Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Easter Message

     I decided one Easter, while swinging on the swings, that it was officially going to be my favorite holiday.
     It's perfect. Great weather, the Easter Bunny comes, new church dresses, egg hunts, yummy food, and last but not least, jello eggs.
     I love me some jello eggs.

     Of course, once the 4th of July rolled around, I decided that it would be my favorite holiday. After that, Halloween.

     I like holidays. All of them.

     Easter and Christmas however, hold their own special and sacred meanings to members of our Church as well as people all around the world.
     And as fun as Halloween is, it could never come close to Christmas or Easter.

     Tomorrow... Easter... is a day that we should spend feeling grateful. Grateful for all that Christ did for us, and grateful that we can repent and overcome hard things because of Him. No matter how hard things get - and things could get really hard - just remember the following:

To every thing there is a season.
A time to every purpose.
A time to be born - a time to die...
A time to break down - a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh...
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to get... a time to lose.
A time to keep - a time to cast away...
[See Ecclesiastes 3: 1-6]

AND... remember that trials aren't permanent. If you are faithful and trusting, they will go away eventually... even if it isn't until your earthly life is over. Always remember that "This too, shall pass."
(Phrase stolen from following poem!)

When some great sorrow, like a mighty river,
Flows through your life with peace-destroying power
And dearest things are swept from sight forever,
Say to your heart each trying hour:
"This, too, shall pass away."

When ceaseless toil has hushed your song of gladness,
And you have grown almost too tired to pray,
Let this truth banish from your heat its sadness,
And ease the burdens of each trying day:
"This, too, shall pass away."

When fortune smiles, and, full of mirth and pleasure,
The days are flitting by without a care,
Lest you should rest with only earthly treasure,
Let these few words their fullest import bear:
"This, too, shall pass away."

When earnest labor brings you fame and glory,
And all earth's noblest ones upon you smile,
Remember that life's longest, grandest story
Fills but a moment in earth's little while:
"This, too, shall pass away."

(This, Too, Shall Pass Away - Lanta Wilson Smith)

    And that leads us into the following quote:

Joseph B. Wirthlin, speaking of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, said in a talk once,
     "I think of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest. But the doom of that day did not endure because on Sunday the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death, ascended from the grave, and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind."

He later went on to say,
     "Each of us will have our own Fridays -- those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our worldly life littered upon us in pieces. We will all experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. But I testify in the name of the One who conquered death -- Sunday will come.

(See a video about that talk here.)

Isaiah 53
3- He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4- Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5- But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Christ suffered more terrible pains than we could ever imagine. He did it for me. And you. He gave us the atonement, so that if we did our part and repented, we would never feel of those pains.

And then, on the third day, He rose again. He conquered death.
He rose above death... so that we could too.
And He succeeded... even though He went through great adversity. Following His example, WE can succeed amid great adversity too.

AND, perhaps the most significant knowledge that we gain from Easter... is that we can and will be resurrected someday... with a perfect body. Families... are FOREVER. 
That means so much to me... and I'm sure it does to you if you have lost loved ones.

Matthew 28
6- He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

"Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed. The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job’s question, 'If a man die, shall he live again?' To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth."
- Thomas S. Monson

And with that, Happy Easter!

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