Saturday, December 28, 2013

# 18: The Shroud of Turin

A while back I asserted that Jesus Christ is the one true God.  I realize this can be a troubling claim for Mormons going through a faith crisis.  When Mormons lose their traditional testimonies of Joseph Smith and the Restoration after encountering troubling information on the Internet, they often lose faith in Jesus altogether.

Are you one of these Mormons who have lost their testimonies?  If so, this blog is for you.

Before you dive off the cliffs of Christianity into Atheism or wade into the murky waters of universalism, Eastern Philosophy or New Age thought, please take a closer look at Jesus Christ.  There are plenty of evidences that He was divine, and these evidences have nothing to do with a burning in the bosom or the teachings of any LDS leader.  They have to do with logic and facts.

There's this ancient piece of cloth called the Shroud of Turin.  Have you heard of it?  It's been safeguarded by the Catholic Church for centuries and centuries.  Purportedly, the cloth dates all the way back to the time of Jesus Christ.  Purportedly, it's the very same piece of cloth that covered the body of Jesus Christ after he was crucified.  An image of a crucified man is mysteriously imprinted on the cloth, which many say is evidence of Christ's literal, bodily Resurrection.

Modern skeptics dismiss it.  They call it a clever medieval forgery.

But please don't ignore the Shroud.  It is the most studied artifact of the ancient world, period.  More scientists, historians, and academics of all types have spent more time studying the The Shroud of Turin than any other object- more than the Sphinx, more than Stonehenge, more than the Blarney Stone.

And what are the results of all their research?  Well, the results are mixed, but the research seems to show that more research needs to be done.  Nobody knows for certain if it's authentic or fake.  The Shroud of Turin is one of those mysterious things like the statues on Easter Island of the Pyramids that nobody can figure out.  Everybody has to come to their own conclusions.

The easiest conclusion, in my mind, is that it's the real thing.  Jesus is divine, and he was wrapped in the Shroud of Turin, and when He was Resurrected, his image got imprinted on the cloth. 

But don't take my word for it.  How about you look into it yourself?

Oh, you might be wondering why the Shroud of Turin is a reason to stay LDS.  At first glance it seems like a better reason to convert to Catholocism.

Well, the Shroud of  Turin helps me stay LDS because it reminds me that Jesus Christ really is God.  And Mormons really do worship the true God, Jesus Christ.  Now, they may have a few funny ideas about Him, but so what?  When I read Mormon Scripture or listen to Mormon teaching, most of what I hear is about Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus.  

I'll leave you with a scripture, 2 Nephi 25:26:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

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  1. The shroud of Turin is known to have come from the 14th century. Here is a definitive article on the results of research which was conducted at the McCrone Research Institute establishing that fact.
    According to Dr. Walter McCrone and his colleagues, the 3+ by 14+ foot cloth depicting Christ’s crucified body is an inspired painting produced by a Medieval artist just before its first appearance in recorded history in 1356. The faint sepia image is made up of billions of submicron pigment particles (red ochre and vermilion) in a collagen tempera medium. Dr. McCrone determined this by polarized light microscopy in 1979. This included careful inspection of thousands of linen fibers from 32 different areas. Characterization of the only colored image-forming particles by color, refractive indices, polarized light microscopy, size, shape, and microchemical tests for iron, mercury, and body fluids. The paint pigments were dispersed in a collagen tempera (produced in medieval times, perhaps, from parchment). It is chemically distinctly different in composition from blood but readily detected and identified microscopically by microchemical staining reactions. Forensic tests for blood were uniformly negative on fibers from the blood-image tapes.
    There is no blood in any image area, only red ochre and vermilion in a collagen tempera medium. The red ochre is present on 20 of both body- and blood-image tapes; the vermilion only on 11 blood-image tapes. Both pigments are absent on the 12 non-image tape fibers.
    In 1980, using electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction, McCrone found red ochre (iron oxide, hematite) and vermilion (mercuric sulfide); their electron microprobe analyzer found iron, mercury, and sulfur on a dozen of the blood-image area samples. The results fully confirmed Dr. McCrone’s results and further proved the image was painted twice-once with red ochre, followed by vermilion to enhance the blood-image areas.
    The carbon-dating results from three different internationally known laboratories agreed well with his date: 1355 by microscopy and 1325 by C-14 dating. The suggestion that the 1532 Chambery fire changed the date of the cloth is ludicrous. Samples for C-dating are routinely and completely burned to CO2 as part of a well-tested purification procedure. The suggestions that modern biological contaminants were sufficient to modernize the date are also ridiculous. A weight of 20th century carbon equaling nearly two times the weight of the Shroud carbon itself would be required to change a 1st century date to the 14th century Besides this, the linen cloth samples were very carefully cleaned before analysis at each of the C-dating laboratories.
    Experimental details on the tests carried out by McCrone are available in five papers published in three different peer-reviewed journal articles: Microscope 1980, 28, 105, 115; 1981, 29, 19; Wiener Berichte uber Naturwissenschaft in der Kunst 1987/1988, 4/5, 50 and Acc. Chem. Res. 1990, 23, 77-83.
    The “Shroud” is a beautiful painting created about 1355 for a new church in need of a pilgrim-attracting relic.


  2. The shroud is not a painting. It's too good to be a painting. It's the real thing! That's my belief, anyway. I think instead of asking Gramps about the Shroud of Turin, you should ask the writers at Or even read the wikipedia article about it. I think there is a lot of room for scientifically-minded people to believe that it's authentic.

    Anyway, thanks for reading Reasons to Stay LDS (even though you don't believe in the Church anymore.) Stop by again, sometime, Flor de Liz Nunez