“There is None Other Nation on Earth That Would Crucify Their God”

Bryan Richards

Imagine witnessing an individual heal a man with a withered hand. Then imagine that this same individual looks upon a man who has been paralyzed with the palsy and commands him to take up his bed and walk—and he does. Then imagine that this individual casts the devils out of a man so wild that he can’t be restrained with chains. Then imagine that this man heals lepers, opens the ears of the deaf, makes the dumb to speak and the blind to see. After all this, imagine an individual so powerful that he could raise from the dead a man who had lain in the tomb for 4 days. After witnessing all these things, would you conclude that he had done all these things by the power of the devil? Would you then seek from him a sign of his power?

Imagine listening to sermons taught which explain doctrines never before understood. Imagine a man who could speak with the power and spirit of no individual before him. Imagine an individual who could teach how to understand, comprehend, and communicate with God. Imagine that this individual could, without the least preparation, give an incredible sermon complete with well developed, profound parables, references to Old Testament scriptures, and examples of how common practices relate to the scriptures. Imagine that the wisest and most learned people in the land set intellectual, doctrinal, and political traps for him and yet he confounded them time after time after time. Would you then conclude that he was unlearned, a winebibber, and nothing more than the son of a carpenter?

Imagine that this individual exhibited love and charity for all mankind. Imagine that he did all these things without seeking for power, authority, or recognition. Imagine that this individual taught of God as his father, that he referred to the temple as his father’s house, that he sought to do the will of his father not his own will, and that he did nothing save his father had commanded him. Would you then have him killed for asserting that he was the son of God?

Such was the wickedness of the Jews in the meridian of time. As Jacob explains, For should the mighty miracles be wrought among other nations they would repent, and know that he be their God. But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified (v. 4-5). Not only were the Jews particularly wicked at this time, but the Lord explained to Enoch that the inhabitants of this world were more wicked than any of the other creations of God, among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren (Moses 7:36).

Joseph Smith

“Hence it was that so great a responsibility rested upon the generation in which our Savior lived, for, says he, ’That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.’ (Matthew 23:35, 36.) Hence as they possessed greater privileges than any other generation, not only pertaining to themselves, but to their dead, their sin was greater, as they not only neglected their own salvation but that of their progenitors, and hence their blood was required at their hands.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 222-3)