One of the most significant of all scriptural phrases is found in Matthew 28:6, “He is not here: for he is risen.” Given by angelic messengers near an empty tomb, this proclamation declared that the Lord Jesus Christ had overcome death through His Atonement and Resurrection. Later He appeared to His Apostles and charged His followers to declare their witness to the world that He lives.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in these, the latter days, we have also been charged with testifying of the realities of the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection. This Easter season gives each of us a personal opportunity to discover His sacrifice, embrace His teachings, and share His joy.
During that first Easter season two millennia ago, the Lord suffered unspeakable agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross as He took upon Himself the sins and pains of all humankind. Betrayed by one He had called friend, He was arrested, scourged, mocked, and crucified. The Savior Himself has taught that this great sacrifice was for a purpose:
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men” (D&C 19:16–19).
As we discover, through prayerful and purposeful study, the impact His mission in mortality has on us, the Holy Ghost can teach and testify to us of the Atonement’s eternal significance.
With the understanding that comes from discovering the power of His Atonement, we ask ourselves, as did the Jews of ancient Jerusalem, “What shall we do?” The Apostle Peter instructed them to be baptized. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized” (see Acts 2:37–41). Likewise, we also need to embrace the Savior’s teachings.
Indeed, embracing His teachings—and helping others do so—is the great work of these latter days. That is why we have missionaries; that is why we have temples—to bring the fullest blessings of the Atonement to faithful children of God. That is why we respond to our own calls from the Lord. When we comprehend His voluntary Atonement, any sense of sacrifice on our part becomes completely overshadowed by a profound sense of gratitude for the privilege of serving Him.
During His brief ministry in the American hemisphere, the Savior observed that the Nephites had discovered His sacrifice and embraced His teachings, and He said unto them, “Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full” (3 Nephi 17:20). As we follow this pattern of discovering the power of the Savior’s Atonement and embracing His teachings, we experience the joy that comes from striving to be more like Him. As we do so, we naturally want to share our joy with those we love, inviting them to discover His sacrifice, embrace His teachings, and share in His joy.
To share the joy of this Easter season, please visit HeLives.mormon.org to view a powerful video and share your testimony of the Savior using the social media hashtag #BecauseHeLives.
Like those angelic messengers in the meridian of time, we also declare, “He is not here: for he is risen.” He lives. And because He lives we, too, can know “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).