As we celebrate Easter each year, one way to remember the Savior is to read and study “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.” This declaration, issued in the year 2000 to declare truth at the time of the commemoration of the birth of the Savior two millennia earlier, has been widely quoted and published ever since. It represents the collective testimony of 15 men called as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. It is an enduring testimony that will strengthen faith in the Savior.
“We hope that it stands as a testimony of the Lord whose servants we are,” said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “He is our Master, He is our King, He is the Lord, He is the head of the Church, and we are on His errand. Nothing could be more fitting in commemoration of His birth than to have His people upon the earth acknowledge Him as the Lord of His earth.”
The Literal Son of God
Elder Nelson explained that the testimony and the videos created to accompany the document stress “the most sacred thing that we can contribute, mainly our testimony that the living Christ is the literal Son of God.”
“We wanted to leave something that would get into the hearts of people and endure, even beyond the life of those testifiers,” Elder Nelson explained.
Since then, of the original signers of the document, Gordon B. Hinckley, James E. Faust, David B. Haight, Neal A. Maxwell, and Joseph B. Wirthlin have passed away. Other special witnesses of Christ have been called to join their testimonies of Christ with those previously given. These Apostles are Dieter F. Uchtdorf, David A. Bednar, Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson, and Neil L. Andersen.
Finding Faith in Christ
In addition to “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” those called as special witnesses of Christ continue to regularly teach about the Savior. For example, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that “once we find the beginnings of our faith in Jesus, our Heavenly Father allows for our faith to be strengthened. This occurs in many ways, including through the experience of adversity. Our faith is acquired through prayer, with a sincere desire to draw close to God and trust in Him to bear our burdens and give us answers to life’s unexplained mysteries of the purpose of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here on earth in mortality? And where are we going after our mortal sojourn on earth?”
“When the challenges of mortality come, and they come for all of us, it may seem hard to keep believing. At these times, only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement can bring us peace, hope, and understanding. Only faith that He suffered for our sakes will give us the strength to endure to the end. When we gain this faith, we experience a mighty change of heart, and, like Enos, we become stronger and begin to feel a desire for the welfare of our brothers and sisters. We pray for them, that they too will be strengthened through faith on the Atonement of our Savior.”
Elder Hales said to all those whose souls are hungering for faith, “[I invite you] to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written” (see Ether 12:41). Let their witness that the Savior gave His life for you sink deep into your heart. Seek a witness of this truth through the Holy Ghost in prayer, and then see your faith strengthened as you joyfully meet the challenges of this mortal life and prepare for life eternal. Jesus Christ did come. He did live. And He will come again. That is a wonderful truth to carry in our hearts at [Easter] and all year long.”
The Savior Knows
“The Master not only foresees perfectly the growing power of the opposing forces but also knows what it is like to be mortal,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “He knows what it is like to have the cares of life press upon us. He knows that we are to eat bread by the sweat of our brows and of the cares, concerns, and even sorrows that come from the command to bring children to the earth. And He knows that the trials we face and our human powers to deal with them ebb and flow.
“He knows the mistake we can so easily make: to underestimate the forces working for us and to rely too much on our human powers. And so He offers us the covenant to ‘always remember Him’ and the warning to ‘pray always’ (3 Ne. 18:18) so that we will place our reliance on Him, our only safety. It is not hard to know what to do. The very difficulty of remembering always and praying always is a needed spur to try harder. The danger lies in delay or drift.”
“My message,” President Eyring continued, “is a plea, a warning, and a promise: I plead with you to do the simple things that will move you forward spiritually. Start with remembering Him. You will remember what you know and what you love. The Savior gave us the scriptures, paid for by prophets at a price we cannot measure, so that we could know Him. Lose yourself in them. Decide now to read more, and more effectively than you have ever done before.”
President Thomas S. Monson bore testimony of the living Savior when he said, “With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the first fruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again. ‘Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: “I know that my Redeemer lives!” ’ May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge.”
Testimony of the Prophets
“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” closes with this testimony: “We testify that He will someday return to earth. ‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.
“We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”