Monday, April 09, 2007

For He Is Risen, As He Said

I had a really good Easter weekend, one spent with family, friends, and church. I had the opportunity to reflect and ponder on a few things, and put my faith into practice. I offer up now a few notes in regards to Easter, and specifically to the Resurrection and Atonement.

In Matthew it is recorded of the Savior,
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.

The miracle of the Savior's resurrection is made even more miraculous by its extension to all of humanity.

Job said,
"And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God"

Amulek taught a questioning multitude about the resurrection:

Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and 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; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

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 every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.

In the recently concluded General Conference, Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of "The Things of Which I Know", including his testimony of Jesus Christ,

The second great certitude of which I am sure also has its foundation in the vision of the Prophet Joseph. It is that Jesus lives. He is the Living Christ. He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New. Under His Father's direction, He was the Creator of the earth. The gospel of John opens with these remarkable words: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

"The same was in the beginning with God.

"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1–3).

Note particularly that last verse, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

He was the great Creator. It was His finger that wrote the commandments on the Mount. It was He who left His royal courts on high and came to earth, born under the most humble of circumstances. During His brief ministry, He healed the sick, caused the blind to see, raised the dead, and rebuked the scribes and Pharisees. He was the only perfect man ever to walk the earth. All of this was part of His Father's plan. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He suffered so greatly that he sweat drops of blood as He pleaded with His Father. But this was all a part of His great atoning sacrifice. He was taken by the mob, appeared before Pilate with the mob crying for His death. He carried the cross, the instrument of His death. On Golgotha He gave His life, crying out, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

His body was tenderly laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. But three days later, on that first Easter morning, the tomb was emptied. Mary of Magdala spoke to Him, and He spoke to her. He appeared to His Apostles. He walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. And, we are told, He was seen by some 500 others (see 1 Corinthians 15:6).

He had said, "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). Accordingly, He appeared to those assembled in the land Bountiful in the Western Hemisphere. Here, He taught the people as He had taught them in the Old World. This is all recorded in detail in the Book of Mormon, which stands as a second witness of the divinity of our Lord.

And to repeat, both He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph, the Father introducing the Son, saying: "This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith—History 1:17).

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