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Resurrection by Cameron Eaton

Updated: May 29, 2022

Consider the scene that unfolded after the Savior’s death. The great Master had long taught his disciples about the coming great sacrifice to which he would willingly submit himself. Mary Magdalene and other faithful women came to the garden tomb on the morning of the Sunday following the Savior’s death, bringing spices and ointments to complete the anointing of the Savior’s body. He had been entombed quickly after his death on the cross. They found 2 angels there.

“Why seek ye the living among the dead?

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

“Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:5-7)

“Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

“And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead.” (Matt 28:6-7)

Mary spread the news to the Lord’s disciples. Peter and John ran to witness for themselves that the tomb was empty.

“The linen clothes lying … and the napkin, that was about his head, … wrapped together in a place by itself.”

Peter and John left, but Mary sat at the tomb and wept. When asked from behind “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” (John 20:15)

Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “It was Jesus to whom she spake, her beloved Lord, though she knew it not. One word from His living lips changed her agonized grief into ecstatic joy. ‘Jesus saith unto her, Mary.’ The voice, the tone, the tender accent she had heard and loved in the earlier days lifted her from the despairing depths into which she had sunk. She turned, and saw the Lord. In a transport of joy she reached out her arms to embrace Him, uttering only the endearing and worshipful word, ‘Rabboni,’ meaning My beloved Master.”

Mary Magdalene became the first person to witness the resurrected Savior. Following her witness came the witnesses of many others including the disciples that followed Christ during his mortal ministry as well as people in the new world. We read that Christ appeared to the people of the Book of Mormon, “14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come." (3 Nephi 11:14-15)

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a conference talk “By His Atonement and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has overcome all aspects of the Fall. Physical death will be temporary, and even spiritual death has an end, in that all come back into the presence of God, at least temporarily, to be judged. We can have ultimate trust and confidence in His power to overcome all else and grant us everlasting life.”

Years ago, I had a friend who experienced a great loss – his infant daughter passed away suddenly. I recall arriving at the funeral service; the feeling in the room was heavy. As family and friends filed into the chapel for the service to begin, it was clear that to a degree, the trauma was felt by everyone. However forlorn the feeling was at the beginning of the funeral; we were blessed to experience a change of heart by the end. As my friend and his wife shared their messages, the weight in the room lifted as they testified about their faith in Jesus Christ, his life, sacrifice, the Atonement, and resurrection. Their message can be summed up in these words, “But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.” (Mosiah 16:8)

The knowledge of Jesus Christ, his love and mercy for us, and his literal resurrection is the lifeline of hope we need to persevere through the profound sorrow and debilitating of tragedies.The promises of eternal life; life with Heavenly Father and our families focuses the true meaning of life and death.

We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ during Easter. Because of him we hope for a better future beyond the grave. Joseph Smith said, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." Were it not for the Savior’s role in the father’s plan, life would end at death of the mortal body. Because of him we will live again and return to the Father.

The resurrection has tremendous implications for everyone. In his infinite love, Christ “suffered [for our sins], that they might not suffer if they would repent” (D&C 19:16-19. It is true, all people born into mortality will live again, will inherit perfected resurrected bodies. However, God sees what we can become, like He is. The resurrection is more than bringing us back to life, it opens the door of opportunity for each of us to inherit God’s glory.

Because God wants us to return to our heavenly home to be with him, he gives us commandments. He teaches us, “And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you. Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.” (D&C 82:8-9). They are instructions that show us how to prepare to meet the Father when we are resurrected.

Amulek, a missionary companion to the Prophet Alma taught, “this is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” (Alma 34:32). Life’s significance can’t be overstated. Our purpose in life is underscored by our potential to return to the Father and be like him. Albeit short, mortality requires us to be tested and challenged. Like a refinery purifies substances, we pass through mortality constantly being refined. The culmination of the mortal refining process is our strength of character at death. Then we experience in greater depth the significance of the resurrection by being resurrected ourselves.

Amulek teaches that “The death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.

“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; …" “Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but everything shall be restored to its perfect frame” (Alma 11:42–44)

Alma teaches “the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful. (Alma 41:13)

The principle of restoration teaches that the resurrection is a true continuation of our mortal selves. The essence of who we are will be made permanent. It is a rich blessing but it puts the responsibility for us to become something more than what we are squarely on our shoulders.

"Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness." (2 Nephi 9:14)

The refining process feels heavy from time to time. However, the Lord makes a series of promises that should give us courage:

· Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. (D&C 19:23)

· I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. Doctrine & Covenants 84:88

· peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. (D&C 121:7-8).

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