So Utah is all over and I am back to Normal life, however the jet lag is still in play as I have been awake since 4am, but anyway on with the post, beforeI went to Utah I saw on facebook an LDS missionary making a comment about the significance of what Jesus did at Gethsemane and he did not even mention the cross, I just want to explore this a bit and get some discussion going if I can.
Lds.org says “Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. In Gethsemane He submitted to the will of the Father and began to take upon Himself the sins of all people”
Again on Lds.org Don O. Thorpe in the Article Gethsemane the Place of Atonement he says: “Yet, in this grove of ancient trees one of the most important events in the history of mankind took place. In this little garden the Savior agonized as he suffered for the sins of all the world. He made it possible for us to return to the presence of God. That means that if we repent and live in sweet obedience to the Father’s will, we will not be required to pay the awful debt for the sins we have committed; Jesus did that in Gethsemane.”
Interestingly this article makes no mention of the Cross.
Bruce Mckonkie one of the Twelve Apostles in His time said in His talk The Purifying Power of Gethsemane these things:
We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.
We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him.
We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death.
And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.
Elsewhere Mckonkie said
“Where and under what circumstances was the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God made? Was it on the Cross of Calvary or in the Garden of Gethsemane? It is to the Cross of Christ that most Christians look when centering their attention upon the infinite and eternal atonement. And certainly the sacrifice of our Lord was completed when he was lifted up by men; also, that part of his life and suffering is more dramatic and, perhaps, more soul stirring. But in reality the pain and suffering, the triumph and grandeur, of the atonement took place primarily in Gethsemane,” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, p. 774, ).
From what I can tell in the very least the LDS view is that the Atonement took place at Gethsemane and on the Cross, however there are times when I wonder if the belief is that actually Gethsemane is the most significant part of it, often it seems like this is emphasised more.
So what is my point? Well its this Jesus did not in any way, shape or form atone for your sins at Gethsemane. What this means is that any trust you put in what was done there for your own eternal salvation and forgiveness for sin will lead you nowhere.
Lets start with looking at the biblical account of Jesus time in the garden.
39And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,46And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Its worth remembering as we look at this that Jesus was not only 100% Fully God at this point but He was also 100% fully man, this is called the “Hypostatic Union” which is Jesus fully having these 2 natures. As such Jesus felt all of the emotions that you and I would feel, because He was a human man. With that in mind read this account again.
What we see here is a human man terrified for what was coming, He may have known all His life this day was coming however there was only a very short time to go until Jesus Christ was going to go through the most painful execution known to man. We see His two natures almost clashing in that in His humanity He says “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me”.
However this is God the Son creator and Savior speaking and we hear this humanity saving statement “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”.
Is Jesus saying He has a different will to the Fathers? Or is He as God in the Flesh that we see in Phillipians 2 emptied Himself of His equality with God yet again perfectly showing submission to God even to the point of death on a cross?
And this is the true place of the Atonement, the Cross, Jesus here is having His last moment to humble Himself before God and submit Himself to the Atoning sacrifice He is to carry out for you and Me, however this is not the place where it occured.
A very interesting thing this passage says to help indicate this is:
44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
What does it mean to sweat drops of blood? This is actually called Hematidrosis, here is what this is:
Hematidrosis (also called hematohidrosis) is a very rare condition in which a human being sweats blood, though it has not been confirmed scientifically. It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, for example, facing his or her own death. Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). 
Hematidrosis is something someone goes through in extreme apprehension of their own death. Jesus being a man was subject to all of mans emotions and so went through this experience explaining this condition of sweating drops of blood. What this means regarding the atonement is that actually these drops of blood that came from the Saviour were not for you and me, they were actually for Himself as a man going through what many of us would go through if we knew we were soon to die in what has been called the most painful way to die ever known.
The biblical reality is that the Atonement, Jesus paying the price so that you and I could go free and be righteous even as sinners was done on the cross.
Isaiah 53:5 says But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJV)
Other versions say by His wounds or scourging we are healed, which is what stripes here means.
Ephesians 2:16: and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
Colossians 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Colossians 1:22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—
The Apostle Paul even said For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Do you get the idea? It was the death of Jesus on the cross that paid for your sin, the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23) however as this verse goes on to say
but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is the gift of God on offer for those that put their entirity of faith in Christ in response to what He did for you on the Cross! Through the Cross 100% if your sin past present and future can be dealt with and paid for, through the Ressurection you can know you have hope for eternal life living with God.
Imagine if you needed bailing out from Jail and I had the money to pay for this, now it costs a lot and I am dreading paying it for you, I go to the Cash Machine draw it out feeling really sorry that I am gonna lose this money but then I come and pay it and you go free. At which point have I paid the price? The money stays mine until I hand it over.
Taking this further imagine if I draw it out going through all this trauma knowing I am going to lose so much money but then I decide not to pay it, how much good will my emotional pain have done you? None its only in the paying of the cost that you can go free.
To finish here are 9 reasons I have come across that the Atonement happened on the cross. (which I have borrowed from elsewhere)
1, Jesus shed blood was for centuries, typified by the children of Israels animal sacrifice, which was always carried out by the hands of another man, never by sitting and sweating blood. Gethsemane has no biblical connection to this.
2, Its important to relize the connection of atonement for sin and the shame of sin itself. This is the reason Jesus was crucified of a well travelled spot, stripped of His clothing and publically humiliated. To suffer alone quietly in a garden is not a picture for what sin itself produces in a person, which is shame embarrasment, and being cast out from the people we love. None of those things would have been satisfied if Jesus suffered alone.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3, The line that Jesus sweat drops of blood is found only in the book of Luke, that says and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Its likely that it was drops of blood but is interesting that it says as it were drops of blood, not that it was drops of blood. The fact that this is only in the book of Luke makes this far more remote, had it been in all of the gospels it might have supported your idea more, however Luke only references it in this way.
4, In the book of John the garden events are ommited pretty much altogether, John being the one who loved and lived with Jesus would have covered this much more if it was so significant.
5, In the gospel of Matthew Jesus prays 3 times that the Father if it was possible would remove this cup from Him, meaning His taking our sin that it would pass, however He then submitted to God and His will. After this and Jesus was out of the garden facing the soliders when Peter comes to defend Him Jesus says “Put up thy sword in the sheath, the cup that My Father has given Me shall I not drink it? Jesus was saying I have overcome the temptation to follow my own will and put this aside, you are impeding this, put away your sword and let me do this.
6, While in the garden Jesus speaks of His hour, after Gethsemane was over Matthew and Mark report Jesus saying to His disciples who were sleeping, sleep on now and take your rest and behold my hour is at hand, and then He is betrayed and taken by the soldiers. This hour was not at hand until after Gethsemane.
7, In all of the bible the suffering for sin is repeatedly shown to be the cross and never the garden.
8, While Jesus was in the garden, Luke reports that God sent an angel from heaven to stregthen Him, however while Jesus was on the cross, the Father abandoned Him, leaving Him to suffer alone. Because Jesus ws paying for our sins on the cross and not in the garden, this imputed sin on Jesus seperated Him from His Father for the first time in eternity hence Jesus saying “My God why have you forsaken me”. Jesus communed openly with the Father in the garden, not on the cross.
9, If Jesus had atoned for the sins for the world in the garden its amazing that He then walked out, had the strength walk with the soldier, to converse with Pilate, and stay up all night to go through the crucifixion.
To finish I would simply say this is another example of the LDS faith distorting the gospel of Christ, taking the emphasis away from Him and what He truly did for you and turning your face toward religion.
Dont stand for it trust in Christ and what He did for you.