Sunday, April 27, 2014

EASTER (part 2)

As I was saying:

I may have just gone on the Mother of all digressions! I started this Thought talking about not knowing the origins of significant dates of prominent holidays in the major religions of the world. This led me to an investigation of how we came to have the date we celebrate the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. This in turn led to a report of my studies about the ways we celebrate Easter throughout the world.

Now back to where I intended to go in the first place. It may be that the reason we don’t have exact dates of some of these historical people is because ‘the when’ of their lives is not as important as ‘the what’ they accomplished. I will leave ‘the what’ of Mohammed’s life to another Thought and spend the rest of this Thought on where I believe the emphasis of the celebration of Easter should lie.


Death by Crucifixion – Resurrection – ATONEMENT

Death by Crucifixion – As far as I am concerned enough time has been spent on the cruel and inhumane way in which the Savior as well as many others suffered. Much has been written and enough film and digital representations have been made that it will suffice me to say, I find it difficult to understand how anyone could find justification in taking the life of anyone in this manner, let alone the Son of God.

Resurrection – Since I am a believer in the continuance of life after death and that it was Jesus the Christ who broke the bonds of death and opened the reality of the resurrection for all mankind, and since I no longer have any need to debate this issue with those who find this belief unfounded or unreal, I will just add my testimony, that death is not the end of anyone’s existence. We, like He, will rise again!

ATONEMENT – Just as I believe in the resurrection of all, I likewise believe in the Son of God having come to earth to atone for the sins and sufferings of the world.

Although it is not my usual practice, but because I feel my own words would fall woefully short on the subject, I will spend a major portion of this Thought quoting Bruce R. McConkie from his book The Mortal Messiah Pages 380-382.

What is the Gospel of Salvation?
Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 27:13-22)

How glorious is the gospel; how wondrous is the word; how blessed is the Lord!

The gospel is the plan of salvation—the eternal plan of the Eternal Father. It is the laws and the truths and powers by conformity to which the spirit children of the Father (Christ included) can advance and progress and become like him. It includes the creation and peopling of the earth, the testing processes of mortality, and death, the resurrection, and eternal judgment. It is founded and grounded upon the atoning sacrifice of Christ and is operative because he laid down his life for all men.

Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came in the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

It is the gospel of God; the plan originated with the Father; it is his gospel. It concerns Jesus Christ our Lord because he was chosen to come into this world as the Son of God, to work out the infinite and eternal atonement, and to put into full force all of the terms and conditions of the Father’s plan. The Son does the will of the Father; the Son did not devise a plan and suggest it to the Father; the Son obeyed and conformed and adopted. He espoused and championed the cause of his Father.

And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil — And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

Jesus came to die—to die upon the cross. He came to ransom men from the temporal and spiritual death brought into the world by the fall of Adam; he came to bring immortality to all men and eternal life to all who believe and obey. Through his atoning sacrifice, begun in Gethsemane and completed on the cross, he has power to draw all men unto him, to bring them from the grave, to arraign them before his bar, to judge them according to their works. Annas engineered his death; Caiaphas issued the decree of the Sanhedrin that he was worthy of death; Pilate sent him to the cross; and the elders and chief priests rejoiced in his death. All these shall stand before his bar. He died for them and for all men; he died for the Jews and for the Gentiles; he is the Redeemer of the world.


As in so many things, my understanding of the Atonement is scant and I, like many, have questions as to the how and why of it; nevertheless, I have a firm conviction that Jesus the Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and that all things are possible through him.

As I said in this year’s Thoughts during the Christmas season I have no problem with those who extend the celebratory seasons of the birth of Christ. Likewise, I have no problem with those who wish to extend the celebration of the fulfillment of the Son of God’s purpose for coming to mortality. Therefore, if you want to have a day to remember the atonement, his death and resurrection it is fine with me. If you want to extend your remembrance to a week, forty days or a quarter of the year, I find it all to be good. As for me I will strive to keep his mission and the fulfillment thereof in remembrance all the days of my life.


  1. Thanks for the Easter email-I enjoyed it very much...


    Joni Decker

  2. That is a lot of information, heading to the most important Sabbath day or worship in the year.

    Jean Seavey

  3. Most well presented synopsis on Easter traditions & customs! I am so pleased by 2 new (to me, at least!), Presentations by the Church: "John's He Is Risen" video, & the for sure new LDS-theme for this wk:
    "#BecauseOfHim!" I love the video that goes with this theme! Thx, hope your week-end is Peace-filled!

    Best to you both!


  4. Muchas gracias y me uno a sus testimonios.

    Carlos Humberto Acosta

  5. So very well stated. your word pictures illustrate the value of being understanding, and realizing we all have different perspectives. I need to loose the tendency to form first opinions. or being judgmental. Been working on it!.

    Jean Seavey

  6. I appreciate your sharing your Sabbath "Thoughts" on the death, resurrection and atonement of our beloved Savior.

    This was extremely well written! How grateful we are for the gospel restored in these the latter days!

    Carla Johnson