Easter Sunday: He Is Risen

So this weekend I had the opportunity to go home with my roommate to her parent’s house for Easter. I did a temple session with an amazing friend on Saturday (which is probably the greatest session ever. Haha). Today (Sunday) I was in a family ward (which was quite refreshing after living in a student ward) and it was a fantastic three hours. Family wards just feel so much more like home than student wards and today was a testimony of how true that is (for me). During sacrament meeting, I was really hit by two songs. The choir sang “I Believe In Christ”. Being a music major, I was pretty much analyzing how they were singing – was it in tune? This part could come out a little more. etc etc. Shame on me. But about halfway through, I stopped thinking about that and started to really listen to what they were singing and the way they were singing. There were people of all ages from youth to grandparents singing in the choir and the thing that really hit me the most was that they didn’t seem to care all that much about being perfect. They just belted it out with all their heart because they were singing praises unto the Lord. They may not have sung perfectly in tune nor were the parts equally sung (the melody was a little hidden). It was not perfect if you were analyzing the entire thing. But it was perfect because they were singing about Christ. They were singing the words:

1. I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I’ll sing;
I’ll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.
I believe in Christ; he is God’s Son.
On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He healed the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised.
2. I believe in Christ; oh blessed name!
As Mary’s Son he came to reign
‘Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.
I believe in Christ, who marked the path,
Who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: “Come, follow me,
That ye, my friends, with God may be.”
3. I believe in Christ–my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I’ll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.
4. I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I’ll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.
It was this arrangement, the one that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does all the time:
When they got towards the end where the sopranos do the descant, they were just belting it out and you could see how much they believed the words they were singing. I felt the Spirit strongly and and once I stopped thinking about how they were singing and focused on what they were singing, I felt my Savior’s love and I felt the love He has for each and every one of us. It was amazing to know and I just wanted to stand up and sing it with them. I believe in Christ and I know He is my King and my Savior, my Brother and Redeemer. He died for me. He died for you. He died for everyone who has come and is coming to this Earth. He died so that we may repent of our sins, be forgiven and live with Him again. We will be resurrected just as He was resurrected on this day so many years ago. He died on the cross and rose three days later. I can only imagine how majestic that would have been to see from the heavens. I’m sure we were up there rejoicing, knowing that we would all be saved through Christ and what He had just done. I believe in Him. He IS my King. He is with me wherever I go, whenever I need Him. I can’t wait for the day He comes again to rule among us. I can’t wait to finally meet Him here on Earth and I am happy, joyful, and proud to say that I know Him. I know He lives. He is risen. And I believe in Him.
The second song that was really awesome was “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”. I just love it. Oh how we must have rejoiced on this day! I just want to shout this to the heavens! Christ the Lord is Risen Today! Alleluia!

1. Christ the Lord is ris’n today,
Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say,
Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply,
Alleluia!
2. Love’s redeeming work is done,
Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the vict’ry won,
Alleluia!
Jesus’ agony is o’er,
Alleluia!
Darkness veils the earth no more,
Alleluia!
3. Lives again our glorious King,
Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save,
Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave?
Alleluia!
How amazing it is to know that I can be saved through the Atonement. I know that if I mess up (which I know I’ll do because I am not perfect. Not even close.), I can go to the Lord and beg forgiveness. I can repent of my sins and be forgiven. I know He is there. He is there! Christ the Lord is RISEN! He suffered for ALL of our sins. Oh my goodness! It is absolutely wonderful to know that I am saved! I still try my hardest to be the best I can be, but every morning and every night I beg Heavenly Father to help me with my weaknesses and help me to become better. I’m striving to be like my older brother. He was and is the perfect example that we need to follow. Every day of my life I want to sing praises unto Him for the amazing gift that has been given to us. It’s just… The hymn, I Stand All Amazed perfectly says what I’m feeling:
1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me He was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died.
Oh it is wonderful that He should care for me, enough to die for me.
Oh it is wonderful! Wonderful to me!
 2. I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
 3. I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
We are not perfect, even if we are trying with all our hearts and souls to be. Isn’t it so amazing that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love us anyway? Isn’t it wonderful that our Brother would suffer to the point that He bled from every pore just so that we could be saved and live with Heavenly Father again? I know with all my heart and soul that it is true, that that is how much they both love us. Heavenly Father is our FATHER. He is like any parent and would do what He can to bring us back to Him. As it says in John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever should believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. I know it in my heart, but it is so difficult to even comprehend how much love that really is. It is amazing to me that a parent could love their children so much to sacrifice one so that all of them would be saved. And Oh is it WONDERFUL!
Gordon B. Hinckley: He lives, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, whose Atonement came as an act of grace for the entire world. He has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He has brought meaning to our mortal existence. He has given us the gift of eternal life. God be thanked for the gift of His Son, the Redeemer of the world, the Savior of mankind, the Prince of Life and Peace, the Holy One.

Thomas S. Monson: To most, there is something sinister and mysterious about this unwelcome visitor called death. Perhaps it is a fear of the unknown which causes many to dread its coming. The Savior’s words to the grieving Martha and to His disciples today bring comfort to us: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

I have one more hymn to share. I cannot even express how wonderful and amazing this is to me. There are no words to say it. I think music is the only way to even sort of describe it. He is Risen:
1. He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory.
2. Come with high and holy hymning;
Chant our Lord’s triumphant lay.
Not one darksome cloud is dimming
Yonder glorious morning ray,
Breaking o’er the purple east,
Symbol of our Easter feast.
3. He is risen! He is risen!
He hath opened heaven’s gate.
We are free from sin’s dark prison,
Risen to a holier state.
And a brighter Easter beam
On our longing eyes shall stream.
He is risen! He is RISEN! ALLELUIA! My Lord and Savior, King and Redeemer is RISEN! I am saved by His grace. I can feel His love and peace surrounding me tonight as I write this with tears in my eyes. It is the best feeling in the world. This feeling right now… THIS is why I am serving a mission. This is why I’m dedicating 18 months of my life solely to Him. Because I know. I KNOW He is there! I want to share this knowledge with everyone else and I want them to feel what I feel and know what I know.
He is my Savior and Redeemer. Jesus Christ is my Brother and my King. I love Him and I know He loves me. I cannot wait to finally meet Him on this earth, run to Him, fall at His feet and kiss Him. Sing praises to Him and tell Him face to face that I love Him and can’t thank Him enough for what He has done.
HE IS RISEN!
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