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Gethsemane and the Atonement Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2021 4:06 pm

Gethsemane and the Atonement Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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April 1, 2021 4:06 pm

John Hilton III wrote an article titled “Jesus Suffered, Died, and Rose Again for Us” in the April 2021 issue of the LIahona church magazine. Just where did Jesus pay for the sins of His people according to traditional Mormonism. And where do Christians point? Bill and Eric discuss the Mormon teaching versus what is … Continue reading Gethsemane and the Atonement Part 2 →

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Point is to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint. One more minute sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM yesterday. We began looking at an article that was in the April 2021. Addition of the Leo Hoda magazine, an article written by John Hilton, the third John Hilton. The third is an associate professor of ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University's article is titled Jesus suffered, died and rose again for us and he is trying to make a case that the atonement you might say was spread out over three different places. One, when Jesus suffers in the garden of Gethsemane. Then when he dies on the cross and then when he resurrects from the dead. He starts off with a very interesting statement where he says some members of the church think primarily about what occurred in the garden of Gethsemane when it comes to the atonement of Jesus Christ but Protestants don't. Why is that willing yesterday show. We explained why so if you didn't catch that show. I hope you will look at our archives and make sure that you you catch that today were going to talk about something that was said by Russell M Nelson's wife, Wendy W. Nelson Russell M.

Nelson be in the 17th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and what she says is found at the beginning of this article by John Hilton. He says sister Wendy W. Nelson taught that there are three principal events in the Savior's atonement.

First, his incomprehensible suffering in the garden of Gethsemane.

Second, his crucifixion, during which time all the incomprehensible mental anguish. The immeasurable emotional grief and the unimaginable physical pain of Gethsemane returned to him. Third his literal and glorious resurrection from the garden tomb is certainly all three of these things are important to us as New Testament Christians. But we cannot place the same emphasis when it comes to the garden of Gethsemane and quite honestly, folks.

You can't really even place the same emphasis on the resurrection of Christ as important as that event is.

But let me point out something in the excitation that Eric just gave Wendy Nelson says. Second, his crucifixion, during which time all the incomprehensible mental anguish. The immeasurable emotional grief in the unimaginable physical pain of Gethsemane returned to him and returned is in italics. In other words, this emphasizes an LDS teaching that what Jesus experience in the garden of Gethsemane was even worse then the pain felt by being nailed to a cross. Let me read you something from Bruce McConkey who was a Mormon apostle and in his doctoral New Testament commentary, volume 1, page 774. He says where and under what circumstances was the atoning sacrifice of the son of God made was that on the cross of Calvary or in the garden of Gethsemane.

It is to the cross of Christ that most Christians look when centering their attention upon the infinite and eternal atonement, and certainly the sacrifice of our Lord was completed when he was lifted up by men.

Also that part of his life and suffering is more dramatic and perhaps more soul stirring.

But then, what is he say Eric, but in reality the pain-and-suffering the triumph and grandeur of the atonement took place primarily in Gethsemane, primarily in the garden of Gethsemane. Now here's what's fascinating when you talk about the pain that he experienced in the garden of Gethsemane Latter Day Saints will tell you that's because he is feeling all of the sins that have ever been committed by mankind, but that's not what Lorenzo Snow the fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said. He said that when Jesus knelt there in the garden of Gethsemane that agony.

He must've experienced in contemplating his sufferings on the cross snow feels that what Jesus went through had to do with his eventual suffering on the cross to which we would agree. In fact, folks. If you go back and you look at the various accounts in the New Testament of Jesus praying in the garden, you will not find anywhere in his prayer in the garden or any hint as a summary of what took place in the garden that it was on our Jesus is praying for himself regarding what is eventually going to take place, asking if the father can find some other means of accomplishing what he came to do. And of course there wasn't a substitute method for that he had to go to the cross. He had to die as a substitute on our behalf. What is the purpose of this article by John Hilton the third, the title of it is Jesus suffered, died and rose again for us and based on what he says in the first paragraph, it seems like he's trying to deemphasize a garner Gethsemane and emphasize the cross and the resurrection of Jesus and yet his leaders over the years have very clearly not taught that the I have some other quotes that I like to give.

We have a church writer. Her name is Laura waffling and she wrote in the friend magazine. This is in March 1989, page 39 this is what she wrote. She said Jesus paid for all our sins when he suffered in the garner Gethsemane in another magazine writer Joseph C went there. He places full emphasis on the atonement being done in the garden this what he writes in the inside magazine April 2002, page 19. As terrible as Christ's suffering on the cross was. Perhaps it was not as great as his suffering in Gethsemane when he sweat drops of blood as he bore the weight of all the sins of mankind, the great agony of the atonement took place, and these are just a few quotes Bill but over and over. This is why Latter Day Saints have traditionally looked to Gethsemane and when they're being pulled and asked where is the atonement taking place. The point to the garner Gethsemane because the leadership is taught that all these years. And as we pointed out yesterday show, you have to have a death to be able to have an atonement will in this article Mr. Hilton does cite 17th president Russell M. Nelson, the husband of Wendy Nelson who he cites at the beginning of his article on page you 13 of the Leona magazine.

He's writes both Gethsemane and Calvary are vital parts of Christ's atoning for our sins president Russell M. Nelson highlighted this connection teaching quote in the garden of Gethsemane. Our Savior took upon himself every pain, every sin and all the anguish and suffering ever experienced by you and me and by everyone who has ever lived, or will ever live all of the suffering was intensified as he was cruelly crucified on Calvary's cross. Bill let me ask you the question if he took care of every pain, every sin and all the anguish and suffering ever experienced by us in the garner Gethsemane, then what was the purpose of the cross just to finish the job. I think that's an excellent question. If everything that was necessary to secure our atonement was done in the garden. What is left to be done on the cross and this is why I strongly object to this LDS view that you have multiple locations where the Atonement Took Pl., Latter Day Saints are quite correct when they say if you asked a Protestant right would even say if you asked someone of the Catholic tradition or Orthodox tradition, they would say the same thing. The atonement took place on the cross, not in the garden now are not downplaying the suffering that Jesus felt when he was in the garden but you have to ask yourself why did he go through that suffering what was the purpose and again I have to point to the Gospels, to show that in all the cases where the garden is mentioned. You see Jesus concerned more about what he is up how to go through not what he's going through right now and I think as I mentioned, Lorenzo Snow saw that he was the fifth president of the church which is in the early years of the LDS church. This whole importance of the garden of Gethsemane seems to be something that comes about. Later on in the history of the church. Here's another thing to consider, folks. If the atonement in the garden of Gethsemane is so important, why is it that if the book of Mormon is speaking of real people and real events. We see no mention of the garden of Gethsemane in the book of Mormon that you might say well because it hadn't happened yet, but we minute first Nephi, we find it does talk about the cross. What is it say in first Nephi first Nephi 1133 says and I Nephi saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world and in that entire chapter, Bill, there's not one mention of Gethsemane, but here is referring to Jesus and that he was the one that's lifted up on the cross to be slain for the sins of the world.

Now if it all took place in the garden of Gethsemane. What sins is he being slain for on the cross.

It seems like that was already done.

Why is he having to do it again. It doesn't make sense. This sounds like Nephi was given this picture of the cross by revelation will if Gethsemane carries such significant weight even more so in some aspects than even his death on the cross isn't that Nephi or some other character in the book of Mormon didn't receive some kind of revelation when it comes to the garden of Gethsemane and what Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane. The book of Mormon is completely silent about this does not really make a whole lot of sense to you without even really make sense to someone like Bruce McConkey if he was alive.

I would love to ask him that question how can you place such significance on an event that's not even mentioned one time in the book of Mormon. Doesn't that seem a little bit suspicious.

Well, it's probably because this whole notion of the garden and its significance doesn't come about until later on that you might say what about D&C 19 because that's what is pointed to in this article when it talks about Jesus suffering that's from doctrine and covenants section 1916 through 19. But if you go back and read those verses carefully. It doesn't mention atonement dimension suffering certainly it says I God have suffered these things for all that they might not suffer if they would repent, but listen to them. But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I but if you don't properly repent and remember in the context of Mormonism.

Repentance is.just confessing your sins it's forsaking your sins never to repeat those sins again if you don't do that, according to Mormon scripture.

But if they would not repent they must suffer even as that doesn't look like something to look forward to doesn't make you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter. Mormonism researched this again, as we look at another viewpoint looking for Mormonism from a Christian perspective for you have questions about the history or doctrines of the LDS church, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson are once again volunteering at the Utah lighthouse bookstore and would be glad to speak to you on Saturdays from 1 to 5 PM Utah lighthouse bookstore is located right there at 1358 SW. Temple St. in Salt Lake City.

Be sure to come by any Saturday from 1 to 5 PM and say hi to Bill for Eric


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