Christ the Lord is risen today! Allelujah! And the best part this year? We get to listen to the prophet and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ on the same day that He rose from the dead 2,000 years ago. The talks that have been given have given me a lot to think about, study and find ways to apply in my life. They are inspiring and full of love, faith and hope. I fully sustain President Thomas S. Monson as Christ’s chosen servant to lead us today, as well as President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, President Henry B. Eyring, each of the members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and all other leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you’ve missed any of the sessions, you can watch them here.
So… Today, 2,000 years ago was a very special day. Why? Because our Savior, Jesus Christ, was resurrected. And why is that so important? Well, there’s a reason why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t have the cross as the symbol we love and revere. We acknowledge it as a very important event in history, yes, but it doesn’t hang in our chapels, on our jewelry or in our homes. This is because that was not the point of the Savior’s life. We also like to remember Him as He is, not as He was. He came to suffer and die for us, true, but had He not been resurrected, there would have been absolutely no point to the suffering or death He endured. Without His overcoming death, there would be no hope of us returning to live with Him and our Father again. Without His resurrection, we wouldn’t be able to live again ourselves. The resurrection of the Lord was the final step of completing the Atonement. It is what makes it possible to fully over-come our weaknesses, to change and become more like Him. Our Heavenly Father and our Brother, Jesus Christ, both have bodies of flesh and bones. We are not to live forever as spirits. We need our bodies to fulfill our great and divine potential. We need bodies to become like God. And yes, we CAN become as God is. He is our Father, after all.
There’s not much more for me to say, except that I know He lives. I know that my Savior and Redeemer loves me so much, more than I will ever know. Throughout the years as I have studied the Atonement and the life of Jesus Christ, I have come to understand and know Him. I am changed because of Him. His example is always in my mind and it drives me to recognize my faults and weaknesses and to become better. I strive to improve myself each day because I know who He wants me to be. I know who I can be – I can be a joint-heir with Jesus Christ if I only study His teachings, incorporate them in my life and become as He is. Every day brings something new that I need to work on, or at least, gives me greater insight to what I need to be better at. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be in this life. I make a lot of mistakes or do a lot of things that I know could have done much better even if they weren’t necessarily wrong. But because of Jesus Christ, I know I will be perfect one day. This life is a time for us to prepare ourselves to meet God. It is a time of learning – we make mistakes or do things weakly because that is the only way we will learn, change and become stronger. Because of the Atonement – His suffering, death, and resurrection – I know that one day, I will stand in the presence of my God, my Father, and my King and I will be able to smile with wonderful joy as He welcomes me Home.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”
I have never seen my Savior, but I have felt Him and I see Him in the people around me – in the simple acts of service and love given to me, my family and others. I see Him in the beauty of the Earth. I feel His love and His desire to comfort me and lift me up no matter what I’ve done. Because I have seen and felt Him in my life, I am not afraid and I want nothing more than to praise His name and share with the world all that He has done for His brothers and sisters. Every day, I see the mark that He has made on mankind. Some people choose not to believe, others only partially believe and many believe whole-heartedly in their Savior. I am proud to say that I am one of those who will never deny Him. I would die rather than say I never knew Him. Too many things have testified to me of Him that my soul would be totally lost if I ever chose to deny it. But more than that, I don’t WANT to deny Him. Ever. Because He is real. And He is here – past, present and future, He is ALWAYS here.
Happy Easter! Watch this video called “Because He lives”, found on mormon.org. Look for and remember what your Redeemer has done for you, not only today, but every day of the year.
I testify of these things in the Savior, Jesus Christ’s sacred name, amen.