Someone recently asked me why the Mormon Church doesn’t believe in the use of crosses and I couldn’t give a very good answer so please explain this to me so next time I will know how to address this question. Thanks for your help.
Symbolic representation of religious ideals has been a practice of those who worship a Supreme Being since the beginning of time. Religious symbols representing both pagan and Christian deities in both ancient and modern times are found throughout the world. That this practice was against the will of God was announced by Moses in the Ten Commandments,
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. (Exodus 20:4-5)
The problem with such material representations of spiritual verities is that although they may be at first envisioned as only a symbol they quickly replace what they are designed to represent and become in themselves objects of worship. A lucid explanation of this concept is given in a footnote to Exodus 20:4 found in an official Catholic bible, translated from the original Hebrew at the University of Salamanca in Spain in 1943, as follows:
The gentiles began to express the concept of their gods in material form. So that Israel would come to conceive of Jehovah as an immaterial God the making of any image is prohibited. Some ancient peoples seem to have had this same practice, but the common practice was the use and the veneration of images, from which practice idolatry or the cult of idols was born.
Believing in the practice of the Law of Moses, the Mormon Church does not adorn their buildings with symbolic representations of Deity or of religious concepts.