The sunlight shines brightly on my three-inch-tall statue of the Christus, making it glow with white light as I would imagine the real, living Christ would. The detail and shadows stand out in stark contrast to the parts of the statue directly bathed in the sun’s warm light. It is beautiful, and it calms me. I am so glad that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now has this as part of its symbol of the faith. I have waited a very long time for the Church to have a symbol involving Christ because of all of the questions that I have faced from other Christians about Latter-day Saints not wearing the cross. The cross is not a symbol of the living Christ, even though it is a symbol of Christ’s Atonement. The Christus, on the other hand, is a symbol of the living and Resurrected Christ, and the arch in the symbol of the Church symbolizes the archway of the tomb that Christ stepped out of on that third day when He was resurrected. The name of the Church still appears below on the cornerstone, which Christ is in our faith, to symbolize the same. Let me make it perfectly clear — Jesus Christ is the focus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are Christians. We worship Jesus Christ. We do not worship Joseph Smith and we do not worship Moroni, and we do not worship Mormon. That leads me to my next point, and it is an important one.
The term “Mormon” is very derogatory to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is an antiquated and incorrect term, and was always meant as an insult to the faith. The correct term for a member of the Church is Latter-day Saint. About a week ago, some climbers in my area named a problem that they had been working on up by the “Mormon Temple” (PG-13 rating here) “Latter-day Sluts”. This, of course, is shameful, inappropriate, and uncalled for. Another problem that they are working on in the area has been named “Magic Underwear”. This is also inappropriate, insulting, and uncalled for. Climbers need to think about how that is going to look in a guidebook used in an area with a heavy concentration of Latter-day Saints (not “Sluts”), many of them in the healthcare and dental professions of the city of Billings. It may be helpful to know that there are over 16 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide. While it may seem funny to make jokes about religious customs and practices, it is not going to be well-received by your belay partner or spotter if they happen to be of that particular religion. You may find yourself without anyone to climb with if it goes too far. In Billings, Montana, it is a very sore subject to make fun of the customs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints due to the protests and the troubles that the Church had to go through to get the Temple built in Billings in the late 1990’s. The people naming their bouldering problems such things as mentioned above were likely not even born then, but they still need to be sensitive to the matter, even if they do not believe in or agree with the Church or the tenets of the faith. To be insensitive to such things in the city that began the “Not In Our Town” Movement is to be purposely discriminatory, insulting, and bigoted. What I am saying is that people need to respect others, especially on sensitive matters such as religion, and especially right now, during a time when people are reaching out for faith and seeking refuge in those things that are considered sacred. At best, names such as those mentioned above are in poor taste.