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JON - In a conversation with our catholic neighbor he asked a good question. He wants to know if it is church policy or commandment that we do not wear the cross. He wares the cross to remind himself of his commitment to Jesus Christ. We wear things like the Angel Moroni Tie pins and CTR rings and such to remind us of who we are. Has our church come out and stated that wearing the of the cross is forbidden and why? I know of several members who have been catholic and have joined our church who still wear the cross to remind them of who they are. Is it ok to do so?
JOEL - Its neither a church policy or commandment to not wear a cross. Actually our own Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants scriptures admonish disciples of Jesus to figuratively "take up their cross", yielding themselves in humility to their Heavenly Father (D&C 112: 14, D&C 23: 6, 2 Nep 9:18). Most members simply do not choose to use a physical representation of the cross as a reminder of what Jesus did for us. We are reminded of it every Sunday in church when we partake of the Sacrament. We remind ourselves every day of it when we pray and read the scriptures. Also, there are so many other things that Christ did for us, we believe that no one symbol is sufficient to convey all this. The cross, with its focus on the death of Christ, does not symbolize the message of a living, risen, exalted Lord who changes the lives of his followers. President Gordon B. Hinckley answered a similar question saying:
"I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian brethren who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments, and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ.
The lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship." (General Conference, April, 1975)
Also, the cross is used as a symbol of the "traditional" Christian community. Although the LDS church considers itself to be christian, it would rather not be associated with "traditional" Christianity because of how different some of the core beliefs are.
It is not forbidden for a member of the LDS church to wear a cross. We have all been taught what I have stated above and therefore most choose to not wear one.