Stake Commemorates Easter with “Walk with Christ” Exhibit
Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer
For the past six years at Easter time, members of the Pocatello Idaho Alameda Stake have transformed their meetinghouse into scenes depicting the life of the Savior—to commemorate and “Walk with Christ.”
For a few days leading up to Easter Sunday, Church members gather images of the Savior and set up scenes of ancient times.
“Part of our thinking was that those not of our faith need to know that we are Christian, that the center of everything that goes on in the Church is the Savior,” said Pocatello Idaho Alameda Stake President Edmund M. Axford.
When the stake first put on “Walk with Christ,” a few hundred people came to see the display. Since then, members in the area and others in the community take the time to visit; attendance has been 3,000-4,000 people—including many of other faiths.
“We had no idea when we started how big this would get,” said President Axford. “All of this is done by the members of our stake, and it is a great missionary effort for the community.”
Visitors to the Church building are divided into groups to “Walk with Christ” through the major events of the Savior’s earthly life. The groups travel together through different rooms where members of the stake are dressed in representative costumes and depict specific events recorded in the scriptures.
“Members ask to be involved,” President Axford said. “I think it is because people’s lives are being centered on the Savior.”
Visitors start with the Nativity scene, where they find Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus. From that room they follow a lit path (using Christmas lights) to the “ministry room.”
“We rotate the [ministry] stories every year,” President Axford said. By changing what they do each year, they are able to share more of the Savior’s ministry. Patrons follow the path to scenes of the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Judgment, the Crucifixion, and the Garden Tomb. The narrative comes straight out of the scriptures.
“If it is not in the scriptures, we don’t do it,” President Axford said.
After patrons have been through all of the scenes of the Savior’s life, they end in the cultural hall where they are greeted by images of the Savior and are given an opportunity to learn more from missionaries.
“We mingle with [people of other faiths] and chat with them, and if they have any questions we provide them with ‘The Living Christ—The Testimony of the Apostles’ and ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World,’ ” said President Axford. “We also invite the interfaith council [in the area] to come.”
Most important, President Axford said, they do it because they want everyone to have the opportunity to reflect on their Savior at Easter time.
“We hope it strengthens the testimonies of individuals regarding the Savior and His importance,” said President Axford. “We do it the week before Easter—I think it really sets the tone for what happens on [Easter] Sunday.”
To view more images and learn more visit walkwithchrist.net.