Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

Since we drove down to Lithuania to visit Trakai Castle, on the way back to Riga, we decided to go to the Hill of Crosses.  I'm not sure of the entire history of the place, but I do know that until 1989, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union and as such, religious freedom wasn't something that they enjoyed.  For many Christians, the cross is the symbol of what Christ did.  As Latter-Day-Saints, the cross is not something that we tend to focus on.  We focus more on the agony that he suffered in Gethsemene and His resurrection.
I had known about the Hill of Crosses, but because of the way we believe, I wouldn't have been disappointed if I hadn't seen it.  However, Mindy really wanted to go, so I put it on the itinerary.  We had a bit of a difficult time actually finding it, the one time Google Map directions seemed to fail me.  However, we keep on searching for it, and as luck would have it, we found it!
As Mindy and I were walking towards the hill, we were talking.  I mentioned that I didn't know how long I would want to stay, but that she could stay as long as she wanted.  I said about how we don't focus on the cross, that it was a very minor thing in the whole process.  As I got thinking about what the Savior did, I could feel the Spirit testifying again to me of the truthfulness of this, and as always happens tears filled my eyes.  Especially when we had gotten close enough to see some of the crosses.  It hurts me to see depictions of the Savior on the cross.  Especially the ones that show him in agony.  I just have a really hard time looking at these depictions, and a lot of the crosses had them. 
As we got closer, there was one thing that stood out far more than the thousands of crosses that were there.
A carved wooden depiction of the Christus.  The resurrected Savior.  This is why what he did was so important.  He was able to overcome death, and since he paid the price for our sins, he is able to interceed for us.  It testifies of his divinity and his love for us.  While I am still not a fan of crosses, I am glad that I went to the Hill of Crosses because not everyone has the truth, but this place shows that even though they do not have the full truth, they are doing the best they can and that his message will transend all.

No comments: