Viewpoint: “He Is Risen”

Contributed By From the Church News

  • 20 April 2014

“If we fully appreciated the many blessings which are ours through the redemption made for us, there is nothing that the Lord could ask of us that we would not anxiously and willingly do.” —President Joseph Fielding Smith

Article Highlights

  • Because of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection, we have a great gift: the assurance of immortality.

“He is risen.”

These three words—a simple phrase in an angelic declaration—announced the most significant event ever recorded: the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

After He was crucified and died on the cross of Calvary, His body was placed in a borrowed tomb. On the third day afterward, in the early morning hours, “came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. …

“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

“He is not here: for he is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:1, 5-6).

The empty tomb viewed by the women and, later, others represents the central event in Heavenly Father’s plan. It became a physical symbol of the incomparable mission Jesus Christ undertook and completed to provide salvation from temporal death for all of Heavenly Father’s children that are born into mortality.

Paul declared: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:21-23).

Amulek declared:

“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. …

“Now, this [resurrection] shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous” (Alma 11:42-44).

As we read these and other scriptures carefully, we come to realize that we have been given a great gift: the assurance of immortality.

We became eligible for the gift of immortality simply by being born. Because of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection we will, in a manner of speaking, leave behind empty tombs. We will rise from our graves.

In his address earlier this month in general conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “By His Atonement and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has overcome all aspects of the Fall [of Adam]. 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” (“The Resurrection of Jesus Christ”).

We celebrate Easter every year. As Latter-day Saints, we partake of the sacrament every week in remembrance of what the Savior did for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.

“I have the feeling … that a very, very large percentage of the members of the Church do not realize what it means to eat a little morsel of bread, drink a little cup of water in remembrance of the shedding of the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice upon the cross,” said President Joseph Fielding Smith.

“It is impossible for weak mortals, and we are all weak, to fully comprehend the extent of the suffering of the Son of God. We cannot realize the price He had to pay. …

“It is, however, within our grasp to know and realize that this excruciating agony of His sacrifice has brought to us the greatest blessing that could possibly be given. Moreover, we are able to realize that this extreme suffering—which was beyond the power of mortal man either to accomplish or endure—was undertaken because of the great love which the Father and the Son had for mankind. …

“If we fully appreciated the many blessings which are ours through the redemption made for us, there is nothing that the Lord could ask of us that we would not anxiously and willingly do” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, 98-99).

President Thomas S. Monson, in an address during the April 2007 general conference, said that death is an essential part of our mortal experience. “We began our sojourn here by leaving our premortal existence and coming to this earth,” he said.

“Life moves on. Youth follows childhood, and maturity comes ever so imperceptibly. As we search and ponder the purpose and problems of life, all of us sooner or later face the question of the length of life and of a personal, everlasting life. These questions most insistently assert themselves when loved ones leave us or when we face leaving those we love.”

Further, President Monson said: “We laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. Death is our universal heritage. All must pass its portals. Death claims the aged, the weary and worn. It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp. In the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘It is appointed unto men once to die’ (Hebrews 9:27).

“And dead we would remain but for one Man and His mission, even Jesus of Nazareth. …

“The simple pronouncement, ‘He is not here, but is risen,” was the first confirmation of the literal Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The empty tomb that first Easter morning brought comforting assurance, an affirmative answer to Job’s question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ ”

“To all who have lost loved ones, we would turn Job’s question to an answer: If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth. ‘I am the resurrection, and the life,’ spoke the Master. ‘He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die’ (John 11:25-26)” (“I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”).