Date: April 04, 2011 10:46AM
Special thanks to who ever opsted this originally (sorry I forgot your name) and aknowledgement to Gordon Hinckley who said "we worship a different Christ".
LDS members believe that they are singularly blessed with a record of the earthly ministry of Jesus from his life in Palestine, his visit to the Spirit World, and his visit to the Americas.
Yet, a chronological reading of the story of Jesus’ last week in Palestine to his ministry in the America, using LDS scripture, leaves one puzzled as to the very nature and character of Jesus.
During the last days of Jesus’ life in Palestine, he entered triumphantly into Jerusalem, healed the sick, instituted the Holy Supper with the apostles, suffered greatly in Gethsemane, was judged and mocked, and then was crucified among common thieves.
In Palestine, Jesus is recorded as being meek and forgiving.
In Luke 22:32, Jesus tells Simon Peter that he is praying for Peter to be strengthened knowing that Peter will betray him three times before sunrise.
Also in Luke chapter 22, Jesus is told of going to Gethsemane and gently rebuking the disciples for following asleep during his personal agony and ordeal.
When Jesus leaves Gethsemane, one of the disciples uses a sword and cuts off the ear of the servant of the high priest. “And Jesus answered and said, ‘Suffer ye thus far.’ And he touched his ear, and healed him.” (Luke 22:51)
Jesus is ridiculed and spat upon. During the night, Peter, as forecasted, betrays Jesus three times. In response Jesus turns his head and looks at Peter, causing Peter to weep bitterly.
Herod, having heard of Jesus’ miracles, mocks him by allowing his men to dress Jesus in a robe before returning the prisoner to Pilate.
Pilate finding no wrong in Jesus, appealed to the crowd gathered who called for his crucifixion. During these acts of vulgarity and ridicule, Jesus is recorded as being passive and submissive.
On the cross at Golgotha, Jesus was placed between two thieves. During the dying process, Jesus is recorded as saying: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Upon hearing Jesus plead for forgiveness, the rulers around him scorned him: “He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”
The rulers’ outburst caused the soldiers to add a final insult by placing a wooden placard on the cross above Jesus reading “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Even the two thieves asked Jesus why he didn’t use his supernatural powers to free himself. As a response, Jesus rebuked one’s disbelief, but then informed that they would be with him in paradise.
The New Testament stories demonstrate a person of quiet dignity, meekness and forgiveness.
II. The Spirit World
According to LDS scripture, immediately upon Jesus’ death, his spirit left his body and ascended to the Spirit World. Jesus begins to metamorphose.
While in Palestine, Jesus preached among the sinners and outcasts.
Yet Mormon prophet Joseph F. Smith saw Jesus’ recently departed spirit go “not in person among the wicked and the disobedient” but to the righteous, such as Adam, Eve, many of Eve’s faithful daughters (apparently names weren’t provided), Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Elias, Malachi, and many more, even the prophets who dwelt among the Nephites. (D&C 138:29, 38-49).
After a visit back to Jerusalem, Jesus became resurrected meaning that his spirit reentered his body. He spent some time teaching his disciples.
III. The Americas
Meanwhile, in the Americas, a different stage has been set. Immediately upon the crucifixion of Jesus, tempests, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds, and physical upheavals rage for three hours. The Book of Mormon tells:
The city of Zarahemla was set on fire; the city of Moroni sunk into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants were drowned; the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah; and many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate; And there were some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly great, and there were many in them who were slain.
The destruction was followed by darkness upon the face of the land and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people.
(3 Nephi 8).
Who caused this massive destruction and death? The survivors would immediately know the culprit in the form a Voice.
The Voice chides America’ inhabitants proclaiming:
“Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof. And behold, that great city Moroni have I caused to be sunk in the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof to be drowned. And behold, that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, “
“And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths of the earth:
And building momentum, the Voice continues:
“Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem [the America city, not the one in Palestine, he left that one alone] and the inhabitants thereof.”
“And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth.”
“And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire.”
“And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire”
(3 Nephi 9: 2-10)
After itemizing his destructions, the Voice tells the people the name of their Destroyer:
“Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.”
Yes, that Jesus who only a short time earlier restored a severed ear, forgave the ignorant, the crucifers, and the non-believers - all of whom had witnessed or knew of his miracles while Jesus preached among them for some three years.
Jesus, the man who had spared those in Palestine who had personally rejected him, mocked him and crucified him, tells those in America:
“‘So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief.’”
(3 Nephi 19:35)