jack Daniels Distillery. I simply find the agreement to allow this hypocritical, or an oxymoron, take your choice. I am not alone in asking this question; however, the dynamics of this town being what they are, retribution silences the other voices. So the question remains, "Why is the Passion Play being held at the Joesph Smith Academy?"