A Sign Of Peace?
Debra Coe (c) all rights reserved
In recent years, some symbols have become popular
among the youth. Unfortunately many are not as innocent as they appear. For example, the
peace sign that is "back by popular demand," sounds innocent enough, after all
who would be against peace? But the peace sign (originally the Cross of Nero) actually
symbolizes a different idea of what will bring peace than what many realize. It represents
an upside down, broken cross -- symbolizing the defeat of Christianity. President Benson
had this to say: "Have we, as Moroni warned, 'polluted the holy church of God'? . .
.Do any of us wear or display the broken cross, anti-Christ sign, that is the adversary's
symbol of the so-called peace movement?" (God, Family, Country, Ezra Taft Benson,
page 229. Also CR October 1970)
It is not surprising that this is what it represents when you know the history of Nero. He
was the emperor of Rome from 54 A.D. to 68 A.D., during which he murdered both his mother
and his wife. Although his reign was short, it was most memorable. His most notable
achievement was the rebuilding of Rome after a great fire that either leveled or
devastated ten of the fourteen city regions. It burned for nine days and "raged
beyond the memory or example of former ages" according to historian Edward Gibbons.
Rumors, based on fact, quickly spread that Nero himself had ordered the fire so that he
could rebuild Rome as a glory and honor to himself. Many historians believe there is more
than ample evidence that this was true. As a result of these rumors, Nero needed some
factious "criminals" to blame the fire on so as to take the blame off of
himself. He chose a despised new sect called Christians for this blame. He put forth the
idea that Christians were an evil force whose destruction would bring a peace to the land.
According to Tacitus, "Some were nailed on crosses, others sewn up in the skins of
wild beasts, and exposed to the fury of dogs; others again, smeared over with combustible
materials, were used as torches to illuminate the darkness of the night." Thus began
the Roman persecution of the Christians.
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Last modified: November 15, 1999