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Question

 

Gramps,

I have heard many of the brethren lay claim to the fact that the Savior suffered once in the garden and then while on the cross he suffered the pains of Gethsemane again. Where can this be validated for further study? I look forward to your response.

Tyler

 

Answer

 

Tyler,

I don’t know of any other General Authority than Bruce R. McConkie stating that the pains of Gethsemane were felt again on the cross. Here’s the quote from what I believe is his last General Conference address.

Then the heavens grew black. Darkness covered the land for the space of three hours, as it did among the Nephites. There was a mighty storm, as though the very God of Nature was in agony.

 

Christ on the cross MormonAnd truly he was, for while he was hanging on the cross for another three hours, from noon to 3:00 P.M., all the infinite agonies and merciless pains of Gethsemane recurred.

Since this specific statement hasn’t been repeated by other General Authorities, I don’t know how official it is. It may be true, or it may be personal conjecture. What I do know is that the pains Christ suffered on the cross were part of the Atonement. Christ possessed an ability that none other has ever possessed on earth.

John 10:17-18

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

 

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Christ literally could not die until the moment he personally decided to allow it. This gift, what he calls a commandment in the above verses, was vital to completing the Atonement. The suffering in Gethsemane is incomprehensible to us. By all expert analysis, the suffering Christ endured after Gethsemane was also incredible. The strongest of any other man or woman would have succumbed long before the cup Christ drank from was empty.

All this pain after Gethsemane was an essential part of the Atonement. Only when Christ knew that his duty to us all had been completed did he say “It is finished.” and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Then Christ did lay down his life of his own will.

We may not know the full extent of the pain Christ felt, but it was all part of what was needed to open the path back to Heavenly Father.

 

Gramps

 

 

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