"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

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:

"Pass on still further in their history, and look at their course and conduct, if you will believe the writers that lived in that age. What does old Celsus say, who was a physician in the first century, whose medical works are esteemed very highly at the present time. His works on theology were burned with fire by the Catholics, they were so shocked at what they called their impiety. Celsus was a heathen philosopher; and what does he say upon the subject of Christ and his Apostles, and their belief? He says, "The grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was, because he had so many wives; there were Elizabeth, and Mary, and a host of others that followed him." After Jesus went from the stage of action, the Apostles followed the example of their master. For instance, John the beloved disciple, writes in his second Epistle, "Unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth." Again, he says, "Having many thing to write unto you (or communicate), I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full." Again--"The children of thy elect sister greet thee." This ancient philosopher says they were both John's wives. Paul says, "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this:--.

Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas." He, according to Celsus, had a numerous train of wives.

The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were "Mormons." (Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p.346, August 7, 1853)

The reader will note that President Grant quotes from a non-LDS historical source as the basis for his comments. 

(See Plural Marriage home page; Response to Criticism home page; Accusatory Questions home page)



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