I’m not in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But I have a question. And would love to find out an answer. The cross. It seems its absence is fairly complete from the Church, from its buildings, from its literature, no one is wearing a cross as Church members did in pioneer days. Why the absence? I’ve been told numerous times it is due to it representing death. But I’m confused about its conspicuous absence anyway. Didn’t Jesus conquer death? Isn’t it like the Alamo?
Thank you for your question. Allow me to first direct you to a couple of previous questions and answers on the site that might also help to explain the absence.
In a talk given by then Elder Gordon B. Hinckley he explained it this way.
We recently held an open house in the Arizona Temple. Following a complete renovation of that building, nearly a quarter of a million people saw its beautiful interior. On the first day of the opening, clergymen of other religions were invited as special guests, and hundreds responded. It was my privilege to speak to them and to answer their questions at the conclusion of their tours. I told them that we would be pleased to answer any queries they might have. Many were asked. Among these was one which came from a Protestant minister.
Said he: “I’ve been all through this building, this temple which carries on its face the name of Jesus Christ, but nowhere have I seen any representation of the cross, the symbol of Christianity. I have noted your buildings elsewhere and likewise find an absence of the cross. Why is this when you say you believe in Jesus Christ?”
I responded: “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.”
He then asked: “If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?”
I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship. (The Symbol of Christ)