When I was young, Easter was all about the Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter up the street next to the Lions Club. They may have sponsored it, I can’t recall. I remember that we’d see a lot of neighbors there and other kids from school. It was a big event and there were a lot of kids. I had a basket in hand and I wanted some eggs! As I’ve grown older, I still enjoy that part of Easter, especially watching my kids with their Easter baskets gathering their pastel-color goodies. (I think we mainly had real boiled eggs and maybe a chocolate covered marshmallow bunny here and there. Now these Cadbury folks have really raised the bar.) But Easter is much more to me now.
Through my years I have read the scriptures and learned more about what Easter is all about. Just this past week for our family scripture study, we’ve been reading different accounts of the last week of the Savior’s life and His resurrection. This is very real to me. It is not a dogma that I think is a neat idea. It’s not a story. This is truth.
I have had some time to ponder the resurrection this week. Jesus had family. He had friends. He had disciples. They all loved him. He was brutally crucified and I’m sure they all felt helpless. The work of evil seemed to be winning. He died. They laid his body in a tomb. The government was afraid someone would take the body and claim that Jesus had risen from the dead, as He said He would, so they placed a guard up at the tomb. Then early in the morning some female friends and disciples (maybe the relief society of their day) came back to anoint the body with spices and finish preparing the dead body which was their custom. They had not had time after his death to do this before the Jewish Sabbath started. When they arrived, the stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty. An angel (or two angels JST translation) appeared and asked, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” So that is the story from the perspective of the New Testament, by those living right there. But what if there was an account of what was going on in another part of the world? That is what The Book of Mormon provides. It gives us another perspective.
We know there was an earthquake in Jerusalem when Jesus died. The veil of the temple was rent. The Sun was darkened. The Book of Mormon records similar events in the new world. The people were afraid. There was darkness, then something miraculous happens. They heard a voice from heaven three times saying, “Behold, my Beloved Son” and then they saw a man descend from Heaven in a white robe. He came among them, and said, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ.” He taught the people, they each came up and saw and felt the wounds in his hands and feet. It describes them as a “multitude”. There were hundreds who saw Him, who touched Him, who heard Him speak. If this were the only chapter in the Book of Mormon, it would be a great treasure. This account in the Book of Mormon is another witness on Easter Sunday that He is risen! It is a miracle.
For the Son of God, the Savior of all mankind, to me it does not seem surprising that He visited others after His resurrection. He said as much in the New Testament, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.“ John 10:16. My thoughts as I’ve been pondering on this Easter lead me to think how amazing it would be to go visit the grave of a loved one, and to hear the words, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” Because of Jesus Christ, we shall all experience something similar to that. I know this to be the truth. We shall all rise from the grave. He broke the bands of death. #BecauseofHim #Hallelujah
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.
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.
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.
Originally posted by Jason Bringhurst to Facebook March 27, 2016