VIDEO: What was crucifixion like?

Crucifixion was one of the most dreaded and painful forms of execution in ancient times. Yet, because almost all depictions of Jesus on the cross were painted centuries later, our image of the death of Christ is in many ways incorrect. This short video teaches a few things about what we do know about crucifixion, and what it teaches us about the Savior.

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COME, FOLLOW ME LESSON AIDS: June 10–16 Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18 “Not as I Will, but as Thou Wilt”

Matthew 26: Jesus is anointed—He keeps the Passover and institutes the sacrament—He suffers in Gethsemane, is betrayed by Judas, and is taken before Caiaphas—Peter denies that he knows Jesus.

Mark 14: Jesus is anointed with oil—He eats the Passover, institutes the sacrament, suffers in Gethsemane, and is betrayed by Judas—Jesus is falsely accused, and Peter denies that he knows Him.

Luke 22: Jesus institutes the sacrament—He suffers in Gethsemane and is betrayed and arrested—Peter denies knowing Him—Jesus is smitten and mocked.

John 18: Jesus is betrayed and arrested—He is examined and maltreated first before Annas, then before Caiaphas—Peter denies knowing Jesus—Jesus is arraigned before Pilate.

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The restoration was MESSY (and that’s OK)

Years ago, I heard a Bishop say: “Brothers and sisters, the restoration was messy.” I didn’t think much about his wording at the time. But over the few years following (including my mission), I encountered a lot of people wanting to “educate” me about early Church leaders. Joseph Smith was the most common target, of course. They cited all sorts of stories about him that seemingly “proved” he was a lying, womanizing con man.

I mostly brushed off these claims during my mission. Those critics were not historians. I knew their agenda. I figured they were mostly lies, or at least huge distortions of the history. So, when I got home from my mission, I bought an 800-page history of Joseph Smith. It was written by an active stake patriarch and Church historian who worked on the Joseph Smith Papers project, so I figured his book would blow away all those false accusations with the fiery testimony of truth.

But I was surprised to find that instead of tearing down all the stories the critics had told me, history largely confirmed them. And you know what? That’s OK!

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VIDEO: The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith in theaters this June!

In The Other Side of Heaven, Elder John H. Groberg told the gripping story of his three-year mission on the tropical islands of Tonga. His story continues with The Other Side of Heaven: The Fire of Faith, set a decade after his first mission, when Elder Groberg is called back to Tonga—this time with a growing family—to serve as mission president.

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COME, FOLLOW ME LESSON AIDS: May 27–June 2 Joseph Smith—Matthew 1; Matthew 25; Mark 12–13; Luke 21 “The Son of Man Shall Come”

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1: Jesus foretells the impending destruction of Jerusalem—He also discourses on the Second Coming of the Son of Man, and the destruction of the wicked.

Matthew 25: Jesus gives the parables of the ten virgins, the talents, and the sheep and the goats.

Mark 12: Jesus gives the parable of the wicked husbandmen—He speaks of paying taxes, celestial marriage, the two great commandments, the divine sonship of Christ, and the widow’s mites.

Mark 13: Jesus tells of the calamities and signs preceding the Second Coming—There will be false Christs and false prophets—He gives the parable of the fig tree.

Luke 21: Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem—He tells of the signs to precede His Second Coming and gives the parable of the fig tree.

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COME, FOLLOW ME LESSON AIDS: MAY 13 – MAY 19; Matthew 19–20; Mark 10; Luke 18 “What Lack I Yet?”

Matthew 19: Jesus teaches about marriage and divorce—Eternal life is for those who keep the commandments—The Twelve Apostles will judge the house of Israel.

Matthew 20: Jesus gives the parable of the laborers in the vineyard—He foretells His crucifixion and resurrection—He came to give His life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10: Jesus teaches the higher law of marriage—He blesses little children—Jesus counsels the rich young man, foretells His own death, and heals blind Bartimæus.

Luke 18: Jesus gives the parables of the unjust judge and the Pharisee and publican—He invites little children to come unto Him and teaches how to gain eternal life—He tells of His coming death and resurrection and gives sight to a blind man.

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