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Why Was Jesus Crucified?by John Walsh
Jesus Christ was crucified because he "yieldeth himself... into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up,...and to be crucified". (The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 19:10) When discussing the crucifixion, it is important to remember that Jesus Christ is the Eternal God and was only crucified because he chose to allow it.
The Lord was also crucified because it was the will of the Father that an Atonement be made for the sins of the world. "Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father." (The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 15:7)
"For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart."(Doctrine & Covenants 21:9)
But when the Jews rose against Jesus it was not to knowingly fulfill the purposes of God. They did so in ignorance. Why did the Jews want to crucify the Lord? According to the Book of Mormon, it was "because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified." (2 Nephi 10:5)
The Jewish leaders had hardened their hearts against the spirit of the Lord. They rejected Jesus as the Christ, their appointed Messiah, and the rightful King of Israel. They did not believe he was the Son of God, as he so testified. They did not believe he was the Jehovah of the Old Testament as he so testified. They did not accept his gospel, including all of the laws and ordinances.
Did they crucify Jesus only because he claimed to be the promised Messiah? No. Did they crucify him only because he claimed to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? No. Did they crucify him only because they would not accept certain gospel teachings and applications, like proper Sabbath keeping and plural marriage. No. They crucified the Son of God for all of these reasons and many more like them. They had lost the love of truth, righteousness, and all that is holy.
Regarding Jesus' support of plural marriage, President Jedediah M. Grant, a member of the First Presidency, is reported to have said:
The reader will note that President Grant quotes from a non-LDS historical source as the basis for his comments.